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.

Friday, November 28, 2014


This year we had Thanksgiving at my house as usual. Not so much like other years in as much as Jason didn't come home. We didn't know what the weather was going to be like. Jason also has 3 cats now and that makes it difficult for him to leave for any length of time. So he doesn't want to risk being stuck here. Gabby had to work so we made her a plate and Tony took it to her at work. Tony, Cooper and her stayed the night. Laura, Robert and Reina came. It was Laura's birthday. So we had cake and icecream as well.
I always enjoy family get togethers. They may not be exciting or anything spectacular, but really dinner is about all I can handle anymore. Then all the clean up after. Thank goodness Gerry does a lot of that part.
Well, I am making the supreme effort this weekend and we will be decorating for Christmas.
So before Thanksgiving is over, I want to think about the meaning of it all.
 photo fdcb1505-5816-404a-a18a-a523f0640fe6_zps2ac68bcc.jpg
I love my family. I love my friends......but most of all I love God. I love what God has done for me. I have had some very rough times in my life but through it all He has been there for me. I rely on Him. He guides me. He teaches me. I see him work in my life.
I can not explain this, I can not say how I know He is here with me. I just know. It is a feeling of letting go.........yes, let go, and let God. Some descisions just pop into my head and we take that direction, its not until later that I see why. For this relationship I am Thankful.
 photo 08f81078-adb6-468b-8616-a83349dffaa2_zps6534ef22.jpg
I am Thankful for so many things in my life. I am so glad I was raised in England. The longer I am here the more I miss home. Still, if I have to live in America I am thankful that I live in Michigan. I do love it here. This year we have had a lot of fun exploring and doing things we have not done before.
I am thankful for Tristen in my life. Because I have him with me,and we are raising him, I wanted to show him as much as I can of the natural things around us, spend as much time with him as I can. I can never replace his Mother, but I can do the best I can for him for as long as I can. I want him to appreciate nature.
 photo ac08c90c-adab-4aa7-9e10-3f9bf0c38ee4_zps3d44c472.jpg
I am thankful that my husband takes a great part of the upbringing of Tristen. He helps me a lot, actually he helps me a great deal in many ways.
I am thankful that we have a home that I love, and that we have a house that Laura can raise her family in even though times are tough for her right now. I am thankful that I can help them.
I am thankful that my boys have good jobs. I am also happy that they have become good men.
 photo 03b91056-c1a4-4340-9ad1-af6da00b4752_zps52a7a140.jpg
I am thankful for the small things. I love my dogs, my poodle girls, I have always had poodles and pets and have loved them all and I am so very thankful for that. My life has always been full of animals. I adore them. I love wildlife and I am so glad I can get out and watch them, the birds, the deer and all of that, and so I am thankful for sight. I have lost the sight in one eye but that has made me grateful for what I once had. I had perfect vision all my life and so now I appreciate that. I am thankful that I can see the beauty all around me.
 photo 89ad222a-d1bd-4a3c-938c-02cdf8d4cf39_zpsc4489aba.jpg
Attitude is everything and I am thankful that the Lord holds my hand in this...........I am a positive person but it is sometimes difficult. I have a lot of things I need to work on but I am glad the Lord points them out to me. Frequently.
 photo 9fbe78dd-2195-44c9-8f17-ec6fb7937791_zps8286e69d.jpg
I am thankful for a daughter who is there for me, who helps me when I need it. It has been a journey to get to this point. SHe has not had an easy life either.
I am thankful for my granddaughters who I love. Those who are here and Alexandra who is not. I thank God for getting us through that. I am happy we have a lot in common. Its not so easy being close with my sons who do not enjoy the same things. Although Jason seems to think we should do more together. I will work on that.
Well I could write a whole list and it is a great idea to do that periodically. Especially when things do not go so well.........there is always, always something to be thankful for. Life itself. Health and well, even not having wealth because there is even things to be thanful for in that. One appreciates the small things.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

WInter comes again.............

After the snow we got before, and then 3 days of rain that got rid of it all............we got snow again last night. This seemed colder. It was stuck on the trees and so the back roads were icy enough to cancel school. So wonderful (not) we had a snow day, no school. A snow day and its only November. Does not bode well.
 photo 61a7c542-8d80-4cb6-b9a2-8cfc2030190d_zps8789ddcc.jpg
Our front yard was rather pretty. I go outside without a coat to take my pictures and it was a bit nippy.
Tristen went out for awhile, but didn't stay outside very long. He would love to have me help him to make a snowman. I want to and have not mentioned it yet. We need more snow and a day that is not windy and wet. Besides I need a carrot for the nose.
 photo a6cf0a09-b660-43ad-b995-1244b14c79bf_zps048f567b.jpg
The flowers long gone but still pretty with littel white fluffy hats.
 photo 839e223c-0de0-4d0f-99ff-e55c0dac1da7_zpsfd3c358a.jpg
The front of the house this morning, not as pretty as some times. Still, it was snowy.
 photo 247b5a73-0f7b-427c-aa4a-11f1624abc49_zpsaf92f3b3.jpg
It looks so much better with a blue sky. As I stood there taking my pictures I could hear the Chickadees in the pine trees. They were not at the feeders yet, maybe its warm inside the pines? In any case lots of twittering going on. I often wonder where all the bird sleep. If you could see into the trees at night are all the branches full of huddled up little bodies.
 photo 82b6781d-3edb-435a-a0ac-8dbc912c26f0_zps136925c3.jpg
I took more pictures of birds today and will show those on the garden blog. Not a lot else going on these days. Poor Tristen was bored out of his mind, and I was not very patient. Some days are like that. He didn't want to do anything. I gave him his own markers, I suggested this and that and it was all no I don't want to. He wanted to sit on me and just watch TV and I am not a person who just likes to sit. I will for a time but then I think of something and I have to pursue it. Its the same with TV I can't just sit and watch TV. Like now, we are watching a movie and I am also doing this. Might explain a few of my post huh!!!!
Well, I am going to post my bird pictures now I think.................looks like more snow tonight and I have to go shopping tomorrow or there will be no veggies to go with our turkey.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Snow Days................

Well the snow is here, it looks like it will stay now. Tristen is enjoying it. He got a new winter coat this year so he is all set with new boots as well. He had some snow pants from last year that fit him well. Then there is the issue of gloves. I got 3 pairs of wool gloves before the snow came.....those do not hold up in wet snow so school says he MUST have some waterprood. OK got some Thursday that he wore Friday and came home minus one glove. Grrrrrr. Got a new pair today and I have put them on a ribbon threaded through his arms on his coat.
 photo 63f67e95-4ac5-46ad-8c70-865d6c0049d6_zps82ab5147.jpg
 photo 692cad26-8a52-4695-8b19-b3ce7e2b586d_zpsd1fb8803.jpg
He was having so much fun, trying to hit me with a snowball.......
 photo 9e8e4aa8-ead6-4f54-86f0-5f2ee34016dc_zpsabc4ba6c.jpg
He has a great aim. One did get into the house until I sent him further back.........
 photo 824a8496-8a30-4b3a-b3ed-d528c832d9ef_zps1fea2353.jpg
Maybe I should invest in some winter boots, or maybe I do have some that I used to wear when I had horses. I will look tomorrow because he has yet to make a snowman.......we must do that. Woo hoo......I am soooooo going to do that tomorrow. Meanwhile this snow ball is dead on the way to hitting me. I closed the door
 photo 197bb59f-b06b-44f0-9826-68e5a57df970_zps40338751.jpg
So he turned his attention to Granddad who was trying to get the snow blower going.
 photo cc18acd7-a6aa-43cd-a389-2773f986b4d0_zps14846ef9.jpg
Had to have a chat about safety because he was not listening to Granddad........sigh!!!
 photo 51a6e333-7b43-4274-afac-bfb024ec8d5e_zps098a5bcb.jpg
As you can see he loves it out there, he loves the snow. We just have to find some things to make it more fun. He was still trying to get me..........lucky I was behind the door
 photo 5bb08dc2-71f2-4f18-ad28-6c293fead03e_zps85277100.jpg
Meanwhile the poodles are not enjoying it quite so much. The heating pads are their best friends. Brea was outside yesterday and I got this shot of her being very naughty, she was defiant and would not come in. You can see it in those eyes and the set of her tail (showing above her head) little bugger........had to wipe her off with a blanket and stick her on the heating pad.
 photo 5e2e6494-fbf3-40c9-b202-befc3c04732e_zps0801bf1e.jpg
Sharing with Inspire Me Monday

Saturday, November 15, 2014

St Omere............

My Grandparents on my Dad's side (Hines) lived in Houghton Regis all their lives, as did their parents before them. They rented a house named St Omere. I have no idea who named the house and I don't know off hand when they moved in. I do know that my Grandmother's parents were not at all happy that she married Granddad Burt, they concidered him beneath them. Her parents were successful people, her Dad being a shoemaker in the same village. Granddad Burt was a rogue of sorts. He liked his booze and he was a manual laborer. He served his country in the first Great War.
 photo 488aeaca-508b-40a7-bd07-ec7534721bbe_zps51c9d56f.jpg
My grandmother loved him, that was all that mattered. They had 10 children together and she managed to keep him honest. Well, apart from the time he went poaching and the police came to the house. I guess they had some ducks hanging out in the bathroom (somewhere) but they were not found. That was the end of his poaching days. Poaching was something most people did just to get by. Granddad raised Rabbits for meat (poor things) and Uncle Bill next door had chickens. I loved helping with the chickens and still love the smell of the chicken food. I loved to gather eggs.
St Omere had a very very large garden.
 photo 23376bf1-7159-4d54-91d3-af38ec31ea5c_zps2483ff5c.jpg
The front had apple trees and then a lawn led to the back. Granddad had his rabbit hutches there along a path. The back was divided into 3 sections, gardens with vegetables. Then on the right hand side some rhubarb and the wall or fence between next door. My grandmothers sister lived next door with her adopted sister and her husband. I would visit there as often as I was at St Omere.
 photo fc5b84a2-0c36-4dda-98ae-4abf3eb023ef_zps9654f9be.jpg
That (above) is me collecting crab apples among the flowers. I do not know why my Mother permed my hair.
Then below I am playing, for some reason in the rhubarb
 photo 0c08a6d5-1b64-43e0-9afa-e458a7bfb7c6_zps02dfc107.jpg
My grandmother by all accounts was a saint. Well, she was either that or superwoman, I don't know. During the 2nd war 4 of her 5 sons was away at war. My Dad was POW and they didn't know he was even alive for almost 2 years. He was taken at Singapore. The others were out in the desert fighting Rommel.
During those days they had soldiers billeted with them. They had to lay on the floor and people would be stepping over them back and forth. The house was large. A good thing too. Down stairs it was long. The bathroom such as it was (brrr) was a lean to, brick/concrete floor and a wooden door with gaps above and below. An immersion heater gave a little hot water. The toilet was outside. Anyway the bathroom led into a gally style kitchen, not very big at that. It too was long, and narrow. The next room though was large and airy with bay windows and a fireplace with a stove that she kept a big pot of soup going so there was always a hot meal for anyone coming in. Steps let up to what was probably the family/dining room. She had a front room as ladies did, and that was for company. I don't remember much about upstairs as I was probably too small, and going back in later years I never had a need to go up there. Only once I remember visiting Granddad who was sick in bed. The ceiling had come down onto his bed. Haha......he was fine if out of sorts.
 photo 6b99f95c-df66-4dc7-af8e-77d8e374e886_zps1c618706.jpg
Above is me playing on the lawn. The next one is my cousins Robin and Janet sitting on a bench outside the door to the bathroom/toilet entrance. The window would be to the kitchen
 photo cc62233c-a8db-4072-9c26-44cf662a27e7_zpsb3830d20.jpg
You can see everything is brick. The floor inside was brick too as well as the bathroom walls. For a time during the war they had a German POW billeted there. Many POWs worked on local farms or did whatever work was given them. Many stayed after the war and made England their home. Max did just that. In later years he bought ST Omere and Granddad had to leave. They build at least 3 bungalo's on that beautiful back garden. He must have made a fortune.
We lived there after the war when Dad got home. We didn't stay long my Mother did not like my Granddad. We had a dog called Gerry, I remember him as a small puppy. I remember him eating a balloon and being sick under the chair by the fire. I was laying on the rug in front of the fire. Some memories are vivid. I can almost say it was a red balloon haha. Well one day mum looked at the dog and thought his head looked funny. She took him to the vets and was told it was just the shape of his head. Gerry was a beautiful Border Collie type dog. When we moved to Bidwell Hill mum sent him back to Granddad's.
 photo 1b5b6c33-d370-4c89-85ac-b7988070c61d_zps123851f0.jpg
Gerry must have lived a good long life and was probably happier there anyway. He had the big garden to play in. When I was older and would go visit my Aunt who lived close by, we had to tiptoe past St Omere on the other side of the road but I swear that dog knew. He would catch us every time and run after us, I would then have to take him back to Granddad. One day he followed my Dad, Dad jumped on a bus but Gerry followed him all the way to Dunstable. He ran after the bus my dad was on, so when Dad got off the bus there was Gerry sitting there. He had to take him all the way back to Granddads across the fields (A path called Dog Kennel walk).
St Omere, another special place that I dream of..........sometimes. I do know it was special to my Father because before he died, (he was going in for an operation) he was seen walking past and looking at ST Omere. My Dad did not survive the surgery. I don't think he wanted to..........and was saying goodbye.
I am sharing this post with "Inspire Me Monday"

Monday, November 10, 2014

Last Night of the Proms...........

I used to just love to watch the Last Night of The Proms. Especially when Sir Malcomb Sergeant was the conductor. He held the audience enthralled and you could hear a pin drop. I LOVE all this patriotic stuff it gives me goosebumps. I just had to record it here.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Remember them............

 photo 08869e70-d423-4a79-a4d5-e9f9a942c7fe_zps98c63961.jpg

As we come to Nov 11 this year, being Sunday today, and Rememberance Sunday at home, I want to honour those in my family who served.
Some came home........My Father, Harry Hines and his 3 brothers who served, Harold, Cecil and Alan. Two brothers in law, Charlie Nimmo and William Ingrey served as well as a cousin. My Dad and Charlie were POW in Japan. Bill Ingrey died on the beaches of Normandy. Dunkirk to be exact.

My Grandmother Jennie had to have been a very strong lady. Her husband served in the first war, but she sent 4 of her 5 sons off to fight in WW2. She had soldiers billeted at her house as well as a German POW. I can not imagine how she got through those years. When both my boys were in the Marine Corps they and I were fortunate to not be serving in war time. It was still a worry for us though, they being abroad. For my Grandmother, not knowing had to be the worst possible thing. I know for two years she would not have known if my dad was alive or dead. He and Charlie were both POW in Japan. Both came home but suffered all their lives with ill health due to conditions there.
In this picture...Alan, Harold and Harry. I still do not know who the man on the end is. Brother Cecil was away still being demobed.
 photo 94ce126b-73c8-4bbe-878a-a88da6d79c3c_zps3df35d38.jpg
My Uncle Bill died on the beach at Dunkirk. He left behind my Auntie Evelyn and his daughter Pat. I hope some day to make it to France to honour him.
 photo 3d43ac49-b1f4-4d1f-b01e-7a17e3ff8f77_zpse38edd75.jpg
 photo f8d66925-008c-4330-ae26-017dfd8cbf95_zpsb796c9c6.jpg
This year a wonderful thing happened. The Tower of London has been made up into a spectacular display of poppies around the moat. What a tribute, and what an awful reminder to us of how many gave their lives. Each poppy is for a soldier who lost his life.
Poppies at the tower
 photo b3cbe24a-eed8-4131-b0e0-894efd980d69_zps04aa4330.jpg
The poppy became the symbol of blood shed in war.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
 photo f412d139-26a3-4b33-90a4-01fa242ceb33_zpsc2fc9c0f.jpg
I see no glory in war. The Great war to end all wars and WW2 were wars that had to be fought. Why do we still seek it out? Why is it that young men have to die, why do they go willingly? Why is it glorified in film? There is no glory there. None.
War will bring out the best and worst in men and yes many hero's but at what a cost? Not only to them but to their families at home. God save us from politicians.
I thank God too for our Royal Family who serve in so many ways. They at least fight the good fight along with all the other sons of England. I thank Prince Harry for thinking of our soldiers and going to Afghanistan to spend the memorial day with them. I thank God for our Queen, the Mother of our nation and for her sons and daughter who all serve the people and the county in so many unselfish ways.
 photo bcaf3fae-3e09-4a5d-8458-c6a38135e5be_zps300281f5.jpg
I also honour and thank all the men and women who do serve in the military for what they do and what they give. I am against war and always will be, but I respect those who serve without reservation.
 photo 21b3c9a0-a3ca-4dc4-9a8c-fae7c029151e_zpsc0646cb9.jpg
Bless them Lord............Remember their sacrifice, not all wounds can be seen.
 photo 00112492-9613-434a-bc1a-6a99a71c4f38_zps631fb9e9.jpg

I am sharing this post with Create With Joy, Inspire Me Monday
sharing also with Inspire me wednesday

Thursday, November 6, 2014


My Maternal grandparents named their home Minerva. My Grandfather had been in the Royal Navy during WW1. While doing my family research I had found his service record. I can see the time he got off and was married. I also see where his ship was sunk. Now that leads to a story. My grandmother met my Grandfather while waiting at the train station at Tring. I suppose he was on leave probably after the sinking of his ship. Well my Nan, dreamer of dreams had dreamed of this man who was in the water, his ship had sunk and he was desperatley swimming and hoping to get picked up..........she saw him again, alive, at Tring station and so they met, talked and later married. Spooky right? well our family has a few stories like that. The picture below is Nan and Granddad with eldest child Eddie.
 photo 02c8db5f-2b97-4710-9c50-6845e9977bdb_zps4291518f.jpg
In any case, their home became Minerva. My Grandmother was in service to a local family and the house was free to her as a part of her wages. My Mother and her 3 brothers lived there, there was another place they lived prior to that but not a place I knew. The family went through their youth at Minerva, and my childhood was spent there for a great deal of the time. It was not a big house really, 3 bedrooms, upstairs bath, living room, family room and kitchen. That was it. On the back they had a conservatory. A wonderful addition as far as I was concerned. I loved to play out there. It had a huge oak (bleached and scrubbed) table with a mangle where Nan did her washing, the toilet and coal barn were out there too. In the winter laundry hung to dry and in summer it was on the line outside. In the back garden was an Anderson shelter, now above ground and used as a garage of sorts. In the back of the garden, a small patch of grass and a plum tree. Beautiful purple plums. They had a vegetable garden as most people did back then and flowers too. A water barrel off the side of the conservatory and the yard was fenced. I remember climbing on the fence to try to see over it. The picture is me, chasing Tarzan (see his tail) and my Nan hanging the washing out.
 photo 523ab857-9c20-4a26-bdea-3953b5827626_zps6305d83a.jpg
They had a black cat named Tarzan because he liked to swing on the drapes. When I was a baby my play pen was out in the conservatory. I have pictures of me and another cat named Tiny.
My Grandmother must have liked her home, she was a good housekeeper, after all she did it for a living. Trouble was they didn't like my toys all over and so one of my most beloved toys, a Mobo horse was given away. I loved that thing.
 photo 70175f18-c1f5-4ab0-a16f-77c18e134e18_zps539b1700.jpg
I do remember a lot about living there. As with St Omere, after the war people stayed with family until they could get a home. Few bought houses in the 1950s in our class anyway. They waited for a council house to open up. My Mother had lived with her parents during the war and before the war my dad and her brothers all hung out together. So she and Dad married before he left for service. He was already in the Territorial army and so when the call to duty came he went into the army as a Seargent.
One night my Mother heard pebbles being thrown at the bedroom window. Her room was above the conservatory. Well she could not see anything so put on her robe to go downstairs. She met my Nan on the landing and Nan said "Something happened to Harry"...........she had a dream. Well next day a telegram came informing them that my Dad was missing believed killed. SO Mum spent the next almost two years not knowing until the Red Cross found him in a POW camp.
Well he did come home after the war having spent his time in Japan as a POW. They stayed at Minerva for a time, and I was born in 1946. We went to live with Dad's folks for a time. No idea why, although I would imagine that having a baby and being at my nans was a strain on everyone. Mums youngest brother was still at home in his teens, 14 when I was born. In any case for a time we lived at St Omere with Dad's family. That did not last, my Mother did not like my Granddad Burt and ended up leaving Dad and moving back to her mums. Eventually they got the house on Bidwell Hill and settled in and spent the rest of their married lives there.
Family playing cards in the back garden. That is me in the back.
 photo 9110769c-5e74-435a-84b3-38f53a9de127_zps37998b86.jpg
That was probably a long 4 years for them going back and forth before setting up their own home. The next picture is My Dad and Mum, uncle Eddie and Ray between his legs and my grandparents. Me I am probably in my mums tummy at that point.
 photo b46b3391-ec62-47e6-921f-c9890ea4a3c9_zpsa1f3f85f.jpg
I digress. Minerva, I loved that house. I would have loved to own that house. The front bedroom was large and bright. I remember the street lights always shone in the room and I would watch the car lights cross the ceiling as they went by. It had a fireplace as most rooms did back then. A huge wardrobe with a large drawer at the bottom. I remember being nosy and snooping in there where my uncle Ray had magazines when he was older that was his room. I got my finger stuck in the drawer while trying to close it and almost got caught snooping. I never did that again. When he was younger he had the small room and I often shared that room with him.
The back bedroom was now my Grandparents room, and I loved to get into bed with them. Ray had the small bedroom in back when he was younger. When I stayed overnight I would sleep in there with him. I dont know who was in the other room, maybe my parents. I remember looking for my dummy (pacifier) under the bed and seeing it in the dust bunnies. Funny how it was OK back then for a little girl to sleep with her teenage Uncle or Grandfather and no one thought a thing about it because? why would they?..........In his room was a lovely old wall clock with a pendulum a sword over the clock was one that my Grandfather got during WW1.They said if was taken from the body of a German soldier and still had blood on it. Not at all sure about that. On his dresser was an old Victorian globe with a stuffed bird in it. I can see every single thing in that room, and every other room in that house.
My Grandmother had a front room. No one was allowed in there. One day my cousin Diane and me were coming down the stairs. The door to the front room was open. We snuck along the passage to get a look inside ( because we were not allowed in there), we were confronted by the most terrifying thing. A huge ape was coming towards us. We ran screaming back upstairs. Ray had put on my mums fur coat and a monkey mask and was most convincing.
At the bottom of the stairs was a window with the electric meter in a cupboard under it making a shelf. On the shelf was a statue of an angel holding a lady. I have that now in my own home.
 photo 8d44110e-3f71-451b-bc48-c4e0e879bacd_zps764bd76a.jpg
The front room was out of bounds because her most precious things were in there. A 3 piece suit as they called the couch and two chairs and a huge Welsh dresser where Nan had collected brass. She would polish the brass and I could sit and watch in awe. I would ask to go in and look when I was older and was allowed. I would keep my hands behind my back and not touch a thing.
The family room would have been a dining room but it was where everyone gathered. Two easy chairs by the fire and the dining table and chairs where family would sit and play cards. I would sit under the table and listen to the stories about the war and everything else they chatted about. I was quite and they would forget me. So talked freely.
Granddad had a radio by his chair, a big heavy one. I had to be silent when the football scores were on, but we would listen to the "Billy Cotton Band show", "The Archers" and if I was lucky "Listen With Mother". There was the Goon Show and other comedies that Ray loved and it was the major form of entertainment in the 195os. Ray did have a record player, the wind up kind and I loved listening to that. "The Little White Cloud That Cried", "Mule Train" and later Tommy STeele and Lonnie Donegan.
The Skiffle group was born. Granddad and Ray and a friend of Ray had a skiffle group. A box with a string was the bass, Mick Lacey could sing and had a guitar, I suppose there was a drum in there somewhere but in any case I do remember them coming to my house on Bidwell Hill for a party and being asked what I would like them to sing. I also remember Ray and Mick disappearing and coming down wearing one of mums evening dresses with balloons stuck in for boobs and butt. They were a laugh for sure.
My Granddad lost his eye in a factory accident. He worked during the 2nd war. I know his sons did too and had just got home from work on the night shift when the factory was bombed they went all the way back but found my Granddad was OK. Lots of stories I heard from under that table. My Mother hanging laundry and hearing what she thought was hail, someone coming and someone grabbing her as bullets came down from two planes fighting above. One night she was on blackout duty, making sure all windows were covered. She walked under the railway bridge and was knocked over by the blast of a bomb, fortunate she was sheltered by the bridge when another young lady was not so fortunate. I can imagine all this, the war was so close when I was born, ending in 1945 and me born next year. Well as I grew up I got sick of hearing about the war. I was naive and did not realize that their entire youth was spent and wasted during that time. So many stories about that house. I was a self centered teen.
In the end, when my Uncle Ray married he and his wife (my lovely Liz) bought the house and Nan lived there until she died. Granddad died when I was quite young. I would have to look up the dates but I remember it well. They were quite young when they died, both of them. So were my parents for that matter. They had rough lives. I know at some point Granddad would have to look for work and was away a lot during that time, the depression. They did what they had to do to get by. My Father and all but one of his brothers were away at war during the 2nd war, on Mums side the older one Eddie was in the Territorial, Norman was excused due to health I think and Ray was too young. Both Granddads were away for the first war. So many tales to tell..............maybe later.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My grandparents homes.............

I was reading a blog the other day and it brought to mind how I feel about houses. My grandmothers house was the one that I loved the most as a child. I have dreamed of her home and in my dreams it is always a light shining in the distance. I remember one dream where I was walking towards the hills behind her house and there was a light shining over the hills and I knew it was her house. Not at all realistic but a dream is a dream. I did love the place. It was on what is now a busy road near the Luton and Dunstable hospital. Since those days the M1 motorway has gone in and things have changed. Below a modern picture of 785 (Minerva) on Dunstable road, the gates are gone but its the same wall.
 photo 2e669b84-d671-40c2-a9d6-66f2b93f214d_zps4a9c67d3.jpg
I remember my Granddad would stand leaning on the gate smoking his players, I would sit on the wall and watch him watching. Maybe every hour or so a car would go by but mainly people walking to the little shop on the corner, or post office on the other corner. I remember the end of rationing and going to the store with Nan. I can see the store vivid in my mind with its wooden floors and vegetable bins around it. Back then you were served in stores and it was a pleasant encounter of neighbours. I liked the other store across the road because it was bright, contained the post office and had magazines and candy.
Well, Granddad got me into collecting car numbers. Shows how rare it was to see a car in the 1950s.
I was allowed out by myself and would wander the hills up back. The Chiltern Hills, this part called Blows Downs. I can see myself laying on the short grass, with harebells and the sound of larks, just watching the clouds and hearing the bees buzy in the flowers. I would walk to the small copse at the top sometimes and look for Bluebells in the Spring. I could walk all the way across the top of the hills and end up in Dunstable where my Uncle Norman and Aunty Ivy lived. I had no fear being alone sometimes a friend would come with me. Dawn lived next door and was just a bit younger than me. One day we were at Nan's when Granddad came home. He took out his glass eye, polished it and set it on top of the radio. Dawn ran screaming from the room. I had not thought to warn her because to me it was perfectly normal. Dawn recovered and I am sure we went off over the hills to play.
My Uncle Ray was about 14 years older than me so I was 4 when he was just 18. He was in the air force around that time and I remember he and Aunt Ivy playing school with me. I must have been quite indulged as a child. when he got his first motorbike he was probably around 20 and he would take me for rides on it. I had to run all the way up to Skimpot road so I could get on and not be seen on the main road. He would take me up the hills as the road wound around to Caddington. Back then a small village no main roads, just a small road through woodlands. Why he tolerated me at my age I have no idea but I was his shadow.
I now think its amazing the as small children we had so much freedom. There was nothing to fear. Nothing. I suppose the biggest threat would be falling while climbing or maybe running on the railroad tracks. There was hardly any traffic and we knew nothing about child molesters or kidnappers.
Back home in Houghton Regis, it was all about my friends farm and the fields out back. The chalk pits. Now that was dangerous but was not off limits, we climbed the shear walls of the pits and did normal childhood things like birds nesting and looking for rabbits. Climbing trees and all the things kids no longer do.
My other Grandparents lived at St Omere in Houghton Regis.The picture below is recent. Next door is the Ferns where my aunt lived, my grandmothers sister.
 photo e03400aa-4972-4261-9594-e8efaa2cda85_zpsf6960f1a.jpg
It was another fantasy house for me. It was large and old. My Grandmother died when I was small so I don't remember her but I remember Granddad Burt. We lived there for a time as we did at my other grandmothers house until Mum got us the house on Bidwell Hill. SO I dream. I remember, I long for the past. I loved those houses.St Omere had a huge garden and I can remember all about it. Granddad kept rabbits and had the whole back in vegetable gardens. My uncle next door had chickens. Wartime efforts to feed everyone. The things that house has seen, POW and our soldiers stacked like cord wood on Nans living room floor. Soup always on over the fire.
 photo 04355bf7-59ce-470b-aa2e-42b54161a239_zps7083d4e5.jpg
St Omere I can share memories with my cousins who also spent time living there, probably for the same reasons we did. After the war, when the men came home, the newly married would put their names on the council list. WHen a house opened up then they had a home. I think I was around 4 or so when I moved there. I spend my childhood on Bidwell Hill but spent time at both other places well into my young teens.
Sadly ST Omere was sold and the person who bought it had been living with my Granddad. Granddad didn't have the money to buy the house and my Dad would not. So it was that an ex German POW who had been billeted with my grandparents
bought the house and Granddad had to leave. The grounds to the house were sold and built on so all the wonderful memories are built over now. I still have my dreams though.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Land of Hope and Glory.............

 photo 9a01f1b9-6d45-436b-af01-cba732743631_zps07b9cb2b.jpg
Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?
Wider still, and wider, shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet!

Truth and Right and Freedom, each a holy gem,
Stars of solemn brightness, weave thy diadem.

Tho' thy way be darkened, still in splendour drest,
As the star that trembles o'er the liquid West.

Throned amid the billows, throned inviolate,
Thou hast reigned victorious, thou has smiled at fate.

Land of Hope and Glory, fortress of the Free,
How may we extol thee, praise thee, honour thee?

Hark, a mighty nation maketh glad reply;
Lo, our lips are thankful, lo, our hearts are high!

Hearts in hope uplifted, loyal lips that sing;
Strong in faith and freedom, we have crowned our King!