Friday, 25 July 2014

Cheesey Visit!!!

We have been away for a few days i the West Country visiting relatives.  While we were there we thought we would take in some of the touristy bits we never seemed to get around to seeing.

These included Cheddar Gorge.  We were absolutely amazed at this site - really impressive and surprisingly unspoilt.  We had been warned that it was a bit "touristy" but we found the level quite acceptable and fun.

There is really something here for everyone including the extensive history and development of the Gorge, the Cheddar Cheese production, rock climbing, exploration of the caves and their beauty and stalagmites and stalactites!

For more information and impressive photographs visit their site...

We couldn't leave before buying some authentic cheese which had followed the traditional process and had been matured in the caves.  It was quite delicious and a vast improvement on the mass produced fare we buy in supermarkets.  We also bought some scrumpy.....made us feel like teenagers again!

Another bonus was getting a concession .....compensation of age!

There are so many places in Britain deemed as heritage sites which have such a lot to offer. We are ashamed to say that we have neglected them and have come to realise that we have missed out and we are now starting to take more interest and search out new experiences closer to home!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Week Highlights!

Well late Friday afternoon again!!  I thought time was supposed to hang heavy as you get older but it doesn't seem to be the case in our house!! It has been a very pleasant week with planned events and time to invest in our hobbies and interests.

As always I try to go to the gym most days as it really sets me up for the day.  I prefer to go early to when I feel at my best - if I leave it later then tiredness inevitably makes the seem trip less attractive. So how did the week pan out?

Monday was essentially gardening day.  Lots of trimming back, mowing lawn and hedge cutting.  So enjoyable and therapeutic and it was a reasonable day weather wise. I also treated myself to some of the roses as rain was on the cards and they would be ruined so I thought we would have the benefit indoors.

Tuesday I met a friend for a girly lunch at Balthazar in Covent Garden.  We haven't seen each other for a while hence need for a catchup. There's nothing nicer than a long leisurely lunch  with good company and not having to rush back to work!! Retirement does have its compensations!

Wednesday we went to see "Shakespeare in Love" at the Noel Coward Theatre. Splendid production - quite mesmerising and quite emotional.

We found the film excellent and the stage production didn't disappoint - very powerful in a different way. Highly recommend it.

As we were leaving a twenty something said to his friend ...."That was great and it was Shakespeare! Makes you feel cultured when you are not!"

Laughing  at this we then popped next door to Browns for dinner - end to a perfect day!

Thursday read our newspapers on line, did my tweets before getting up! Bliss!  Cooking, cleaning and ironing filled the rest of the day. It has to be done! I also did the finishing touches to an oil painting  of a member of our family.  Will have to let him have a look and see what he thinks!! Now have to look for another subject which is often the hardest bit.......

Today went over to Chiswick to have a brief catchup with my daughter took the grandchildren to school before heading back for lunchtime with my husband. 

I can honestly say i am never bored there are so many things I want to do and I am trying my best to fit as many of them in as I can. We can never stress the importance of planning for your future enough. When you are young you don't pay so much attention to saving for retirement as it seems a long way away.  However as we tell our children if you work hard, be sensible and save as you go along then your future can be assured and you can enjoy the liberation that retirement brings.  Thankfully 50, 60, 70+ somethings don't carry the stigma of age so much and remain vital and curious about life. Providing your health holds out the wonder of new experiences is still within your grasp!!

Friday, 4 July 2014

A Day In Court..................

I am sure everyone has been shocked and sickened as the detail of Rolf Harris's trial unfolded.  This of course has culminated today with his jail sentence. I suppose people of my generation also feel robbed and duped as he was such a family viewing type entertainer.

About 10 years ago my husband and I were staying in a quiet small unassuming hotel in Kenilworth in Warwickshire.  We were enjoying our evening meal when we heard a lot of noise in the lobby area outside of the restaurant. At first we thought it was a wedding party and then I saw Alwen Harris appearing in the doorway.  I recognised her immediately as she had the distinctive beads and braids in her hair.  She was quickly followed by Rolf Harris and his entourage who appeared to be part of a film crew.  In total there must have been about 15 in the party.  At first we were intrigued as the situation seemed surreal - a well known larger than life figure turning up out of the blue in such an obscure place.

Rolf Harris was clearly holding court and as you would expect dominated proceedings.  He was the centre of attention and kept flexing his menu whilst making the well known noises of "aloHa, aloHa, aloHa" well thats what it sounded like!  Now this was funny at first but when he continued all evening it did get a little trying!!

He is a multi-talented person who is blessed with the ability to win an audience over with his singing and story telling but most importantly with his paintings.  It was a pleasure to see him painting such a wide range of subjects and build them into programmes which all could enjoy whether this was a particular interest of yours or not.

What none of us could ever imagine is that he hid such a dark secret which eventually led to his downfall. Today is a day when justice has been done but the victims and the public must find it hard to come to terms with the past , present and future.

Yesterday we went to the Royal Academy to see their annual art exhibition and as the Rolf Harris case has been so high profile it was inevitable that he would be mentioned.  Maybe this put a bit of a dampener on things as we were not as impressed with the exhibits this year and some of the high profile past exhibitors failed to make a contribution......there is always next year!