Days 278 & 9 & Tales from Fraggle Towers

It’s been a busy weekend at Fraggle Towers. Yesterday I went out with Sophie to photogrgaph the North East Land Sea & Air Museum, followed by lunch at the Washington Wetlands Tryst and a walk around there which ended up quite exciting for us as we saw and photographed a Kingfisher, which neither of us had ever seen before. Of course we don’t have proper wildlife lenses, but we did OK with what we have. Apart from all the exotic and colourful ducks and swans and flamingo’s, I spotted a tree full of your bog standard boring pigeons, but I thought they were just right for B&W.

Day 278~ Pie Tree.

Today we’ve had the Sunday Family afternoon, and Shelley and the kids came over, always a shoe-in for a photograph!

Day 279 ~ Liddy and Grandaw.

What we’ve been watching of late on the tellybox is a series called World On Fire on the Beeb, from BT’s site –“the emotionally gripping, landmark TV series from Peter Bowker (The A Word) tells the story of ordinary people caught up in the Second World War. Helen Hunt, Lesley Manville and Sean Bean lead the stellar, international cast, which also includes Blake Harrison, Jonah Hauer-King, Julia Brown and Yrsa Daley-Ward.”

I’ve watched the first episode and it’s done well. The acting is passable, the attention to detail astounding and the cinematography fabulous. It reminds me a bit of that old American series Winds of War with Robert Mitchum et al, which I ejoyed a lot so I think I’ll be happy enough with a British take on it.

I’m recording Catherine The Great from Sky and will do that soon, can’t beat Helen Mirren for being a Queen and historical fun and games so am looking forward to that.

We’ve binge watched, i.e 1 or 2 episodes an evening, Game of Thrones 1- 7 and it’s just as amzing the 2nd time around. I’m also reading the books again and being double whammied. They are so well written.

I have to say, having watched so many battle scenes over the years with Phil’s war movies I’d be hard pressed to find a favourite. I’m not sure the beginning of Private Ryan is classed as one, but it’s up there. Also Zulu the final battle, just amazing. But I’ve not really seen any convincing ones on TV. I was blown away re-watching G.O.T’s Battle of the Bastards, better than a lot of movies, you felt you were amongst it. There’s no magic here, no dragons, very little CGI, just a visceral, heart pounding do or die piece of action with ordinary soldiers. I’m posting the youtube clip to it if battle scenes are your thing. Even if you don’t do Thrones, it’s still worth a watch. You can tell me a TV programme that’s done it better after 🙂 . Also don’t watch it if you’re a bit wussy about blood and gore 😀

Back to work tomorrow, ear wax be afraid!!

Day 110

It has been a busy day at Fraggle Towers We’ve had some visitors,

Mad Livvy

Carl with Matthew and Livvy, though the lads were on the x-box so didn’t see much of them 🙂

The sun was out today and summer hit us slap in the face, temperature in our conservatory was 40 degs C when we got up this morning! After Carl left I took my bike out for a spin, and did a half hour getting-to-know-you-again session, I can change gears now 🙂

out and about

It was hot though and I should have gone later when it was cooler as I was overheating when I got home!

This evening the other grandkids have come for a stopover and day out with us tomorrow, though they don’t know that bit yet or they’d be too excited to sleep 🙂

We did a bar-B-Q for t hem for their tea (dinner if you must)

Grand Master Cheffy Chef
If you must Nanny…

according to Liddy it was the best Bar-B-Q in the world!

Bar-B-Q Judge Liddy

After tea (dinner) we all went for a walk

Best Pals

And then came home for more playing

In da house

And now it’s quite late, they’ve had a bath (the best bath in the world according to Liddy) had a story and settled into bed. Phil and I can now go and celebrate our Wedding Anniversary by flaking out in front of the TV with a bottle of something that has –percent proof written on it!

Halloween’s been.

It’s that time of year again when everyone goes a bit silly, dresses up their kids in daft costumes, and wander the streets purloining sweeties from people on their doorstep.  I know a few people (Pete! 🙂 ) my boss Brenda  and our office manager Lynn, and my own hubby, who’d rather turn off all the lights and hide behind the sofa than answer the door to the  trick or treaters.  It’s thought that today’s Halloween celebrations have been imported from America, but in reality it’s  the Celtic festival of Samhaibut that started it all off.  The Americans just took it over the top is all.  I remember  when I was a kid we’d have Halloween celebrations, mischief night as it was known and we (the street kids) would wrap peoples cars/dustbins/doorhandles etc in toilet paper, stick rude paintings on their windows and such like. Pumpkins were employed back then too, my Mum was great at carving them, and I like to do them too.  Originally called Jack ‘o Lanterns, the practice of carving Jack-o’-lanterns goes back to the Irish legend of Jack, a lazy but shrewd farmer who tricked the Devil into a tree, then refused to let the Devil down unless the Devil agreed to never let Jack into Hell . The story goes that the Devil agreed, but when Jack died, he was too sinful to be allowed into Heaven, and the Devil wouldn’t let him into Hell. So, Jack carved out one of his turnips, put a candle inside it, and began endlessly wandering the Earth for a resting place. He was known as Jack of the Lantern, or Jack-O’-Lantern. We’d also have family competitions, bobbing for apples (trying to pick an apple out of a bowl of water only using your mouth)  trying to eat an apple dangling from a string without using your hands, and all sorts of other daft games. And we didn’t know much about American traditions at all!

When I lived in Hemel Hempstead when Ben was a little lad, I’d get my pals round on Halloween, and decorate the front room with ghosts and crows and spiders and webs made from black paper. We’d all dress up and have sweets, cakes, the apple games and pumpkins everywhere, and when the trick or treaters came round we’d make them come in and bob for an apple before they had to dig their hands into a bowl of flour to find the sweets, don’t think in these days where everyone is paranoid that I could get away with that now!

So now I put a pumpkin outside my door, buy a big bowl of sweets, and when they come knocking I make them all have their picture taken to get the sweeties. If Mum or Dad are with them I ask permission and give them my email for if they want a copy of the shot.  No-one’s minded – so far! I love the happy little dudes and dudettes and we have a giggle at their costumes.  It’s possibly the only time of year I actually meet any of our neighbours in the vicinity, we’re stuck out at the edge of the estate in a secret cut de sac.  I answer the door on and off for about an hour, then the pumpkin comes in, the door light goes off, and that’s it for another year. Roll on 2018 🎃

This year’s scary peeps