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

Tears From The Sun - The Story