Happy seventieth to Richard

November 16th, 2014

Hi Richard.

Herewith a very belated seventieth “happy birthday” wish for you.  Grace and I were talking about the incessant activity of retirement when I mentioned that the last time I talked to you on the phone you said that you had no intention of retiring.  “How old is he?” asked Grace and when I put my mind to it I suddenly realised ……… boing!  ………. October 3rd 2014 was your SEVENTIETH!   It probably felt like all the rest, but must be nice to be young like that.

I trust you are keeping well and enjoying life (and grandchildren) and that you had a wonderful birthday. Our special love to you and to Linda and the girls and all of you there.

Ted and Grace.

Reflections of an eighty-year-old

October 31st, 2014

One thing I have noticed as I get older is my increasing potential value to the relatives  with whom I come into, often casual, contact.

I was reminded of this some time go when a chance meeting with a relative elicited the question  “Ted.  Do you remember the (antique) mirror you took from mum’s home when she died – well can I have it when you are finished with it?”  The same person, by all accounts, also “played pop” to another of my relatives about my having taken my mother’s mantle clock when she died – a clock which, unbeknown to her, I had purchased for my parents as an anniversary  present sixty-three years earlier when I was seventeen years  of age.

These two incidents scour my soul whenever I think of them -which fortunately is not often.  But though unpleasant they have prepared me for what inevitably happens and will happen as I grow older.

I came into this world as a naked infant.  All that I am, all that I have – good or bad – is my own doing.  I am indebted to no living person. I owe no living person any thing.  What I have earned and saved is from my own efforts to do with as I wish.

In two marriages I have held the role of father to eight children.  Just one of the children keeps in touch with me.  It is years since I saw or heard from any of the others.  Should I feel these seven are my heirs?

No doubt there will be a degree of consternation when I deliver my mother’s antique mirror to my acquisitive relative and “accidentally” drop it on the ground to smash it to smithereens as I hand it to her.

No doubt there will be surprise from seven of my eight children (if they ever care to learn of my demise) when my will is read.

Oh dear!!

Bon voyage.

September 23rd, 2014

Hardknott FortWell, they have gone – the swallows that is. On the morning of 13th September they were not to be seen, either skimming along the grassy field next door looking for their insects breakfast or, when I opened the shed about mid-morning, inside the shed.  Just a few feathers and a lot of droppings were all that remained. I spent the day clearing up and wondering how they were getting on and what the trigger was that told these new-borns that it was time to set off on a six thousand mile journey to somewhere they had never been and did not even know existed. Marvellous. However you may choose to explain it – well, you’re just guessing. Nature is far more wonderful that we can ever imagine.

And here life goes on as usual. I had to do a quick re-take when I read that someone called Nicola Sturgeon is tipped to succeed Alec Salmond as Scotland’s first minister. Sounds fishy to me!

At the top of the post is a photograph of Hardknott Fort in Cumbria which the Romans built on an earlier occasion when there was a chance of the Scots voting “No”.  How times change.  But politicians never.  Now their sights are set on  even more devolution. It begs the question that if the politicians devolve all the power to all the regions of all the UK what will there be left for them to do  – apart from claiming expenses, that is?  That must be a full time job on its own.

And of course devolution will create yet another tier of political elite entitled to claim expenses for doing the work which the Westminster lot no longer do because they have devolved it all. And so on, “ad finitum” – and also “ad nauseum”!

But don’t worry.  Somehow it all seems to hang together despite them all. After all, we are still the land of hope and glory. Hmmmmm!!!

Caring -how it is!

September 6th, 2014

I learned the other day of a husband to whom the Government pays money for taking care of his wife who is not in good health. In my day husbands took care of their unwell wives because they loved them – not for money! Anyway, the husband apparently has plenty of money of his own and doesn’t really need the taxpayer’s money so he uses it to employ a full-time gardener. And that is why they call it “Benefits Britain” and why everyone in the world wants to come here to live.
Apparently a little while ago the husband and his unwell wife were travelling in their new state-of-the-art Mercedes to spend some time at their timeshare when the wife slipped and broke her ankle. The husband obviously was not providing the caring the Government was paying him to provide. One wonders therefore whether he should do the right thing – own up and give the money back?

At the end of summer 2014

September 6th, 2014

Housemartin chicksI don’t know whether family members still read the Family Blog. To our shame no-one has contributed any posts for a long time. Are you still out there, family?

I am sitting in my home office and have been, once again, enjoying looking at the beautiful countryside. I have lived here for fifteen years now and every morning the swathe of greenery outside gives me a thrill. Gorgeous! I sometimes make plans to move to a more convenient location with more amenities to hand, but then I look out of the window at the hills and trees and fields and I don’t think I ever could. And I had a special thrill this year.

Some time ago I added a substantial block built shed to the side of my house – known locally since then as “Ted’s shed”. I have a work bench in there and all my tools (and a load of junk too!) and it is very useful when I am doing jobs. Well, this year someone else found it, liked it and moved in. What a surprise when I unlocked the door one day and met a startled swallow flying around. I assumed it had got in accidentally and left the door open for it to escape while I got on with my jobs in the garden. When I later put my tools away it was nowhere to be seen.
I was away for a few days. On my return I went into the shed and was met once again by a startled swallow heading for me chittering for all it was worth before it flew out through the open door. I muttered something about dumb swallows getting stuck in a shed twice and then got on with what I was doing.
When the same thing occurred a few days later I began to investigate – and discovered a nest built on a pair of oars which were hanging on the wall. Hmmmmm! I didn’t investigate the nest itself, but went out of the shed closing the door. As I stood watching the swallow returned to the shed, ducked adeptly under the eaves and disappeared back inside the shed. I got the message and from then used the shed as little as possible so that I didn’t unduly disturb what was going on. That was a number of weeks ago and now the air around my house is filled most of he day by six or eight swallows flying around catching insects who take over my shed each night to roost. Wow!
In September or October they will migrate to South Africa for the winter and – I expect and hope – will return to my shed next Spring to rear their 2015 brood.
I am really excited about all this. I now try to use the shed only when I can see the birds are flying over the fields catching insects. But when they see that I am going into what they imaging is their shed they return and zoom over it chittering and chittering until I come out again. I think they must be telling me to shut the door after me.
They are like members of the family now, and I shall miss them when they set off on their migration – or maybe they will take me with them!
If not, I will be watching for their return next spring. One swallow may not make a Summer, but it will certainly make my day.

Birthday Greetings

January 29th, 2014

Happy 80th birthday Ted,
with love from all of us down in Worcester
hope you had a great day.
I did try to ring you but there was no reply.

2nd June

June 2nd, 2013

Happy June everybody !

Have a nice sunny month.

my birthday

May 4th, 2013

My birthday is on the 7th May. I am going to be 9.

Gabriela

 

Ealm bible week

April 7th, 2013

We went to a konfrence called ealm bible week. We woke up early every day.It was fun and I got a gift of the spirit.(Which is holly spirit.)Speaking in tongs! It was funny at the start.
Gabriela

keeping cool 2

March 31st, 2013

Kepping cool

Keeping cool

March 31st, 2013

keeping cool 2

Hi Gabriela

March 30th, 2013

First of all a very special Happy Easter to you and Jonathan and mum and dad.

I always enjoy reading what you put on the blog, especially your comments.  It is lovely to have you with us.

You commented that you wanted to go see the tigers.  The person who actually went there and spent time with them is your great-uncle Bob – my brother.  He will be putting some more photos when he has chance.

I know a little rhyme about someone who went to see the tigers.

There was a young lady of Riga

Who went for a ride on a tiger.

They returned from the ride with the lady inside,

And a smile on the face of the tiger.

So if you do get there to see them and one of them invites you to climb on his back for a ride – BEWARE!!!

You mentioned in one of your posts that there may be  some Talbots in your family that you don’t know.  There certainly are and if you want to see their names you will find them if you go to www.talbotfamilyonline.org.uk which is the family record.  You will find Jonathan’s name at the top as he is the youngest member of the Talbot family as far as I know. Ask your dad to help you find your way around this family web-site – it can be rather complicated at first.

Now then, how is our igloo doing?  Did you manage to get it into the freezer? (Joke!!!) I guess it is looking a bit sorry for itself as a few warmer days have passed since we built it.  And the snowman will be feeling a bit unhappy too as he melts.  Do you think that they really do feel sad?  It must be horrible to feel yourself trickling away like that.

Oh, I meant to ask you, was your second school concert on Thursday so that your godparents could attend?

We have had some more snow this morning, but it is sun-shining now and I am going to town on the bus to get some new shoes so I will stop now and get this posted.

Keep writing and commenting – I will be looking forward to reading what you say.

Much love to you all.  I am looking forward to seeing you again in a few weeks.

Grandad.

 

Holly spirit

March 29th, 2013

When we become Christians Jesus automatically gives us the Holy Spirit to live inside of us. The Holy Spirit makes us know when we have done something wrong. We might feel sick to our stomach, or just get a bad feeling, that is the Holy Spirit reminding us that we are doing something wrong, or that we need to stop and say sorry and ask for forgiveness for what we’ve done
Gabriela

A very special place.

March 29th, 2013

Well, it is to me anyway. It is called White Rock and is the left-unquarried remains of a limestone outcrop on the edge of the Duddon Estuary. I pass it often during my walks and usually give it a cursory glance as I do. But this morning a gentle tide was well in, the sun was shining and there wasn’t a wind to speak of so that the hundred metres or so of sand which comprises the beach at White Rock seemed very inviting. I actually longed to have my feet on the soft sand as I have done so many times in my younger days. So I did just that and it was delicious.

Little wavelets were lapping the edge of the sand pushing ashore tiny clumps of bright green seaweed. Not one bird call was to be heard – a stark contrast with the nesting seabird colony I had passed as I walked the sea wall. It was very, very peaceful, and as I stood there enjoying it all my mind traversed back over many years and I remembered wonderful adventure-full days I had spent at White Rock. The place has not in any way changed since then. How could sand and sea and rock change in a noticeable way? They change their positions and shape, but they still remain the same – sand, sea and rock. So adventure called again and my feet retraced my footsteps of days gone by to explore and find again the well-hidden secret places of White Rock.

In former days I scrambled headlong over the rocks without any thought of danger or falls. But these days I go more cautiously carefully choosing my steps among the broken rock and strewn boulders – the consequence of age, not wisdom.

But the hidden treasures are still there – not so hidden really. I found the watershoot – a tunnel carved over many, many years by rough winter tides – when pounding waves threw themselves against the soft limestone and carved first a channel and then a tunnel and then an opening through which these days spent waves burst free of the limestone to emerge, geyser-like – into the fresh air in a spume of water. When the tide was still well out I used to crawl and wriggle my way through the tunnel and emerge like a wave through the limestone vent into the fresh air, but not today – again a consequence of age, not wisdom.

The limestone is populated with a variety of fossils – the remains of sea creatures which lived millions of years ago. I have always been fascinated by these remnants of life-gone-by and today I marvelled at them once again as I scrambled over the rocks and gradually made my way back on to the sandy beach. Here I walked down to the water’s edge where tiny waves lapped gently and contentedly as my mind wandered back over the years refreshing the memories it carried of this beautiful place.

I recalled sitting on the white rock as I fished the night tide many years ago. It was a magical experience with millions of bright stars above me and a gentle breeze stirring the warm air. The dark waters below me were invisible in the all-pervading darkness of the night. Occasionally across the estuary car headlights could be seen following unseen roads, and I remembered wondering about the people driving the cars – who they were, where they were going, what they were thinking and so on. I don’t remember catching any fish that night. Catching fish didn’t seem very important. The night itself was sufficient to meet my need.

I dreamily recalled another occasion when James and I pegged out a set-line with one hundred baited hooks. It was a wild and wet night when we went back to retrieve our catch – one small dab which I think James had for his breakfast the next morning. But, once again, it was the experience and doing it which brought the satisfaction.

There were other memories of lying on this tiny beach in the warm sunshine while the little ones played safely and noisily at this same water’s edge. I had it all to myself today, but with the advent of summer other families would come and enjoy exactly the same things in exactly the same way, creating their own memories – and just as it had for the fossils and for me – life would go on Eventually I roused from my reverie and gradually retraced my steps to the path to continue my walk, thankful for how richly blessed I have been to have enjoyed so much in this beautiful place – my very special place.

Happy Easter to everyone

March 29th, 2013

Easter tomb

He is not here ….. He is risen as he said

Seems to be catching on!

March 29th, 2013

Boy and lion cub

A day with the tigers

March 28th, 2013

Bob3Bob2Bob1

Happy everything to everybody!

March 27th, 2013

heart-bear.gif

My Family

March 27th, 2013

My family is great! I just tened to a free reader and they were so happy. I have the best grandperents ever which inklods you grandad. And maybe there are some Talbots from my family that I don’t know!
Gabriela.

easter

March 26th, 2013

I am wishing a happy easter this year to everyone!

Gabriela