Saturday, 31 October 2009


Halloween (also spelled Hallowe'en) is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain, and All Hallows Eve - the day prior to the Christian holy day of All Saints. (Strangely enough, despite all its ghostly associations, it does not fall on All Souls Day - the Day of the Dead - which is 2nd November.) Halloween is now largely a secular celebration.

On All Hallows’ eve, the ancient Celts would place a skeleton on their window sill to represent the departed. Old I may be, but I think that tradition had died out before I was born!

When I was young we always had bob-apple and apples hung on a string at Hallowe'en. I'm not sure how commonly these games are carried on nowadays. Children's Halloween activities hereabouts include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties.

And judging by the number of Pumpkins on sale at nearby Church Farm making Jack-o-Lanterns must still be pretty popular. This tradition came over from America where it was origiinally an end of harvest activity, not becoming associated with Halloween until the mid- to late- 1800s.


Post of the week

The tale of a teacup.... Thanks Linda Lu for a great story.


Friday, 30 October 2009

Friday My Town Shoot-out - Park Landscapes

This week's subject for the Friday My Town Shoot-out is park landscapes - chosen by Jarielyn from Nevada. Why not pay her a visit and see her parks.

I have chosen to delve back into my archives and show photos mostly taken in the 1960s in Calderstones Park, Liverpool. UK.

If you would like to see other members' shoot-outs please go to the home blog and visit the members in the sidebar.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

A Thursday Ramble

On Saturday those members of the family staying at ours began the day by checking e-mails. When GB, Helen, Ian and I get together we always manage to have four laptops going at the same time but a new record was set on Saturday morning with Helen’s Dell (called Mimizu – which means worm in Japanese), Ian’s Dell (Nezumi which means mouse in Japanese), my Acer (called Crystle for no apparent reason), Gaz’s Mac (no name) and Jo’s Dell (also never been christened) all working away. I just hope Jo doesn't get any ideas about naming her laptop - I'm not sure the baptismal process would do it any good!

As you will have gathered by now I had a super weekend - it was great being surrounded by family. And, even if GB had defected to the other side of the world at the time, we had had the pleasure of his company a couple of weeks earlier.

I don’t seem to have done much since then though on Wednesday I had a trip to the doctor’s (all of 10 yards – the surgery is next door!). He decided to forego the advice of my consultant and not make yet another change to my medication. It seems that one of the reasons for recommending a change was that the new tablets are cheaper. Fortunately my GP is less bothered about saving the NHS (and his practice) money and more bothered about the good of his patients. It’s a comforting fact.

Unfortunately, on Sunday Meek, the tabby cat, was sick and he has got worse during the week and has stopped eating. I think he may have had a minor stroke. We shall take him to the vet’s today and see what they say. He’s about 75 years old (14¾ in human years). That’s not bad considering he was given about 12 to 18 months to live when we got him from the shelter as a kitten because he was FIV positive. As a result he’s spent most of his life indoors until recently (to avoid infecting other cats) but since the Spring he has been unadventurous enough for us to let him out because he just stays around the garden.

We shall also be popping into Birkenhead this morning to get Richard a new mobile phone. The contract on his present one has run out and there’s quite a good offer on with T-mobile. I hope their service is as good as O2 has been.

And the Lottery obviously knew it was my birthday last week because I won £10. That’s my first win in eighteen months. That means I only need another 14 x £10 wins and I’ll be in profit.


The Week-end - Sunday

On Sunday Gareth, Jo, Helen, Ian and I went to Thurstaston and had a look across the River Dee to Wales.

We had coffee in Church Farm and then Gareth left to pick up his Mum and start his journey back up North. Helen and Ian left after lunch and, fortunately, had a better journey down South.

A wet MotoGP race in Sepang gave my hero Valentino Rossi (the GOAT - Greatest of all time) a third place which was enough to secure him the World Championship – his ninth MotoGP Championship and his seventh in the premier class. A good end to the season though there is one race left – I suspect it will be an anti-climax.

And the Liverpool v Manchester United score was the icing on all those birthday cakes!


Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Week-end - Saturday

On Saturday Food-loving-Daughter and Son-in-law-who-cooks arrived and I was treated to a home-made (by Helen) birthday cake. Fortunately it didn’t have 60 candles on it – that might have tested my lung capacity!

We then went for a meal at the Kings Gap Court Hotel but Rich decided to give it a miss and stay at home to nurse his tooth abscess – ouch.

Brian and Moe – Jo’s brother and sister-in-law – met us at the hotel. During the pre-meal drinks various cameras were on display and I played with the panorama function on my new Sony.

Bryony taking photos – Mark’s job was simply to be photographed.

This was my melon and berry starter.

And my second ‘birthday cake’ – my profiterole dessert. Presumably because of the requirements of the Health and Safety Acts I was informed by the waiter that I shouldn’t eat the candle. Mind you – the fact that it was one of those re-lighting ones may have been the reason – ouch that could hurt!

We had coffee in the hotel library with the cameras once again in evidence.

Even when I went outside for a quick smoke the fun continued!

I liked these Ionic Capitals on the library woodwork. We did, however, have a debate as to what constitutes a library – there certainly weren’t many books.

We went back to The Willows for the evening and those staying there overnight were treated to a lovely buffet meal prepared by Jo. And another cake!


The Week-end - Friday

I’ve just had a brilliant week-end.

On Friday my nephew Gareth came to stay and was followed a few hours later by Daughter-who-takes-photos and Friend-who-loves-otters. They all had pretty awful journeys down / up the motorways – apparently it was Black Friday – so-called because the half-term holidays for all schools have coincided this year and everyone was going away for the weekend.

Gareth and Richard chatting.

Ian recovering from eight hours at the wheel looking at cones.


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