Sunday, 30 May 2010

My Garden at the end of May

 Came to my computer with the express wish to visit my blogging buddies and ended up playing around with 'blogger in draft' templates. I have resisted changing my template as I prefer to have something simple so that the accent is on my posts and not the background. Having found a simple one I went for it on impulse. From there I thought I would try the 'blogger in draft' formatting. I did try this when it was first added but was too impatient to play around with it so gave up.  Here I am having another go and learning as I go along. In so doing I have randomly selected some current scenes from my garden as a test post. Hope you enjoy.
The tomatoes are on their way
This is the Strawberry bed full of lettuce that has germinated
from last years discarded compost

The above shows a Blackbird's nest and if you
look carefully it has used plastic to line it
The sad thing is that a Magpie raided the nest
A Robin has been more careful and built a nest
behind this ivy

Saturday, 29 May 2010

50th Anniversary at Aldeburgh

Having celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary with a party for 37 friends in December and later in the Spring, afternoon tea at Mulberry House, it was now time to enjoy the last of our celebrations at our chosen hotel, The Brudenell in Aldeburgh. The party was a gift from our children, the afternoon tea was a gift from friends and one night at the hotel a gift from a group of friends, the second night being our gift to each other.

We arrived at our hotel mid-afternoon, having visited Southwold, a seaside resort a little further up the coast first. Aldeburgh being not too far away, we visited places on the way and on the way back with the intention of doing nothing once there but walk and relax and enjoy the sea air.

I had packed only winter clothes as we were experiencing cold weather, and being away for only for 2 nights and staying on the edge of the North Sea did not think I would need anything else, but yes you guessed, the weather turned warm and sunny. Not complaining but wished that I had listened to that last minute thought of 'throwing in something cool!'

The hotel had been closed for refurbishing from New Year until Easter so everything was new and looking very different to how it was on our last visit when celebrating my 70th birthday. It had kept it's seaside theme but with a more modern look.

Even waves in the carpet

The hotel staff knew we were celebrating so left us a hand painted watercolour card with scenes of some of the beach front houses.

The chocolates came with the room

Where we sat and gazed at the sea

With tea brought up on arrival

Just listening to the waves through the open window night and day was one of my favourite things

Anne Semonin toiletries - French and pretty expensive

We took breakfast indoors, it has the sense of being on a ship without the motion

but we could have eaten outdoors

In the evening I chose fish on both nights. Always think this a good option when it is straight from the sea. Here we have my half eaten Line caught cod, Asparagus with Canellini beans and Pea sauce and garnished with Truffles (which I had already eaten). Truffles are such a delicacy and cost 350 pounds per kilo! Delicious but the tiniest amount is enough.
As part of the modernisation the hotel has stopped using white tablecloths - just as well as many dishes are now served on slate! Alan had a plate as he had Rack of Lamb, lamb dumplings and crispy Lamb balls with vegetables.

A beach sculpture in memory of the Composer Benjamin Britten who once lived here. The town still holds music festivals in his name. The text which cleverly shows up against the sky says - "I hear those voices that will not be drowned"

Gulls in flight

An old 'lookout tower' now converted into a holiday cottage.

More 'lookout' towers also converted into comfortable holiday cottages. These towers were meant to defend the country from French invasion but that never happened.

The old town pump on the left.

The cottage at the top on the right hand side is the second home of friends of my daughters.

Just as we were getting into the car to leave the Lifeboat was launched. We did not stay around to see the outcome as we had plans for the day.
Lots of photos of this town in previous posts under 'Suffolk' so concentrated here only on the hotel and the beach.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

My Town, My Country and the World

We returned from our trip Thursday and our feet have not touched the ground since. Before posting on our trip thought I'd post on this weekend first. Have a particularly busy week coming up but will hopefully get my photos sorted.

This afternoon the market place in the centre of our town was a place of praise and worship as Christians from various denominations came together to flood the town with prayer and worship as part of the ongoing World Day of Prayer. Just over a week ago we were seeing temperatures of 54 degrees but this week it has 'hotted' up and today we were sweltering in 86 degrees. Not conducive to sitting/standing outside in the sun for 90 minutes so many were using up every bit of shade possible. Ironic that some of us were standing outside the 'Iceland' store. I think they sold lots of ice lollies today!

Our town is certainly in receipt of much ongoing prayer as many regularly walk the ring road praying. Added to this lots of the youth are out on Saturdays praying for people personally as they go about their shopping and then there are the Street Pastors out on Friday and Saturday nights 'till all hours of the morning, offering help and praying for the over inebriated young people as they leave the nightclubs.

Thousands will be coming together at the local football stadium in a couple of weeks to pray for our nation and the world at large.

Tomorrow we begin 24 hours of prayer.

Then yesterday was the launch of a new venture at Pilgrims Hall. (Lots of posts on Pilgrims Hall if you click on my sidebar). The Christian bookshop in the local town had to close down due to the widening of the road at the junction where the site was. It has been sorely missed so together with the owner we have gone into partnership and are running a Christian Bookshop at Pilgrims Hall.

There is nothing that Paul, seen here, does not know about Christian book selling having been in the business for 30 years, buying selling, supplying, wholesaling and writing books himself. We are not embarking on a serious money making venture but offering a service to the community and bringing in more people to these beautiful and serene acres. It's now time to ceremoniously cut the tape.

Starting small and will build up when we know what people want.

I have posted many photos of this place in the past but before leaving will take just a few to add to this post. The Wysteria is in full bloom but only on the Pagoda. It did cover the side of the house until we had to have it removed a couple of years ago as it was seriously beginning to damage the brickwork. The Hall is a listed building and we had no choice, the work had to be done to specification costing us £65,000 (pounds). A real faith venture in these financially difficult days.

The Hall is used by many groups and churches so on a day like today there are always people taking time out in the grounds to study, meditate or pray.