Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Perigee Moon

Last Saturday evening I was driving to Swindon with 3 friends to dance at a 'Hafla' (party).  Part of the route took us along the M4 motorway heading east as I drove over a rise in the road there in front of us was the moon but not an ordinary moon, it was HUGE in the sky.

We were all amazed how beautiful the moon looked and no-one had a camera, so I have found the best photos to show you what we saw.

David said that it was a 'Perigee Moon' which refers to how close the moon is to the Earth.  It was such a wonderful colour and we had caught it just as it broke over the horizon.  The moon was just so orange with red craters and marks, even later that night it was hard to realise that the silver small moon high in the sky was the same object.

This really is the closest colour I can find to what we saw.

It was very distracting trying to drive and look but we were lucky on the motorway to drive towards the moon as it rose in the sky for about 15 minutes.

How lucky we were to see such a moon!

Friday, 18 March 2011


Last weekend David and I visited the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and whilst David went off to see the Ancient World section I headed to the Pre-Raphaelite gallery as this is my favourite period for art.

I do not like all Pre-Raphaelite paintings but this one really caught my attention.

The Afterglow in Egypt by William Holman Hunt
I love her face and the colour of her dress and it looks so rustic and being set in Egypt it also appeals to me.  I would love to have a print of it and hang it in the flat in Luxor, so I was looking on the web to see if I could order a print online and I found that Hunt went through several stages with this painting and that there is a slightly different one, that may have been earlier.

I think that I prefer this one as her dress looks richer and I like her carrying the wheat on her head.

Silver Favourites by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

My love of Pre-Raphaelite paintings started years ago in France when I spotted a poster that really had me fascinated.

Silver Favourites was the first poster I bought for our home

Closely followed by these pictures

Coign of Vantage - Alma-Tadema

Flaming June


The Music Lesson

I get a thrill when I get the chance to see the real paintings.   'Flaming June' is a massive painting over 20ft high and wide, I have seen it once in real life and was just mesmerised at the shear scale of the art.  Wonderful.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Party in Wantage

Last night Ellie, my daughter, organised a surprise birthday party for her boyfriend Tom.  She had a local venue in Wantage near Oxford and had taken a lot of time getting posters of Tom enlarged for the walls, organising lots of food and drink, DVD of Tom from his parents archive and music.
Lots of Tom's uni friends, work colleagues and relatives were there and right up until he walked into the hall he really did not know about the event!  Well done to Ellie for keeping it secret for 9 months.
Ellie and Tom

David and I had helped her during the day and in the evening I was clearing up as time went on.  The shock for me is that I have turned into my sister! 

Geraldine would spend entire parties or family gatherings clearing up, donning the rubber gloves and washing up and I was doing the same thing yesterday evening!  But I remember thinking Geraldine should just enjoy the party and we would all clear up later.  Now I am like my sister and I hate that.  

When did I get like that??  I never wanted to be like either of my sisters (no worry they will never read this blog).  Still I was thinking that as Ellie had put so much effort into last night that she should enjoy it with Tom and I could keep things tidy and make the final clear up easier - perhaps that is what Geraldine was thinking all those years ago....hmmmmmm...........makes me wonder.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Early mornings

Every Wednesday morning I have to get up early for a Business breakfast meeting.  This morning as I left the house the road was quiet and all I could hear were the birds singing.  It was a lovely sound to hear; I suppose it is the sound of Spring in the air.

Warminster Town Park

Later as I was walking Socx in the local park I saw the mallards chasing a lone female duck; a more aggressive sign of Spring.

The local water meadows are one of our favourite places for a walk and the dipping pond has masses of frog spawn in it; a wonderful sign of Spring.

Smallbrook Meadows, Warminster

What Socx really prefers to do at Smallbrook Meadows is run in the sticky mud and of course he did that today.  He has still not learnt that when he is that dirty I dump him in the stream to clean his feet.

Still for the first time today he had an appointment with 'Pampured Pooch' so he came home really clean (it will not last long!)

I was a very proud dog owner when Angela said he had been a very well behaved dog whilst he was with her.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Cinderella, ballet

Last night I was fortunate enough to go and see Matthew Bourne's ballet Cinderella.  Set in the London blitz of 1940 it was an amazingly different interpretation of this ballet and such fun to watch.  There was so much going on on stage that I am sure I missed half the action and the fact that Cinderella was really plain was wonderful.

 Here is the angel Fairy Godmother

Cinders off to the Cafe de Paris in the motorcycle sidecar
Wicked stepmother, her hat was a shoe, very appropriate!

Cinders dancing with her angel

Cinders dancing with her Prince

The Fairy Godmother was a white angel and when Cinders went to the Cafe de Paris she went in a motorcycle sidecar.  All the different story telling made this a wonderful treat to watch.
I was also lucky enough to go with  a very good friend Lyn who made the whole event so much fun.  It is amazing what you can chat about with a really close friend and it made the journey fly by.  185 miles round trip and so worth it.

I would love to have a dress like Cinders just for 1 night

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Life in Luxor

At the moment would be a wonderful time to visit Luxor, Egypt because it is so quiet.  But that also creates big problems for most of the locals who rely on the daily monies from tourists to live.

As I saw mentioned on the web yesterday behind every man in Luxor is a very large family who rely on him for their food and essentials.  There will be mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, wife and many children, then the brothers and their wives and children and the cousins.... well you get the idea.  So life at the moment is not at all easy in Luxor and probably over other parts of Egypt where they rely on tourists.

I did have a couple who visited about 10 days ago and they said that they were the only people staying in the hotel.  He said it was strange to have 2 for breakfast, 2 for lunch and 2 for dinner.  When they visited the sites they had a wonderful time, with no-one getting in the way of the photos.  Karnak temple normally has about 6000 visitors a day, the average at the moment is 45!

I personally cannot wait to go out and see my friends and my 'second family', just to sit and drink tea and talk.   I would also do a couple of tours with my favourite guide Mansour.  After all the photos would be amazing.

Myself and Mansour - 2007

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Helpful People

I have just spent the last hour talking to my web designer at 10 o'clock at night!  Mike loves the challenge of changing websites and when I asked him to link this blog to my website he was up to the task.

I consider myself lucky to have such enthusiastic people to help me, I can do accounts but Mike does all my computer stuff, file server, pc's and laptops.

Each year in August we have the Corsley Show here in the village and Mike has now produced a quick and easy way to record the judging of the Horticulture & Craft classes.  We get over 1000 entries, have a group of about 12 judges and well over 40 cups and prizes to enter; so it is a major task to record all the judging and get the right results for the competitors.  Last year we ran with Mike's new computer programme and it was wonderful, easy and the job was done quickly.

So here are 3 cheers to Mike Green from Rose Computers for all his help and expertise.  I am glad to know you - thank you.

The cups & prizes that we award at the Corsley Show

 Mike and myself hard at work recording all the results for the Corsely Show


On Wednesday mornings each week I attend a Network Business Meeting that starts at 6:30am.  This morning when I left the house at 6:15am I was greeted with birds singing brightly and the heady perfume from the shrubs around the front door.  It was a wonderful start to the day.

As I drove over to the meeting the sky looked almost deep purple as the sun was rising.  Not as good as these photos but inspiring all the same.   Have a wonderful day!