This is the second blog I have written shortly after a terrorist attack in the last six months. Another reminder of the fragility of life. After such a great start to the day with a trike ride, I returned home to hear the news. Those whose lives were taken this week certainly didn’t know the evening before what would happen. In my post after the Paris bombing I wrote about my rules of life. You might want to read them again as we never know what tomorrow will bring!

We all have to carry on. In my lifetime, we have seen a lot of attacks. When I was young, we lived in the UK with IRA bombs that were going off every few months or so. I was living in London when the Harrod’s bombing took place in 1983. Jean and I used to go to Knightsbridge every Saturday, but we were delayed this one time and when we arrived at the tube station there was a sign showing that the Knightsbridge exit was closed, and we ended up getting back on the tube and going to Covent Garden. This was in the time before mobile phones and the Internet. We did not know about the bombing until 5pm that night, totally unaware of our parents concern for our safety.

Do I think the world is a more dangerous place? Personally no. There are far more good people in this world than bad. Sadly, the world will never be any different. A lot of today’s generation will assume that it is getting worse. It’s not really. We have to deal with every situation as it comes. Never stop travelling. In fact travel more.

Back to my week. We enjoyed last Friday night with friends, Big Steve and his wife, Kathryn.

We got talking about the old days, and the photos started to appear. I was told by the girls not to include certain photos in my blog. I don’t know what you are worried about. Back then, bra technology just was not as advanced as today, and it wasn’t illegal to possess a bad haircut!

This picture gives a clue to Steve’s nickname! Steve is 6′ 7″ and I am 5′ 6″. This is from one of the parties we went to, a good old Vicars and Tarts event, except that we were Cardinals!

I remember many years ago when we were on holiday in Scotland Steve and I wanted to go fishing on Loch Lomond.

It was bright and sunny and we decided to rent a boat. To put it bluntly, the lake-going-bucket looked a bit dodgy. This was emphasised to us when given a bailout can!

Anyway, we started rowing out into the Loch. Steve will forgive me, but the movement of a giant in a small boat is rather scary. Once out on the lake, we did some fishing, and then it started to cloud over and rain. I recall feeling petrified when we started to bail the boat, about 200 yards from safety and for some bonkers reason Steve decided to change sides on the boat.

We got back in one piece, but safe to say, Steve and I never went fishing in a boat together again! Getting into a boat now would be interesting, but I would probably get style points for the dive into the water!

It was a great journey back in time, and boy, don’t photos bring back great memories? Just a reminder to the younger generation, backup your photos!

Oh, and one thing about the pre-digital days of photography. Back then, we had to take a film to a chemist’s and wait a week to get the prints. Besides the fact that your photos were seen by everyone in the chemist’s, every image was treasured despite some being totally appalling. Take this one of me in a horticultural garden in North Carolina. Dire! Bum bags were cool then.


Long before sexting, Lord Lee Bragg was questioned in 1981 when he dropped off a film for developing following a perfectly innocent visit to a Chorizo factory. He was released following his explanation of not being able to focus the camera.

As I write this, it is truly sunny. Last week’s post was premature, but today is beautiful. I just want the weather to be hot all the time.

My post wouldn’t be a proper one without a moan! I am going to start to quote the odd annoyance, or bugbear, that plague my emotions in life.

The first one is this…

Yes, vertical or portrait videoing!!. Just don’t do it. Video is landscape, end of argument. How many times do I see video from the public on news channels etc, that shows video this way. They always have to frame it with a blur to make it look half reasonable.

Here is the same video done properly!!

Don’t you feel so much better watching the latter example? I am certainly calmer and breathing more gently. Note how you can turn the phone to landscape, and enjoy the video to the most.

Watch out for my gentle rants in forthcoming episodes. No one will be spared my wrath! Probably a cycling one next week.

On Thursday we had missed a parcel delivery for our son, Howard. You know I am an absolute supporter of modern Internet shopping and the delivery logistics behind the operation. However, this week, I was reminded of the weakest link when the parcel card that was on our doorstep indicated that we only had one option and that was to pick up from the last bastion, in my opinion, of questionable customer service, ********, a U.K. Car accessories store. What on earth possessed the marvellous distribution company to go into business with them. I always look at service from a female brain, ie if I was a woman, would I shop there? This is not sexist, this is just me being caring. Anyway, after finding a close parking spot, planning the shortest stagger back to my car, I entered the building. Right, where do I go? No sign, nothing. I wandered to the back, and there it was, a small 5cm by 20cm desk sign regarding distribution pickup. Where were they storing the packages I thought? I was soon to find out, it appeared to be an area under the desk in a big mess next to the acidic car batteries.

“I’ve come to puck up a Pizzle” – I clearly muttered.

“Do you know what size the parcel it is?” – I was asked.

“Yes it is wine bittle size”

He then proceeded to sort and look at packets containing soft small items!

That concludes the case for the prosecution, M’Lord!

Anyway, I got the parcel and went on my way.

Today is Easter or Good Friday. I hope you all have a great holiday. Whatever you do, make sure you eat stacks of Easter eggs!! – Unless of course you have a chocolate allergy! Actually that would be a horrific disease. Thank goodness I don’t have that!

Let the Hungergames commence!


I leave you with this invitation. Please take time to play the song I am about to tell you about.

Have a listen to my favourite band of all time, Genesis. This song, Blood on the Rooftops is now 40 years old. Beside being a total epic composition, play close attention to the words. It’s about television news, but has a deeper message. From where we stand today, as our French friends say – plus ça change.

Same place, same time next week readers. We are off to Downton Abbey on Tuesday, aka Highclere Castle. Expect Lord Lee Bragg to show up!

Of course, it will be cheap Easter egg shopping on Tuesday in my local Co-op!

Oh, and there will an extra post next week about our Charity event for MND in June!


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