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Showing posts from May, 2015

There's been more than one battle at Waterloo you know!

"Waterloo"'My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender
Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way
The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself...'

What do you know about Waterloo?

Do you say the words 'Waterloo',  and immediately launch into Abba's famous song?!

If so, you're right!
'At Waterloo Napoleon did surrender'

Fast forward two hundred years, and local Waterloo Blogger Gattina
is kindly showing me the famous sights of the Battle of Waterloo.
Where Napoleon's tyrannic rule ended, changing the direction of Europe.

As we arrive at the man made Butte Du Lion
we notice masses of soldiers ready for action,
as if they were going off to fight in 1815.

The area appears to be a massive construction site,
with frenetic activity and workmen trying to finalise building
 before the upcoming bicentenary celebrations.
These days, instead of being on horseback,
the soldiers are in cars fighting for a parking space!

The organis…

Brussels, Belgium

A whiff of waffle! May 2015
With that first smell of sweet waffles,  cooking on the street corners,  I knew I was back!
I have lived in Belgium twice.  
All of a sudden it seems a lifetime ago, indeed nearly 20 years, 
since our son was born here.
So many fond memories and lasting friendships formed in the school playgrounds...
Brussels is a fabulous city to live and also to visit.

It's small enough, to enjoy the major visitor attractions in a big weekend; Grand Place, Manneken Pis, Royal Palace, Parlamentarium etc. Add in a few museums, some art galleries and enjoy a beer or kir royale, whilst chomping through some pomme frites with mayonnaise, or how about a fresh crusty baguette with gorgeous cheese from an outdoor market? And before you know it, you're sad you're leaving, but have had a cracking time.
 I am here to wander  and enjoy wrapping myself in the familiarity of my old Belgium life... Sharing a sundowner drink in a pretty square with old friends,  or wandering through Parc…

How to run an amazing Flower Festival

It's all in the preparation...
Some worms on an ice cream! If you only knew the hours of work  that goes into organising a flower festival for the village, then you'd understand perfectly how this lady, Jesse Cox came to be collapsed in the front of my car last Friday.
Jesse Cox started life as a papermache balloon head,
some wool hair, and a body stuffed with plastic bags!

She was created, last year by my Parents 
along with her soldier husband, and a bridesmaid or two
 for her 1918 Church wedding at St Mary's Longcot.
2014's Flower Festival was a World War 1 inspired.

This year's theme Painters in Flowers is an interpretation  of the style, colours and work of famous artists. 

Each theme is meticulously planned by my Mother and her 
wonderful band of local Oxfordshire flower arrangers.

Mum has the vision, 
but turning that vision into a reality takes work,
 and an able assistant, my Father!

Jesse Cox is back, by popular demand!  2015 finds Jesse painting serenely in her garden...

In …

Dear Dave (Cameron) just a little suggestion...

 British General Election 2020!

Last Thursday 
 the storm clouds gathered over the not-so-United Kingdom
for the General Election.

It is fair to say that things have moved on a bit, 
ok a lot,
 since I did my A-level in Government and Politics.

Ummm I suppose it was rather a long time ago...
 Indeed the last time I voted in this country,  
the name Margaret Thatcher 
was on the ballot paper!

'Who's UKIP and Nicola?' 'What happened to the LiB Dems?'
Ed who? 'Scotland is interesting!'

But as quickly as I tried to get up to speed  with what was going on politically, and trust me,  those who'd not lived abroad for twenty plus years struggled too...

The next day it all changed!

It was like a political Ring a ring o' roses British nursery rhyme That we used to sing in the school play ground.
Ring a ring o' roses A pocket full of posies A tishoo, a tishoo We all fall down!
Apocket full of Conservatives won  under the leadership of a somewhat surprised David Cameron  who had been …

I remember Wren...

It's been a cracker of a British week!
We've had everything here starting with a Princess born,
Wren veterans at VE celebrations,
a visit to a Sir Christopher Wren inspired garden,
and a General Election.

It's a real trip down memory lane for me returning to the 
 English countryside where I grew up.

1, I remember Wren...
I was a country girl living in a small Oxfordshire village.

Learning to ride my pony and cantering across these hills, or perhaps more like careering wildly out of control, 
I had a spirited and young chestnut mare.
I never thought I would end up with a life of city living in Australia.

2, I remember Wren
I gave birth to my two daughters in Cheltenham maternity hospital.

They were easy uncomplicated births but
on the third day after Daughter No 1 was born
my car was stolen from the hospital car park.
It was eventually found in Brighton six week later...
I remember sobbing my eyes out 
with our new baby and a policeman taking notes!

How things have changed.
You don't get th…