Sunday, November 18, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
I was surprised by the BBC website this morning, and not in a good way. One of the headlines stated that it is 25 years today since the King's Cross fire that claimed 31 lives.
This also means that it was 25 years ago today that I lost my Dad to cancer. This took a while to sink in. Twenty five years is such a long time to be without your Dad, especially when he was the only parent you had, and you were still getting used to being a parent yourself.
The reason the two events will be forever entwined is that my Dad was being rushed to London from Cornwall by ambulance overnight mere hours before the fire broke out, and because he was so ill (the cancer was in his heart) we were advised not to leave for London ourselves until we knew he had arrived at the London Chest Hospital. They were fully expecting him not to survive the journey.
As a result, by the time we reached London on that tragic morning, traffic was chaotic, emergency services were at stretching point, and even the police could do nothing to help us get to the hospital any quicker.
And this is where an unsung hero entered the fray, in the shape of a London Cabby! He did what none of the emergency services could do that morning. He got us across London to the hospital. It was not in time to speak to our dad, unfortunately, because his condition was so serious they couldn't wait to operate and had already taken him to the operating theatre, and he never regained consciousness. But the Cabby was awesome to try, and we will always be grateful to him for that.
So, there you are. It is never easy losing a loved one at any time, but on a particularly well known date you can find that instead of toddling along nicely with your thoughts full of happy memories of your Dad, a news report can send your memory flying back to the fateful day as if it had only just happened.
My thoughts, therefore, today, are not only with my Dad, but with all the other people who lost their lives that day. With a special mention to Alexander Fallon, a homeless Scotsman who had been living rough in London, and who was finally identified in 2004. Gods bless.
Take care, and hug your loved ones. :-)
I've chosen these LOLs because I think my Dad would have appreciated them. :-)
Friday, November 16, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
I agreed to do a walking blog challenge from the London and Southeast England Sparkteam, but thanks to all my recent health blow-ups I haven't been for a proper walk lately, so on Wednesday when I went into town to return a couple of library books and get a few bits of shopping, I decided to take photos of the walk in and see what I could find in the way of flora and fauna.
Here's a photo blog of the trees, bushes and flowers dotted about the place, along with some unexpected fierce creatures that popped out to surprise me:
So, out of my front door and down my road...
My favourite local Silver Birch in all its autumn glory:
Sign that the Postie (postus deliverus) is on his rounds:
Turn right onto Harwich Rd...
An unexpected flash of white plumage catches my eye. It is our local greengrocer (grocius driverus):
As I continue along the pavement I spot the dead Eucalyptus across the road. It used to be a beautiful tree until the house owners gave it too drastic a trim:
One garden is cultivating its own shrooms specially for you Chicchantal:
And we approach the local wild animal sanctuary:
I see that a number of wild creatures are ready for rehoming...
There are still splashes of colour here and there...
Love the bare branches of trees against the sky...
One of three beautiful Holm Oaks...
One of what must be hundreds of roundabouts in Colchester. Actually, this is two mini roundabouts merged together, and the picture in the distance is of more wildlife, Mr michaelus parkinsus he is as chatty as a Minah Bird, that one...
A resting place by the roundabout so that you can observe all the wildlife that circumnavigates them...
According to this plaque a well was reopened here in 1844, but for the life of me I can't find it. How can I get a drink if I can't find the well?
Some nice gardens down this road as we head towards the level crossing:
And we reach the level crossing, which for once is open to traffic. My timing is usually off on this one but today I sail through...
And now we see more buildings than plants and trees, and aside from the human animals, the wildlife is pretty thin on the ground here. But I love buildings, so here is a selection of the nicer ones...
This is the Old Siege House. You may spot on the upper right side of the building what look like red circles. Each one is encircling a bullet hole from the famous siege of 1648.
And this is the Old Mill which is now luxury apartments...
More trees, and a little park...
And I'm in Priory Street, where Anne and I had the little parking adventure. Room to park today, if I had a car...
And this is where there is a nice long stretch of the Colchester Roman Wall. In Victorian times, the whole carpark was a row of houses and little back gardens. The Victorians who lived here did some repair work to the wall in places, with no regard for restoration as such, and there is even one section of very modern brickwork.
One of the things I love about this stretch of wall is the lush greenery sprawling over the top, and growing out of the cracks in the wall...
The Victorians further damaged the wall by doing this...
The Berryfield Mosaic currently on permanent view in the Golden Banana came from the back garden of one of these Victorian homes. The person in question dug through one corner of the mosaic to make a rubbish pit.
But my fave part of the wall, and the most intact part is this bit...
A low wall has been built to protect this turret...
Close up of the turret window...
So now I'm at the other end of the car park, and I am heading to the town proper, but there is one more building worth a peek at first...
This is St Botolph's Priory. The first Augustinian monastery in England. It dates back to 1103:
As I head into town proper, and through tne now non-existent South gate...
it occurs to me that we have seen very little wildlife, and sadly as I approach the shopping centre, all I see is a couple of well-fed pigeons...
But wait! What is that peeking out from behind the brush...
Ah, it is the famous Red Lion...
And as I approach the library to conclude my walk I sigh in disappointment that the Safari has been so short on wild animals this trip...
But it would turn out that I was wrong, and there were a couple of wildlife surprises waiting for me when I walked round to the local watering hole and feeding spot known as Greggs for a surreptitious sausage roll to munch on my way home.
I should have realised, being a Druid, that the best place to find wildlife is at watering holes.
First, I spotted this very scary looking wolf...
And as I was photographing it for my blog I made the mistake of letting my guard down.
This gave the wild bear a chance to creep up on me ... and grab me for a photo!
A strange bear, this one. It is actually very friendly, a vegetarian (so my sausage roll was safe), and it loves to pose for photos...
Although you have to get his attention first, which isn't easy as he both sees and hears out of one eyehole...
After this most exciting of encounters (the pudsey pudsus is strictly a November sightings only creature) ended my visit to town.
On the way home I popped into Waitrose for a couple of things and treated myself to a free latte. Yes, I said free... If you join My Waitrose you can have one free regular size tea or coffee every day. I've been working my way through the choices. The mocha was yummy, I wasn't so keen on the cappucchino, but the latte was lovely.
And you get a free all-butter shortbread biscuit with it. :-) om nom slurpee!!!
Here endeth my long walkies blog. I'm glad I got the chance to get into town. Not only are the anti-spasmodics significantly reducing the level of abdominal pain, but it means I can go into town without worrying about a dodgy toilet issue at an inconvenient time. Of course I still need to be careful what I eat, because I still get pain in my stomach, just not bad spasms.
Oh, and I've caught Tara's cold. Thanks Sweetie! You are so generous. :-) But touch wood, it is only a head cold and hopefully I'll be able to breath again through both nostrils in a few days.
Here's to less pain, more exercise! I'd love to feel well enough to get back to a proper exercise schedule again. : )
Enjoy your Friday, and have a great weekend!
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