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Thursday, 8 September 2022

THANK YOU MA'AM ..........






Queen Elizabeth 11 has been a constant throughout my life. I was two years old when she ascended the throne so, she has always been there. A constant presence and a woman who dedicated her life to the service of her country which she did with grace and humility for 70 years. She pledged herself to our service and she fulfilled that pledge. 
She understood the assignment.
RIP Queen Elizabeth 11 and God save the King. 


XXXX









Jackie

Monday, 5 September 2022

HERCULEAN EFFORT ..........




We have had a Pieris plant in a terracotta planter { similar to the one above .....  I forgot to take a before photograph } and it has been in that pot for about 25 years ! I think my Dad bought it for us. Over the last few years it has not performed well . It used to produce hundreds of tiny, white bell-like flowers in the Spring but I think we had about three this year. As the builder will be starting in a week or so, & as it is
 standing next to the conservatory, I thought I should get it out of the pot and put it in the garden to see if it will do any better.  I also didn't want to break the pot as, a terracotta pot of that size would probably cost over £100 now. 
I am always full of great ideas that nearly always turn into major projects !!!
It took me two days to get that bloody Pieris out of that pot !!! It was stuck so fast it just wouldn't budge. Usually, when you dig around it, it will gradually start to wiggle a bit ...... I dug and dug and there wasn't the slightest movement. I went at it with a little hedge trimmer that I use to trim the yew topiary ..... still stuck fast ! Then I used a small saw ..... nothing. I gave up after that on Day one ..... I was knackered. After a couple of hours of sawing and digging on Day 2 , it finally started to wiggle a tiny bit and, after yanking and yanking ..........


..... it was released !!!!!
I have planted it in the garden but, after all the trauma it had to endure, it might not survive but, we shall see.
It was a Herculean task which required a great deal of energy and effort ..... I'm not sure why I bothered now as my arms ache { especially the one I broke } and, it probably won't survive but, at least I saved the pot !!! 

XXXX  






















Jackie

Saturday, 20 August 2022

HAIR STORY ..........


Two posts in a week ..... that's something for me !


I've had long, straight hair pretty much all of my life Throughout my childhood, it was mostly in a ponytail, swishing backwards and forwards as I walked. It wasn't anything special ..... it was also mousey in colour ! By about the third form in Senior school, the pony tail was ditched as I was now a teenager of the 60's and wanted to look like Patti Boyd ! 
My hair remained that way as I left school, stayed the same in further education and then the big, outside world beckoned and I had to find a job ! 
Lucky me landed a job in Mount Street in Mayfair ..... one of the poshest streets in London. Paul McCartney and the like would buy their suits from Dougie Hayward and celebrities/MP's would all dine in Scotts restaurant. Residents bought their meat from Allens of Mayfair { which opened in 1830 .... sadly it closed in 2015 } and purchased their cigars from Sautters. 
My bosses were a husband and wife couple and, for my birthday, they paid for me to have my hair highlighted and cut at Michaeljohn ..... Michael & John met when they were hair stylists at Leonards { he who did the famous haircut for Twiggy } They attracted celebrities including Mick Jagger and even Princess Anne. I was only about 19 so it was pretty special to have my hair done there. I doubt Michael or John did my hair but it didn't matter ..... it was still amazing ! 
A few years later, London was even more swinging and, the place to have your hair done was Smile , Brompton Road, Knightsbridge. Smile was owned by Keith Wainwright and his two partners Lesley Russell and Paul Owen. Clients included Roy Wood, The Move, Cat Stevens, The Walker Brothers and Elton John. Keith worked with chemists  and hair technicians  to create unnatural hair colours which were later popularised by the British punk movement. So, my next birthday present was an appointment with Paul at Smile ! 
I worked in Mount Street for quite a few years and then went on to get married and have children. Highlights continued up until this day and I think I have been to most of the hairdressers in the surrounding area of my home !!! But, for the last fifteen years I have had the same guy highlight and cut my hair. During Covid, things went a bit wrong for him and he had to close his salon, but, during this past year, he came to our home and did our hair. Then, he started to work for a hairdresser quite a long way from us so I needed to find another hairdresser. A friend that I have known for many years has highlights and said her hairdresser was very good. I booked an appointment even though a mutual friend had made an appointment there but didn't even cross the threshold as she didn't like the look of it !!!!
WELL ..... I went yesterday ! I arrived dead on time ..... dusty, old plastic flowers sat on the reception desk and about seven old { I know I'm old but these ladies were OLD } sat having perms ..... they all had those tiny little rollers in, some were still having the rollers put in , some were sat under those old fashioned dryers. One lady was being helped by two other ladies to the wash basin. I did think how the mighty have fallen { joke } but, I didn't run away !!! I actually thought how brilliant it was that these ladies still wanted to look nice and have their hair done. 
The girl who did mine was Polish, young and very friendly. More and more old ladies arrived for perms ..... it was like a perm conveyor belt ..... I did think it would have made for a brilliant sit com or play ! 
Well ..... here is the result .....




I am SO pleased with it ..... she got rid of the brassiness and, I've been telling my last hairdresser it looked a bit ginger on the ends which he said was how my hair took the colour ..... she got rid of that. It's a bit darker around the front but she said she will add a little more blond next time. I think when you stay with the same hairdresser they get in a rut. It just goes to show that all the frills and frippery of a posh salon doesn't always mean it's better ..... oh, and the other thing was that it was about half the price .....
RESULT !!!


XXXX






Jackie

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

DELUGE .....

I met some friends at the pub today for lunch  ..... a nice light salad, a small glass of wine and a girly chat .....



Around about 3.00p.m., the heavens opened and, what we have all been waiting for happened. It came down in stair rods and went on & on & on and is still going on and it's now 6.30 p.m.  




We pretty much had to wade through the car park to our cars ..... the water was up to our calves ..... my shoes are in the tumble drier as we speak !!! But, with the lovely, long awaited rain came devastation ..... 




My hydrangeas have been battered to within an inch of their lives !!! Hopefully, they will perk up when the sun comes out again !  


Oh, and we have now been told by Thames Water { our water supplier } that a hosepipe ban will begin on the 24th of August !!!!

XXXX












Jackie

Sunday, 7 August 2022

CAT SITTING ..........


We are cat sitting at the moment .....



We are looking after our son/daughter-in-law/grandchildren's cat, Cloudy .....




They are on holiday in Switzerland at the moment and all the Cattery's were full. Apparently , it's hard to get into a cattery at the moment ! 



Because he doesn't live here, he's not allowed out so we are letting him have the run of the conservatory ..... considering it's going to be pulled down next month, he can please himself in there and, it's a far bigger space than the cages they get put in in a cattery. He seems very happy and I go and chat to him and play with him a few times a day and he seems pretty contented. He is a lovely cat ..... we have had cats over the years but, I don't think I want the responsibility anymore but, it's lovely to look after him for a while. 

He goes home today and we will miss him. 

XXXX















Jackie

Sunday, 10 July 2022

PROJECT MANAGER !!! ..........



Sorry ..... it's been a while { slight understatement ! } ..........


My excuse ? I have taken on the role of Project Manager ! It is now getting close for the building works to start on our new conservatory. The builder should be starting in August  ..... SHOULD being the operative word ! The builder said he would be popping round last Wednesday ..... he rang and said he was caught up and would come on Thursday ..... I haven't seen or heard from him since ! I rang him ..... no answer, nothing, rien, nada, niente, nichts !!! Lets hope I hear from him next week  đŸ€ž




This is our present conservatory. It's over thirty years old ..... it's rotten and leaking and, if you've got a spare half an hour, I'll tell you why it's rotten and leaking. Thirty years ago we thought we would have a conservatory. Through a friend, we found this guy who , we thought, could interpret our ideas . He was a great admirer of William Morris and knew a lot about the period. I wanted it to look a bit Gothic and not look like the ' run of the mill ' type of conservatory and to blend into the rest of our late Victorian house. I showed him what I wanted like the gothic windows and he suggested a few things and we agreed that he should do it.  He got someone else to do the footings and the brickwork and they did a wonderful job. 





See that return between the conservatory and the kitchen wall ? That wall is going to be knocked down and opened up into the kitchen. That return is just a damp waste of space. It will become part of the conservatory.




This is the William Morris look a like !!!




The brickwork completed, he came back and, after paying him a third { which we thought was fair as he had to get materials etc. } he did the window  frame work 




This is what he did ..... and then, he buggered off for 18 months leaving the woodwork exposed to the elements ! We think he spent the third of the money that we gave him on his debts and then had to do another job to get the money for the materials for our job ! ..... and thats not the end of it. Now, thirty years ago it was the ' thing ' to have stripped pine in old houses so, I wanted the inside of the windows to be wood and the outside painted green. When he finally returned, he said to me, " wouldn't you prefer the green to be on the inside ' to which I replied " NO ". I didn't think any more of it until we realised after he was long gone, that he had obviously painted the wrong side of the windows so, he put them in the wrong way round which meant the glazing bars were on the outside and all of the rain and snow sat on them, which, after a few years rotted the wood ! There were lots of other things ..... cracked glass that he hid with beading to name but one !

AND THEN .....

he had the nerve to come back and demand more money as he didn't think he charged enough !!! Needless to say, he didn't get any ! 
But, considering all of this happened, it did last over thirty years { sort of ! } 







Fast forward thirty years and this is an artists impression of what our new conservatory will look like. As in all projects, nothing ever seems to run smoothly and, driving home from meeting a friend, I got a phone call from the Conservatory company. They said that this has never happened before {?} but, because of Covid and Brexit, our conservatory, which was due to be erected mid September, will have to be put back ..... they have had trouble getting supplies and joiners etc. I thought she was going to say it would be months but, at the moment, we are looking at October..... I could never be a property developer !!! 

So, therein lies the tale of our conservatory !
Oh, and , just to show you so you get an idea on the inside, here's a photograph and explanation ... ish ! 



In this photograph taken from our breakfast room, our kitchen is on the right and the conservatory is on the left. Those cupboards and wall behind them in the kitchen will be knocked through into the conservatory so that it will all be open. 
We will be having a new kitchen but thats another story !!!

Also, so sorry for not commenting much lately ..... being a project manager takes up a lot of time !

XXXX







Jackie

Thursday, 5 May 2022

PICTURES & PLANES ..........




I went to the cinema yesterday ..... I like this cinema. It's an independent, three screen cinema for arthouse and mainstream films, plus theatre and ballet screenings, two screens like the one above and one where you feel like you are sitting in someones living room ! You can have food and coffee, there is art on the walls and big, squashy leather sofas to sit on { and, the cleanest, loveliest toilet facilities in all of Hertfordshire ! I was about to take a photograph of me in the full length mirror in the lovely toilets but, a surge of ladies came in and I chickened out ! } 



We went to see Downton Abbey, A New Era .....



Now, I am a lover of period series and films and have seen all of the Downton Abbey series a few times and know it inside out. I have always thought that Maggie Smith is the star of the show and has had the best lines and pretty much all of the other cast members played their parts very well. I then saw the first Downton film which I thought was good and worth seeing and, although I felt this new offering passed away a couple of hours quite pleasantly, I felt that Julian Fellows didn't have his heart in this one and that he was desperately squeezing the last few drops of life out of it. There were some laughs in it and lump in the throat moments, but it was a rip off of Singing in the Rain, the storylines were quite weak and someone { I won't spoil it for you by telling you who } gets the same illness as someone had in the last series ..... there are many, many other illnesses you could have chosen from Julian !!! ..... and, Lady Mary's husband isn't in it { played by Mathew Goode in the last film and series, I read that he was unavailable due to prior commitments and, it looked odd that he didn't come back for the important ending { I won't say what ... }
Having said all that it was worth seeing and the clothes and scenery were lovely !  ..... and, before the film we went to The Giggling Squid and had Pad Thai so, all in all, not too shabby for Jackie !  




..... and then, I was just out in the garden when, hearing a loud roar, we looked skywards, and saw a British Airways plane { which I think is Voyager } flanked by two RAF Tornado fighter planes which I have found out was carrying the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, ahead of his meeting with Boris. The two typhoon jets and the RAF Voyager Vespina, finished with a Union Jack painted tail, flew very, very low over our garden ! We often get the planes used in flypasts, flying over our house after they have done the flypast. Must be their route back to base !
Makes for a bit of excitement ! 
The weather here is lovely ..... warmer than Saint-Tropez, Ibiza and Crete ..... we haven't had much rain for ages ! Who says it's always raining in the UK ?


XXXX










image ! :via me, images 2, 3 & 4 : via goole


Jackie