Thursday, 13 September 2012

Save Our Sidmouth

Save Our Sidmouth campaign - read about it here: and the link here for the Sid Vale Assoc.

Also I seem to remember the Sidmouth Herald reported a few weeks ago that the local aurthority East Devon District Council were conveniently unable to find any papers that showed the Knowle had been given to the local townspeople as a public space. However the Knowle has been used on many occasions for numerous years for walking, public events, picnics and by dog walkers since the early 70's.

Maybe the Council haven't made a robust enough search of their archives? I see from this document that a Mr Brian Golding refers to minutes in the Devon Record office that the Knowle was acquired in 'order to preserve the gardens and land as a public amenity'  see this link:

I do not see how the local authority can as Owner of the site put forward to it's own Development Plans to it's own Planning Aurthority. It is an unfair procedure. I will be writing to the Mr Eric Pickles MP to request that this be examined to ensure the townspeople of Sidmouth do not lose a valuable much loved open space.

Finally I cannot understand WHY  there is a need for more housing locally. There is a completely new town Cranbrook being built in the Honiton Exeter area.  And the population of Sidmouth town has been practically static for decade after decade, Most of the recently built 'affordable' homes are bought by local business men, which they rent out. The more expensive homes are bought by 2nd homers, or again by local business men for residential/holiday lets.

I question the close links of local businessmen and their influence on the local Council.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Wish to be Eight Again

Oh - To be eight again!
A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, watching his wife who was looking at herself in the mirror. Since her birthday was not far off he asked what she'd like to have for her birthday. 'I'd like to be eight again', she replied, still looking in the mirror.

On the morning of her Birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Coco Pops, and then took her to the Adventure World theme park. What a day! He put her on every ride in the park; the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Roller Coaster, everything . . .

Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park. Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down. He then took her to a McDonald's where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake.

Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her favorite candy, M&M's. What a fabulous adventure! Finally she staggered home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted.

He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, 'Well Dear, what was it like being eight again? Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed.

'I meant my dress size, you retard!!!!'

The moral of the story: Even when a man is listening, he is gonna get it wrong

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

How Not to Respond to Criticism

It all started with a Tweet from @MandyPandy. I went to look at the suggested link and found myself on Big Als Books & Pals Blog . I found the comments so funny I couldn't resist moving on over to Jacqueline Howett's Blog.  

I'm not going to make any comments. I'll leave you to judge for yourself.

If you don't want to visit her Blog but are interested in her book, here is a


I found her art work of interest and particularly liked this:

You'll have to go over to her Blog to view as unlike some other artist's that I've admired I wouldn't dare to copy my favourite of her art work here.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Yes Yes Yes

Sorry this wasn't a trick question. I'd tried to send a post from my iPhone but it arrived as unreadable rubbish so I pulled it immediately. But now having just visited Retired & Crazy I see a trace of  it's still there on her blogroll. How embarrassing.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Brushes Painting

Anything David Hockney can do; I can do too. Using iPhone app Brushes.

And just as I sit awhile to take in the view these folk stroll by and stand to gossip right in front of me. Why not lean on the fence somewhere else!

Jacob's Ladder beach Sidmouth, late October.

Friday, 20 August 2010


I've acquired a new desktop PC.  A smart looking  'AllinOne'  that takes up less space. With  the bonus of  less cabling. No tangle of wires  to acquire and trap dust in inaccessible places. Bliss.

I'm in the middle of setting it up. Transferring files; documents; Family history research; various address books; login details and passwords; Favorite web pages and Bookmarks; not to mention zillions of photos. All moved from the old machine to the new.

It will be interesting to see, once it's all complete, just how much of the 1TB hard drive has swallowed up all my computing history from 1994 to date. Not to mention whether some of the old documents will still open with the new operating system. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

BT WiFi Hotspots - Are You Providing One of BT's Free Links??

Is everybody aware that 'BT Fon' the exciting community of WiFi hotspots means sharing your home router with anyone who wants to sit or park outside your house to surf the web on their laptop?

I can see that in a large town or city this may be perfectly acceptable. However, in a small rural community where the only cars that park outside your house are visiting you then I feel this is an invasion of privacy. I am annoyed that I and many of my local friends were unaware of our location being entered on to the BT WiFi Hotspots map.

Rather than entering our Routers on this map as WiFi access points I feel it would have been more POLITE to ask us if we wanted to opt in. Rather than automatically setting it up, not making it clear and leaving it up to us to have to find out how to opt out.

Having opted out then to  be advised to leave our router on for 48 hours for them to remove the Hotspot Facility. Surely it is 'my router' and I should have been invited to have this download only after I had agreed to it.

If this is idea new to you as well then you may like to click on this link to check whether you are providing a community HotSpot WiFi access point. You may not mind. But I think you should at least know about it. If you decide to opt out check carefully by clicking on the 'Check Status' link. I think the 'opt out choice' is inclined to make it look as if you already are - so do doubly check.

I may well decide to opt in at a later date.  But will do so only once I have had chance to read all about it. I'll weigh up all the pros and cons and then make a decision. For myself.

Monday, 14 June 2010

I've been tagged . . .

I've been tagged by monalisa

1. Which holiday destination have you revisited again and again? Devon - which is why I'm so pleased to be living in East Devon, near Sidmouth.

2. Why did you start a blog? I was depressed with 'no fun' in my life. I could no longer share my thoughts with MyMan as he was ill, in pain and severely depressed. and I realised that I was more of a carer than a wife.

There's not much change nowadays apart from the fact that I have made more of an independent life for myself, found new interests and am better able to cope with the ups and downs of life - alone, more often than not.

3. What is your favourite TV programme? Damages

4. Red wine or white wine? Definitely Red, preferably Hardy's Stamp

5. What is the biggest lie you have ever told? "How lovely, what a surprise " meaning: 'I would never have have wasted money on this . . . '

6. Have you ever won money? £50 premium Bond prize - 3 times - over last 10 years on Bonds held for 30 odd years - not a very good return.

7. Your first childhood memory? Probably age between 3-4yrs Leaning over the end of my bed watching my mother bath my baby sister in the next room. In an enamel bathtub in front of a roaring coal fire in a room lit by gaslight: - also around the same time; pinching baby sister as she lay sleeping in the front garden in her pram.

8. Do you enjoy cooking or being cooked for? I love cooking. I only enjoy someone cooking for me if they use quality fresh, British reared/grown wholefood ingredients .

9. Have you every had need to call the fire brigade? Never. I've had a couple of kitchen pan/toaster fires in my time but I don't panic and just drape a soaking wet tea towel on top of the flames.

10. How many houses have you lived in? Am now on my 7th home

Now my own questions will require some thought so will I return to this part later.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Mutley the Dog . . .

Mutley the Dog - such shocking sad news recently from Merryweather.

And how I wish I had the words to express what I feel. But then I believe that Wife in the North has already done this for me . .

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Let's Have Ed Milliband for Leader

I've just left the following comment on this website: if you agree then go on over and let your views be known.

"I recently left a comment on “Wife in the North” Blog that I felt Ed Milliband would be the best Labour leader by far. I feel he ‘connects’, speaks normally, naturally and lucidly.

However, having just seen his opening speech of the campaign I’m VERY disappointed to see him using lots of strange arm movements and stabbing hand gestures. Maybe he was anxious or over keen to impress." (It looks even more bizarre with no sound on)

"Please Ed, just act naturally. Only use your hands if it’s natural to you but don’t study it – it reminds me far too much of Actor Tony B Liar and Gordon Brown’s spookily strange grinning. This didn’t look at all natural or relaxed to me. It’s your words, belief system, values and integrity we want to know all about. Don’t disappoint me at the first hurdle.
Good luck. From a floating voter."

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Well at last Gordon Brown and Labour/New Labour have left the stage.

As Cameron arrived at Buckingham Palace to form a new Government there was a rainbow in the sky. The Sky cameraman filmed it but no one remarked on it. I felt it was a sign. I just hope it was a good one.

I haven't been impressed by the way the Lib Dems have handled these coalition negotiations. I feel rather let down by Nick Clegg. I'm certainly against voting for them in the near future.

So I'll keep my fingers crossed that Cameron's Govt can do what is needed. I think they know what needs to be done but do they have the strength and the will to do it? My fingers are crossed.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Gordon Brown's Experience

I know that Gordon Brown keeps telling us how he has the experience of getting us out of the financial mess he created. He may be right.

But let us remind ourselves a little of just how much he has mismanaged the country's finances in the last 13 years.
  1. Removed £5bn tax incentives from pensions and at one stroke ruined our country's previously much admired pension system within a very short time scale

  2. Sold our GOLD reserves when prices were at rock bottom - STUBBORNLY going against the advice of the Treasury Dept. A financial loss to us of £7bn. "The loss to the Exchequer is now twice as high as the Conservatives’ decisions over the Exchange Rate Mechanism on black Wednesday".

  3. Frequently tells us the immigration enriches our economy with workers spending their earnings on the local economy. When in fact most of them claim maximum benefits (e.g. child benefit) which they then send home to the family to enrich their homelands economy.

Reading this you may think that it doesn't directly affect you - but it does and it will. You'll have less money in your pocket after the election which ever party gets in.

But remember you have Gordon Brown to thank for the mess we are in. He has sold off and squandered our country's assets. Rather than saving some of the £5bn from the pension tax raid, or the £xbn acquired from the sale of gold reserves - not to mention £22.5bn raised in 2000 when he sold off the airwave licences to the mobile phone companies and although he promised PRUDENCE and an end to BOOM and BUST - he failed to save any of this ill gotten gains for a rainy day. Well it's been raining for a while now and it will only get worse.

Remember who you have to thank for this.

Secret Ballot?

If - as we are always told - we have a secret ballot then why does the clerk cross reference our electoral roll number on the counterfoil of our numbered ballot paper?

I'm trying to make a one woman stand against this creepy version of a secret vote. I'm going to go in claim my ballot paper then persuade everyone else behind me in the queue that we should all swap papers around before we vote. Then our choice will be secret . .

Here is an 'official version' of why the electors registration number is noted on the counterfoil -

Well - they would say that wouldn't they!

When The Earth Moved . . .

Look at that . . . it's still going .... WoW - look at this, , it's still going . . . look at this it's still going ... it's still moving . . .

A man of few words ..... when the earth moved in California

Friday, 9 April 2010

Monster Raving Elections

One of our local councillors has re-released a recording he made, back in history, when he used to be an ordinary member of the tax paying public and a thorn in the b***side of the local council. He used to stand for election as a member of the Monster Raving Loony Party. The locals say that he once paid his local taxes by dumping a pile of horse manure at the front entrance to the council offices. He is no longer a rebel. He is one of them. Now he is just a plain old Con.

He appears to be a man of low ambition. His main focus during this latest election is that he would like to see his old record gain the number 10 slot in the hit parade. To this end there is a website with a link where you can listen to this re-issued offering here . . .

He does excite a lot of comment from the residents of Sidmouth - one of whom is SeeRed:
"However, in order to get councillors from the entrenched majority party to talk to him, he saw the light and was converted to Conservatism. He was (and still is) the County Councillor for the ward that includes Sidford and as such was responsible for highway matters, which are a County (DCC) not a District (EDDC) responsibility. During the entire 'long hot summer' of protest in the village of Sidford, Councillor Hughes was not seen once by any of the residents or shopkeepers who were protesting. He never even came to discuss the reasons for what was (by the standards of sleepy Sidmouth) a huge and unprecedented protest. This involved several village meetings in a packed hall, banners, placards, TV cameras and local radio. Councillor Hughes was invited to attend meetings of the Action Group, and did not appear. Hundreds of normally quiet residents, most of whom were near or over retirement age, attended protest marches".

Friday, 5 March 2010

Pisces Fishy Feeder

Just drop a couple of handfuls of fish food in for Dave Dee, Dozey,Beaky, Mitch and Titch. Just click on your mouse button. Be sure and sprinkle it around. Please - until I return. Thank you.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Happy Birthday to . . .

Happy Birthday to me . . .

Not quite the day I had planned. I dreamed of a leisurely start with coffee and opening of cards and gifts. Then maybe lunch out . . .

But instead I was to be dragged awake at 6 a.m by a shrill alarm. Out of doors by 7 a.m without breakfast . . .

The flowers I had bought myself failed miserably and were chucked onto the compost within 3 days . . . Ah well, there is always next year . . .

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Maybe They Are Related

Maybe Brian May and James May are related in some way.

I've just Googled Brian May and James May to see if they are related in anyway. I watched 'Queen in Montreal' last night on Sky Arts. Once again I was struck by how much Brian May made me think of James May. So I decided to Google them to see if any family history is available on the Internet. All I found is that several other people have have the same idea. So I'm not the only person to see a strong similarity.

It would be very nice to see BBC TV conduct a "Who Do You Think You Are?" on them to see if they are linked - perhaps as remote cousins? Maybe.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Take a Deep Breath - Keep Calm . . .

Take a deep breath, Keep Calm and Carry on; regardless, through thick and thin even If all those around you are losing their heads just Keep Calm and Carry On.

Friday, 1 January 2010


There is nothing like a new year to bring on a case of nostalgia.
I was chewing a chocolate coated toffee from the last of the Christmas sweet tin when 'Merry Maid' toffees came to mind and Iced Caramels. I've just looked up to see if Merry Maids still on the market. I find they are but now renamed and repackaged. They are now called 'chocolate coated caramels' and come in a boring gold wrapper.

I've just been for a spot of sweet shop nostalgia down old memory lane via the 1950s (no mention of my favourite Acid Drops which makes my mouth water to this day) and do you remember those chewy little milk bottles? Then on to the 1960s with coconut mushrooms and sweet tobacco. Sharpes Toffee Bonbons . . . mmmmm . Sweet Dreams are Made of This.

What were your favourites? Are they still in production or long gone from this list of goodies?

Thursday, 17 December 2009

I'm still here . . .

I'm still here . . . struggling to wave rather than drown. Keeping my head above water . . just.

3 positive things:
  1. I have joined a Bridge Club and have acquired an experienced player as a partner. I'm sure we will be a force to be reckoned with once I understand his bidding. And even more so when he understands I have moments of brilliance. As well as moments when I lose concentration. When I start thinking of all the chores I need to do. A consequence of which is that I find I'm not sure whether I'm playing in a Trump or a no Trump contract.
  2. The new car is wonderful. For such a large car [after my little Honda Jazz] it is very easy, relaxing to drive and manoeuvre around local towns. Unlike when driving the Jazz - drivers of 4x4s no longer attempt to bully me on the road.
  3. MyMan and I are still together.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Help A Poppy Seller

I really cannot believe it. The RBL Poppy sellers have been told that they cannot draw attention to their collecting activities by shaking a collecting tin or requesting a donation! It is said that people might feel intimidated. Well I never - go to the foot of our stairs!! What a load of wimps people are if they feel intimidated by a rattle of a collecting tin as you walk by. Far by worse are the people who try to badger you into giving bank details to make a charitable donation by direct debit.

I'd like to suggest that we all mobilise as willing unofficial volunteers. Go fill old baked bean/soup cans with some loose change. Then go out and find a quiet and silent Poppy Seller. Just stand near them. Shake your coin filled tin as loud as you are able. As far as I'm aware there is no law against this.

If an officer of the law does make an appearance and questions you - start to shout 'penny for the guy' and/or 'trick or treat'.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

An Extra Hour

The clocks go back to Greenwich Mean Time at 2 a.m tonight. I'm trying to decide on whether to turn all my clocks back an hour before I go to bed or attempt a lie in and then claim my extra hour early on Sunday morning. It's not often we get given something for nothing so I do like to consider carefully how to spend this extra time.

It will proably take me 15 minutes to alter all the clocks - only 2 of them are radio controlled. I love clocks so have many in each room. I find thier ticking meditative and calming.

I am aware that some people, for example those on night shift, will have to work from 1 - 2 a.m . Then the clocks will be put back and they'll have to work that hour all over again - probably for no extra pay!?

Sunday, 18 October 2009

One Simple Idea

One simple idea is all we need - I just wish I was clever enough to come up with one . . .

This is one very successful lady - a simple idea - but it shows that if you have an interest and a natural passion for your subject it can be contagious. She now has a book out and had a book signing session at Waterstones.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Daily Diary Planner and all . .

I have a daily diary, a pocket diary, a calendar planner and a weekly planner.

The daily diary - a 'page a day' diary - is where I write my thoughts, the days weather and what I did during the day. It's my life in the past tense, intense, warts thoughts and all. Always written up with my first cuppa early the next morning.

My pocket diary '2 weeks to a view' goes everywhere with me. When I haven't mislaid it that is. I like to see immediately whether or not I can accept an invite to tea, party or play bridge. It has to be co ordinated with the 'month to a view' calendar planner which has an his /her morning/afternoon appointments grid. His full of his health care plan, therapy and hospital appointments and hers (mine that is) hair, dental, opticians, bridge lessons, book group, birthday, anniversary reminders, and where necessary taxi service to take my spouse to his various hospital appointments. The centre column of the grid is set aside for the household projects: gardener, plumber, decorator, recycling, landfill collection etc.

As soon as a date is agreed it has to be entered on the planner and then entered in my pocket diary. If they aren't co-ordinated all hell breaks loose.

At the weekend I then write the full programme out on to a new blank weekly planner sheet. Which I sellotape to my wardrobe door. That way I know where I am going and where I should be going after that. My favourite days are the ones that have a whole half day with a blank space . . .

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Steven Seagull Gang Bang

Steven Seagull is not selfish - he's invited his gang to join him. The raucous calls at 5.30 calling all his friends and lovers to join him in our apple harvest is enough to drive me to drink. But even I don't like the idea of cracking open a bottle at 6 a.m.

I'm wondering whether I could sneakily take a pot shot at him with an air rifle? I'm just worried that Google Earth might at that precise moment be overhead snapping my picture as I - in a tatty bright pink dressing gown - commit a seagull massacre. I'm not sure which would be worse - for all to see me in my tatty gown - like a bright pink sack of potatoes. Or to be caught and prosecuted for murdering gullible gulls.

Perhaps it will be easier if I plod uphill to the orchard and just collect up all the windfalls.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Steven Seagull

Bloody Steven Seagull woke me at 5.30 again today. He's taken to paddling in our birdbath. I couldn't figure out why he's so attracted lately to our garden. Then I saw him making off with a windfallen apple clenched betweens his huge yellow bill. I wonder how far he can fly without dropping it. Have visions of some unfortunate person being hit by a falling apple and having that Newton moment.