Tuesday 30 March 2010


This morning I had a call from my daughter to tell me that £1200 had been illegally removed from her internet bank account. I was quite surprised that she was not more distraught, but apparently she had been told that the money will be recovered, although it will take two to three weeks.

Thank goodness, the bank picked it up and called to ask if she had made this unusually high transfer. I guess that was the moment when she did freak out, before she was assured that she would get it back. Of course, she cannot afford to lose it. It is all earmarked for payments in the next weeks and she has had to arrange an overdraft to cover it. So of course she will be charged for that.

The same thing happened to one of her friends recently, she told me. But a much smaller amount of money was involved.

She is now terrified of going on the internet for any reason and has arranged for someone to come in and check all her computor security stuff. Until then she will leave her computer alone and won’t complete the online self-evaluation form needed for the inspectors of the childminding business she runs in her home.

So be warned. There are some nasty people hacking into our computers these days. I’m now quite glad I use telephone banking for my current account, rather than putting it online.

Sunday 28 March 2010

The Weathervane House

The Holes Bay footpath ends at this house with the amazing weathervane in the corner of its garden. The black pole is topped by a beautiful white galleon.

The lucky people who live in this house have a wonderful outlook.

Thursday 25 March 2010

Thwarted - Blackmore Vale Views

Photo by Nigel Freeman

This afternoon I drove my son home to Shaftesbury after a brief visit. The way took us along the higher Blandford road that normally offers some spectacular views over the Blackmore Vale. You can see a little of it in the photo above, which is of a spot that is the start of a number of footpaths we've taken over the years when we lived nearby.

On the opposite side of the road is the Compton Abbas airfield where most walkers end up to eat and refresh themselves as they take in yet more wonderful views and watch the plucky little aircraft landing and taking off on the grass runway in front of them.

Photo by Clive Perrin

If you move to the right of the spot in the first picture, you can look down on Melbury Abbas village and church, a view which is pictured below.

Photo by Stella Ridley

Sadly none of this was available to us today as the whole areas was blanketed in low clouds and rain. It was hard to see the road, let alone the views. I'm feeling pretty exhausted now.

Monday 22 March 2010

The Garden Again

I gave you a rest from the garden in my last post. But I can't resist giving you an update now. We now have all the turf laid so the lefthand plot and under the washing line looks neat. And the lefthand plot on the terrace is prepared for my little herb garden. The picture shows my hardworking hubby in the middle of laying the first lawn.

Today we went out and ordered the wood for the decking to go against the bottom fence - the area that gets the sun longest and latest in the day.

Saturday 20 March 2010

Poole Quay

Photo by Adrian Pingstone at Wikimedia Commons

This picture of Poole Quay was taken in 2002, but if you take away all the people, it is very much as it appeared when I walked there this morning. It's very early in the season and the weather was drizzly, so not many people were braving it today. The Quay is on the far side of the swing bridge from where I live. So far I have concentrated on showing you the park, beaches and walks on our side of the bridge, and haven't shown you this before. But it's definitely one of my favourite spots and one of the reasons I choose to live here now.

Unless I have heavy shopping to get, I usually leave the car at home and take the bus, but today I just missed one and decided to walk. It took me about 45 minutes to get this far. I was heading for the shopping street behind all this, but I really enjoyed my scenic walk on the way.

Thursday 18 March 2010


Sticking with my garden theme this week, some of the pansies I planted flowered overnight. You can see a few of them in the photo. You can also see there are lots of little stones in the soil, which I hadn't noticed before. We really should have sieved them out after digging. This was the only bed that didn't have new topsoil on it. Never mind; these are hardy little plants and I'm sure they'll cope.

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Garden in Process

Today we had 3 enormous bags of topsoil delivered to the front of our house. We moved our two cars off the hard standing so the crane lorry could back in and deposit them. Then hubby worked like a trojan to transfer loads of earth to the new wheelbarrow and ferry it along the side passage to the back terrace and down the steps to the areas where we needed it. Actually he's been working really hard for days to prepare the beds, make the concrete for a slope and a plinth for the set of four decorative stones that will sit in the centre of the lefthand lawn.

The next step is to order and collect all the eco-turf he is going to lay. We discovered that the delivery charge would double the price so we're hoping we'll be able to collect it ourselves, even if we do have to take two cars and make more than one journey. It's got to be cheaper, and we need cash to be able to buy things to plant.

Decking for the far end will come after that. Meanwhile hubby has a large bed on the right for us to try and grow some veggies. Then we will need to turn our attention to the front of the house.

This is a picture of what we were faced with at the back when we moved in and the next one show where we are up to now.

This is the bed that is on the terrace outside my kitchen window. We moved the big potted shrub from the end of the garden up here. I have planted pansies and a few geraniums. I also put in a few bulbs that we found when we moved a pile of rubbish, so we'll wait to see what they turn into.

And this is the pile of rubbish we have to get rid of when all this is finshed.

Sunday 14 March 2010

My Mothers' Day

Today is Mother's Day, or Mothering Sunday here in the UK. When I was a child, we had to go to Sunday School and were given a little posy of flowers to take home to our mothers.

This morning I had just locked up the house and was about to get in the car when a florist's van pulled up with this gorgeous flower arrangement for me, sent by my lovely daughter. The timing couldn't have been better. Five minutes later and I would have been gone.

The card says World's Best Grandma and came yesterday from my youngest granddaughter. Aren't I a lucky one?

Friday 12 March 2010

I Blog, I Care Again

Sometime ago I posted about the I Blog, I Care Movement. This was set up to raise some funds for the International Committee of the Red Cross, which was working in Haiti. Recently I've had an update about this from The Twitterer, who says that the rules have been changed so that $1 will now be donated for every 10 bloggers who join, instead of every 15.

If you haven't done so already, can I now encourage you to do so? You just have to go to this webpage and follow the instructions. If you scroll down that page, you can see the bloggers that have joined, and you'll also see that many more are needed to make the donation worthwhile.

Let's do the Twitterer proud and get lots more people involved.

Thursday 11 March 2010

Garden Notes

Before I started work in my office this morning, I spent half an hour on my knees. I was planting out 60 little pansy plants. Hubby has been hard at work on our virgin garden since the weather changed, and he had prepared the bed on the terrace outside my kitchen window. It's not interesting enough to show you yet but I will take some pics when they've grown a bit and most have started flowering.

The garden has been divided up into areas with railway sleepers and Hubby has actually been digging away at 4 beds and shifting earth around. Two of the others will be turfed and the largest one he has collared for a veggie patch, but I'll probably put some ornamental stuff in there too.

We went out at lunchtime and ordered 3 metre bags of topsoil and picked up some ballast to mix up with sand and make a short concrete slope we'll need. It's rather alarming how the cost is mounting up. The topsoil alone cost £90 and we still have to buy the turves, but then we'll have two instant lawns and the building site looking back yard will be transformed before any of this year's visitors arrive.

Monday 8 March 2010

International Women's Day

I only discovered on the blogosphere that today is International Women's Day. It's a bit of a coincidence though as I have been on a two hour train journey and reading a book called Amenable Women written by Mavis Cheek, a woman I was at college with many moons ago.

As I'm only half way through the book, I don't yet know how it ends, but it's about a contemporary English woman who has lost her husband and discovered he cheated on her. She is investigating the life of Anne of Cleves, who was the fourth of Henry VIII's six wives. Poor Anne was rejected by Henry when she was brought to England and, although he went through with the marriage, it was annulled afer only a few months. This Queen has been much maligned over the centuries and nicknamed The Mare of Flanders.

The controversy of the Holbein portrait which first attracted Henry to her, how she actually appeared in the flesh, and how historians have referred to her ever since is making quite a good read so far.

And she is certainly an international woman.

Thursday 4 March 2010

Children and Food

Tomorrow I'm off to London to care for my youngest granddaughter while her mother takes off for a friend's 40th birthday party in Bristol. Those two met when they were both working as nannies for ex-pat families in Holland. It's great that now they both have children of their own and live about 100 miles apart, they still make time for each other.

Even at six years old, my granddaughter is a very slow and particular eater. A couple of years ago, after she'd been to stay with me, I wrote this poem.

If you eat up all those greens
there’s another Yorkshire pud.
I don’t like those beans.
Eat them up; you really should.

Can I have some chocolate cake?
Only if you eat those peas,
and the mashed potato too.
Money doesn’t grow on trees.

Why don’t I have some chicken?
Mum said you like fish fingers better.
I’d like to have a bone to chew.
I’ll take a pic and send a letter.

These chips are not good, you know.
Mummy always buys McCains.
Seems I cannot get it right;
even baked beans must be Heinz.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

The Holes Bay Hulk

This old hulk sits on the edge of Holes Bay near the footpath I frequently follow on my solitary walks. I took the photo at the end of last summer. Today I walked past it on my way home from the Coop shop, via the scenic route of course. I thought it was riding higher and decided to check my earlier photo to see if I'm right.

I'm sure I am.

You may already know that Holes Bay is in the farthest reaches of Poole harbour. You can't actually see the sea water in Holes Bay in my picture, but the reeds all around the old boat have channels through them that fill with water when the tide comes in. In the picture you can even see some growing in the sand that has been blown into the boat itself. They were not there today. Now the reeds have lost their green pigment and are straw coloured but still stand stiff and proud. I think the recent rains have supplemented the sea water to raise the old boat a bit higher than it was before.

Monday 1 March 2010

February Entrcard Droppers

Many thanks to all my droppers during the last month. I'm sorry I don't always manage to return them all, although I do my best. Here are the top ten according to my EC stats page. They are all great bloggers and I'm thrilled to think they might actually read my posts. Do try and visit at least some of them if you haven't met them before.

Laane on the World
Laane Loves
The Way I See It
A Writer's Muse
The Third Uncle
Greetje greets You
Behind the Bit
Life Without Gallbladder
Hardware Drive

Writing Tip

Add this to your site