About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

L is for LLANBERIS

This week we are honouring the letter L as in lion, letter, language, leapfrog, lettuce, llama, lovely, and literature.

While visiting Wales this summer, I learned that lots of places haves names beginning with a double LL...like Llandundno, Llanarth, Llandona, Llandyfrydog, Llanellen, Llangeview, and Llechcynfarwy. Now the "Ll" part at the beginning of the name sounds kind of like a hard "chl..." and Llan means "village" or "parish" and Llech means relating to slate. One of the loveliest places I visited was the village of "Llanberis" which is where you get the train to go up Mount Snowden.  It was a lighthearted day with my friend Jane and the village was lively with tourists, both Welsh people and people from other parts of Great Britain and the world. 

We started off on our own tour of the area, first stopping at a local lake called Padarn Lake, where we saw boats lazily drifting along.  There is an entire country park at this lake (or Llyn, in Welsh) where you can see Dolbadarn Castle, Quarry Hospital - a museum housing the restored ward, operating theatre and various gruesome 19th Century hospital equipment, the National Slate Museum, a diving center, and more.  We stayed on the side of the lake where we got the train up the mountain, and while awaiting our turn, we had an hour to kill.  So we wandered over to the Llanberis Lake Railway where a little steam engine takes you on a five-mile return journey around the lake. Watch the youtube video below and be sure to turn up your sound for the music and some explanations and you can also watch it in full-screen, just clicking on "escape" to go back to normal. I'm going to do this trip next time I'm in Wales.


Then it was time to load the train with the 3 o'clock visitors so off we went.  It wasn't sunny, but it wasn't raining so we locked hands and hoped the weather would hold until we reached the summit, which was an hour's ride away.  We had to laugh as we got about halfway when the rain started coming down in sheets!  Well, we wouldn't get the lovely view from the top, but we did have a coffee and bought some postcards of the view when we got there.  It was a bit better going down, and the sun was shining when we reached the bottom.  It was well worth the ride, though, and I would do it again in a minute.  Enjoy the brief slideshow of our time there. All the photos are mine except two at the end that I found online but don't know the photographer. 

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
With legendary thanks to the Lady Denise Nesbitt, creator of ABC Wednesday, and to
Lord Roger, our administrator, for all the laborious work he puts into organizing our weeks. Also, thanks to the loyal and lively group of assistants who leap through their day so they can leave all of us lavish and limitless appreciation of our contributions.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

K is for KITES


This week I'm interrupting the flow of my "travelogue" to bring you a bit of local fun - flying kites! I was busy doing something really exciting one day (laundry, dusting, etc.) when my daughter called and said to grab my camera and head down to Patterson Park.  There was a keen bunch of people flying kites!  So, feeling a bit peeved that I had to knock off my fun activities, I did as she suggested.  I was quite bowled over at the size of these kites and all the kaleidoscope of colours. I took quite a few shots and here's the end result. (It's very short)

With thanks to the group at ABC Wednesday - Denise Nesbitt, our creator, and Roger, our administrator. 
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


Sunday, September 11, 2016

J is for JET

Jet is a semi-precious stone and when it's polished, it takes on an extraordinary lustre of deep black.  This rich black colour never fades, and the shine is so intense that polished jet was even used as mirrors in medieval times. It comes from a pure and hard form of fossilised wood and is found in thin seams of shale rock. 
Whitby, in North Yorkshire (England), is famous for its jet. In the 19th century it was found and mined throughout the North York Moors and brought into Whitby by pack pony to be made into a wide range of decorative items ranging from jewellery, busts, dolls house furniture, models of Whitby Abbey, chess tables to many other small objects.

However, when the railroad lines eventually made their way to Whitby, the Victorians started to arrive because it made a jolly seaside holiday destination.  And a piece of jet was de rigeur as a souvenir!  Queen Victoria even began wearing jet jewellery in remembrance of her husband Prince Albert.
My joyful and dear friend Jill, my hostess this past summer in North Yorkshire, took us both on a jaunt to the old part of Whitby where we jostled the crowds and looked at lots of jet jewelry.  I wanted to bring my daughter a small piece (it's not cheap, believe me!) to thank her for looking after Tegan while I was away.  We went into many jewelry shops and peered at all the jazzy displays.  You can see the ones I chose on the slideshow.

If you're interested in a presentation of how jet is produced and some samples of current day jet jewelry, please feel free to check out the slideshow I've put together.  In order to have time to read the brief signs explaining each piece of equipment, etc., just pause the slideshow and then click to continue.  It is quite fascinating to see all this old equipment they used back in the day!

With jovial thanks to the creator of ABC Wednesday (Denise Nesbitt) and to our jocular administrator, Roger.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Monday, September 05, 2016

I is for ITALIAN GARDENS

Welcome to ABC Wednesday where this week we celebrate the letter I as in ice-cream, igloo, innovative, idol, injure, image, and irony.  I'd like to introduce you all to a place I visited while in south-east Wales this summer - the Italian Gardens at St. Fagen's National History Museum.  I had visited this immensely innovative outdoor museum back in 2006, but the month of November was not a fitting time to see any of the gardens.  I must say that I lucked out with the sky being grey but no rain fell.  Suffice to say that my goal this trip was to view the gardens on a brilliant sunny day!

From a historical standpoint, the gardens were created some time after 1864.  It is a walled area that was adapted in 1902 by Lady Paget so her children could go swimming in the pool.  The walls at this pool are now fitted with water jets that arc into the pool.  There are grassy steps, ornamental tubs that contain orange trees, and roses that are trained to grow upwards on the walls.  Lady Paget also had a room beside the area where she could do painting and enameling.

HRH the Prince of Wales, had the honour of opening the restored area as an Italian Garden on July 27, 2003.  I'm so glad my friend Jane and I decided to follow the path towards this spot.  We were getting tired from all the walking and had considered heading back to the car.  I'm so glad we didn't. Anyway, here are a few of my own photos of the gardens.  By clicking on the photos, you can see them in full screen format.

 

With immortal thanks to the imaginative Mrs. Denise Nesbitt, creator of ABCW, and to the imperturbable Roger, our administrator.  It's also imperative to give thanks to the impassioned
assistants who visit each and every contributor to leave invaluable words of praise.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

H is for Homes, Hostels, Hotels

Welcome to ABC Wednesday where this week we celebrate the letter H as in hot, healthy, hamburgers, hat, humdinger, hair, hill, and hawk.  I'm continuing the travelogue of my trip by bringing you an area of north Wales that was absolutely heavenly!  My paternal grandmother was born in Llandudno, Wales, on April13, 1896, at 28 Jubilee Street.  She was greeted with joy after her mother had given birth to 5 boys and after that, she went on to have one final boy!  My dream has always been to see where she was born and brought up, only coming to Canada after the second world war with her husband and young son.  My father and his 2 sisters were born in Canada.

My epic dream of seeing Llandudno finally arrived this summer (2016) and I was absolutely amazed at the beauty of the area. An historic town, Victorian and Edwardian atmosphere prevails everywhere, especially with the houses, hostels, and hotels.  Even the newer built homes have a Victorian feel to them!  The countryside is beyond beautiful, and the entire area faces out to the Irish Sea.  And the people are so humble and  hospitable.  Take away the modern cars and you feel as though you have gone back in time.

I would like to share some of the beauty of the area through a short slideshow presentation.  Mr. Google helped me out here, but I've indicated which photos are mine.  And, if you're interested in learning more about this place, please check out http://www.llandudno.com/  Remember, don't tell too many people about this piece of heaven on earth - I want to go back some day and spend more time there.  And I don't want any crowds!  LOL

With humble thanks to the hysterical Mrs. Nesbitt (you'd know just how hysterical if you follow her on Facebook and saw her scarecrows!) and to the always hardworking Roger, our administrator. Also, don't forget to give a silent nod of thanks to the helpful team of assistants who visit all the contributors to leave heartfelt comments. 

Now...on with the show and don't forget to turn up the sound and click on full screen!  Oh the music is called "Epic Journey" and you won't hesitate to realize why I chose it.  *smile*
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Sunday, August 21, 2016

G is for GROSMONT and GOATHLAND


Welcome to ABC Wednesday where this week we celebrate the letter G as in goat, gorgeous, giant, golly gee, grand, gigolo, general, etc.  I've made up a slideshow for you about two places I visited this summer in North Yorkshire, England, and where I had absolutely the most generous hosts to whom I'd like to dedicate this particular blog - Phil and Jill Ellis. I hope that I was a great guest in heir grandiose home, a 17th century stone house in the village of Grosmont.  Jill and I also drove through Goathland, a place I'd seen with her in 2012, but we slowed down so I could take some photos from the car window.  Just to help you out a bit, Grosmont is pronounced "grow-monT" and Goathland is pronounced "goth-land"(emphasis on the "goth")

Here's a bit of background about these two villages.  From Wikipedia...

Grosmont is home to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway engine shed.[51] A number of structures in and near the village are listed, including: the three arch sandstone road bridge over the Esk, dating from around 1700;[52][map 9] the early 19th century 'Eskdale Villa' on the eastern outskirts of the village;[53] and in the village the 19th century 'Rose Cottage'.[54]  Several railway related buildings and structures are listed, including the 'Station Tavern' public house and outbuildings (originally "The Tunnel Inn");[16][17] the Post Office (c. 1835);[18] and the former horse tramway tunnel, now a pedestrian route;[55][56] all built for the Whitby and Pickering Railway in the 1830s. Also listed are the Murk Esk railway bridge (1845);[34][map 10] 1845 railway tunnel,[35] and the G.T. Andrews designed Grosmont Railway station (1846),[36][map 11] all built for the York and North Midland Railway.

The village of Goathland was the setting of the fictional village of Aidensfield in the Heartbeat television series set in the 1960s. Many landmarks from the series are recognisable, including the stores, garage/funeral directors, the public house and the railway station. The pub is called the Goathland Hotel, but in the series is the Aidensfield Arms. After filming for some years a replica was built in the studio.[5] 

The music I chose to go along with the photos is called "It's Almost Perfect Here" and that is how I feel about these two gorgeous villages in North Yorkshire.  I fell in love with the place even more than I did four years ago.  Some of the lyrics you'll hear are "the reason is coming crystal clear", "I think I really dig this atmosphere", "you're the one thing I've got this thing about", "go with the flow" and I think the only thing that could make it more perfect is if I could actually live there!

With great thanks to the generous Denise Nesbitt, creator of ABCW, and the gallant Roger, our administrator.  Also glorious thanks to the goofy team of assistants who visit everyone's post each week to leave glowing comments.  Turn up your sound and expand to full screen to enjoy!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


Sunday, August 14, 2016

F is for FREDDIE

He sits on his bench in his overcoat, cloth cap pulled slightly down, gazing out to sea.  His walking stick is loosely held in his left hand, his right arm draped casually over the back of the bench.  It looks like a favourite spot along Scarborough’s North Bay.
This is an astonishing, giant sculpture in rusting steel.  It has a kind of serenity and, up close, the texture of the steel is amazing.  Even without the title, this would be an arresting piece of art.  It is based on a former miner from County Durham who, as a soldier shortly before his 24th birthday, was one of the first allied troops to enter Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in April 1945.  They found more than 60,000 prisoners, most of them seriously ill, and thousands of unburied corpses.  Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers represents ordinary people pulled out of ordinary lives because of war, who involuntarily experienced extraordinary things and whose lives were profoundly affected as a consequence.  The inscription on the sculpture’s plaque says:
“They said for king and country,
We should do as we were bid,
They said old soldiers never die
But plenty young ones did.”
 Freddie Gilroy died in 2008.  But the story doesn’t end there.  The artist, Ray Lonsdale, loaned the sculpture to the town for a month, but local resident Jakki Willby began a campaign to keep it in Scarborough.  Out of the blue, local pensioner Maureen Robinson donated the £50,000 needed – and Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers is now a permanent feature on North Bay.

While I was in Scarborough with my dear friend Jill, she showed me the sculpture and I was fascinated.  Then we looked at each other, giggled, and took each other's photo in the crook of Freddie's arm.  It wasn't until I returned home that I looked up his story and feel a bit foolish for taking the sculpture so lightly and acting like a frivolous teenager.  But here we are to show you the perspective of the sculpture's size!  I'm 5' 6 1/2" tall and Jill is about 5' 9" so you can see just how huge this fantastic sculpture is.  It's bigger than life, just like Freddie was when he took part in freeing all those prisoners from Bergen-Belsen in 1945.
 

With fervent thanks to our fancy "scarecrow-making" Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and to our faithful servant Roger who administrates ABCW with the assistance of a fantastic team of fellow contributors.