Since living here we have seen some remarkable sunsets and I have to restrain myself from reaching for the camera most fine evenings. Last week they were particularly spectacular when they were enhanced by the cloud of volcanic ash and I have already posted a couple of shots taken during that time.
However, the shot below is one taken before the Icelandic volcano erupted and we feel very fortunate to witness such beauty on a regular basis.
Thanks to Klaus, Sandy Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia who host Skywatch Friday. For more pictures of skies around the world, please click here.
Last Thursday morning, switching on the TV whilst we had our early morning "cuppa" we heard the local newsreader say "all flights out of Bristol are cancelled due to volcanic ash". OH and I looked at each other and at the same time exclaimed "volcanic ash"! However all was revealed in national news a few minutes later. Of course we are all aware now of the effects the volcanic eruption in Iceland is having and I have just heard on our late news that the disruptions are to continue in spite of there being hopes earlier today that restrictions may be lifted tomorrow. A new cloud of ash is making its way towards us.
We have been told that we are likely to see some wonderful sunsets due to the layer of volcanic dust in the atmosphere. We are fortunate that where we live we often see magnificent sunsets but they have been brighter over the last few days - this was tonights.
Many, many years ago, when I was a divorced "30 something", a male colleague invited me out for a drink one evening. We met at a local pub, got a drink and began chatting. There was loud music playing. Then he said, what, to me, sounded like "do you like meatloaf"?
I had already eaten and inwardly groaned and thought "oh no, I hope he's not going to invite me back to his for something to eat"! So, with a vision of him slaving over a hot stove and without wishing to offend, I replied as casually as I could, "it's OK, but it's not something I usually make" and it was left at that.
Fast forward about 10 years, and listening to the radio one day, light dawned! I still laugh when I recall the moment I realised that what he had probably said was "do you like Meatloaf"?
It is one of those moments that has stuck in my mind! We remained work colleagues, but that was all!
For more takes on the letter M - please visit Mrs Denise Nesbitt and her team, who host ABC Wednesday.
I had a lovely birthday and thank you for your greetings. There were cards, gifts, flowers, telephone calls, visits etc from family and friends. In the morning OH and I drove to the Quantock Hills and found our way to Great Wood where my children used to go to camp with their school and where I used to take them for walks and picnics, especially on Good Friday mornings. That became a bit of a ritual for a few years.
Saturday morning was beautiful, sunny and warm and it was a great pleasure to stroll up through the forest.
It was quiet and peaceful.
We had a delicious light lunch at the The Rose and Crown in Nether Stowey*, a very old establishment whose walls were covered with photographs of the old and modern Nether Stowey and of local characters. We also saw this, which we found very amusing. I hope you can read it.
In the evening we dressed up in our finery and went off to a charity ball held to help raise funds for the new local hovercraft rescue boat, a very pleasant evening and a lovely way to end my birthday.
PS * Nether Stowey is where the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived from 1797 to 1800.
I have to thank all of you who left such caring comments about my poor mum's fall, two weeks' ago. She is definitely on the mend, although obviously still in a certain amount of pain. The painkillers she was on - codeine - eventually gave her a muzzy head and hallucinations. She is off those now and her head is clear at last. I stayed with her for a week and then came back home to sleep and now just pop in two or three times each day. Today she had dressed, was feeling and looking more like her old self. Of course she is afraid she may fall again as she doesn't know why she fell in the first place. Obviously this is a concern but she does have an alert cord in each room as well as one to wear on her person. We will just have to take it a day at a time.
The weather today was absolutely beautiful. Sunny and warm all day, so very pleasant. After I had been to see my mum I met a friend for lunch and then, later, walked to see another friend with her birthay card for tomorrow. When I returned home the tide was high and there was a yacht tacking back and forth in full view of our windows. I opened our balcony and just let the sun and warmth stream in. Wonderful.
Tomorrow is my birthday also and at 66 I am one year older than my friend. OH is taking me out, possibly to the Quantock Hills, for lunch and we are going to a charity "do" in the evening. So it will be "best bib and tucker" time.
In our little seaside town we have had three lighthouses of varying shapes and sizes dating back to the 1700's and their history is quite interesting.
The first is the Round Tower shown below.
The story goes that a local fisherman's wife, worried about her husband's safety one stormy night, put a candle in her window to help to guide him home. (They lived in a cottage close to where the Round Tower now stands). It saved his life and thereafter she was paid to keep a candle burning to guide other sailors to safety. Later the local sexton paid her £5 for the right to place the light in the church tower, it being so much higher. Eventually the curate, the Reverend David Davies paid £20 to have the round tower built. It was originally 4 storeys high but following becoming inactive was reduced to 2 storeys and given a crenallated top. I believe it is now a residence.
Next came the pillar lighthouse, which is 99 feet tall and had a paraffin lamp light. It soon became a tourist attraction with visitors climbing the spiral staircase to see across to Wales and North Devon. It became inactive in 1993. Now it is privately owned and used as holiday accommodation.
The Low Light was built in 1832. Because of the huge rise and fall of the tide along our coast it was felt the pillar lighthouse had been positioned too low so the Low Light was built and utilised to complement the pillar light. The Low Light was inactive between 1969 and 1993 but then recommissioned on 31 December 1993 and has remained active ever since. It attracts thousands of visitors every year and is an iconic landmark of our little town.
The history and details of all three can be found here
ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs Denise Nesbitt and her team. For more takes on the letter L please click here.
I just want to explain why I haven't been able to visit fellow bloggers very much during the past few days.
Saturday evening, just as I was about to get ready for bed we received a telephone call from my 88 year old mother telling us that she had just fallen over. We went straight round to her and OH managed to get her onto her feet and into a chair. We stayed with her whilst she recovered from the initial shock and I asked her should I call the doctor. "no" she said, "I just want to get to bed". She wanted to freshen up first and I helped her in the bathroom and then into bed. Asked again, should I call the doctor. She was complaining of pains in her right side. Another refusal. I listened carefully to her breathing and it seemed OK so I left, somewhat reluctantly, after explaining that if she needed to call during the night, at whatever time, she must do so.
I didn't sleep too well, kept thinking perhaps I should have called the doctor. However, dawn finally came and at 7 am another call from mum to say could I go round please. Off we went again, fortunately it is only about a 5 minute drive. Once there it was obvious that she was quite distressed so I got straight on the phone to obtain an "out of hours" number from her doctor's surgery. Number obtained I made a call and was asked a few questions about "the patient" and was told a doctor would ring shortly. Sure enough, about 10 minutes later a "doctor" rang. He also asked a few questions then asked if mum's breathing was OK. I confirmed it was. Then he asked was there any blood. No, no blood. Then "has she any painkillers" and when I said there was, "OK just take them as and when necessary for pain. I was incensed. "Does that mean you aren't sending a doctor" I asked. He replied "Oh do you want a doctor to call"? Then I exploded, "I certainly do want a doctor to call. My mother is 88, has had a fall and is in extreme pain". I had already told him these facts. So he reluctantly agreed to send someone along, "within 4 hours". Thank you!
About half an hour later a paramedic arrived. A very pleasant young man called Steve. I explained the situation and he examined my mum. He was so kind and gentle and thorough and was with us for an hour. She has cracked ribs! No treatment, no X-ray or strapping these days, just painkillers. He asked if I was able to keep a close eye on her as pneumonia could be a danger at this stage, although he was happy with her breathing. Her temperature was slightly raised but her blood pressure was quite normal! He left us with full instructions of how she should be looked after and with stronger painkillers.
So since Sunday I have been mostly at my mum's. Sleeping there at night and for most of each day although I have managed a few hours at home from time to time. I shall be there for the weekend too, mostly. My daughter is visiting for Easter so will help out a couple of times I expect.
Mum is still in a lot of pain but is improving and is reasonably cheerful.
Happy Easter everyone. I hope to see you and catch up soon.