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Rosie's Rural Ramblings
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in rosie55's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, March 9th, 2008
5:40 pm
Playing with Flock!
There is a theory that I should be able to upload piccies to my Flock page (which uploads faster than LJ) and then drag them across to any page I am using in Flock.
Hmmm. I'll give that a try then.I've uploaded a few misc.pics in Flock and will try dragging my moggies across!
Sleepy mogs!

Shared with Flock - The Social Web Browser
http://flock.com

That worked. And you didn't even hear them protest,did you?
But it has that nuisance "shared with" bit. Wonder if that happens with every pic? 
Piccie of some cowslips, anyone?
DSCF7509.jpg

Is it me or is there no additional inscription?

How about a tree against the sunset? DSCF6565.jpg

Wheee! I like this!

And one really nice thing is that Flock will pull things from Flickr too, and any other social website where I might have pictures loaded  without having to fiddle with uploading windows, etc.

Right, I shall go play some more!  Do let me know if these pictures don't appear for you!



Current Mood: pleased
Monday, December 17th, 2007
5:09 pm
Birthday Greetings, PRZed

Happy Birthday, PRZed!

 

 Hope you are having a lovely day, and being thoroughly spoilt.

Thank you for the wonderful stories and vids you create and give such pleasure with.

 

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007
12:30 am
Views from my house!
This is me at my most boring, I suspect!!
It struck me recently how different the scenery here can look over a relatively short period of time. So I have developed a habit of taking shots of views from the house in two or three directions, sometimes several in one day, sometimes several in one hour, to show the countryside in her changing moods and colours. It fascinates me how quickly the scene and the light can change.   Not dialup friendly below so, at your own risk of being bored silly....


Current Mood: geeky
Friday, November 16th, 2007
3:46 pm
The car saga continues!
Well, today is Friday, and I am just wondering whether this new car is really meant for me?
The dealer needs my new Insurance Certificate before he can get the road fund licence for the car so I can pick it up tomorrow. In the UK you can't take a vehicle on the road without this licence which is issued for 6 or 12 months at a time and you can't get the licence without producing a current insurance certificate to prove that you are insured to drive the vehicle. Well, honest people can't take a car on the road without it and the dealer certainly isn't going to hand over an unlicensed car. We won't go into the huge underclass where people wouldn't dream of taxing their car and where, somehow, an awful lot of them seem to get away with it.
On the Insurance front, an incidental and non-urgent letter for my husband has arrived from Churchill today but not my Insurance Certificate. The post office where they tax cars closes at lunchtime on Saturday. I wonder what time the post will arrive tomorrow? And whether my insurance certificate will be in it when it does? *Sighs*.
R set off from uni in Cornwall (250 miles away) about 12 today, to bring back his car which we are trading in. He will then have my old car which is in somewhat better condition. He has been having all sorts of minor and not so minor niggles with his, so it's a good time to get rid of it and we suspect it will go straight to scrap. He rang at lunchtime to say that, having stopped in the petrol station at Asda in Falmouth to buy just enough diesel to get him home, when he tried to start it up again, the car wouldn't start. The Automobile Association arrived and told him the head gasket has blown. Whoops! Big job, that. And definitely not economic. Fortunately, we have full cover with the AA which means that if they can't get your car going they recover it to wherever you are going. So he has just rung on his mobile to say that he is riding up the motorway in the very comfortable cabin of an AA Flat-bed recovery vehicle which I suspect he is quite enjoying. He says the cabin is the size of a small house! They will deliver it straight to the dealer at about 7pm tonight and we will pick him up from there. *Sighs again*.
Well, at least we are getting value for money for our AA subscription this year, that recovery alone would cost more than the sub for the whole family. 
And we've explained to the dealer what has happened and they have just said they will need to talk to us again about the trade-in value. Really? I wonder why that is?  *bg*  But frankly, if they will take it off our hands and dispose of it at no cost to us, I think we'll smile nicely and count ourselves fortunate.
What you might call 'One of those days'! Still and all, it's only cars and everybody's fine. It could be a whole lot worse!
As I said before, watch this space!

Current Mood: frustrated
Thursday, November 15th, 2007
1:24 am
Furballs!
And one last thought for the day.
How is it, when you've just had lovely spanking new carpet fitted in the dining room, (the one where you've been putting up with grotty turquoise stuff left by the previous owner for years) how is it the cat chooses very quietly to produce a large furball (and all the attendant nastiness) on that rather than the newspaper she is sitting on, or the kitchen floor which is vinyl and easy to clean or in the porch where we haven't replaced the carpet yet? And looks genteelly (is that a word?) surprised when you express minor distress.
Ah well, at least I found it before I went to bed, so it was relatively easy if icky to clean up!
The joys of pets!
On that delightful note, I shall to bed, firmly closing the dining room door and the cat outside of it!

Current Mood: quixotic
Wednesday, November 14th, 2007
11:21 pm
Hats for Smoothies!
Some of you may know of Innocent Smoothies the lovely but not cheap fruity drinks. I get these occasionally and J and I used to love reading their lists of ingredients which would run something like "34 strawberries, 7  blackcurrants, 2 apples, 1 small church*, 2 bananas and nothing else!" And at the bottom of the carton would be "*We lied about the church." All sorts of strange ingredients crept in, a canoe I seem to remember once - and they were always good for a giggle and a browse through the chiller cabinet whenever we visited the supermarket.
Sadly, the thought police seemed to catch up with them and their ingredients lists are more accurate but  less fun these days. The Innocent lot seem to like fun, though. And for several years, we noticed that at this time of year the small Innocent bottles came with little knitted bobble hats. Yes, bobble hats. Like this - And Innocent/Sainsburys/Waitrose were giving a donation for each one bought to  Age Concern, to help elderly people keep warm.
So today I checked the Innocent website to see when the hats were going to be available and just check this out  The Big Knit .  And do especially go to the Flickr page here and look at the hats people produce.
They are hoping to have 400,000  hats this year , all knitted by volunteers (thus raising £200,000 for Age Concern) and the real beauty is that people are obviously having enormous fun designing and producing the hats. There is a Hat of the Week Spot on the website! Some of them are positively inspired. And people are forming clubs to sit and knit together so it's encouraging people to be more social and the whole thing raises money for a good cause, too. And patterns in case you want to have a go. Talk about good news!
If I could only knit, I'd have a go but alas, that particular fairy was definitely absent from my christening. Still, I might just go and buy a few!

Current Mood: giggly
Sunday, November 11th, 2007
5:41 pm
"Just pure humanity."
Once more this morning, hundreds and hundreds of people, from small  children to wheelchair bound pensioners gathered on our town streets and around our Town War Memorial to remember and honour men of the town who gave their lives in two world wars. As my daughter once pointed out to me (and even though we are incomers and have no antecedents here), these are our people - the names on the memorial still appear in the school registers and voters' lists and clubs in the town. In the seventies and eighties, in our complacent post-Cold War society, Remembrance appeared to be dying out.  But over the past few years here I notice more and more people taking part in or watching the ceremonies in the town, parents bringing their children to watch - you can see them bending to explain various things, to encourage their interest. And marching behind the British Legion members this morning, I could see men I know to be in their seventies and eighties drawing themselves up and falling automatically into line as the "By the left quick march" rang out.

And as we filed into the Parish Church for the first part of the ceremonies, I caught the eye of my best friend, who was sitting in the congregation at the back of the Church and we exchanged smiles. She and I met when I first moved here - she had arrived only a year or two before me - and we brought our then small toddlers to the same playgroup and became fast friends. In April this year, P's son, now 23, fulfilled his long term ambition  by passing out from Sandhurst as an Officer in the British Army and he has been on training courses ever since, in various countries. He was home on leave in October. This week, he has been posted to Iraq with the rest of his regiment.  So, in addition to my great-uncle, David has been very much in my mind today with heartfelt hopes for his safety and that of all the other young men still fighting in our name.

While I was in Belgium I bought a book  of new photographs of the battle sites of Passchendaele commissioned by the local authorities in Belgium - some really beautiful photographs. And with each one is an extract from a contemporary document - a war journal, a medal citation, a personal diary relating to that site.

Adjoining this photograph of a field in Passchendaele still gleaming with deep mud and with one rusting shell presumably recently ploughed up, is this extract from the personal diary of Leutnant Schafer of the Infanterie-Regiment 465 - a German Officer. He wrote

"From a small pill-box I have a good view over the battlefield. In front of me is a remarkable sight: a break in the battle to remove dead and wounded. The guns are silent, a deep peace rules over the battlefield. No plough could gouge the fields in such a manner. The chaos is awful to behold. Slowly and carefully, stretcher-bearers with dogs arrive from both sides. Friends and foe alike have their red crosses clearly displayed. Fascinated, I watch this sad task through my field glasses. What a difference; no will to hurt, no raw hatred, just pure humanity."

What makes this especially sad for me is that Leutnant Schafer was looking out on the battlefield on 26th October 1917, the very day and in the aftermath of the battle in which my great-uncle died and in which they had presumably been doing their level best to kill each other.
So many people wonder at the futility of war, regardless of rank and nationality. We do now. And even in the midst of it, thinking men on both sides it seems,  wondered at it  then, were struck by the contrasts in that dreadful situation.

"Just pure humanity", such poignant words from a professional soldier of WW1. We need so much more of it,

Current Mood: Remembering
Monday, November 5th, 2007
8:36 pm
Belgium 5 - Houthulst and Poltyze, and Ypres again. And a few oddments!

Is it possible,  I hear you whine, to have more photographs of yet more cemeteries? Zzzzz....
Mmm. ‘Fraid so, folks! But I’ll try to leaven it out a bit. And they really really weren’t gloomy places, (well, not all of them)!



Current Mood: content
Sunday, November 4th, 2007
10:19 pm
Belgium 4 Langemark and Ypres
One friend advised me strongly not to write anything on LJ about my visit to the Western Front Battlefields, on the grounds that whatever I said was bound to cause offence to any German friends. I do very much hope nothing I say here does so, to people whom I do regard as friends - for no offence is intended. How can I, 90 years later make any value judgments about what happened then, save to feel such sad regret that conscientious young men of so many nations served their countries, killled and were killed, in terrible numbers, had their lives cut short or suffered terrible injuries - so many bereaved families, lives wasted or blighted.  We can surely share that regret as friends?
I do hope so.

2:11 am
Belgium 3 - Poelcapelle Cemetery
This one has taken me by surprise by writing itself and by being the most sombre so far. We did other things later in the day but this part stands alone and I will post it so.



Current Mood: sad
Friday, November 2nd, 2007
1:31 pm
Belgium 2
I do hope you - my friends - are not finding this boring - I am finding this a good way of recording details of my trip so that I shall be able to remember it, I do hope you'll feel free to slide on by if it goes on too much!
So on, if you can bear it, to details of another day, lots of pics below the cut - definitely not suitable for dial-up, sorry!

Current Mood: pensive
Thursday, November 1st, 2007
11:38 pm
Belgium 1
Well. After a couple of decent night’s sleep and a couple of late meetings at work out of the way, and I finally have time to gather my thoughts and tell those of you interested about my trip to Belgium. As usual clicking on the pictures once or twice will bring up the picture full size.



Current Mood: Weary!
Monday, October 29th, 2007
5:39 pm
We're home!
More details to follow, but we had a really good weekend and I'm exhausted!
And I had a message from J mid-morning today, Monday which simply said "Guess what just arrived...."
Words fail me. But at least it isn't lost or stolen, which is the only saving grace.
More later, lots of gorgeous autumn pics!
Just one sampler - this is at the edge of a Belgian War Cemetery - beautifully laid out and kept, surrounded by beech woods - very few foreign visitors, we're told but very peaceful.
Time for a cup of tea! Then I'll really know I'm home.

Current Mood: exhausted
Thursday, October 25th, 2007
5:12 pm
From Varlet Farm, Poelcapelle, Belgium
Well, three of us are here, after a very smooth journey, chauffeured by son R who prefers to drive. Alas, the missing passport has not turned up and one bitterly disappointed daughter has now missed the first reservation she had.
If it turns up tomorrow, she can still be with us on the lunchtime train.
We all hope.
Thursday, October 18th, 2007
5:43 pm
Gloucester Cathedral in the sun!
In Gloucester for a meeting near the cathedral yesterday, I had to walk back across the cathedral close at the end and the cathedral was just glowing in the afternoon sun. Always my favourite view of it,  I couldn't resist taking a picture. It's a very pretty cathedral (especially since they cleaned most  of the Victorian coal smuts off it!) and I particularly like the tracery round the top of the tower, so delicate when you think it's carved of stone.
However, the battery in the camera died on me, probably because I've been using it rather a lot lately, so this one was taken with my phone camera and then - gosh, I'm getting there, girls, (slowly!) I sent it to myself by e-mail! Oh, the technology, the technology...
Anyway, enjoy a glimpse of the glory that is Gloucester Cathedral!

The reason that I've been using the camera a lot recently is that I spotted this LJ challenge a couple of weeks ago called 100_snapshots got tempted to sign up and, goodness, it is addictive. There is a list of 100 words and you have to take a snapshot to represent each word. The idea is to get you to use your camera more and look at things with a fresh eye. Since LJ featured it (which was where I saw it) hundreds and hundreds of folk have signed up and started posting so it's difficult to keep up with all the posts. You can post any number at once - and there are some fascinating interpretations of the prompt words. It's just so completely different from anything else I do, that I've really been enjoying it!
Here is a link to my latest post http://community.livejournal.com/100_snapshots/149495.html   - I've got up to nearly 70 done and posted now - the last 30 are going to take the longest! There are links on that page to the rest of mine if you're really keen! Or you'll find them all in my scrapbook - I think you can get to that by clicking on one of the pictures, then on "up to gallery" in the topright hand corner. The little bits shown in the gallery are only part of the pics, you'd have to click on that to see the full picture  and most of them have captions, too. I think there will be a page on the challenge website when I finish with the whole lot of them. Depends how much time you have to spare, really. And some clever folk doing the challenge have created a table, like the one crack_van uses - wish I knew how to make that work, could save a lot of time!
Right, camera re-charged, I'm looking for "bold", "silk" and "detach" now!



Current Mood: cheerful
Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
12:50 pm
Birthday greetings!
To lisaloveslewis and [info]andreathelion   - wishing you both a very happy day and lots of pressies! Many happy returns!
Thursday, October 11th, 2007
10:07 pm
Happy Birthday, Izzie!
Whoops, a little late in the day but hope it isn't too late to wish you many happy returns! Hope you've had a lovely day with lots of pressies and being very spoilt!
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007
8:05 pm
More about Cotswold Tiles!
In my last post, I mentioned a poem about Cotswold Tiles which is in my favourite poetry anthology - Forest and Vale and High Blue Hill, which is all poems about Gloucestershire. I hadn't quite remembered properly, I thought there were about 15 different size tiles, apparently there are more. As we'd say in these parts, y'er tiz!

Cotswold Tiles

The finest roofs in all the land are made from Cotswold stone,
And the mason gives each tile a name like children of his own,
By length and breadth the tally runs, by width and depth and size,
And the mason knows them all by name,for he is very wise.

Long Day, Short Day, Moreday and Muffity,
Lye-byes and Bottomers, each a name receives,
Wivett, Beck and Cussomes, Cutting, Third and Bachelor,
Smallest under roof-ridge, largest over eaves.

Each tile in its special place is hung with loving care
And they weather down the ages in the mellow Cotswold air
Twenty-six in all there are - the family's not small,
I can but tell you one or two, I can't remember all.

Long Day, Short Day, Moreday and Muffity,
Lye-byes and Bottomers, each a name receives,
Wivett, Beck and Cussomes, Cutting, Third and Bachelor,
Smallest under roof-ridge, largest over eaves.

by Edward Berryman

Oh, the romance and delight of those names! Muffity, Lye-byes, Cussomes - I love this glimpse into the enclosed world of the Cotswold mason, a world in which the ancient skills and training earned a mason respect and standing and in which a whole special language developed, possibly because many of the labourers at least would have been illiterate and possibly the masons only learnt enough skills to mark up their stone and take measurements and make calculations for materials.
If you look into a Cotswold stone mason's yard, or where a roof is being replaced, you will see the tiles stacked standing on end (They must not be stacked on top of each other, apparently, always stood on end, can't remember why, though I was told, once!), each size sorted into their different groups, no labels, presumably the masons can see at a glance which size a tile is.
Sadly the ancient system of apprenticeships which secured the passing on of knowledge and wisdom has largely been abandoned now, which I personally think is one of the worst mistakes we, as a society, have made in education terms. But one of the local builders here was trained as a youth by one of last old-fashioned Cotswold stonemasons, an old fellow who would be regarded as distinctly eccentric and  probably primitive today.  He passed many of his skills on to Stan who can still tell me exactly which of the various quarries  the stone used in houses locally came from, what the qualities of that stone are, how it will weather etc.  And who takes a special pride in carrying out repairs and renovations so beautifully, that you cannot see where old and new stone blend. He gives every impression of being a profoundly contented man in his work.
 
3:43 pm
Tuesday, September 18th, 2007
3:33 pm
Cats and keyboards
Fellow catty people have sympathised with me before about our respective cats and their fondness for assisting with typing and keeping the laptop warm - or was that the laptop keeping them warm? Now here's a neat idea! Just look what someone has invented - http://www.bitboost.com/pawsense/index.html
I'm almost tempted to try it!

Current Mood: amused
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