Friday, 18 February 2011

More Bookmarks

There are those bookmarks, which you have no memory of making and are a bit of a puzzle.  A hotel in Rome is one of them.  I haven't been to Rome lately, nor have I contemplated it.  Naomi, my daughter did go a few years ago and perhaps this is her bookmark:

The Beehive

I must admit that I like the look and feel of this hotel and having looked at the site I have been wondering if I could manage a trip to Rome in the near future.  Perhaps during my October holiday next year.  The last time I was there was in the early spring of 1990.  My goodness, that was 21 years ago!  Cliff, Naomi, Emma and I were on our trip through Europe to Cyprus before going back to Canada and moving to British Columbia!  We never did move to BC.  Cyprus and the Middle East were too alluring!  We spent 8 years in the region and then moved to the UK.

I loved Rome.  We found a wonderful bed and breakfast off the Spanish Steps and stayed for nearly a week.  The B & B was run by two sisters who had lived in Manchester at some point in their lives and spoke English with a strong Mancurian accent.

Emma became fascinated with men in uniforms on this trip, especially sailors.  She was 6!  They wore lovely white, crisp uniforms.  I think that and their hats may have been what attracted her.

Yes, I have decided!  I will go to Rome in October!

Suki Teapot

Two years ago this March, Emma and I went on a librarian's course in Oxford and stayed two nights in one of the colleges.  I hadn't been there since the 1960s and it was such a surprise.  I had forgotten what a wonderful city Oxford is.  That same year, we went back just to wander around.  I rediscovered Blackwells bookstore and came across a wonderful teashop on the high street.  I don't remember the name but I did fall in love with their teapots and took their name:  Suki.  The one shown in the link is ceramic with a built in infuser.  However, it only holds enough for one person.  Look at the price!  £22.42.  Ah well, I can dream!  And is the tea really that much better? (Oh dear, I just went back to look at the teapots and discovered that the one I originally saw was not the one in the link above.  I think that the only difference is the colour.)

I have made 3 or 4 trips back to Oxford, usually on book buying trips for my library.  In fact, I will be going again in two weeks time to buy non-fiction.

Melanie Frobisher

Each year there is a village fête in Englefield Green.  A few years ago, I met Melanie Frobisher, a photographer with a difference.  She takes photographs and does something with them so that they look like watercolour paintings.  I bought two, one for my friend Asa who was leaving Egham for China.  It was a wonderful scene of Windsor Great Park, where Asa had lived for 4 years.  The second was a scene of beach huts, which gives you a nostalgic feeling for summers of your youth.  I loved them both.  Since then, I have bought 3 more on behalf of the school for teachers who were retiring. 

(More next time!)

Thursday, 17 February 2011


I don't often use the Bookmark tool on my browser anymore since I've started using Diigo.  However, tonight I wanted to mark something that I didn't need to keep track of for long and so bookmarked it.  That's when I thought that perhaps I should look at some of my long forgotten bookmarks.  It turned out to be more interesting than I supposed it would.  I discovered a world of Internet use, which hinted at all sorts of interests, some forgotten and some still lingering on in one way or another.  This blog entry is a record of those sites I visited in the past and what they may mean or have meant to me.

Smith and Gore

We had a number of friends who lived in houses owned by the Crown Estates.  They had very expensive accommodation, some of it in the Windsor Great Park; and accommodation at reasonable rents in less luxurious surroundings, for key workers in the community.  I used to visit the site on a regular basis, hoping that we might find such a dwelling, especially in the park.  It never did happen.
These days all the property on the Crown Estates seems to be expensive.

A 1000 days at sea:
 One night quite late, I seem to remember, I somehow came across the website of a man who was trying to sail for a 1000 days without coming ashore.  During this time, he met his future wife and they had a baby.  It was fascinating following the voyage.  I had forgotten about them until tonight.

Bread Matters

I bought a bread book during the Christmas holidays.  It's wonderful and has revolutionized my baking.  Apparently at some point in the past, I came across the website of the book's author.  I think that I was looking for bread making lessons.

Democracy and Proper Drains

From “In Westminster Abbey” by John Betjeman
Think of what our Nation stands for/
Books from Boots' and country lanes/
Free speech, free passes, class distinction/
Democracy and proper drains. 
I met a lady at Othona.  She's a librarian and lives in Dudley.  I remember her talking about drain covers, which were manufactured in Dudley and sent out all over the world.  She started a photo blog with pictures of all the Dudley drain covers she encountered in her travels.  I look out for them whenever I see a drain cover of interest. I see that she hasn't added any in 2 years.  What a shame!

Two years ago, I suddenly became interested in my family's connection with the Betjemans (see poem above).  I found this site and then started corresponding with the author.  

As part of my research, I discovered a tea company owned the a branch of the Betjemans.  From what I remember a Merrick married into this branch of the family.  Some day when I go to Paris, I shall visit the shop.  If you look at the site you will see that today the business is run by a remarkable group of women.


I must have been looking for plum trees!

Muji Online

The Guardian runs an article every Christmas on interesting presents.  That is where I found this website and from what I remember I bought a lot from them that year.  New York in a bag, a garden tool of some sort, skittles, and more.  I've just had a look at the wooden toys.  They still have New York in a box but I think my favorite is A Railway Station in a Box.

More another day!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

That time of year again...New Year's Resolutions

I thought at first I might check and see what I had written in previous years about resolutions and then I decided that I would write this first and then check back to see what I had written before.  So, here goes!

I don't believe that New Year's resolutions are worth writing.  However, I do think that it is important at some point in the year to reflect on where you are in life. 

So here are some reflection since I started this post: (January 23rd)

1. Life seems to be going along quite nicely and then something happens and it all falls apart.  I know that you can't live life in expectation of things falling apart but it is good to be reminded that it can and probably will happen.  A close friend was forced to resign from her job due to untenable work conditions.  That in itself is bad but then her parents decided to visit her to give her support and say goodbye before she moved, they were involved in a horrific car accident in which her mother died.

2. No matter what you do, there will be consequences, either direct or indirect.  If my friend had been supported at work instead of being left to flounder, her parents would not have been coming to visit.  I suppose we can't dwell too much on possible consequences of everything we do, as we go through our lives, or we would be paralysed by in action.  However a little reflection would not go amiss. 

Action, reaction.  I hear those words...from a French film, I think but I don't remember which one.  Look at Tunisia.  A young man sets himself alight and the whole country follows, figuratively not literally!  Now the same is happening in other countries of Africa and the Middle East.  It would be nice to know what the 'reaction' would be in advance.