Wednesday 30 March 2016

Views from Canford Heath

Yesterday's walk was a new one. We'd never been to the  top of this hill on Canford Heath before. The view across to Poole, the harbour and the Purbeck Hills beyond were absolutely stunning, well worth the effort of getting up there. The dogs, though, couldn't care less. They were more interested in the smells.

Monday 28 March 2016

Storm Katie

Last night at midnight I was cowering in my bed in our converted garage, listening to the raging of Storm Katie. We've had quite a few storms big enough to be named this winter, but I'd never heard anything like this. It was really scary. The gusts were coming thick and fast and I could hear the trees outside groaning, the back gate creaking and even a snap, crackle and pop from my built in cupboards on the outside wall. I dread to think what it must have been like for anyone out on the sea. The newsreader on TV this morning said there were gusts of 106 mph at The Needles on the Isle of Wight, which isn't that far from here.

I did get off to sleep eventually, waking in the early hours again to realise that all was calm and the storm had passed. This morning we have bright sunshine and all looks well in our street, though other areas were not so lucky. Brighton had huge trees uprooted and there were pics on the news of them blocking roads. My daughter took the dogs to our local country park and said there was at least one tree down where they had to find a way around it. You can see some of the pics of damage here.

Saturday 26 March 2016

Sea Kings Say Goodbye

 Last Monday morning daughter and I were at Rockley Beach with the dogs by 9.30. The tide was out and I've rarely seen the sea as calm in the harbour. There was not a ripple to disturb the reflections of the pier.

But there were a lot more people than usual and cars in the car park. We thought that a bit strange, but carried on with our walk under the pier, along the beach and back again. By then there were even more people there, and we knew something special must be happening, so we asked.

We were told that the Sea King Helicopters based nearby were being taken out of service, and were going to do a fly past. Only a few minutes later they arrived, and we managed to get the pic below.

What a lovely coincidence that we were there at the time.

Tuesday 22 March 2016

Happy Birthday George

He would have been 76 today, but I love this pic of him way back when.

On Sunday my stepdaughter visited with her family and we went to pay our respects at the seat overlooking the harbour where we had scattered his ashes a year ago.

After that poignant moment, we sat down with other family members and friends for a memorable meal of roast lamb with all the trimmings cooked by my intrepid daughter. A great time was had by all despite a few tearful moments.

Monday 21 March 2016

The Footie Final

On Saturday we all trooped to Blandford School to watch Eryn and her team play in the Dorset County Cup final of the under 13 girls' football (for my American friends that is soccer). Our team is new this season, but the other team were seasoned champions. The two teams seemed to be evenly matched and it was a hair raising game in which our girls aquitted themselves really well. All of us spectators shouted ourselves hoarse, but sadly for us, they couldn't quite knock the champions off their pedestal, and ended as the runners up with a score of two goals to four.

But we are so proud of our Eryn and her team mates who have come so far in such a short time. In the photo of all the girls with their trophies, Eryn is third from the left in the back row.

Tuesday 8 March 2016

The Feel Good Factor

Because it's International Womens' Day I have made another micro-loan on Kiva to an enterprising woman who lives in Bolivia - a teacher who wants to start a business to work on in the evenings to help her family afford to get their own house. When I made my loan this morning, I saw that only 8% of the loan she needed was funded. Now I am really pleased because I've just checked again and it is up to 100%. I must have started a trend! I like lending via Kiva because I can relend the repayments over and over again. My portfolio tells me that the $200 or so that I have deposited with Kiva over the last few years has contributed a total of over $800 to over 30 different loans. This makes me feel so good. Most people can do this, as you only have to put in $25 for each loan and can make a small extra donation towards the Kiva admin costs if you wish.

Meanwhile the dogs are keeping themselves comfortable.

It has been rather good to snuggle up to them, because for the last six days - the coldest ones of the year, our boiler has been on the blink and we've had no central heating. We had to rely on heating individual rooms with very inadequate mobile electric heaters. Fortunately, with a few hundred pounds out of my pocket, and after a few false starts, it seems to be ok now and we are gradually thawing out. Something else to be feeling good about, finally.

On Sunday, though, it was Mothers' Day here and I was made to feel very good and spoilt rotten. I got cards, flowers and chocolates, and was taken out for a slap up meal. I even got a card to a StepMum, which was a first, and another to a Grandma from Eryn.

I have lots of reasons to count my blessings.

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