Monday, May 27, 2013

80th Birthday Parties - Bring 'em on!

 There is never a dull moment, as they say. On Friday I was in the Glades shopping center in Beckenham, when I happened upon a fashion show.  It was a lively affair, but it still did not help me find what I was looking for. In fact, after trawling the shops until they were closing up for the night, I came home with a tube of toothpaste and a bottle of water. Jo said that she had forgotten how horrible it was to go shopping with me, a totally unjustified comment, I thought. But there you are, I suppose I shall be going alone next time. I thoroughly enjoyed my day out.
 Next on my weekend agenda, was Mary's birthday party. It was a most enjoyable event, held at a place called Chom Chom, in Beckenham. There were 15 of us, but there were lots of other parties going on at the same time and the atmosphere was buzzing. As for the food, it was scrumptious, I can't wait to go back there.

 Look how much we are all enjoying ourselves. My new friends are real party animals!

 See the Birthday Girl below, that's her with her gorgeous grandson, he is a real charmer, an actor no less.

 And see the man with his head in his hands, opposite, he's an accountant, I wonder what he is pondering. He was probably wondering if he had room for yet another bowl of ice cream.

And the next day, Sunday, Mary had the day off playing the organ at church, and I took over for the whole of the service. I went home after the party, put my headphones on, and practiced the hymns until I was confident that I could play them. Of course all went well, and after church I went along to see Jo (Jack away for the weekend), and we went to Tesco supermarket. I didn't have to shop alone in the end. Daughter's are such beautiful people!

I think I am getting used to being a pensioner. Today, Monday, is a Bank Holiday. It has been a lovely sunny day, but I decided to stay home and relax a bit - not that I have, really. Two hour's cello practice, sorted out the washing, made a vegetable stew, and spent a bit of time reading, that sort of thing. Tonight I shall settle down in front of the TV and watch a program about the Queen and her horses.

Well, I hope you have had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend. I have another busy week ahead, unexpected meetings to attend and lovely people to visit. I'll let you know all about it. Take care dear readers, and remember, life is for living - go to it!

Love Jane x

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A British Barbecue - Very Green!

Gosh, it is almost a week since the Anniversary barbecue at the home of Reverend Parks. And what a chilly week it has been. But the sun was shining last Saturday, and, as you can see everyone was having fun. I resisted home made cake after my lovely barbecued sausage, but Jack had a most delicious looking piece of jam sponge. 
Wow, Jack is almost as tall as his Nannie!
 On Sunday I shared the organ playing once more with Mary. She played the intro and first two hymns, and I played the last two hymns and the exit music. It went well, though I was a bit nervous as the church was packed due to it being a special anniversary cum Whitsunday service. Afterwards there was tea and cake, yummy, and a chance to chat.
Here's the Rev. Rachel thrashing her friend a dominoes.

And obviously please about it.

Meanwhile, I played the game of 'remove the stick' with Jo and Jack.

There were lots of games for everyone to play.
On Monday evening I went along to the choir practice in Penge, where we worked quite hard to get our parts just right in readiness for the concert on the 8th June.

And since then I have not done anything too exciting. It has been a week of cello practice, poetry writing, and watching the Tudors, on TV. I also like to watch Time Team while I eat lunch about 1.30 p.m. and The Apprentice with Lord Sugar, that's good viewing. Apart from that the TV is usually switched off.

I will just mention the terrible incident that occurred in Woolwich this week. A British soldier was brutally murdered in the street by a couple of barbarians with hatchets. It has caused much anti-Muslim unrest, and I pray that people remain level headed and are not incited to further violence. I also pray for the soldier who lost his life, and his family and friends who are suffering right now.
I am trying not to give the incident any energy, so will not speak of it further.

Like I say, I have been writing verse this week. It is for a very special occasion which is to be celebrated on Saturday evening. Mary, my new friend, and fellow organist, is 80, and I am invited to her birthday party in Beckenham. I am really looking forward to it, and tomorrow Jo and I will go to Bromley to see if I can find something jolly to wear.

So, for now I'll say bye, bye, it is half past eight in the evening and I haven't had my tea. I feel a cup of soup coming on. Have a good evening everyone.

Love Jane x

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Roll Out The Barrel in Beckenham

 I did make a video, but can't get it to stick to the page. I'll fathom it later.
Residents of Abbeyfield

Mary at the piano
Happiness in the Jolly Woodman
Meet Valentino

What a wonderful day I had yesterday. As you can see from the pictures, the morning sing-a-long was an excellent warmer upper for the concert which took place in the afternoon. After a pub lunch with my friends, I joined members of the Beckenham Ladies Choir at another retirement venue, where we sang for an hour or so. It was good practice for our up coming concert on the 8th June, at St George Church, Beckenham.

Today I spent the whole morning at the Medical Center, where I had to see the doctor about my little stomach problem. (Or should I say BIG stomach). Anyway, it turns out that my hiatus hernia is causing most of the problems, so pills prescribed for that, and there could be a glitch with my pancreas. So, a few more tests to eliminate any other cause of worry. I weighed in at 10st 8lbs, so I'm not exactly wasting away, and I am happy to be getting rid of the fat. (Oh, I hate that word).

As a little treat I took myself off to Bromley this afternoon, and did a bit of high street shopping. I bought a pair of navy blue trousers. There was this fabulous linen jacket, in Zara's, but it was about seventy pounds, so reluctantly I passed on it. It was a powerful red color. Very me! I bought fresh strawberries instead. Then I went to M&S and bought duck and orange pate, and a jar of cranberry and port sauce, the clothes there didn't do it for me, as they say. And I returned on a very school-children-packed bus (227), standing the whole way. Who cares though, I love that little 227.

Now I am having a lovely cup of tea, and psyching up to doing my cello practice before it gets too late. I don't want to disturb the neighbors.

So, bye for now, keep smiling, and log on again soon for further adventures. I feel a barbecue and a fun run (walk) coming on! Well, what are weekends for?

Love and hugs,
Jane x

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekend Treats! Awesome!

 This is my daughter Jo, with her cat Sammy. Shie is at the Foxgrove Veterinary Centre in Beckenham for Sammy's regular checkup. He had all his blood tests and was given a clean bill of health.

 Outside in the car park there was this Animal Ambulance. What a brilliant idea, notice the services that are advertised. Pet Transport, Dog Holidays, Cat Care, Pet Feeding - and their website:

The address of the Vets, which has a 24hr Emergency Service, is:
8 Foxgrove Road,

 Of course when we had dropped Sammy back home, we decided it was time for our treat. First we called at Deli Nene, straight across from the Church of St George on Beckenham high street, where we were really indulgent. See the apple meringue pie below - I polished off the whole piece.

We thought it might be a good idea to do a quiche and carrot cake crawl, maybe next weekend. Yummy, yummy!

I think I could live here
After that we had a look in the lovely art gallery shop, Gallery Seventeen, where I particularly liked the pictures of Anna Pugh, Anna Pugh was born in 1938, her paintings show commonplace events in a slightly surreal way. Anna is exclusively represented by Lucy B Campbell Gallery, London.
And after that I went home to practice the hymns for Church on Sunday. I played two of the five hymns and the Trumpet March as an exit piece. I shall be playing again next week, and the week after I shall play for the whole service while Mary, the organist has a Sunday off. Scary or wot!

My weekend was made complete when Jo and Jack came to collect me and take me to the cinema. We went to see the latest Star Trek movie - very entertaining. I finished the day with a bowl of hot stew (without the meat) and a few grapes whilst watching the BAFTA awards on TV. What a great weekend.

Talk some more later. And remember, i'm pretty awesome!

Love and hugs, Jane x

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I Strange Route to the Fish Shop

 It's 12 o'clock, the arm has reached the yard, and Jo and I are in the Jolly Woodman, Beckenham. We have a laugh about things that have gone on in the week, drink a decent amount of Friday afternoon cider, and help it down with a wholesome sandwich.

It's a sunny day so we relocate to the beer garden at the back of the pub, and while away the afternoon, laughing and giggling, as now the cider has reached the spot.

Finally we agree it is time to leave. I say I think I'll pick a fish up, at the fish and chip shop, for tea. I've got those cider munchies. We prepare to up and go, when right at that moment my phone rings.

Pauline, my friend from the north,  has come to London on the train, her son has booked her in to a hotel which she says she cannot stay in because it has no en suite, and is totally unsuitable. She's in a bit of a state, and asks if she can come to stay with me. 'Of course you can,' I say, wobbling slightly as a exit the pub, feeling the fish I'd almost hooked slipping away from me. 'But I don't know how to find you,' she says. 'Get in a taxi,' I tell her, 'and go to King's Cross station. I'll hop on a train and come for you.'

And so another little adventure begins. Jo puts me on the train, I have half an hour or so to sober up, and I set off for London. It's not the rush hour so I make it in good time. I find my friend sitting on bench in the station, looking very forlorn, with her small overnight case. We go to the ticket office, buy a ticket and head back to Beckenham. Still craving that fish, I suggest we call at the fish and chip shop to save cooking etc. And that is exactly what we do. I listen to my friend's sad story over a lovely piece of cod and a nice cup of tea. You do never know what the day will bring, do you?

A morsel to put us on

Supplies at the ready
One minute I'm in the Jolly Woodman

And the next I'm on Beckenham station 

Change trains at Herne Hill

Find my friend

And head for the fish and chip shop

Have a good weekend wherever you may be, and whatever you may be doing. Me, I'm going to see Pauline safely back to London where she will attend her son's graduation ceremony. Then I shall accompany my daughter to the vet with her cat Sammy for his regular checkup, he's a diabetic cat. And then (sigh), I shall, hopefully, have time to play a little cello music. Bye bye for now.

Love Jane x

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Jane's Local, The Jolly Woodman

This is the little pub just down the road from where I live. It is said to be the best pub in Beckenham. Well I won't argue with that. What a great place it is, friendly, full, and for me, the ideal place to imbibe at the end of a very busy week.

Tomorrow, I will meet my daughter, Joanne, for a lunchtime pint. I feel I've earned it this week what with blogging, video making, writing, music practice, and little bus journeys here and there.

This morning I had a voice test with the choir mistress of Beckenham Ladies Choir. That seemed to go well, and I will be singing in the concert at St George Church, Beckenham, on 8th June. I'm looking forward to that, especially as it is a joint concert with the Blaenavon Male Voice Choir. You can't beat a bit of Welsh for good voices - I hear there will be a touch of 'You'll never walk alone,' It is a charity event and you can get a ticket either at the door (7.30 p.m. start) or else from the Beckenham Bookshop on the high street.

And now I'm going to sign off, take a peep at what my Face Book friends are up to, then make a nice cup of tea. That should bring me nicely to Alan Bennett's History Boys, my little TV treat of the night.

Do tap me on the shoulder and say hello if you are in the Jolly Woodman tomorrow lunchtime. Whatever you are doing this coming weekend, have a good one, and don't forget to spread a little happiness wherever you can.

Love Jane x

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Living Next to God!

My lovely flat in Beckenham, and the church next door. I'm living next to God. How wonderful is that?

Hello from sunny Beckenham. As you can see, spring has sprung, the grass is green, the flowers are showing their full glorious colours, and wonderful warm sunshine has brought out hints of outside life. The cafebars of the town have set there al fresco tables, summer shorts and tee-shirts have been pulled from under winter woollies, and the sound of children playing in the school playground somewhere behind my flat, is making for a very pleasant morning.
I am looking forward to my daily stroll, a bit later on,  to take advantage of the weather while it lasts. The forecast isn't too great, but winter has passed so I doubt we shall see sub-zero temperatures for a good few months.
Spring has sprung, as they say.
I have wintered extremely well, the flat is cosy, small so easy to manage, and I am in walking distance of the shops. Of course I can catch a bus, and my Freedom Pass enables me to hop on and off not only buses but trains too. It is a wonderful thing to have, and I am not shy at using it. Everybody over 60 is entitled to a Freedom Pass, have you got yours?
Well, I have not been idle over the last few months. I have had a few health problems, but nothing too serious. I did come down with that dreadful N-something virus, and that was quite nasty, but I did lose a few pounds and that is always good. Anyway, in between all of that, I have been practicing hymns to play at church, and songs to sing in the Beckenham Ladies Choir. Of course I have been writing too, and I was overjoyed to receive a cheque from Amazon, of a hundred pounds for sales of my book, Tears from the Sun - a Cretan Journey. Speaking of which, I have also sold a few copies to friends in Beckenham. I wonder if the little bookshop here will be interested, I might just pop in one day and ask them.
Anyway, must get on. I have my cello and piano practice to do yet, I want to write my daily 2000 words, take a stroll out, and, Lord look at the time, it's time for lunch. Today I'm on a ham and pickle sandwich, courtesy of a lovely slice of roast ham on the bone which I bought in Sainsbury's yesterday.

Have a good day, wherever you may be, and I'll talk some more soon.
Jane x

Tears From The Sun - The Story