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Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." (Colossians 3:15a NIV)I would love to hear from you, if you don't have a blog you can still comment, join google it's free. I appreciate hearing from you.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

POW......

My Dad was a prisoner of war in Japan during WW2. He was taken when Singapore fell and spent the duration of the war in camps in Japan.
My mother did not know for two years if he was alive or dead. They married just before the war, knowing it was coming. He was at that time in the Territorial Army in England. A volunteer. Once they were able to send things out to the prisoners, probably via Red Cross she would send him little poems that he enjoyed by Patience Strong.
I was cleaning the other day and opened a drawer and found them. I thought I would share some of them now and then. Patience Strong wrote simple poems, and during war time they were to cheer people. Like Vera Lynn did with her songs.
There was a "Quiet Corner" in the local paper and mum collected some of the poems from there
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The Island of the Free
On windless days the gentle wavelets lap the shores of home.
Breaking softly on the beach in little frills of foam.
Can this be the same great ocean broad and deep and wide,
That bears the mighty ships of war upon its rolling tide.
So full of peace it is today - the waves upon the sand,
Linger here as if they loved the feel of this dear land.
Kind the sea has been to us - has shaped our destiny.
Has sheltered us and made us now the island of the free
By...............Patience Strong. (wartime)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Crumpets...

When I was first married we lived in Bedford (Bedfordshire)we rented a house in Cromwell Road. That winter I think both the gas and electric companies went on strike. Apparently they made a pact so that they were not both on strike at the same time of day. That meant that we either had gas (and could cook) and no lights, or no lights and had gas. Well...........it was entertaining to say the least. We did however have one coal fire. The other was electric.
In our front room that was seldom used, we lived for that period of time.
I learned to cook on a coal fire. You can heat soup, roast potatoes and do toast and crumpets.
We had toasting forks and so we enjoyed a little primitive living with candle light. Sort of romantic back then.

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As a child this was a common way of doing things, so I was not unprepared. Toast, that wonderful English bread, done over an open fire with real butter is just yummy.
Crumpets soak up the butter and it just spills into your mouth.
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Naturally kids love to play with fire so toasting crumpets counted as a wonderful way to make breakfast
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We forget the fun and delightful things, the simple pleasures in todays world. We are so busy and yes, lazy to do things the old fashioned way. When something does not work people are lost. Those of us raised in more "primitive" times can always cope. No heat.......not a problem....no electricity....we can manage.....no gas.....we will find a way. Trouble is hardly anyone has a regular fire these days. When we built our homes when we first came to the States, I always had a fireplace. This house does not have one. I miss that. I just had "English Muffins" done in the toaster. Good, but not the same

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No idea who came up with this but.............had to record it anyway (smile)

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Linking with

Thursday, January 24, 2013

White Horses.............

We call them White Horses..............

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You see them in the oceans and I see them in Lake Michigan.

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The crests of waves that have wind blown manes and look like horses arising from the waves................. Poseidon was also the creator of horses, creating them out of the breaking waves when challenged to make a beautiful land animal.

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They race to the shore but never set foot on land, forever racing forwards manes blowing and their voices shrieking in the winds that form them..........they are beautiful mysterious and wild.

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Some pictures capture the magic like the very first one and this one (above) is one of my favourites.
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I love it when you see the waves where the wind blows the crests off into the air and it does not take much imagination to see the horses running towards us.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tristen makes cupcakes...........

A simple way to entertain a child......well not so much, but enjoy it he did. I made the batter while Tristen and Gabby were playing with the play dough. He soon figured out what I was doing and was right there to help and advise. I managed to get the batter into the paper liners despite all the fingers in the way.

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After that, and the cakes were in the oven, it was time for Tristen to help with the clean up. This he was very happy to do.

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So the bowls were half way clean by then, and the cakes were out of the oven and cooling off.
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So now while they cool we wash the dishes and he was really really happy to do that.

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Then its frosting next.......that done its time to try the end product. This he did willingly enough and more than once.

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He managed two before I realized that he was more interested in the frosting. He tried to pass the cake off to the poodles, they didnt care for it because it was lemon.

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A fun afternoon for a small boy and little effort on my part because I used a mix (hehe) and ready made frosting.
I am linking up with ....please join us......
The Chicken Chick

Linking up with Inspire me Monday at Create With Joy

Also linking with Alderberry Hill Make a Scene Monday

Also linking with thanks to PJH Design


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bodicea.............

Bodicea is the name of my poodle, one of my poodles. She is named (tongue in cheek) for the warrior queen. Bodi is just the complete opposite of the warrior queen. She is gentle and fluffy.
In 43 CE, the Romans invaded Britain, and most of the Celtic tribes were forced to submit. However, the Romans allowed two Celtic kings to retain some of their traditional power; one was Prasutagus and his wife was Bodicea.
In AD 61, Prasutagus, Boadicea's husband and King of the Iceni died.

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This period of English history ia so interesting to me, I suppose because its so far in the past. Romans brought light to the world with their technology and culture. When they arrived in Britain they found people living in mud huts or even underground (there are now models of these at various sites). They built roads, straight roads that are still in use today. They built buildings of brick and stone with tiled roofs, wonderful mosaic floors and hot and cold water, central heating (Baths like at Aqua Sulis)and so on............when they left they sort of turned the lights off and went home.
(This mosaic was found at Littlecote Manor, we happened to see it being excavated when we went back home many years ago (around 1978) and now see it in all its glory)
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In any case during their years of occupation they were constantly hassled by the locals, who were not so appreciative as they might have been of all the mod cons of the day. The land was theirs and they wanted it back. I mean, they were Kings and Queens in their own right, they had their own sets of rules and liked it that way...... In 47 CE the Romans forced the Iceni to disarm, creating resentment. Prasutagus had been given a grant by the Romans, but the Romans then redefined this as a loan. When Prasutagus died, he left half his kingdom to the Emperor Nero to settle this debt.
The Romans arrived to collect, but instead of settling for half the kingdom, seized control of it. To humiliate the former rulers, the Romans beat Boudicca publicly, raped their two daughters, seized the wealth of many Iceni and sold much of the royal family into slavery.

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While the provincial governor Suetonius Paulinus (Above) was absent in 60, Boudicca raised a rebellion throughout East Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk). The insurgents burned Camulodunum (Colchester), Verulamium (St. Albans), the mart of Londinium (London), and several military posts; massacred (according to Tacitus) 70,000 Romans and pro-Roman Britons; and cut to pieces the Roman 9th Legion. Paulinus met the Britons at a point thought to be near present-day Fenny Stratford on Watling Street and in a desperate battle regained the province.
Unfortunately for the Iceni and their allies, the military skill of the Roman army finally led to the crushing of the rebellion. After the revolt, Roman rule was re-established. For almost two years, Boadicea pillaged the Roman settlements; she remains to this day, the greatest of the heroines of Britain.

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Ultimatley Boudicca took poison or died of shock.She would not be taken prisoner and humiliated again.

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We know the history of Boudicea through two writers: Tacitus, in "Agricola" (98 CE) and "The Annals" (109 CE), and Dio, in "The Rebellion of Boudicca" (about 163 CE).
So it was not as though a lot of time had passed before things were recorded. Not a lot more is known about her but she remains a symbol of what Britain is and will always be. She was our warrior queen.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Avalon.................

The Isle of Avalon, Camelot, Lyonesse. All lost Kingdoms? Well maybe not lost, but now hidden.
Lyonesse was once a land between the Scilly isles and Cornwall. It is where Guenevere came from. Sailors have reported seeing things under the sea and even dredging Artifacts up in thier nets. Some say they hear church bells ringing under the sea, some say they can be heard from the coast of Cornwall. Unless someone actually does a survey of the area like they did around the Dogger Bank, we will never know.
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Some say that Glastonbury Tor is the Isle of Avalon. That many years ago the land around it was a flood plane under several feet of water.
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I was here at Glastonbury Tor in August 2012. I was not able to climb up there due to time restrictions, some day I have to go though. Its on my bucket list. I better not wait too long or it may well be the last thing on my list. Phew!!! The Tor is in the midst of "summerland Meadows" now if that is not Arthurian I don't know what is.
the Tor once rose like an island from the waters, but now, with the surrounding flats, is a peninsula washed on three sides by the River Brue. The remains of Glastonbury Lake Village nearby were identified in 1892.

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Dozemary pool is one site that is claimed to be the home of the Lady of the Lake. According to the legend, it is here that King Arthur rowed out to the Lady of the Lake and received the sword Excalibur. The pool is also the place where Bedivere returned Excalibur as Arthur lay dying after the Battle of Camlann.

There is also Tintagel............with Merlins Cave close by (in another post) ...Legends abound. When you go to these places, walk them and look in silence, its not hard to imagin and for me, well I believe there is truth in legend. Some tales have been handed down almost intact and have been cherished and written about since just after the events. Who can say they are not true?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nosegays..............

An old fashioned word.......Nosegay. I suppose one can guess how the word originated. Back in the days when the streets were open sewers. That and personal hygene was not much better, so a Nose gay...... a happy nose????? Well thats my version.
In any case they are small posies of flowers. Ladies would hold them up to the nose or wear in their hair or bodices.
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Violets, Lavender or any sweet smelling flower would be popular. Back in the Tudor times Oranges with cloves in them did the same thing, and although as far as I know, not called nosegays they accomplished the same thing. Maybe more popular with men than flowers? I believe they were pomanders.
In Victorian times the nosegay was given to ladies by sweethearts and often carried a message within the flowers so the men had to be careful of what flower they chose.

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The language of flowers......there is I am sure a book that you can buy if you should want to know all about that. Try Amazon.com


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Meanwhile you can get a short list here.

Naturally thats one reason Yellow roses are safe for a man to buy a woman because they signify friendship. They are also very beautiful.
So we maybe dont do such practical or romantic things today but the remnants lie in the Bridal Boquets and the corsage that you (Americans) may have recieved for the prom.

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Then again, many young girls or even boys would pick a posy of Violets and take them home to mum.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

After the cold...............

After Tristen's escapades in the water, he was a little cold. Not much but heck, I am all for traditions and what better than to begin them at 3 years old. So off he went for a nice warm bath after his hot chocolate.
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He doesn't spend a lot of time in the tub like a lot of kids do. Still he does enjoy it. A shower to start to do his hair and then a soak.......he has a tub full of toys but seldom spends more than 10 minutes in there

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Nice fluffy white towels to get dried off and into his jammies........

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Before or after.....hot chocolate.

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In this case chocolate before the bath is probably the best choice..........
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Isn't he cute.............

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Boy and His Dog.............

Tristen loves Bodi. He says she is HIS dog. Bodicea is a poodle and she is not at all sure she wants to be the "dog" of a small boy. I think he gets on her nerves sometimes. He always wants to hug her but he does try hard to be gentle. She would prefer a nap. However, there are many times that the said boy, has good stuff on his face and hands because little boys are sort of grubby most of the time and spill a lot of food.
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In this case it looks rather like a chocolate mustache, he probably just had drinking chocolate that may explain the rather grubby face.


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Then again, they do love to cuddle up and notice Tristen is sharing his favourite blankie. He does not do that with just everyone.


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Its just that being just 3 he can be rough and Bodi is rather, shall we just say.....she is our plus size poodle and although she is larger than the others she has bad joints and hips. So we have to be careful with her. She is a gentle soul and very patient with him. I hope in time he will become more careful. I just worry about her. This is just so cute though so I do not want to discourage his love of her.

Sharing this with Photogfriday................

Church Bells.........

I may have posted about this before but as Christmas has just passed and I missed the sound so much. I will repeat myself maybe.
In Houghton Regis the church that has stood there since Saxon Times, rings its bells on sundays and for weddings and special occasions. I can not believe that in this day and age people complain that the bells wake them up. Duh!!!! they are supposed to. Its a call to get ya lazy bum our of bed and git to church. There was a time this was madatory. (smile) Although in those days people had more reverence, more faith and yes superstition.
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My uncle was a bell ringer. He practiced during the week, well they all did but Sunday morning was a joy. Church bells ring all throughout Britain calling the faithful (whats left of them) to church.

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I am not sure how much strength it takes to move those bells but from what I have seen, once you get going they drag you off the ground. Did anyone watch "All Creatures Great and Small"? Well Tristen was a bell ringer because of the bell ringers evenings at the pub. I am not sure he did it for any other reason, he could get away from Sigfried for the evening with legitimate reason and they also had a bell ringers outing. So maybe that was part of the attraction for Uncle Harold.

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I have heard bells chime in a local church but its just not the same because its not a real church. I mean its a church all right but not one of those stone churches that are so old that the bells were used for more than just Sundays. In England the bells were quiet during the war,,,,,,,,,reseved for invasions should it come, as it would have been used hundreds of years ago. I love that significance. Just like with the beacons that are lit in times of rejoicing or trouble.