Monday, November 4, 2013

Getting to Know Princess Royal Hospital

So, normal life has not resumed!

Just a quick catch up in between hospital visits. My lovely daughter was in so much pain that she was admitted yesterday. We had a full day of it, first one hospital, then the next, and finally, after several doctors had seen her, and after blood tests and an x ray, they kept her in. 

David and I are cat sitting, and looking after our grandson in between hospital visits. We will, hopefully, know more about Jo's condition, later in the day. It's a worrying time, but, as they say, she is in the right place.

On a brighter note, we were treat to a wonderful firework display on Saturday night, as we arrived back at the flat. We watched from the comfort of our lounge as sparkling cascades of florescent mushrooms, broke into droplets of white and silver flashes in the sky, amid booms and rips, and the whoosh of rockets. I think the display came from the park, but there were some private garden displays also lighting up the dark November evening. It was quite something. Of course, I did think about the money that was just going up in smoke, but isn't it worth it to put a smile on your face?
The Round Table organised this display, maybe next year we will attend the event and join in the fun.

We did have an hour or two to ourselves on Saturday, so we went to the cinema. We could not get a seat to see the Tom Hanks film, Captain Philips, so we opted to see 'Philomena' staring Judy Dench and Steve Coogan. We enjoyed the film, good script, good human interest story, and of course, well acted, but probably not as thrilling as Captain Philips. If you haven't time to see the film, then here's a brilliant short cut, Philomena the Official Trailer.

Maybe I should write a film script of my book, I recon it could raise a few eyebrows. Look it up on Amazon, Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey It will make a great Christmas present too!

And before you go to bed tonight, think nice thoughts. There are enough evil bastards out there, let's make sure there is more positive energy released then negative.

I wish you a happy Monday, wherever you are, and whatever you are doing today.

Love and hugs,
Jane x

Monday, October 28, 2013

STOP! Hospital Visit, Normal Life Will Resume A.S.A.P.


You couldn't call it an adventure, it was more of an experience!

This is a photo of the Princess Royal Hospital at Lochs Bottom, Orpington, where David and I spent the day last Friday, while our daughter had a small operation.

All went well, and she is recovering nicely, feet up and lots of love over the weekend.

Anyway, although there was an hour or two of waiting in the reception area of the hospital, David and I did take a walk out to investigate the surroundings. We walked the High Street of Lochs Bottom, had a coffee and cake in a lovely coffee shop, did the tour of the charity shop, and, well, that was about it really. There was a pub on the corner, but we didn't fancy a pint, and there was a big Sainsburys near the hospital, but apart from that, not a lot else.

You can imagine concern during the day, so neither of us felt like whooping it up very much, and after a sobering sit in at the hospital, we got Jo home and tucked up in bed, put our feet up and watched 'Skyfall,' the James Bond film.

Things are not quite back to normal, but I dare say I shall rally myself for choir practice tonight, and a good sing should shake away the negativity. So, forgive my not as chirpy as usual self, it's nothing that a good night's sleep won't cure.

Hey Ho! It's all part of life's rich pattern!
Love and hugs,
Jane x

Want a good book to read? Check out this one, Tears from the Sun - A Cretan Journey it is based on my adventures in Crete. Available now from Amazon.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Good Hair Day!

Meet Jonny, my favorite hairdresser. Credit where credit is due, Jonny transformed my very bad hair day, into a very good hair day. 

I managed to find a spare hour at the end of a very busy day, decided on the spur of the moment to get my hair cut, and popped into the Headmasters' salon in the center of Bromley. Sometimes it is good to give yourself a treat. And a treat it surely was. Thanks, Jonny, loved the head massage!

I suppose I should have taken a picture of my new hairdo, but I'm sure you would rather look at the lovely hairdresser.

And in a state of very bad hair day, I spent the afternoon together with my poet friends, at the Ripley Arts Center. It was the first time I have read one of my own poems to the group. The readers section and the writers section, joined together to listen to each other's work. I did enjoy being able to show that I could turn out a decent, well crafted poem. I also enjoyed listening to some splendid renditions. 

Tomorrow I shall visit the gym again, (oh dear) it is not my favorite thing to do, but I do want to be fit for my adventures.

Time for my beauty sleep now,
Night, night,
Love and hugs,
Jane x

Monday, October 21, 2013

Country Crafts Market Beckenham 0ctober 2013

Ah, shopping as it used to be! We were on our way to the supermarket, but couldn't resist the goodies at this special market which was being held on the green behind St George's Church, Beckenham.

It was all so jolly, especially with the music and the fair ground. I'm looking forward to the next craft market, especially as Christmas is just around the corner.

Not to rush things though, we have Halloween and Bonfire Night to celebrate before we start thinking about Christmas. I have to say that it is impossible to forget these two events as the shops are full of pumpkins, and spooky stuff to decorate the house with, and there are lots of firework displays being advertised, as well as fireworks being sold.

I hadn't realized until I read the info at the market on Saturday, that all of that green area behind the Parish Church, was bombed during the war. It apparently used to be full of banks and shops etc. After the war the area was cleared, and left as a park for the town.

I hope you all had a good weekend. I am gearing up for choir practice tonight, so I will go now and do a bit of tonsil flapping. Have a mighty melodious Monday!

Love and hugs,
Jane x

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bromley Market in October

Well, the pictures say it all really!
 David and I picked up some lovely local veggies, and a little carved robin from the young man who was surrounded by wood carvings of some very exotic animals. I rather fancied a giraffe, but where would I have put it in our little flat.

 We resisted the Paella!
 I asked the young man if he had a web site, but he said that because every item was hand carved, and because no two items were exactly alike, he could not photograph them, and promise that the delivered item would look just like the photo. I saw his point, but I am sure with a little disclaimer that explained that each item was unique, and may differ slightly from the photo, he could increase his sales.

And think of all that packing and unpacking for the stall. If he sold on line, he could take orders over the internet, and post stuff out.

But I'm just an old granny with crazy ideas!

Anyway, all the best to this very pleasant young man who runs G&G Global Gift Collection Ltd.

You can contact Richard at:

And today I had yet another adventure. Yes, my life is full of adventure! But it's late now, so I'll save this one until next time.

Sleep well, dear reader, I send you happy vibes.
Love and hugs,
Jane x

Monday, October 14, 2013

Jane's Vrahassi: 6.3 Earthquake Rocks Crete

Jane's Vrahassi: 6.3 Earthquake Rocks Crete: Crete was certainly rocking at the weekend, and was even felt as far away as Israel. Crete rocked by 6.3 magnitude earthquake An earthq...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Beckenham Ladies Choir Perform at Penge Congregational Church

It was indeed a grand night for singing, last night, at the Penge Congregational Church, where I joined the other ladies of the Beckenham Ladies Choir, to perform an Autumn Charity Concert.

The highlight of the evening, for me, and I am sure for most people, was the absolutely stunning performance of Chloe Meade, a seventeen year old violinist who played Slavonic Dance No2 in E minor - Dvorak in the first half of the programme, and treated us to It Ain't Necessarily So - Gerswin, in the second half.

Our conductor, Dorothy Webster Thomas, brought out the best in us, and Pam Robertson and Christian Strover were our accompanists on the piano.

All the profits from the concert will go to Beckenham Rotary chosen charities: Young Carers of Bromley, CASPA, Demeiza, Petts Wood Play Group, Phoenix, BAT, Maypole.

The next charity concert will be on Friday 13 December 2013 at 12.30 in St George's Church, High Street, Beckenham, and will be in aid of a local children't charity.

If you would like to join the Beckenham Ladies Choir, you will get further information by visiting this site:

And following that up, this morning, I played cello during the service at church. There was also a christening, so afterwards there was lots of cake and goodies. That lined our tums for a lunchtime pint in the Jolly Woodman, and then it was back to the luxury of central heating and a relaxing 'feet up' hour in front of the TV before both David and I buckled down to our writing again.

All in all, it has been a very pleasant weekend.

Now, I did promise a hint of what I got up to in Crete, so I hope this little video will give you a taster. I will put more photos up in the next few days.

Oh, I almost forgot, I went to Bromley market last Thursday and want to share some pictures that I took there. That's a job for tomorrow.

Have a good week readers, bye for now,
Love and Hugs,
Jane x

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Adventures of a Pensioner in Britain: Wedding Bells to ring in Beckenham

Adventures of a Pensioner in Britain: Wedding Bells to ring in Beckenham: Congratulations to James and Rachel, who surprised the congregation of the Methodist Church, on Sunday, when they announced their engagemen...

Just to let you know what I am up to in England.

Love Jane x

Wedding Bells to ring in Beckenham

Congratulations to James and Rachel, who surprised the congregation of the Methodist Church, on Sunday, when they announced their engagement. The wedding is planned for 31st May 2014, an event I am so looking forward to.

Now, I know I still haven't got round to telling you about my adventures in Crete, but I have to tell you about more recent happenings, first.

Well, no sooner was I back from Crete, than my friend, Mary, came to visit so that we could practice our music for this coming Sunday. We are going to play together, piano and cello, at a Christening service which is to be held at the Clock House Methodist church. We spent a lovely afternoon going through our pieces. 

Next came choir product on Monday evening. Only one more practice now before our concert on Saturday. Don't miss this Autumn Charity Concert of the Beckenham Ladies Choir. We are performing at Penge Congregational Church, High Street, Penge. Tickets are £7.50 on the door. All profits from this concert will go to charities supported by Beckenham Rotary Club: Young Carers of Bromley, CASPA, Demelza, Petts Wood Play Group, Phoenix, BAT, Maypole. So get out of that armchair and come and support us!

On Tuesday afternoon I hopped on a bus to Bromley, changed buses there, and got myself to the Ripley Arts Center for 2.30 p.m. It was the fortnightly meeting of the Shortlands Poetry Circle, of which, I am a member. This week we grouped together to read excerpts from long poems. I read from Omeros, by Derek Walcott, some people read T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland, and from the Four Quartets, there was a touch of Alice Oswald, The Dart, and other long poems. I must confess, I much prefer shorter poems, but I certainly admire and respect the work and artistry that goes into writing a long poem.

On my way home from the poetry group, I stopped off in Bromley to pick up a flip chart and an easel. It is all part of my upcoming talk that I am preparing to give (exciting stuff) in Greece, AND in Greek (Yikes!).
Anyway, more of that later. While I was in the Glades, I was stopped by a couple of customer support personnel, one of whom offered me a chocolate, and the other took my picture, they were Darren and Dee. We had a little chat, and I went on my merry way. A nice little interlude!

Now, it is Thursday, and David and I are going to take a little trip into town to buy our fruit and veggies. So, be patient with me, I promise to tell you about Crete, and what I am going to talk Greek about on my next trip. 

Take care dear reader, remember to do a good deed whenever you can, let love be your watchword, and we'll get together again soon.

Love and hugs,
Jane x

(Click on the above title)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Harvest Festival at Clock House Methodist Church

 Now, before I tell you about my great adventure in Greece recently, I thought I would work backwards to it, and report on this weekend's activities. David and I went up to London on Saturday, where we met lots of friends who are in Empower Network, an organisation which we belong to. It was a very jolly day, and interesting to meet people from all walks of life.
 We started Sunday well by attending the Harvest Festival service at the Methodist Church, in Beckenham. Following the service, David and I stayed on to enjoy a lovely lunch of soup and a roll, and a buffet table full of goodies which had been provided by members of the church. It was a great opportunity to chat and relax for an hour or so.
 There are lots of things going on at Bromley Road Methodist Church - check out the event on the 1st December.

Ooh! Exciting! I've just had a mention on the radio, Neil Long on Radio Jackie 107.8 how crazy is that!

Excuse me while I go and stir my porridge!

Love Jane x

Friday, September 27, 2013

Jane's Vrahassi: Jane on Crete TV

Jane's Vrahassi: Jane on Crete TV: I love the unexpected, and today as I was walking through Heraklion I was asked to say a few words on camera, for a Crete TV program. David ...

Well, I am having a great adventure at the moment.
Love Jane x

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Want to Know How it Feels to Give Away a £10 note?

Want to know how it feels to give away a £10 note? Just wonderful!

To some of you reading this, £10 will be small fry, others will be saying, she's mad giving money away, when she has so little, and others might just follow my lead and do the same. Which one are you?

The streets of Beckenham are not lined with gold, but there is a fair bit of it passing around. It's a wonderful place to live.

Not much has happened today, though I have been busy every minute, writing my blogs, cello, piano, a bit of cleaning. Anyway, I just fancied a bit of mashed potato, so I peeled a few spuds, put them on to boil, and opened a tin of chunky steak. Now I haven't eaten tinned beef for a number of years, but I saw this chunky steak in Marks and Spencer's, and, maybe it was nostalgia, or maybe the picture on the tin, but I thought, that looks good, so I bought it. I opened it today, heated it up in a pan (easy) and poured half of it over my mashed (or is it creamed in Beckenham) potatoes. Just delicious!

And now, after I've written this, I shall write a list of what I need to take on my holidays. Only 6 sleeps to go, and I'll be off on another adventure.

Have a good evening dear reader,

Talk some more soon,
Love, Jane x

Monday, September 9, 2013

Money in the Post!

Oh the joy of receiving! And the Joy of Giving!

How wonderful, I received payment for playing the organ in church. I get £15 every time I play. Now, my instinct is to say, no, keep the money, but the truth is I think the church already has a pot of money, in fact, I know it has, as meeting after meeting is called to discuss how to use their pot to benefit the community.

So, I have decided to donate a part of my music making money, to someone who is homeless, and I know there are plenty of those people. I remember when I failed miserably in business and ended up with no house, no car, no job and very little self respect. It's a bad place to be in, believe me. But what I did have, was a wonderful partner who loved me, two brilliant children who supported themselves, and most of all, a fantastic, (in the face of all our problems) positive attitude. So what! You know, there is one thing much worse than not having a roof over your head - death!

My mother died when she was 43 years old, I was then 21. There is nothing, more devastating than to lose someone you love, nothing. But you know what? Down, is down, but it's not out! David and I may not have had a home, we may not have had a job, but we had love, and were loved in return, and most of all, we were alive and knew we could build again. The last 20 years have been a bit like one of those electrical wire games, where you have to cautiously move a loop over a zig-zag of wire, and if you touch it the alarm goes off, and you have to start again. We have progressed three steps forward, two steps back. But after 20 years we have emerged, having achieved so much.

Now we live in a cozy flat, we can travel the world, we take holidays, I have taken up my music studies again, we have lots of friends and our family has increased by three grandchildren. We are alive, and for every breath we are grateful. I never want to have to live in a tent again, but I know there are lots of people, right now, who find themselves in that position. I've been there, and I know how it feels.

I believe that everyone can improve themselves, but only they can do it. And it may take time to get where you really want to be. The secret is to know where you want to be, and to never give up until you get there. And, you know what? The journey can be so much fun. There is always a positive side to any situation. You know how the song goes, 'Always look on the bright side of live.'

My immediate goal is to increase my confidence as a speaker, as for possessions, I want a modern flat, with a lovely fitted kitchen, a luxurious bathroom, and a balcony overlooking the lake. One big enough to have a piano. Of course, by then I will be traveling all over the world telling people how I achieved it all.
Anyway, I have decided to seek out someone at the beginning of their journey and share my good fortune.
I'll let you know how I go on, in my next blog post.

Now, did you know that Beckenham High Street is getting two new town signs and new street furniture, all thanks to the Town Centre Workiing Party chaired by Copers Cope Councillor, Michael Tickner. Not only that, but a Beckenham Heritage Trail will be launched with points of interest marked with special paving slabs. It is all being funded by a special capital grant from Conservative run Bromley Council. Hooray! Well done! That's action. I'm going to join a committee at Clock House Church to discuss, and if I have my way, ACT on their findings, as to how to make use of the building at Clock House, to benefit the community.

And if you want to improve your lot, take a look at how I'm improving mine. I've found a little secret that I'd love to share with you. It's working for me, and it's worked for thousands of other people all over the world. Take a look. Make things happen. I do.

Plan to Prosper

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Out for a Spin in West Wicomb

Last week passed quietly, in glorious sunshine. I took a walk in Kelsey park, treated myself to an ice cream from the little van in the park, and walked up as far as the Chinese garage. I hadn't realized that there is a butcher's shop in the little shopping precinct in Wickham Road. And a couple of nice looking cafe bars. I shall have to investigate them further. My exercise over, I settled to my cello practice, and relaxed with a good book, or two.

Poetry is one of my passions, and when I am not writing (which has been most of the summer) I am reading. At the moment it is Carol Anne Duffy's book, The Bees, and Rainer Maria Rilke's sonnets to Orpheus, translated by Martyn Crucefix. Two totally different books, both brilliant in their own ways.

Today I have been out and about with Joanne, a mother and daughter day, lovely. She took me to look at a car, which she took out for a spin, and decided to buy. It was all very exciting, she had been talking about buying a new car for ages. And I recon she deserves it because she works so hard, and in such a worthwhile job. Anyway, we had to celebrated of course, so we went to La Racasse (I think that is how you spell it) in Beckenham. We had a glass of bubbly, and lunch, and chatted for about an hour.

I have spent the rest of my day doing my cello practice, and making videos for Empower Network. We have high expectations for our little enterprise, it is certainly keeping me busy, and we get to meet such lovely people.

And now I am going to watch the last night of the proms, before bed. It's church in the morning, but I'm not playing the organ this week, so it isn't so stressful. And then I shall meet up with Jo again.

So, only a little adventure today, but I am tired so will say 'goodnight.' I hope your weekend is full of smiles.

Love and hugs,
Jane x

It's a lovely car, isn't it?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Does this make me a Professional!

Allow Yourself to Be Led Now and Then

The story of how I returned to my Methodist routes, is quite funny. It was all by chance really, if there is such a thing. I like to think that God had a hand in pointing me in the direction of Clock House.

It all started when David and I went to the St Barnabas Church, in Beckenham, on Christmas Morning. St Barnabas, being Church of England, and being the Church that we live right next door to, was our obvious choice. We had just moved to Beckenham, and thought that we would get off to a good start, and try to integrate into the community. We also wanted to thank God for our good fortune in life. The Christmas service was lovely, and we did have a little chat with the vicar afterwards.

When the next Sunday came round, we thought we would start the New Year as we meant to go on, and returned to the Church for Morning Prayer, at 10 a.m. Oh dear, although we could hear the music inside, the door appeared to be locked. No matter how much we pushed and pulled at the handle, we could not get in, and short of banging on the door, which we were not inclined to do, there was nothing for it but to leg it out of the churchyard. We decided to take a walk anyway, thinking the whole thing most unusual.

And that is when we saw a host of people entering the Methodist Chapel, on Bromley Road. 'Let's go to the Methodist service,' I said to David. So that's what we did. And we were made very welcome, in fact, we stayed for tea and biscuits, and a chat. Everyone thought it very amusing that we had gone to the Methodist service by default, as it were. But in my heart, I knew that we had been directed there. It was as though God had had his foot behind the door at St Barnabas Church, I could hear this little voice saying, this is where you are meant to be.

A week later I met Mary Sawyer, the organist from the sister church at Clock House. And the rest is history, as they say. When Mary found out that I played the piano, she asked if I would be her assistant, and play the organ for the Clock House service. Her regular assistant was having a baby, and that left a vacancy. Of course I said, yes. Fate, or whatever was sweeping me along. I had to go with the flow.

As a child I was christened in the small Methodist Chapel, at Long Preston, in the Yorkshire Dales. I went to Sunday school, I attended the Wesleyan Guild meetings, I went to fellowship gatherings. All that was a very long time ago. At the age of twelve or so, for some reason, a transferred my allegiance to the Church of England. It probably had a better (or so I thought) Sunday school. Anyway, I stuck with the Church of England. But now, I am very comfortably back in the Methodist fold, and if truth be known, I don't really mind which church I worship in.

There are several churches in Beckenham, I haven't been into them all, yet. But I have been into the big church on the high street, The Church of St George, and it is splendid inside. I haven't been back to St Barnabas, though I expect I will pop in from time to time.

So, that is the story of how David and I became connected, or reconnected with the Methodist Church. And today I received a lovely little cheque of £90 as payment for playing the organ at Clock House. Does this make me a professional? It is a bonus, (£15 every time I play) that I am going to put to very good use. I haven't quite decided what yet.

It's funny how things work out, isn't it. A little phrase that has cropped up more than once this week, is 'giving to get.' How true it is, when you give wholeheartedly, as they say, you receive ten fold.

Have a wonderful weekend dear reader,
Love Jane x

This is a picture of the lovely little Methodist Chapel in Clock House Road, between Beckenham and Penge

Friday, August 23, 2013

What We Did in London - Shopping, National Portrait Gallery, and Much More...

Yesterday, David and I went to London to pick up, and drink the bottle of Champagne which I won by leaving my business card in a prize draw when we were last there, on my birthday. We were very excited about the whole thing, I can't remember the last time I actually won anything. So, even though the weather was typically British, and we had to weave our way through the throng of London visitors with our umbrella, we had a great day.

Before we set off we decided to make good use of our day out, so there was a bit of shopping involved, a little culture injection, and a little self promotion. Here is a video of our day, warts and all, as they say. And for those of you who are interested in another video I made in connection with the work I do with Empower Network (in particular the young man from Germany who I interviewed) please click the link to this video:
Opening of 'Supreme' urban clothing store, in London. 

Now, follow me through the streets of London and find out how we spent the day. And tomorrow I will post the video of what happened when we got to Champagne Charlies to claim our bottle of champagne. Bye for now, love, Jane x

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Famous People of Beckenham

David and I popped into the little Antique Fair today, which is held at the Public Hall in Beckenham. We were a little late, and the stall holders were packing up their pots and plates as we walked in. Undeterred, we had a quick look around at what was still on display, and got into conversation with a very nice lady who was selling antique jewelery. We explained that we were new to the area, but the lady told us that she had been coming to the Antique Fair in Beckenham for 40 years. She went on to tell us some of the history of the Public Hall, and, if it hadn't been near to closing time, I dare say we could have gone on talking for much longer. "There are lots of famous people who have come from Beckenham, you know," she went on to say.

So, when I got home I did a bit of investigation, and sure enough there are lots of famous people from Beckenham. I found this information on the Welcome to Beckenham website. Do you remember Noddy and Big Ears? I do!

Enid Blyton
The author of more than 700 books for children from born in 1897 and grew up in and around Beckenham in fact moving many times, living in a number of houses in Clock House Road. When she was 14, Enid Blyton after winning a poetry competition began to submit articles, stories and poems to various magazines. Her first book, a poetry book for children was called Child Whispers, was published in 1922. Her major series of books included Noddy, Brer Rabbit, The Famous Five, The Secret Series, Malory Towers, St Clare's, The Faraway Tree and the Wishing Chair. Enid Blyton dead in 1968 the most prolific childrens author of all time. Her books have been translated in to over 40 languages and have sold over 400 million copies throughout the world.

David Bowie
The singer/songwriter, real name David Jones, grew up in Beckenham and played some of his first gigs at The Rat and Parrot (formerly The Three Tuns) pub. Part of the Beckenham Arts Lab he had repeat performances and put on a free festival at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground. David Bowie move on from Beckenham and his career moved quickly through the 1970's with his Ziggy Stardust creations, his worldwide hit of "Space Oddity" sent him to superstardum. His many reinventions helped him to become the international superstar that he is today. Now living in America.

WG Grace
William Gilbert Grace, known to his family as Gilbert, was born in 1848. An outstanding cricketer of his day, and many years following. Even as the years went on, his energy for the game was unabashed.

He was also a founder of the Bowls Association. In 1913 at Crystal Palace is captained England against Scotland in the first international bowls matches. W.G. Grace died in 1915 and is buried in Elmers End Cemetery.

Thomas Crapper
Thomas Crapper was born in Yorkshire in 1836. At 14 he was apprenticed to a Master Plumber in Chelsea, London. In 1861, after his apprenticeship and then working as a journeyman, he set up in his own right as a plumber in Robert Street, Chelsea.

It is popularly thought that Mr. Crapper invented the W.C., and that the vulgar word for faeces is a derivative of his name, but neither belief is true. He relentlessly promoted sanitary fittings to a somewhat dirty and sceptical world and championed the 'water-waste-preventing cistern syphon' in particular. Thomas Crapper died in 1910 and is buried near the grave of the cricketer, W.G. Grace, in Elmers End Cemetery.

Frederick York Wolseley
Famous for the first completely mechanical sheep sheering machine back in 1888. Born in County Dublin in 1837, he moved to Australia in the 1850's and began work on his inventions in the 1870's. The company he founded moved to England in 1893 and began experimenting with motor cars, producing the first one in 1895. Wolseley motor cars were made in Great Britain from then until 1975, being among the very first British cars put into large-scale production and actually leading the car production figures during the Edwardian period. Fredrick died in London in 1899.

Carey Blyton
Composer of 'Bananas in Pyjamas'
Millions more people have heard something of Carey Blyton's music than realise it. He wrote widely for television, film and advertising, and his nonsense song "Bananas in Pyjamas" was taken up by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1973 and eventually became a huge international success in The Great Banana Phenomenon, a series of some 200 five-minute TV shows each topped and tailed by Blyton's song.

Carey lived in and around Bromley for 60 years. He was born in Beckenham in 1932 and lived there some 30 years before moving to Swanley in 1965 where he lived for another 30 years with his wife Mary and their two sons Matthew and Daniel. Although it was in Swanley where most of his music and stories were written, it was the formative years in Beckenham that developed Carey's character and musical career.

However, Carey is well known all over West Kent, where his music and stories have been broadcast by local radio.

There are more but space has run out. Some other names for inclusion would have been Col/Sgt Bourne of Rorkes pass, Walter de la Mare, Admiral Sir Peircy Brett, Dinah Craik, Bob Monkhouse, Julie Andrews, Peter Frampton, Buster Mottram, Duncan Goodhew, Bill Perks aka Wyman, Robin Knox-Johnston and more recently the 2002 Big Brother winner Kate Lawler. 

You never know who your neighbours are, do you? I wonder who will be the next famous person from Beckenham.

And for more info about famous people of Beckenham, and interesting snippets of Beckenham history, take a look at the Beckenham History Website.

Oh, and yesterday I forgot to mention the brilliant Fish and Chip Shop on the High Street - The Big Catch. It is open Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. and has a very nice restaurant, or you can take out. Personally, I think they are the best fish and chips in Beckenham. It is straight across from Liddle's supermarket.

Well, I've got lots to do now, my new vacuum cleaner came yesterday, a Morphy Richards' upright. It hoovers up like a hippopotamus siphoning a muddy river bed. Fantastic! And now the hoovering is done, I feel a mopping of the floors coming on. 

Talk again soon,
Love Jane x

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Adventures on the Norfolk Broads


Joanne and Jack picked me and David up at about 9.30 a.m. in their little, navy blue Fiesta. The poor car was already laden down with a couple of small ruck sacks, 2 garden chairs, badminton rackets, 24 cans of cider, 2 bottles of wine, water, and big bag of groceries, from cereals to sausages (in fact, fine Beckenham sausages from Villagers Fine Sausage Shop). By the time our bags had been squashed into the remaining space, and we were in the car, its springs were feeling the strain. Loaded up as it was, we set of gingerly, down the road.

Feeling the swing on each corner, Jo soon got used to the extra weight, and in no time we were heading out of London towards the Blackwall  Tunnel. And that is when we hit a queue that stretched into the distance like a giant, colored bracelet going round the earth. With a sharp turn to the left, we swung onto a side road. "No, it is too early to join queues," Jo stated, and we were on our way to the Rotherhide Tunnel. It seemed like other people had had the same idea because the road was very congested. But the traffic did keep moving, and after about an hour, we were reading the sign over the tunnel, 'Built in 1908' and being gobbled up into the mouth of its Edwardian facade.

I, for one, was thankful to get out of that tunnel. We had to proceed very slowly behind a mini bus that crawled at an unusually slow pace, as though the driver was drunk, or on his mobile phone. He even mounted the safety curb at one point, making us hang back a little. There was a build up of fumes in the tunnel, too, diesel and petrol exhaust, it wasn't pleasant. Ah well, we survived! Next we made for the motorway, headed for Cambridge, and then on towards Norwich. Our destination was a little village called Ackle, in Norfolk.

Safely arriving at Ackle, we located Richardson's boatyard and found the boat that we had hired for four days, moored, and waiting to be loaded with our bags and baggage. Very soon, Bill the boatman was explaining the ins and outs of how to handle the boat, and explaining river regulations.

We set off, David at the helm, for a practice run, and once it was clear that we had mastered the art of knots for mooring the boat, and proved we could handle her on the river, Bill the boatman hopped off, and we were on our way. I think the pictures tell the rest of the story.
 And so the sun set on our first day on the river Bure.
 This is my favorite photo of me with our grandson, Jack.
We all had a turn at steering the boat.
 But only Jo and Jack braved this tree top walkway when we went to BeWILDerwood for the day...
And Nanny and Granddad watched while they came down the slippery slide.
 I did enjoy a game of badminton with Jack, on the lawn at the pub, where we moored for the night.
 Even though we had a bit of drizzle on day four, it didn't stop us exploring the nature trails of the area.

 We passed several windmills, mainly used for drainage. And the ruins of St Benet's Abbey, which was once patronized by King Canute.
 This is all that is left of the gatehouse of St Benet's. The windmill, now also a ruin, was built here because of the sound footing that was available. I bought a book on the history of the abbey, apparently it was the only abbey not to be dissolved in the time of Henry VIII. But by 1545 it was no longer sustainable, and fell into ruin. Most of the stone has been carted away and used elsewhere, but a big cross has been erected in recent years, and the Bishop of Norwich, holds a ceremony there every year on the first Sunday in August.
 What river would be complete without its floating ice-cream man?
 Jo and Jack played word games, while I talked to the swans.

And then it was back to the boatyard, and the end of a wonderful four day break on the Norfolk Broads.

I hope you have enjoyed sharing the joy of our little adventure in Norfolk. Don't forget to click on the highlighted words, for more information, especially for info about the fantastic sausage shop in Beckenham. Please join me for my next adventure, which I'm sure will happen very soon.

Bye for now,
Love Jane x

Monday, August 12, 2013

I've Won Something. You've Got To Be In It To Win It!

You may ask what this picture has to do with winning a bottle of Champagne, but I think there is a certain amount of contentment in the aura around this swan, and it goes with the way I am feeling right now.

I have received an e-mail from Champagne Charlies, to say that I have won a bottle of their superb Davys Celebration Champagne, to have in or take home to enjoy. So, I'm feeling pretty good.

You may have read in an earlier post, that David and I called in at Champagne Charlies, on my birthday, for a little treat. As we left I popped my business card into glass bottle on the bar, saying to David, "You've got to be in it, to win it." He looked at me, shook his head, in that 'she never gives up,' way, and we thought no more of it. Now, he can't wait to take me back into London to share my prize.

So, it just goes to show how true these sayings are. Another one I'm fond of is 'Do whatever it takes,' so when I go to London to pick up my prize, I shall leave a few more business cards here and there. I've also written this ad to place in a few newsagent shops:

Have you access to a computer?

Would you like to find out how to make money online?

Empower Network is designed to give you the opportunity to fulfil your dreams.
Whether you see yourself in a big house, behind the wheel of a new car, or free from debt and on a Christmas shopping spree, with work and determination, you can be that person.

Find out how by visiting this site:

Take your first step to financial independence! 


And now I'm going to pack my little suitcase, for yet another jolly. Oh, how wonderful the life of a pensioner can be. Clink! Clink! Cheers my dears! Talk again soon.

Love Jane x

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Adventure at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park

It is so easy to hop on a train or two, and be in Yorkshire by lunchtime. The 10.55 to Sheffield left St Pancreas right on time, and sped through the lovely, green countryside A cup of tea, and a glass of white wine later, I was well chilled out, and excited about meeting up with the family. The change over to the Barnsley train, at Sheffield, was very easy as it was only across the platform from one train to another, and from there we were met by Tracy and Jadie, and taken to Worsbrough Dale, and a lovely family meal.

Today is David's birthday, so we were all up early. We have had a great family morning at a nearby swimming pool, The Old Church Luxury Heated Indoor Swimming Pool. It is a wonderful, private hire pool that has been built inside an old church. What a great idea!

Yesterday, we spent the whole day at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, near Doncaster. What a fabulous place this is, for all the family. To be able to get up close to these exotic creatures, and to be out in the countryside, made for a very special day.

 From the posing mere cats, to the majestic lions, it was fun all the way.

 There were a few zebras in the vast field, called the African Plains, together with African Bulls, ostriches, and in the distance we could see some sort of deer.
 Cheeky marmoset monkeys.
 Three tigers lazing in under the trees.
 My favourites, the giraffes.

All I can say is, if you get the chance, go to this park. There are plenty of picnic tables, two or three burger bar type cafes dotted around the place, a well shop, well stocked with cuddly toy animals etc, a lots of parking space.

We were tired after our day in the fresh air, and ended the evening watching a Bruce Willis film - Red. I love Brucie baby!

And I love being a Granny, and being looked after so well.

Tomorrow we hit the road again, slicing time into another adventure. I hope you will join me again soon. Love and hugs, Jane x

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Little Adventure in London

It was hot, hot, hot, but there was a lovely breeze blowing, and we found a big tree to sit beneath. We even skipped along the South Bank in sheer joy. And there were lots of other people having a jolly day too. The streets were busy, the river was busy, there were airplanes in the sky, trains like giant caterpillars rattling over viaducts, and red double-decker buses traversing bridges. Meanwhile we sat by the Thames, at the side of the beautiful replica of The Golden Hind, Sir Francis Drake's wonderful ship, and talked about our fantastic life, and how we have turned it around by listening to all the teaching that Empower Network has to offer.

Make up your mind to have the most fandabulous day possible, TODAY!

I truly want to help you to achieve what you want out of life.

Love and best wishes,
Jane x

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The New Doctor Who!

Is this the new Dr Who? Well, David has undergone a great transformation. As his new self he is heading for destinations previously only dreamed about. Now he is writing a book about blogging, and preparing for the launch of the Empower Network Viral Blogging Platform. This is going to be big. It will rival all others, and revolutionize business conducted from mobile phones. We are very excited about it.
And it doesn't stop there! We are looking to build a team who want to change their lives, and have a great lifestyle. Those people who want success, joy, and who want to be surrounded by upbeat people who will make them feel the flow of life. And believe me, once you are in the flow, the adventure begins.

As a pensioner, I don't want to have to stay in and watch TV because I can't afford to go out. I'm following Dr David Who, the man of my dreams.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Beware the Killer Squirrels!

 Don't you just love picnic tables in the park? This is the small park at Boulters Lock, right at the side of the river Thames.
 We had such a lovely time, wandering along the leafy pathways, and admiring the sculptures dotted around the park.

And as we walked, Yvonne told us the story of her experience with 'killer squirrels.' One day, one such beast had shot up the trouser leg of her unsuspecting grandson, causing pandemonium, as they took a leisurely stroll in the spring air. Well, that put us on killer squirrel alert, but, even though you could see the blood lust in their eyes, they kept well away from us.  
They may look cute and cuddly but marauding killer squirrels are devastating Britain’s wild bird population.
The grey squirrel has wiped out thousands of songbirds and ranks alongside the domestic and feral cat as the top killer of farmland birds.
The species was introduced here from North America in the 19th century and has no natural predators.
It is an expert climber and can reach the high branches of trees where birds like to build their nests.
The squirrel has an insatiable appetite and, if it comes across a chick or eggs, it gobbles them up.
Prof Roy Brown, of Birkbeck University of London, said yesterday: ‘In areas of high squirrel density, more than 93 per cent of small bird nests are being raided.
‘When this is combined with sparrowhawk activity, it can result in 100 per cent of breeding failure and a loss of 85 per cent of adult birds.’

So, you see, don't go around carrying chicks or eggs in your trouser pockets - you could be asking for trouble, especially if you are partial to a spot of picnicking in the park.
Keep smiling!
Love Jane x

Monday, July 29, 2013

Visiting The Queen in Windsor

 It seems like we weren't the only ones hoping to take tea with H.R.H. The Queen. Ah, well, I suppose she has other things on her mind. She is probably doing a spot of baby sitting. What a Royal week this is, with the birth of George, Alexander, Louis. Flags were flying, and pictures of a proud mum and dad leaving hospital with their new baby covered news stands. It isn't every day that a child born to be King, enters the world arena, and I, like most people add my 'Congratulations,' to Prince William and Kate. I know that I am a few days late, but I was on my way back from Denver, when the birth was announced.
 The nearest we got to seeing the Queen, was this very shiny engine, in Windsor Station. I might have forgotten my tiara, but I did remember to wear my 'Don't be a Wussie,' T-Shirt.
Happiness is quite infectious!

Tears From The Sun - The Story