Wednesday, November 30, 2016


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

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 28, 2016


I guess it had to happen one day!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016


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

Saturday, November 26, 2016


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

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

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

Friday, November 25, 2016


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

Thursday, November 24, 2016


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

 HENRY III   1216-1272

Born at Winchester on 1st Ocober, 1207.

Eldest son of his predecessor John.

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

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

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

Buried at Westminster Abbey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


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

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, November 21, 2016


No extra words needed here!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2016


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

Saturday, November 19, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 18, 2016


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

Thursday, November 17, 2016


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

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

Born in Oxford on 24th December, 1167.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buried at Worcester Cathedral.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 14, 2016


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

Sunday, November 13, 2016


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

Saturday, November 12, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 11, 2016


Tony Martin is a singer that many of you may not remember.  I do remember him but haven't listened to any of his song for many a long year.   Scrolled through YouTube once again and found this recording he made in 1941 (would you believe I was only 9 years old then?).  It is a lovely song "Tonight We Love" based on the theme from Tchaikovsky's B-flat minor piano concerto No. 1.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Henry II's son is now on the throne.  More from "Kings and Queens of England and Scotland".  (I find it interesting that there are definite dates regarding births, deaths etc.)

RICHARD I  Known as Coeur-de-Lion, Lionheart.

Born at Oxford on 8th September, 1157.

Succeeded as Duke of Aquitaine 1172, as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou on 6th July, 1189, aged 31.

Whatever were his tenuous claims to more of Britain, John was formal Lord of Ireland, and Richard was specifically not overlord of Scotland, having sold the right to homage for 6666 pounds.

Eldest surviving son of his predecessor Henry.

Married in Cyprus on 12th May, 1191 Berengaria of Navatre.

Children:  None

Died at Chalus, in Limousin, on 6th April, 1199, from gangrene following a wound by a cross-bolt, aged 41, having reigned 10 years.

Buried at Fontrevault,, but his heart is buried at Rouen.

Profile:  Tall with exceptionally long legs and arms, auburn hair and a short beard; a very handsome physique to match his bravery.

Richard was an absentee king whose influence on England arose from his neglect of it.  He was a courtly musician and poet, but his great enthusiasm was for war.  He was a man of high courage and an outstanding military engineer.  His youth was turbulent and unpardonably disloyal, but from the age of 30 his life was dominated by the passion to regain the city of Jerusalem in what became the Third Crusade.  Three months after his coronation  a ceremony which was allowed to provoke a pogrom of the Jews in London, and was followed by similar outbursts in Lincoln, Norwich and York - he left England, having raised for Jerusalem all the money he could in a reckless liquidation of royal perquisites.  His methods were tyranical, devious and rapacious.  Areas excluded from Richard's rapacity were the six counties of England which he foolishly handed over to his young and totally unreliable brother John, for thorough despotic exploitation.  No taxes for the Crown were levied there, and even the King's Justices were excluded from entry.

Over a year after his departure from England, Richard had got no nearer the Holy Land than Sicily,  His 69-year-old mother Eleanor of Aquitaine, travelled there to introduce to him the young princess Berengaria of Navarre (Navarre is the Basque country straddling the Pyrenees) with the suggestion that Richard should marry her.  Richard dutifully agreed - since Navarre bordered the Cascony area of Aquitaine, it was a useful territory to have a claim to - and he took Berengaria on his voyage to the east.  They were married, and Berengaria was crowned Queen of England, when they put ashore in Cyprus.   Richard was in fact homosexually inclined, and he saw very little of his wife, except that he recalled her to his bed four years later when he was accused of sodomy.

The Third Crusade was a time-consuming failure, partly because Richard was given the news that his brother John was challenging for the throne which would have come to him anyway, and Richard consequently broke off the siege of Jerusalem.  Its local conclusion, three years after Richard's departure, was a national disaster and possibly ranks as England's most expensive pay-off in history for any single operation before the twentieth-century wars.  Richard mortally offended the Duke of Austria at the siege of Acre, publicly disgracing him for insubordination and having his banner trampled in the dirt.  On the voyage home Richard was wrecked in the Adriatic and, taking a chance, rode through the Duke's territories on the straight route to England.  He was recognised, captured, imprisoned and put up for ransom.  The price was 100,000 pounds - say 12 million pounds in modern money, but it then represented a third of the gross national product of the country.  Richard seems hardly to have been worth that, except that the alternative was John, now in alliance with Philip Augusts of France, who had accompanied Richard to the crusade but retired hurt.  The most special taxes had to be collected to redeem the king, and the process took over a year.  Once ransomed, Richard exhibited himself wearing his crown in Winchester Cathedral, and went straight off to Normandy for Christmas, never again visiting England.  He had proved to be a most expensive king.

The country was run, and well run, by Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury and Justiciar (King's Deputy). 

Richard amused himself with was in France.  When a ploughman unearthed in Chalus an intricate Roman relic in gold, and his feudal overlords confiscated it, Richard considered the incident sufficiently serious to besiege Calus and get the gold for himself.  He was fatally wounded in the operation.  It was a typically frivolous way to die, but Richard carried it through with a Provencal
panache not too often seen among he English.  He had good-naturedly congratulated the enemy crossbowman on the skill of his shooting before, miscalculating the flight, he was hit.  On his deathbed he sent for the bowman, not for execution but for pardon.

This takes me back to the film Robin Hood : Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner, a film I thoroughly enjoyed.  I thought Alan Rickman's role as John was wonderfully portrayed.  We have it on DVD and watch it about once a year.  More about John in our next episode of "K and Q of E and S".

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Just needed to share this today:

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


First off I remember the other day Charlie said his mum loved nasturtiums so I snapped a couple of pics where they are sprawling out of the agave bed onto the brick path.  Years ago I sowed some out of date seeds in the front garden and they all came up.  For several years we would have nasturtiums growing out the front.   These days none grow there at all but our back garden has nasturtiums spring up all over each year with some, this year, even growing in the little bed under the pergola.  Here now for Charlie's mum are some nasturtiums:

This weather is really bewildering....after sweltering on Saturday with 37C (98F), yesterday and today we are rugging up as it is really quite cool (Phil says it is cold) and seems it will be that way until next weekend.  No point in thinking of packing away winter clothing or bedding as we may need it yet a while.  Poor Phil has had his comforter on his bed and then off his bed and I add a light blanket one night and get rid of it the next.   The wind chill is really icy.

I am feeling for the people of New South Wales where those awful bushfires are raging.  50 fires in all which surely must have been caused by lightning strikes.  Some property has been lost but fortunately no human lives.   My thoughts are always with the wild animals and birds that live in the bush that is being ravaged by fire.  Some escape but so many are killed or injured which saddens me so much.  We have to take out hats off to the tireless men and women of the various fire services that fight these fires in Australia every year.   Last summer all over Australia there were dozens of homes lost and several lives as well.   I feel we are in for quite a dangerous fire season and the various departments in Western Australia are doing their very best to burn off as much as they can while the cool weather holds.  Unfortunately we had a very wet beginning to spring so the usual spring burns had to be put on hold for a while.  The changeable weather makes it very difficult for them.

Have been chatting with family about Christmas and have suggested perhaps no gifts for the adults and just gifts for the 3 youngsters and a lovely family get-together where we all contribute food of one kind or another.  I feel Christmas in this country where it is often so hot on Christmas Day needs to be simplified to make it comfortable for all concerned.  I know Phil once missed the Christmases in England with hot roast dinners and the trimmings but having now lived in Oz for 56 years he is well and truly part of our way of life.   Speaking of Phil, it will be his 87th birthday in a few weeks and we've decided the family will meet and enjoy dinner at our usual restaurant in Baldivis.  It is close to C and M with their young girls and the food is enjoyable and the service good.  An outing we are both looking forward to.

Monday, November 7, 2016


I know just how this horse feels.

Hope this begins the week well for you and the smile stays with you right through.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


I found this little "poem" and thought it rather special so thought to share it with you.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


I'm thinking he's not a bad bloke!!  He went to the shops the other day and you know how I like sunflowers, well he knows I do too so he presented me with this sunflower in a pot.  This is it sitting on my windowsill in my work room and if you're wondering what that is on the right of the's the end of Candy's tail who loves to sit looking out the window.

I am not too sure how sunflowers go growing in pots but the other bud is beginning to open so I am hoping it will at least last until that one has flowered as well.  I am trying to keep it watered without it becoming waterlogged as I am sure that would not do it any good.

Also am pleased that on Thursday morning himself went off to have his blood tests.  Not sure if we will receive the results or not.   Dr Ken didn't put copy to patient but I wrote 'patient' in that spot and am hoping they will send copy to us as well.  It's always good to have a record as you can then look back on previous tests and see for yourself how you are doing.

Today is forecast to be 37C (98.6F) which is going to be a bit of a shock to the system so it will be a day indoors with the airconditioner on followed by a very warm night of 17C (65F).  This will then be followed by quite a cool week of temps in the low 20s and cool nights.  At least we aren't having a heatwave yet.  I know that is in store for us in the coming months and the latter the better for me.

Nothing to report on the home front.  Not heard from or seen anyone so obviously all must be well or I am sure we'd have heard.   They are all just too busy with their own lives these days.

Hope, wherever you are, and whatever your plans are for the weekend, that everything works out just as you would like.

Friday, November 4, 2016


One artist I've not included in Friday Favourites is Tom Jones.  I was a great fan of his years ago and still enjoy all of his early songs but perhaps not so much the recent ones.  I decided to scroll through YouTube to see what was there and came across this one which was always a favourite of mine.   So, without more ado, here is Tom Jones Singing "I'll Never Fall in Love Again".  Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


You may need to read this one a little at a time.  More from "Kings and Queens of England and Scotland".

HENRY II   Known as Fitz-Empress and nicknamed Curtmantel.

Succeeded as "King of the English, Duke of the Normans and Aquaitanians, and Count of the Angevins; 25th October, 1154 (having held Normandy since 1149) at the age of 21.  Ultimately undisputed overlord of Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Second cousin of his predecessor Stephen, and great-grandson of William the Conqueror.

Married in 1152 Eleanor Duchess of Aquitaine, then aged 30, immediately after her divorce from Louis VII, King of France, on the ground of consanquinity.

Children:  William, Henry, Matilda, RICHARD, Geoffrey, Philip, Eleanor, John, JOHN.

Mistresses:  His most serious attachment was to "Fair Rosamund', Rosamund Clifford. whose father had changed his surname from the formidable Norman style of Fitzponce.  She dies in 1176,

Bastards include William Earl of Salisbury, and Geoffrey Archbishop of York.

Died at Chinon 6th July, 1189, aged 56 having reigned 24 years.

Buried at Fontevrault.

Profile:  An impressively strong-looking man, strident in his speech; a short-haired red-head with grey eyes darting from a blotchy face, sporting a trimmed beard - all his predecessors since Edward the Confessor seem to have been clean-shaven, but beards were worn by English kings for the next two centuries.  Henry was a man who moved with immense speed, vaulting over tables instead of going round them.  His nickname "curtmanel" refers to the Angevin fashion of the short cloak which Henry introduced, supplanting the dusty ground-hugging cloaks which were then worn at the English Court.  The flick of the short mantle as Henry cleared a hurdle or swung round a corridor/corner is a visual indication of his brisk impact.

Henry is the first in a line of 14 hereditarily related kings, who did not refer to themselves as Plantagenets until the 300th anniversary of Henry's succession, when the strain was almost extinct.  Henry saw himself as an Angevin, son of the Count of Anjou whose emblem was the plante genet. the yellow flowering broom worn in his helmet-crest.  Anjou, which is best identified as the Loire Valley with all its magnificent castle, started as a small buffer-county (like Devon) between the Celts of Brittany and the Romanized Gauls.  A short time before Henry's birth at Le Mans, Anjou had incorporated Maine, which occupied a similar position with relation to Normandy as Anjou held against Brittany.  This had previously been an area of dispute between the Dukes of Normandy and the Kings of France (who then only directly ruled from Paris an inland territory round the Seine, with some claim to supervision over the foreign policy of Flanders, Champagne and Burgundy).  When Louis VII of France obtained his disastrously-sanctioned divorce (annulment) against Eleanor, the last Duchess of Aquitaine, and Eleanor promptly married Henry, their combined possessions in France alone exceeded by far the dominions of the titular King of France; and when Henry took over England he was king of countries stretching from the Cheviots to the Pyrenees and buttressed by the Atlantic Ocean for 1000 miles.  It was a domain that could accurately be called the Angevin Empire, and which was of more consequence at that time than any other state in Europe, including the Holy Roman (German) Empire.

On the death of Stephen, Henry was in Normandy, and according to the convention of the time he did not become king until his coronation in Westminster Abbey on 19th December 1154.  He immediately applied himself to the painstaking organisation of his new territory.  He had first to demonstrate that the king was truly sovereign, and that anarchy was ended, with a determined show of strength against the maverick barons, and with the demolition of a thousand unlicensed castles which had been built during the past troubles to intimidate the countryside.  Having established internal security, he promoted domestic and foreign trade.  Productivity, as measured by the national income meticulously recorded in a period of stable currency, doubled during the course of his reign.

To secure a tranquil business climate and its corollary of civil freedom, he revolutionised the administration of the law, presiding often over his own courts and sending his justices out on assize.  In effect he was in many cases offering his subjects the alternative of seeking "the King's Justice", which was manifestly fair, rather than the loaded local justice of many existing courts.  A knowledgeable lawyer himself, Henry built up the body of English Common Law (i.e., a system of common, impartial principles which carried more weight than local customs and superstitions which were still observed in the shire and manorial courts), and at the same time he began the development of the English jury system.

The fact that Henry, a foreigner from a southern civilisation, could shape an acceptable and understandable corpus of law peculiar to English ideas of liberty, and totally distinct from the Roman, institutional, law being developed within Europe. is one indication of his administrative genius.  Administration was his forte.  He developed a civil service which advanced the business economy of the nation, and introduced an efficient, if painful system of taxation, unashamedly using his travelling justices to collect his dues.  A part of the taxation was directed to defence purposes, the feudal landowners paying scutage towards a paid, ad hoc force of mercenaries (not a standing army), rather than binding themselves to attend with men-at-arms during states of emergency, and depart, according to their rights, before the emergency was over.

Henry's major failure was his attempt to curb the power of the ecclesiastical courts.  This was exemplified in his struggle with Thomas Becket.  Becket had been a wild playboy crony of the king until he became Archbishop of Canterbury, and then, in somewhat ostentatious conversion, his egotism developed with a fixation on the maintenance of dubious ecclesiastical privilege.  His unnecessary death proportionately clouded Henry's achievement and did little for God's justice.

Henry II had a tragic private life.  His cultured and vivacious queen, Eleanor, whom he had wooed with romantic rather than dynastic fervour and who gave him nine children after a late second marriage, degenerated into a foolish political intriguer, setting her sons against their father for apparently idle reasons.  A rebellion in 1173 by the eldest surviving son, Henry, was crushed, and Eleanor was placed under house arrest in Salisbury for 15 years.  When young Henry died, his brothers Richard and Geoffrey conspired with the King of France against their father.  The youngest brother, John, the spoiled favourite of the family, used his eye for the main chance to support his father until a month before his death, then joined Richard and King Philip Augustus of France, and this unnatural alliance defeated Henry in Battle.  King Henry died deserted, exhausted and broken by grief.  He was buried in his native countryside at Fontrevault Abbey on the Loire.

I feel Henry II did a lot of good for England and it is sad that his sons, obviously egged on by their mother, tried to destroy him and, obviously. they finally did.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Sounds quite wise to me.....what about you?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Those that know me recognise the fact that I often talk about the weather, especially my dislike of our hot summers.   Right now Perth appears to be going against the world trend as not only have we experienced out coldest September on record, October was our coldest for 11 years.

I have a feeling November will introduce us to enough heat to prepare us for the summer ahead as we are in for a warm to hot week, with 35C (95F) forecast for next Saturday.  It's been just warm enough this past week not to have the aircon on heat but I feel before too long it will be doing its best to keep us cool.  

Do you remember our old aircon gave up the ghost earlier this year and with the help of the insurance payout for fusion and dipping into our rather shallow pockets, we were able to have a new aircon unit installed.   I know one should never tempt the fates, but to date it runs like a charm and is so quiet you'd hardly know it's on.  Just don't let on to it that I said nice things about it will you.

Spoke to K on Sunday and she tells me her dizzy turns are now behind her which is good news but she says they are terribly busy at work so no rest for the wicked there.   C is recovering and healing well after her 2 ops although still feeling tired.  Not surprising as she had been in pain for some weeks prior to the gallstones becoming stuck and her concern for her girls should she be hospitalised would cause stress which in turn can be very tiring.

Phil had his six monthly visit with our GP last week and now we just await results of blood tests (when he gets around going to the path lab to have blood taken) but they are just routine tests so hopefully the results will prove he is 'not doing too badly for an old'un (that is Phil's usual answer when anyone asks how he is).  Difficult to believe he will be 87 in just 32 days!!  I said to him this morning that in 3 years he will be nearly 90 and he said don't tempt the fates but my explanation was that it is wonderful to be old enough to be able to say that.

This US election seems to be going from bad to worse and I can't help but think was skullduggery is working there.  Politics is a dirty game and I feel of late we have been seeing the very worst of it.  I will truly be so glad when it is over but then I guess we'll have to wait till the inauguration and then some.

I do hope your week has begun well for you and will continue on that way right up to the weekend.