Thursday, 31 March 2016



Thanks for calling in!

We spent Easter in Hastings, on the South East coast, a town which conjures up thoughts of William the Conqueror, 1066 and all that and the Battle, recorded on the Bayeux tapestry, which took place 950 years ago this year. I'm sure there will be all sorts of special commemorations later in the year especially at Battle Abbey a few miles outside Hastings. There is a regular re-enactment in Battle which is very colourful and often muddy.

We didn't see any of that though! We were after some fresh air and thanks to Storm Katie we certainly got plenty of that! Actually despite the wind, we were dry and it was quite sunny. Hurrah!

The sea looked quite different each day.

The beach is covered in shingle which is pulled in and out by the waves making a brilliant rustly noise, maybe thundery even on occasions. There were a couple of brave body boarders in the very choppy water next to the sea wall riding the waves. Brrr!

I'll be back again soon with a few more photos.


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

And, I'm Back in the Room


Guess what? We've been away! I know!!

Thanks for your messages, I have been reading them and trying to catch up with all your news but have been out and about too. The old step counter has been in over-drive with good scores: 14,360, 20,553, 21,540, 17,090, 12,933, 4,467.

When I've had a sit down and several cups of coffee, I'll be back to the blog with some more news.

See you soon

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Happy Easter

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter

Thanks for your smashing messages recently. I hope you have an egg-sell-ent Easter!

See you soon

Friday, 25 March 2016

Easter in the Garden


Thanks for visiting!

The kitchen chickens are having a day off exploring the garden!! Well it is Easter. Here's what they found.

Time for  a cup of coffee in the garden, I think.

Bye for now

Thursday, 24 March 2016



You might need a pair of sunglasses for this post!

I've finished off crocheting some new covers for an old chair.

I think it's turned out well. Wool is so forgiving, you can squish it here and pull it there to get a good fit. I made the squares so that they would have to be stretched a bit when joined together to give a snug fit.

I don't think you'll find a suite like this at the shops!

Hope you like it.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Two Swans A-Nesting at The Park by the Shops


How lovely to see you.

This week only two swans were in the front lake at the park by the shops, three had disappeared. I wondered whether they had been shipped off somewhere or if they had just taken themselves off to a different lake, especially as one swan was busy making a nest. Nobody seemed to know though.

The Canada geese looked like they were daring each other to jump in!

The daffodils looked so pretty under the trees. Yes those yellow dots really are daffs!

The willow had turned quite yellow with the tiny leaves opening up.

Another rainbow danced around the fountain.

Magnolia buds were getting bigger.

Little blue anemones.

Indoors, the set for their production of Oliver was on display.

Another lovely walk in the park. 9494 steps


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Farnborough Abbey - Burial Place of Napoleon III


Farnborough Abbey, dedicated to St. Michael, is a Benedictine Abbey established in 1881 by the exiled Empress Eugenie of the French as the burial place of her husband Napoleon III and their son the Imperial Prince Napoleon.

Following their exile from France after the fall of the Second Empire to the Prussians, the Emperor and Empress lived in Camden Place, Chislehurst in Kent not far from London. When Napoleon died following surgery in 1873, he was originally laid to rest in St Mary's Church Chislehurst but when her son was killed in 1879 whilst fighting for the British in South Africa during the Anglo-Zulu war, Empress Eugenie realised she needed to find somewhere to build a large mausoleum to their memory. The land in Farnborough was available so she moved to Farnborough Hill House and set about establishing the Abbey, selling her jewels bit by bit to finance the building.

She engaged the French Architect Destailleur who had been commissioned to build Waddesdon Manor for the Rothchilds and used her walking stick to measure out on the ground the size she wanted the building to be.

The church is an extraordinary Gothic creation with large 2m gargoyles almost flying from the building. Eugenie wanted a larger dome on the roof than the one initially designed so a replacement was created with a vase and eternal flame on top to signify that it was a mausoleum. The crypt below contains three large granite sarcophagi given by Queen Victoria who was a great friend of Eugenie. Napoleon III's colours from the Order of the Garter hang over his sarcophagus whilst a golden feather, symbolising martyrdom, lies on top of the Prince Imperial's.

The Benedictines came over from France to live in the Abbey but nowadays only four monks remain in the monastery.

You really need to visit to hear the whole story. Here's a bit more information though. The Abbey is open to the public every Saturday for a guided tour which is fascinating, although it really is cold inside so wrap up warm!. No need to book.

Do zoom in on the photos by clicking them to be able to see the details.

The trees were in the way and the sky was too bright!

You can see the gargoyles here, each one is different.

Bottle-glass windows

This is the monastery part
It wasn't permitted to take photos inside unfortunately. The Abbey does house the National Catholic Library and a renowned organ by Astride Cavaillé-Coll & Company and is the National Shrine of St Joseph.


Monday, 21 March 2016

Easter Greetings for Mosaic Monday


Welcome to the blog, thanks for calling in!

If you read my post from yesterday, you might be expecting to find out about Farnborough Abbey the burial place of Napoleon III but I'll post that tomorrow as I just wanted to wish you Mosaic Monday readers a Happy Easter for next weekend.

We've received some lovely cards and messages, so thank you for those.

Thanks too to Judith for the Mosaic Monday link-up.

Enjoy the break!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Looking Back


It's so easy these days using the internet to try and trace your family tree, as long as you have a few clues to get you started. An unusual surname also helps, having the same one as half the town doesn't and is really irritating!

I had a go a couple of years ago and found out that some ancestors lived in Windsor. I went to have a look at the house that they would have lived in during the 1850/60s. The house wasn't there, replaced by a modern building, but the neighbouring one was. I imagined the family living there in a different world. What would it have been like? What would have been going on at that time in Windsor?

In April 1855 Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Empress Eugenie of the French paid a State Visit to Windsor where he was made a member of the Order of the Garter. According to newspaper reports of the day, recorded by Bradford Timeline on Flickr - click on the photo to zoom in - it was quite an occasion. State rooms in Windsor Castle used for their stay were even especially decorated by Architect John Gregory Crace, who also designed the principal rooms at Tyntesfield.

It sounds like an exciting day for the town. I wonder if my family were watching. They might not have been there at all of course!

Napoleon III was the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and had a very colourful life. Have a look here to find out about him.

Imagine my surprise to find out that he is buried in Farnborough Abbey, a stone's throw from where I live!  Napoleon I is, after all, buried at Les Invalides in Paris. We went to have a look at the extraordinary place with an extraordinary story.

Tune in next time to find out more!


Saturday, 19 March 2016

Parks and Gardens Guildford


How nice to see you!

With the sun out and carrying my jacket for the first time this year, I ventured into Guildford with a few questions on my mind. What would the Council Spring planting look like this year? Would I be able to find the mysterious boarded river walk seen in a prize winning photo?

Last time I visited Guildford, I was told that Stoke Park was always well looked after by the Council so I set off to investigate and found a huge grassy area - 55 hectares in fact - full of football pitches, tennis courts, boating lakes, playground, mini golf and ornamental gardens, all overlooked by the Cathedral. Apart from a splendid  array of crocuses, there wasn't a great deal of colour. Too early in the year combined with the revamping of a large part of the garden. I'll have to go back in the summer as it looks as if it will be good.

Meanwhile back at the Castle, the planting was immaculate. Each bed had a ring of deep crimson primulas round the edge with wallflowers in the centre. This will be splendid in a few weeks. Daffodils cascaded down the castle slopes.

Next I took the escalator to the top of the House of Fraser department store to view the Jellicoe roof garden again, previously, here's my other blogpost, the gardener was busy tidying it up. Today, under perfect conditions, the garden sang out with joy.

Down by the River Wey, the river Navigations sparkled in the sun as I set off to find the riverside trails. Although a beautiful walk, I will have to return another day to find the boardwalks as they proved elusive. More googling required!

A great day with bags of potential for future visits. 20,000 steps today.

Cheerio for now.