My Diary ...

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  • Jigsaw: Foxley Wood

    Published Date: 
    Sunday, 18 February, 2018
    Title Foxley Wood
    Manufacturer House of Puzzles
    No of Pieces 1000
    Time 13 Days
    Difficulty Challenging

    An exercise in assembling 1,000 pieces of varying shades of brown and green! Worth the effort for a lovely picture - who could even think of harming such a beautiful animal as the fox?


     

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  • Happy birthday to me?

    Published Date: 
    Sunday, 18 February, 2018

    Well, there is no turning back (there never was anyway!); I am now seventy! It has been quite an emotional day for a variety of reasons as it becomes obvious to me that I am just not the right sort of person to help Ann through her difficulties with Alzheimer's. I am too impatient and she is frustrated and occasionally the two emotions collide. Fortunately, if I upset her with my impatience she does not remember for long but I do and it upsets me that I can be so thoughtless sometimes but it really isn't easy. What has that got to do with my birthday? I suppose it is the emotions around getting older and knowing that for the rest of my life I either have to deal with this every day or, worse still, deal with being on my own. I would rather have Ann as she is rather than not at all.

    Birthdays have never been a big thing with me. I think it goes back to when I was young, everyone else's birthday seemed to matter more than mine back then and still does today. Not having much a family probably does not help. That said, Ann did remember it was my birthday on occasions during the day and I had a surprise phone call from John and Jose this morning. Jean and Kate rang too and I had a card from a handful of people and that was that. I have to be fair here and say I do not publicise my birthday like some do!

    I also decided that I would not cook on my birthday and so we went to the Pines as usual and I did enjoy my saddle of lamb and panacotta to follow. Ann had the carvery and ate the lot, she still eats well even though she never puts on any weight.

    It is now 7.00pm as I write this and I will be glad when bed time comes and I can sleep it off and hopefully wake up in a more positive frame of mind tomorrow.


     

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  • Grumpy old man status confirmed

    Published Date: 
    Thursday, 15 February, 2018

    After watching the rain and wind for two days it was good to wake to find a brighter more settled day. Our rail cards expire on Sunday and as we do not have much need for them these days we are not renewing so it seemed like a good idea to use them one last time and take the train to Weymouth for a walk along the sea front and to get some lunch. It seemed like a recipe for a quiet, relaxing day whilst making the most of the brief respite in the weather (more rain and wind coming soon according to the forecast!).

    We arrived at the station to find our train was running 8 minutes late, irritating but no big deal. After we left Dorchester we notice that an elderly lady who had been sat near us, and had got off at Dorchester, had left her handbag behind. I picked it up and took it to the guard for safe keeping but I was made to wait while he checked to see if there was a purse inside, I suppose he thought I may have taken it before handing the bag in? On arrival at Weymouth we walked out into the main street and up to the front where we watched one car ram another!

    Being sunny Ann took her sunglasses out of her handbag and one of the lenses dropped on the ground. There was no way of fixing them, they were only cheap ones, but we had to go shopping for a new pair. After visiting Boots, Specsavers, Debenhams, New Look, etc, etc, etc we had still not found a suitable pair and so our walk along the prom had become a walk around the shops. In the end we were told that there is not much call for sunglasses in February and so many shops do not display them!

    By now it was lunch time and we were near Prezzo's. We quite like the Prezzo in Weymouth so that was our choices. Fifteen or so years ago this was one of the best Italian restaurant chains but now the selection on the menu has shrunk, plate sizes have shrunk, staffing levels have shrunk but prices have increased. We ordered a couple of pasta dishes and they were on the table almost before we ordered them! We would have preferred waiting 10 minutes whilst they fully warmed them up! Being half term there were several young children present all screaming and yelling but their parents were making more noise by trying to make themselves heard above their children's din. On then to coffee but they took somewhat longer to arrive than the pasta! Feeling somewhat disappointed and oppressed we decided it was time to go and I find that a glass of Pinot Grigio is £7.15; I could buy two bottles for that price in Sainsburys, Wareham!

    We trudged back to the station trying to avoid being run down by children on scooters, teens on skate boards, twenty-somethings on bikes and OAPs (much older than us) on buggies and caught our train home. As we relaxed after our 'adventure' Ann said "I don't think you enjoyed that very much"; she could not remember anything of what had happened although I think she may have remembered we had been to Weymouth. I just grunted and said "No, not much!". It then dawned on me that I really have become a grumpy old man ... how sad is that?


     

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  • Happy Birthday to you ...

    Published Date: 
    Tuesday, 6 February, 2018

    It was Ann's 70th birthday today, I just can't take that in! The problem is, it will be mine in twelve days time ...

    It was a bitterly cold day with rain. sleet and possible snow forecast so we were restricted in what we could do and, as the Pines is closed for its winter break, we opted for the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club. Stupidly, I forgot to take a camera or my phone so no photograph of Ann on her 'special' day.

    As it turned out the rain, sleet and snow didn't materialise and it was a fine clear day and the views from the golf club restaurant across Poole harbour were stunning. They also do a good meal and not that expensive either. Ann had loin of pork while I treated myself to sirloin steak and, despite being somewhat full, as it was an inclusive two course meal we both had a sweet! To cap a nice lunch they did not charge me the extra £4.00 supplement for the steak! 

    It would have been as good as we could have hoped for except the restaurant was freezing cold where were sat by the window. As the staff said, it is cold in winter and boiling hot in summer because of the large glass windows that give the panoramic view. You can't have it all I suppose.


     

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  • Wareham SMBC Committee Meeting 5-Feb-18

    Published Date: 
    Monday, 5 February, 2018
    1. The financial position of the Club is much improved following the changes made at last year's AGM together with increased membership numbers, high session attendance levels and various cost reductions.

    2. This year's AGM will be on Tuesdy 10th April at 2.00pm

    3. With attendances on Tuesday and Friday afternoons at an all time high we will shortly start a Monday afternoon session to hopefully spread the load!

    4. With so many new members we will implement a programme of membership development starting with a shopping trip to a bowls equipment supplier and, hopefully, an 'improvers session' run by a qualified coach.

    5. We hope to re-launch the second league team for next season and will start preparations for that in May. We also intend to get some uniform shirts for the teams for next season

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  • Jigsaw: Time and Tide

    Published Date: 
    Sunday, 4 February, 2018
    Title Time and Tide
    Manufacturer House of Puzzles
    No of Pieces 1000
    Time 7 Days
    Difficulty Moderate

    We were taken with the lovely colours in this picture rather than the subject matter. It is hard to describe and I hope the photograph does it justice. We thought it was going to be difficult but it turned out to be much the same as many in this range - hard enough to keep you interested but not too diffiucult to make you feel like giving up!


     

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  • Paying the bill ...

    Published Date: 
    Thursday, 1 February, 2018

    This morning, 9.00am, we are looking out of the window at a clear blue sky and bright sunshine. There is nothing in the diary, a chance for an 'away day'! After a short deliberation and review of the options we decide that we are overdue a visit to Portland, a favourite place of ours. Jobs are done quickly, necessary possessions gathered together, appropriate dress in place and we are on our way. By 11.10 we are in the car park at Portland Bill, still a blue sky and sunshine. 

    I need to buy a P&D ticket so I push the car door open and it comes back on me. I try again, same result. Another try and another and eventually I have push hard until it locks open and then the full force of freezing cold northerly wind hit me. Well, we were on Portland! Undeterred we donned our coats and walking boots but given the apparently lovely weather back home we had not come really prepared for the onslaught.

    We made our way down to obelisk at the bill and stood there marvelling at the sunshine glistening silver on the water and at the heavy seas just of shore in the 'races'. Then, into the wind along the rocky coast, tears streaming from our eyes in the cold wind. Bravely we struggled on, across the fields towards The Pulpit Inn but it was just getting too much for this pair of not so young adventurers. We had only been out for 30 minutes and already we had had enough. Turning south we headed back past the beach huts to the Lobster Pot for respite from the wind and for lunch. Happily, there were no coach parties in today and we got a table by the window and watched the sea and passing gulls from there ... much more suitable for the likes of us!

    Lunch over, back to the car and homeward bound! Bye Portland, see you again in the spring when the wild flowers are out and its warmer.

    As an aside, I have to say the Lobster Pot doesn't look much, just a wooden shack really, but it is very nicely done and in our opinion the cod and chips is as good as you will find anywhere in Dorset.


     

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  • New Directions

    Published Date: 
    Wednesday, 31 January, 2018

    Since we moved to Dorset in the summer of 2006 the Nature of Dorset has been my overriding interest. It has provided me with hours of immeasurable pleasure as I have explored the nature reserves and wildlife hot spots of Dorset recording the animals and plants seen and accumulating thousands of photographs. The website has provided me technical interest, after all I spent many years in the 'information technology' business (it was data processing in my day), and many hours of satisfaction in winter as I pass the cold, dark days adding new features and more data. Now, however, circumstances are very different and I can no longer do the things I used to do. Other demands on my time coupled with advancing years mean that roaming nature reserves on my own for a few hours is just not possible and, in any event, is not wise. 

    I fully intend to keep the Nature of Dorset project running but my contribution will, in future, be somewhat reduced and I am making some changes to what I do. I have started to build my own website which will feature things like my family history, my short mat bowling, and other bits and piece. It is not intended to be of any interest to others but a central place of reference for my own use, although others may find aspects of it interesting once it is complete. Linked to this I am changing the way I use Facebook which in the past has had a completely Nature of Dorset focus. I am turning my home page into a diary for Ann to follow and to look back at what we have done and where we have been; this is an important part of helping with her health problems.

    This new use of my timeline may not suit all of my Facebook friends, many of whom have possibly followed it for my nature notes in the past and I will quite understand those who want to stop following it by 'unfriending' me! I am keeping my Nature of Dorset page going and it will continue to feature the best photographs and news from lots of people who are interested in the nature of Dorset and so, if you do not do so already, you may want to switch to following that instead. The Nature of Dorset group for other people to put up their wildlife photographs will continue as well.

    So I hope you will all understand and I will understand if I end up with only one Facebook friend; my best friend, Ann!


     

     

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