Tuesday, 31 October 2006

The Tenant Conference

Well there you are pictures, taken at the Tenants conference on Saturday last .I was collected in a taxi at nine fifteen ,we picked up three more people as we got nearer the venue which I explained was at the  National Centre for DeafBlindness,at Hampton ,in Peterborough ,and what an amazing place that is rooms and corridors ,all with signs in braille ,..different textures to guide the way ,and the centre of which is a sensurary garden.

The meeting was opened by Karen who is the Tenant Involvement Manager ,she was pleased to welcome so many tenants representing ,from the different categories of people housed by the association..ie Sheltered housing,supported housing ,even some residents from the extra care scheme were present,as well as people from general housing ,many staff were present to deal with any questions .....Stuart.... Housing Services director,then explained the results of a Status survey.He then introduced the guest speaker ,a gentleman called Rafael Runco from the 'Independant housing Ombudsman Service 'who explained the purpose and value of this service

After coffee and a chat with our friends ,in my case some of my residents from before I retired,we were all delighted to see each other again .......We all went our way to the different work shops ,I had chosen to go to one on recycling ,and very interesting Ifound it to ,and sice it is a topical subject at the moment I think it merits an entry of its own another time.... By now it was lunch time ,we all enjoyed a wide selection of buffet food and more networking .

After lunch Maurice had turned up (he had worked the night before ) many residents were pleased to see him too. He joined me in the work shop I had chosen for the afternoon ,'Best Value' bit heavy this one explaining how the company spent and planned to spend their money, but none the less quite interesting , We were then entertained by the Peterborough Youth Theatre , with their 'Hate Crime ' production ,very well done and thought provoking ,we had another comfort break before question time ,and then the presentation of awards for the best garden /patio/tub section and a photo competition,as well as the painting competition ,the  artist who painted the picture of David Jason a very worthy  winner  ,where the standards were very high ...We all left feeling we had learned quite alot ,Karen came to me as we were leaving to remind me we need to have another news letter meeting soon ,but I have already submitted my account of our day in London ,so look forward to that meeting .

Before we came home we called in to see Jean abnd Pete ,andthen onto Maurices brother and his wife Mike and Jackie ,and their son who was visiting from London to mark his fortieth birthday ,Before making our way home .........

Have  Good Day Every One ...with love

Jan xx

Friday, 27 October 2006

Tomorrow and Prayers

Tomorrow ,I will need to be up and about a bit earlier than I have been of late ,not so much up ,as dressed and ready ! ....I am being picked up at nine fifteen ,to go off to the Tenants conferance ....the company I used to work for (and am still on the news letter team ) used to hold these sort of meetings at big hotels locally ,who had conferance rooms suitable for a large gatherings, and were no doubt charged  exhorbitant fees ,now they are held at a rather grand purpose built complex for the deaf/blind,and so of course the fees from us using this as our venue for the day go towards a far more worthy cause .

After the opening greetings we will ,seperate to different work shops of our choice ,on offer ,I have opted for one on recycling,in the morning session and best value in the afternoon,we will have breaks and a speaker and lunch and a chance to do some net working,ending the afternoon ,with a question and answer session ....so it promises to be an interesting day out ...Maurice would like to have been there too , but since it is his last night tonight ,he would be to tired

Karen has compiled some pictures of various activities through the year ,to be shown on the big screen ,to be viewed during a tea/coffee breaks ,and asked my permission to use the one she took of Bob(the Chelsea Pensioner)and I ,so Ally has asked me to take some pictures ,so if I get chance I will do that ...Well I am now off to sort through my wardrobe to look for something to wear ,it has turned alot cooler /cold now ,so with that in mind ....I will wish you all a good day ......

But before I go, can I ask you all to keep Jackie ,from 'H ope Floats'   http://journals.aol.com/siennastarr/Hopefloats/  in your thoughts and prayers there is a tereble fire raging near her home ,with four dead and one seriously injured firemen ,Jackie has had the most awful year ,and can really do without this ,Jackie is one of the girls working so hardon the Vi Vi awards ,so Jackie you are in out thoughts at this time ......

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Old Soldiers never Die !

This is a book ,discribing the history of 'The Royal Hospital Chelsea' it is a book I now hope Santa might bring me ,On the cover of the book we can see a picture of The Hospital,and in front a picture of a Chelsea Pensioner,I have been reading it all up on the 'net ' Since last Monday, when Karen and I went to our meeting ,at Portcullis House in London,you see whilst enjoying our cuppa's ,we were joined by this dear old gentleman who introduced himself as Bob ...and who's picture you see at the top of the entry,with me ,and as Karen said later ,we were the wrong way round ,he had a chest full of medals and you cant see them ! He did however tell us how he was awarded them ...one was for the campaign in Africa during WW2,it was presented to him by our late King,our present Queens Father ,he was also proud of one given to him by Her Majesty,because he had worked at Buckingham palace,in the post room ,these retired soldiers still perform duties,and he told us he often saw the Queen in the morning whilst delivering her post,Because of my work until I retired ,in sheltered housing for the elderly and before that care homes ,I was interested in his discription of where he lives in the Royal Hospital ,with other retired service men ,who now live there for various reasons ,some are widowers ,all have applied and been accepted,they each have their own birth /room with their personnal belongings,when they agree to stay there, they forego their pension ,for board and lodging,in exchange for their room and meals ,they enjoy many facilitys,with communal rooms, a bar ,and of course are with like minded people , their familys are free to visit them there ,and off course they go on holiday to visit family and friends too ,they are encouraged if they are fit,to join in a wide variation of activities ,ranging from state occasions,to simply talking to tourists who come to our capital,They are very well informed and like nothing better than a good old yarn ,and Karen and I agreed Bob really made our day

http://www.chelsea-pensioners.co.uk/     As you can see I have added the web site for you to see ,for yourselves ...I do hope you enjoy meeting Bob as much as we did
Jan xx

Sunday, 22 October 2006


Hi Every one ,hope you are all having a relaxed Sunday ,I have posted the weird picture above ,just to let you see I have finished my cardigan ,it is in cream cotton ,and a summer one really,because its a shorty ,and is done up with a  decorative chop stick ,be nice for cool summer nights ! But since its decidedly chilly here today ,I had better keep it now for next summer !

Well after my day in London ,my week went down hill ,I have been feeling very unwell ,but nothing I could put my finger on,I have been hot and cold ,and very lethargic,I thought at first it was tired ness after the London trip ,I am now wondering if it could be a reaction to the flue jab ? I know they dont use live vaccine ,I was chatting to Jeannette (travels) earlier,and we decided it could be ,they do some thing with eggs dont they ?hey you dont think I'v got that fowl flue thinggy ?Oh poor old chuck ,thats all I need !

Maurice is at work today ,I have all the usual stuff to do ,some ironing and I should vacuum really ,but we'll see ,The weather doesnt inspire you either its looking very grey out side ,but as it is late October I,suppose we have done well . Maurice cut the grass yesterday and it still keeps growing which is unusual for this time of year ,we have had some foggy mornings followed by lovely sunny days ,though more rain the last couple of days .

To all you lovely people who have nominated me ,for the Lady of the blog award,I have put the tag for that into my side bar ,Chris thankyou so much and thanks too to Jackie these ladies must have worked so hard ,can you imagine it ? I wouldnt know where to start ,I really dont expect to get any further ,have you seen who else is in that category ?such fantastic journals by these other ladies ,I just feel honoured to be amongst them ,any way the best of luck to everyone ,who has been nominated ,I feel each journal is special in its own way ,and love reading all of them ...and what ever the outcome we must keep journaling ....and thankyou again .

I wish you all a Blessed Sunday ,With Love

Thanks to dear Shelley ,for my lovely sig today xxx

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Our Day in the Capital

I searched and I googled to find a picture of Portcullis house,to no avail  ,only to find this one,I took my self when we had our trip/flight on the London Eye,about three years ago! Portcullis house is the building ,at the bottom right of the picture . I think I have made it a bit squat ,in order to fit it in ! 

Karen came to pick me up  at ten o clock on Monday morning ,we set off to the station at Peterborough ,where we bought our tickets and we were off ,we found a seat ,and I thought it would be a nice idea to get a picture of the crossing gates we seem to sit at for ages,when we are going into Peterborough by car ! but the train was moveing to quickly.... We were in London in less than an hour ,then got the tube to Whitehall ,after a change at I think Victoria,up and down escalators and stairs ,in court shoes ! been wearing mules and flip flops all summer !! (at the end of the day my feet ,lodged a complaint )We had to be there for two pm ,but as you can see by big ben on the first picture we had time to go and have some lunch ,so off we set down  Whitehall taking pictures as we went and again on our way back ,

In we went, and through the  check in  barrier ,were our handbags and my camera were put on to the tray and sent through for scanning ,I walked through and bib bib the alarms went off ,and again !,A young police lady ,checked me over !(four coppers there and all armed )can you imagine it? 'Fen wench comes to town '! it was decided it was the ornaments on my shoes setting of the alarm phew ! Those wretched shoes again !

Portcullis is the working home to  members of Parliament ,,though the outside presents an imposing facade ,inside it is full of light with trees and plants ,glass and crome and along the walls are modern pictures of members of parliament past and present ,we easily found the Atllee suite ,and settled down to listen as Bob Holmes ,silver surfer coordinator,digital unite,welcomed us and then introduced ,Terry Smith,director of public sector,microsoft who spoke of how far computers had come since 1948 ,and how it was second nature to the youth of today to be comfortable with computers ,but not so some of the older generation ,we of the generation who had to use next doors telephone (because we hadnt got one )to book a call to America or Canada to ring a family member there at Christmas ,and then pay the neighbour for the call .Now, we are keen to learn,to use a computer so that we can email ,or instant message our Grandchildren ,from wherever we are ,good point !Then a young lady Leonie Viachos, Manager digital Inclusion,age concern spoke  ,before Stephen Timms,MP,Chief secretary to the treasury,presented the awards,to the overall winner Jim Tuckwell of Andover Hampshire,Jim is eighty and lives in sheltered accommadation,and has made a huge difference to his life and others,(including local school children ),by learning and passing on his knowledge. They have written a book about bullying .The silver surfer entrepreneur of the year award went to Brenda Ferguson,Brenda is manager of an Aberdeenshire internet cafe,which has become the hub of the community ,well used by fishermen ,imigrant workers,school children and retired local people,and it is called 'the mouse trap' !

After cups of tea or coffee and biscuits ,and some networking it was time to ,go home ,we caught a train and was back in Peterborough by five thirty ,where my daughter in law Chrissy ,met me and drove me home ,where I was able to kick off my shoes and think over my very interesting day.

Jan xx

Sunday, 15 October 2006

All sorts of Everything

Good Morning everyone ,So much to say ....where to begin ?After I left the dentist last Monday ,I popped into the Doctors surgery ,which is nearby,told the receptionist I was inquiring about a flue jab!...'only do them for the over sixty fives 'she snapped ,I said ...I am ! ...well fill in the form ! says she ,trying to lighten the conversation,I said I think you have just paid me a compliment ,'and put the form in the box ', ahh well !!...well on Thursday I had a phone call to get my jab on Friday afternoon ,so Im done now .

The library is also in that part of town so I decided to call in ,walking up the road I encountered the bear, in the pictures ,quite what he was doing there and why ,I dont know ,but he looked fun so I took a picture anyway ,but there is a primary school nearby ,maybe he'd been there ,

Hey ,....I've been feeding you duff information ....The author I was telling you about the other day ,her surname is Marshall,I believe I said Marchant ,silly me ! I am sorry ...dont tell the woman in the doctors ! Well since she is a local lady   the author not the receptionist .... I found many of her books, mostly the ones she had transcribed from her fathers notes ,there are some crude maps of the area ,showing dykes and drains and lodes ,and wonderful illustrations of the Fens .What a feast !

Now for my bestest news ,Last Monday Karen at the office ,e-mailed me with an invitation to go to London ,with her ,its for a presentation ,to silver surfers who have won an award ,not me ! but since I had been chosen by AOL last May ,Karen knew of my interest ,in the subject ,thought I might like to go ...well yes ! Karen who is the tenant participation Manager ,is to pick me up at ten am tomorrow   and we will go by train to the 'big smoke' the meeting is to be at Portcullis house ,The Attlee suite,which is I understand,directly opposite Big Ben ,on the Victoria embankment ...so watch this space I shall take my camera ,and hope to have lots to tell you

So on that happy note I wish you all a Blessed Sunday,with Love From

                       Jan xx

Thursday, 12 October 2006

St Johns Church ,Little Gidding

On the last day of Maurices holiday last month ,we decided to visit a' little' church ,nearer home,well as the crow flies ! and over the A1 in the county of Huntingdonshire are 'The Giddings'..Steeple Gidding ,Great Gidding and Little Gidding,at the latter is a very small church set in a field,we have been before ,but it is such a nice peaceful place to visit ....We drove up the narrow road little more than a cart track ,past the cottages that are used as a retreat,and onto the car park ,down the little path to the church, here we met a gentleman putting a poster onto the notice board ,he told us he and his wife live in the adjoining house ,where the Ferrar family who had restored the church,in the 1620's had lived,The Pilgramage and Retreat house offers hospitality to visitors to the church.Many people are interested in the connections with T S Eliot or George Herbert.When he asked us where we came from ,he exclaimed he was reading a book by an Author who had been born there .a favourite of mine too ! Sybil Marchant ,and when I looked her up on the internet, I discovered she had died only last year .I felt bereaved as though I had just missed her some how, her books are set in the 50's and 60's when England was changing and are of course set in the Fens ,and about the familys who lived there during those times ,and before ,and she captures the dialects and colloquialisms perfectly ,I am reading 'Nest of Magpies again ',and plan to read others by her a set of four but unfortunately ,I am missing the third one in the series 'Strip the willow'Miss Marchant also wrote charming books from her late fathers diarys ,one called 'A Silver New Nothing '.....after our visit into the church we sat awhile in the gardens of Ferrar house after going for a look inside ......

If you care to check out this site you can visit the church for your self   http://www.littlegiddingchurch.org.uk 

Gidding is probablythe oldest place name in Huntingdonshire,It derives fromthe same Anglo Saxon root as the word 'giddy',and refers to singing and dancing-and means being possessed by God,Giddings was my maiden name !

and another nice thing! I opened my mail on Saturday morning and found Sugar had sent me this charming siggy which I feel fits this entry so well ....thankyou dear Sugar .....

Monday, 9 October 2006

Come in and get warm

Last Friday, Maurice and I found the fire ,that we thought would look right in the fire surround he made earlier this year see above photographs ,through the summer months we had a vase with a display of twigs ,but this pretend wood burner ,has a lovely glow makes the room look cosy ,even with out the heater part working .We dont need that, our gas fired radiators are adequate.......


Imagine my delight yesterday ,whilst reading Donnas journal ,she had called it 'My Back yard 'when she explained she had thought about going out and taking some pictures ,then changed her mind and took some nearer home ,she had taken some pictures of some lovely Autumn trees ,talked of curling up in front of a nice log fire ,she signed off with the picture of the log burner ,I couldnt believe it ,I have often said Donna has the right graphic for many of my entrys ,but this is uncanny ,because it was on Donnas own entry I mailed her to get her permission to use it and she kindly said I may,she said ,I didnt know why I had taken that one ! that is in my basement, and added 'I do now '! Donna this is getting weird ....Lots of you know Donnas lovely work ,her URL  is in my side bar .She is so talented.

Do you realise its six months since I whinged ,about going to the dentist ,well it is, and I went back again today ,and the lovely Droda ,told me I have  a back tooth that needs a filling ,so I have to go back at the beggining of November ,so brace yourself folks  ,get ready for some snivveling and whinning !

Maurice is at work tonight ,and then he has three days off ,so I am about to make myself something to eat,then watch some tele' in front of the fire ,and admire my lovely clean curtains that I washed on Saturday ,I also cleaned the patio windows ,Hmm thats probably it till the spring ,I have almost finished the cardigan I have been knitting for what seems like ages,dont seem to knit as much in the summer ,but now the darker nights are here ,I find my self knitting away again ,Well Im waffleing now so Im off to kick the freezer ,see what comes falls out, for my dinner ! Have a lovely Evening Everyone ...With love   

                                        Jan xx

Thursday, 5 October 2006

Autumn of my life and memorys

Isnt this lovely ? Thankyou Donna.......I went off to the over 60's club, yesterday,well I had seen Betty my neighbour last week who reminded me that it was the Harvest Festival meeting ,and to bring along my cabbage  ! she said we all take something then buy it back ,as there is to be an auction The auctioneer is usually Richard ****,wait a minute says I ,I used to work with him ,he is recently retired from his very exclusive shop ,but when I knew him at sixteen,he was working in the shop where I worked getting experiance before joining his father in the family  business,

After the notices,Birthdays and we were then told, sadly a lady had died,after a fall ,A  delightful gentleman was introduced as David ******** the Pastor from the Methodist church here ,he introduced his wife Debby ,and explained ,and it quickly became apparent ,they were Americans who had moved here ,First living and ministering in the Cotswolds ,before coming here to the Fens which they say they love ,Dave explained  as a  child ,when he lived in Springfields,Nashville, Tennesee the home of the grand old oprey.... Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash and his family were worshippers at his church .We sang the lovely harvest hymn ,'We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land ',then it was refreshment time ,sandwiches and sausage rolls and delicious home made cakes .

I had taken my offering, I had made up a basket of fruit and placed it among the runner beans ,marrows and various jars of jam and lovely flowers .During the refreshment break Richard had arrived and wandered round chatting to people ,mischievous Betty pointed to me ,saying to him ,'Do you know who this is ?' of course he hadnt a clue ,I whispered the name of the firm, he blushed ,Oh bless him ! (I still have the power to make a man blush lol ) ,Thats not all ...half way through his auction he stopped told everyone there was some one here he hadnt seen since the ninteen fiftys ,He came over ,OMG took my hand,took me to the front and said this is Janet who I remember was and still is a lovely girl ,I always wanted to ask her out but was always too shy .I stood there trying to smile sweetly and not uncomfortable,he gave me a little kiss on the cheek and escorted me back to my seat , Ah what might have been ???

A bit like Donnas graphic ,spring in Autumn ! memorys ! ...thankgoodness I have my lovely Maurice ....but what a lot of water has flowed under many bridges since then .My thoughts went to the innocent teenagers we were then ,and how far I have come since those long gone days  ....

I am finishing this entry today with this lovely graphic made for me by Dianna

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

A weekend retreat

 Thankyou Donna ,once again just the right graphic .

When I was still at work ,I would finish work at four thirty, Hah ! and my evening would be my own.....well you would think so wouldnt you ? Because I lived on site ,the residents would often come to me with their problems stuff that could be dealt with in the office ,but they didnt always think so ,the elderly are very proud and to ask advice on financial aspects of their lives ,would some times ,prompt them to tap on my door with a request to advise them ,or it might be a little medical problem Not very professional you might say ,but my own fault really I suppose ,I tried so hard to make each one feel special ,so when a little tap at the door heralded ,a 'its only me ,I know your not at work now so I wont keep you a minute' ....

and then there are the official callouts ,where the residents will pull their alarn cord ,tell central control the problem ,control would call me ,if it was serious enough they would have called an ambulance ,but I could get a phone call at any time during the evening and night,from control ,Asking me to visit resident name,bungalow number and any details,they had,it could be any thing from chest pains !a fall ,slurry speech !to burglary ,where the police would be called .to meet me at the residents home ,these were awful ,because of the after effects the residents would be left frightened to stay in their home all sorts of feelings ,as you will imagine ,I might be with them alot of the night ,then work the next day as usual ....

Dont get me wrong I loved the job,and all aspects of it ,But the reason for this entry was to show you how we escaped at the weekends ,As soon as I finished on a Friday afternoon, I would start putting the things together for our weekend away,as soon as Maurice got home from work ,he would load up the car and off we would go .We have a caravan on a private fishing lake ideal for getting away from it all ....

We often called at the fish and chip shop ,so thatwould start our weekend ,then we would set up the awning and then if it was still daylight Maurice would start to fish ,me I would probably watch a video ,(maybe some thing I'd taped throught the week and hadnt had time to watch )I would spend Saturdays reading sewing dozing ,or sometimes Jean and Pete would join us ,or another couple Ian liked to fish with Maurice ,Mu and I might explore the country side ,we made some fantastic meals ,and really enjoyed our selves ,Sundays would be spent in a similar manner....We made some lovely friends on site too ......

We have hardly been since I retired  but I found the pictures the other day ,and thought you might enjoy seeing them .......Have a lovely evening everyone with love from     Jan xx

Monday, 2 October 2006

A sunny Monday

I got this one from Donna the other day ,and it so looks like our garden in the evening ,The nights are drawing in now arent they? and soon we will alter the clocks again ,surely we could do away with that silly custom now ,it was set up in the war time in order to gain more time for farmers in the mornings ,but now isnt it just an inconvenience? We all take time to adjust ,mothers with babies say it puts feed times out of synch,as it does with animals ,and I can remember doing nights at the nursing home ,I always seemed to get the shift with the extra hour !

Maurice is off today ,he has gone fishing with Pete Jeans husband ,and so far it has stayed fine ,though he rang me earlier to say it was very windy ,I declined his kind invitation to go this time I am afraid I am a fair weather fish wife (lol),I dont fish anyway ,so decided to stay at home and keep my knitting wool dry ,he has taken a flask, as there is no one to man the little gas stove ,he wouldnt take time out from the fishing ,and lots to eat ,so we expect them at dusk all worn out , mucky ,and starving hungry !

I have been wondering about our friend Sandra all morning ,how she is getting on at work ,her first day ,I feel sure she will come home saying she loved it ,but no doubt she will be tired, there is always so much to take in at first on a new job,but by the end of the week, it will all have fallen in to place .

Are you watching Jane Eyre,I am enjoying it but taped last nights episode so still have that to watch ,what a treat ,we watched Cracker instead ,very violent and controversial,but hey ....We have had two episodes of casualty over the weekend ,cant believe thats been running twenty years now ,can remember when Robson Green played the part of the porter ?and went on to do Soldier Soldier and then many other good parts ,even having us all swooning over his singing prowess with whats his name Jerome ,then there was Brenda Fricker who also did great things remember her in my left foot ?

Well I have waffled enough ,I have another load of washing to put out ,it sunny here now, after the rains and storms over the weekend ,so I will wish you all a good Monday, and the week to follow with love

                                               Jan xx