Thursday, October 15, 2015

Reflections on a busy life

I see the banner on this website states, 'Never stale, presented hot', yet the last update was almost a year ago. The banner is based on intention, the time since the last update on practicality. Life is full!

I have to say that I like a life that is full. It's just after midday and here's what I have already done today.

  • I have read most of chapter two from 'Incarnate' by Michael Frost. I'm enjoying this book so much. He is saying that we need to be real, present for one another, not just writing blogs and commenting on Facebook (ahem!) The point is, we are made to relate and interact bodily and personally, not only through media like written words and pictures. If blogs and Facebook were my entire life I would be unbelievably poorer for it. Conversation with friends, acts of kindness and compassion, sharing food together, laughing - these are real.
  • I checked that one of my blogs, Journeys of heart and mind, was running correctly on its new web address following changes I made yesterday. I made some changes to my other websites to improve the way they link to JHM.
  • I spent a while on Facebook, scrolling through to see what my friends and family have been posting and replying here and there.
  • I updated my diary and made some notes on some things that happened yesterday. My diary is a mix of logging how I spend my time; making notes on what I've done, where I've been and who I've met; and the thoughts I've had about this or that along the way.
  • I read a chapter from the Bible (2 Samuel 2) and thought about it.
  • I walked to a nearby cafe, Ambiance, to met my friend John. He didn't make it today so I drank a coffee alone, wondering what the other customers were doing and thinking. Ambiance is something of a social hub where people meet and talk animatedly with friends and family.
  • A couple of other friends, Ash and Chris, dropped in and we talked briefly.
  • Back home, I chatted with yet another friend, Dagmar.
That's a lot to pack into one morning. This afternoon I need to do some ironing, washing up and tidying around the house. I might get a little done in the garden too. Donna will be home from work later and I plan to meet with Jim and Kevin this evening at Kevin's home.

So it will be another full day - but for once I did manage to post an item to 'The Daily Toast'!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A weekend in Weston

Years ago, I lived in Yatton which is a large village more or less midway between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare (or just 'Weston' if you're local, or Weston-super-Mud if you visit when the tide's out).

Birnbeck Pier, Weston-super-Mare
Birnbeck Pier, Weston-super-Mare
Donna's brother moved there not so long ago and they've just bought a ground floor flat in the town. They invited us to visit for a weekend and last weekend was it. I hadn't been to Weston for perhaps fifteen years and it was fascinating to see what has gone, what is new, and what remains but looks different.

Some thirty years ago my Mum came down to visit us and we took a trip on the old paddle steamer, Waverly from Birnbeck Pier to Penarth in South Wales. But look at Birnbeck Pier now! Nobody is travelling that way today; it's a bit dilapidated to say the least.

Weston has two piers. Birnbeck was the business pier, supporting transport by sea to and from the town and run as a thriving business. The other pier, the 'Grand Pier', is an amusement arcade on stilts.

Walking in Weston
Walking in Weston
While we were in the town last weekend we visited the town quarry, walked the streets, and explored the local area.
The quarry stopped working in the 1950s and is now a nature reserve, a cafe/restaurant, and a museum. Because Weston is built partly on hilly ground there are some great views across the Severn Estuary to distant Wales (you can see the Welsh coast in the Birnbeck photo).

I found visiting Weston great fun and it stimulated many memories for me too. I found the same thing when I visited nearby Clevedon a couple of years ago.

Don't forget to click the photos for larger versions, and follow the links in the text if you want to learn more.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Rediscovering old photos

I have a large collection of old photos. I began taking photos when I was just nine-years-old and I have some I took as far back as 1957. The picture shows a camera like the one I started with, a Kodak Brownie that took 127 roll film. I got eight shots on a film and it took a lot of pocket money to have a roll developed and printed and buy a new film.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A green woodpecker

Today, Donna and I walked in light rain from our home to the Ambiance Cafe in the Riverside Park; it takes all of five minutes. The weather has turned much colder, yesterday I was able to work in the sunshine in the garden and it felt like summer. To do the same this afternoon would demand jeans and a warm, waterproof jacket.

Friday, October 3, 2014

An anniversary or two

I've been thinking about my personal history recently. I've been digging out old diaries and photos and reviewing the vast complexity of this thing called life. I have been to so many places, met so many people, and experienced such joys and disappointments; some things have been easy, some rather hard.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Surprise flower

A few years ago I hand pollinated some Hippeastrum flowers, collected the seed, germinated it and grew on the plants.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A holiday accident

Nobody is happy to have a road accident, especially on holiday in another country. But the very definition of 'accident' is something that happens unexpectedly and is out of our control.