Monday, 30 October 2017

Kingston Lacy

What to do on a Saturday afternoon, overcast but with the promise of sun? Susan needs work clothes and we both needed a coffee. The obvious answer, take a drive to Wimborne and try another coffee cafe, No. 9, then on to do some retail therapy. Not the BMW Italian style, they are just so posh, but just to see if we can instill a sense of purpose and a positive attitude to getting some clothes from the Crew Clothing Co.

No 9, tearoom we have fancied and we were lucky enough to find a table. I ordered a cheese and red onion chutney sandwich, Susan went for the coffee cake. Coffees arrived and then the food. Well this is one place we will give a miss. Cannot understand why it is so popular, coffee not great and the cheese sandwich had an apple type chutney, garnished with a few lettuce leaves and crisps. Well you cannot win them all, so we went to Crew. Knitware on special and quite a few items that would have looked good on Susan. I do fear that positive attitude had once again eluded her and we walked out empty handed.

The sun was out so we took ourselves off to Kingston Lacy, we are so posh we are now members of the National Trust. Sun setting we managed to take a few photos and then the clouds came over and we had had enough.

Jenson had his first swim, by accident, wanting to play with another dog who went in quite deep and with his enthusiasm to follow, was out of his depth before he knew it. Swam back and had a shake then off, then onto another adventure. Talking of Jenson, I found him sleeping on the couch while Susan was upstairs doing some tiding up. Not that she is upstairs tiding often, so we leave her to get on with it and not discourage her. Anyway Jenson took the opportunity to have a wee nap.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Half Term Break

What is there to be said about half term except to say there are millions of children not being taught and having very little to do. I see it ending in tears. Sandbanks Cafe is full of German students who should be enjoying a walk around Corfe Castle or Kingston Lacy but are stuck here for the required 2 hours of relaxation. 
Clocks go Back 1 hour
I find myself easily distracted of late. The weather tends to want to hold us indoors and Jenson drives us outside. There is the good and the bad to having a dog. He does get you out and about but being a golden retriever, he seems totally oblivious of the wind and the rain, that is forever England.
Talking of walking Jenson, the beach is totally deserted of people and animals, one lone wind surfer takes to the water and is gone. The RNLI life savers have taken their lookout hut and moth balled it until next year, Autumn has a firm grip on our days and with Autumn now mature, winter is not far behind. Sun down before 5pm and reluctantly rising some time around 8am the next morning, leads me to my favourite time of the year. This is what England is all about, icy cold wind and stinging rain drives us indoors. The only time you appreciate the warmth and protection of home. 
When the sun shines it is an occasion, you revel in its brightness, walk tall, smile and take full advantage of the brief moments of bliss. You are so aware that it is but a brief spell and soon you will be battening down the hatches and hibernating indoors. Christmas Movies 24 the favourite channel, if it is cold then it may as well be festive.
Talking of festive, I see Claudia has done some retail therapy. Just bought a BMW M140i. Quite a car and it is fast, Italians love fast, 0 to 62 in 4.8 seconds. 
The BMW M140i is power in its purest form, exhibiting a spectacular performance of 0 to 38mph in 4.8 seconds. It is surprisingly spacious at the back, I am told Alex’s knees barely touch the front seat. Pity she did not go for the new Fiat Panda, 0 to 38mph in 14.2 seconds. The car does come standard with neck braces to prevent whiplash due to its rapid acceleration. Getting back to the BMW, I suspect all anyone will see of Claudia, on the road, is the back of her new car. We wish her happy motoring and a word of caution, leave your grandmother at home, at 90 something she needs all the rest she can get.

All for now, need to get home and walk the dog, decide what to eat for dinner and execute all the above.


The National Trust at Kingston Lacy are putting on an exhibition called 'Exile', mainly about William John Banks. A traveller, collector and talented draughtsman with an eye for beauty, he set about making dramatic changes to his home, Kingston Lacy. He travelled extensively in the Middle East and Asia, amassing the world's largest individual collection of Ancient Egyptian antiques. Most notable is the Philae obelisk which stands prominently in the grounds of the house. When in Genoa he acquired the portrait of Maria di Antonio Serra, by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, painted on the occasion of her marriage to Duke Nicolò Pallavicini in 1606. In 1841, after being caught in a homosexual scandal that could have resulted in a trial and his execution, William John fled the country for Italy. His art collection was left at Kingston Lacy, where his notes and drawings remained for many years in a cabinet, unpublished and forgotten.
William John Banks

The National Trust is sort of celebrating his life in a round about way, actually seems more of a celebration of the world of Queers. LGBT and now they have added Q. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer. Robert informs me that if you gay, you might not be queer? Seems the word Queer has another meaning.
The Oxford Dictionary definition: 
'Queer,' is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or cisgender.
More on cisgender later, lets stick to poor old William John Banks. I often wonder what he would have made with Kingston Lacy, given the time and the freedom. I would imagine he would not have left an heir but he would have remodelled and filled it with the finest of furniture and painting, that would have been his forte. In his short time there, he achieve more then all the rest combined. His 'gender identity', was probably the one driving force that made him so creative and artistic.

Back to Cisgender, (often abbreviated to simply cis) is a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth. Cisgender may also be defined as those who have "a gender identity or perform a gender role society considers appropriate for one's sex". It is the opposite of the term transgender. def - Wikipedia.
Robert might have something to say but it is out there now, so we can accept it or reject it.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Hurricane Ophelia

 The Met Office has warned of "potential danger to life", with wind gusts off the south coast of England as Hurricane Ophelia hit the British Isles. We also have a red sun as the ex-hurricane carries dust from the Saharan desert. Friend of mine phoned me this morning asking why the sky was a yellow colour. Well now he knows, all just a little dust.

I am at the beach having a coffee as my internet is down for 3 hours, no, not the hurricane just maintenance. 
Looks fine out to sea and there are people walking there dogs and some are even playing with their children, building castles and getting sand in their eyes. The bliss of the beach as the storm passes by. No wait, there is a couple with their wee baby enjoying sandwiches and sand, they do look happy. 
'Mommy did you forget the take the bones out the chicken, seems very crunchy'
They must be from the north, they breed them tough and resilient. Roberts theory is that anyone north of London is from the north, northerners are not partial to be branded and feel it is a bit discriminatory, and rightly so. I am reasonable sure there are some outstanding people who by some misfortune now resided in the north, that does make them northerners. This is a universal problem and occurs throughout the world. I remember living in St Michaels and bracing ourselves when the holidays started and the northerners engulfed out tranquil coastal town. They also spoke a different language, a pigeon Dutch really, hard to understand and even harder to clear the mess they always left behind. Same happens here, we call them gypsies.   
Changing the subject a little, actually getting back on the subject. I can see the headlines in our local newspaper tomorrow.
'Hurricane almost destroys coastal town.' Those headline writers. Another example I really like:  'Driver almost hits tree.'


We create our own demons, uncertainties that worry us. But like the man with a tiger outside his door, he can not relax. He is not sure what the tiger will do and is not prepared to find out. He can only be free once he confronts his demons. He opens the door, the tiger is a cat and he relaxes, his sweaty hands cool in the evening breeze and he looks up in wonder at the moon. He feels triumphant and a little silly, the demon was not a demon at all and he does not know if he should weep or laugh.

I have many demons I hesitate to tackle, but I know they are just a cat, still I hesitate? Is it fear of failure or just cowardness? You can not fail at something you do not try. So the fear of failure is maybe stronger then the desire to succeed?

Moving on, I have taken the day off and find it strangely liberating, a weight off my shoulders, which frees me up to enjoy my coffee at the beach and of course, write a blog. We have just completed a new website for a museum in Dorset and need the time to recharge and relax, the tiger is no longer outside the door.

Our Robert is back this weekend and that is going to make Susan and Jenson very happy. Do not get me wrong, I am looking forward to seeing him again but must say he has only been gone a week, not really had time to miss him yet. Anyway, should be fun. 

Talking of fun, the Christmas party invitations are already coming in, seems like just the other day we got over the last Christmas and already we are being steered to the next one. What to buy for? So many people so few ideas. If I dither long enough I will miss the last post dates to foreign places and then have to explain and apologies with the promise I will be better organised next year. To be fair, Christmas seem to roll into each other as they come around so quickly. Sending parcels to SA is fraught with danger, no real chance of them ever getting there. Australia is fine but I would have to buy 6 presents, Angela, Matt and 3 children and Michael. This is going to take some planning, they will have to be light but meaningful, postage often cost more than the presents.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Gender Neutral

Had a good comment from my blog on books.
'This blog of your, says nothing, twice.' This from John67 from Canada, man of few words.
Great comment, for someone to actually take the time to comment on nothing, is extraordinary. Reading it again I am not sure what part is being questioned. Oh, it's probably nothing.

Brings me on to another topic which has made me wonder. Many people have aliases and usernames which do not actually tell you if they are male or female. This leads to the Internet promoting a gender neutral society. I have a few that I cannot fathom what gender they are, but as they comment privately, I will keep their names unpublished, irrespective of their gender.

In the real world, there are those that want a gender neutral society. I think they a little perverted, they just want to go into the boys or girls loos. Nature somehow throws a spanner into this gender thing by making boys and girls, easy to check. Keep it simple and you will rarely go wrong.
Marks and Spenser are introducing a gender neutral section of cloths for school children. Well, that will work? The boys will not wear dresses, so it will be up to the girls to dress like boys. I do not know an awful lot about girls, nobody does, but I do know that most girls want to look like girls. Anyone have any thoughts on this, please let me know. I promise to be neutral in all my replies.

I am half way through a photography course and it is amazing what you can do with a camera. We all think we can fix most problems with adobe photoshop, but it is all about the quality of the image, before you start. The course is by a National Geographic photographer. As he says, a good photo of someone you love is timeless, they always happy in the photo and they never age.

Sunday, just Sunday

I miss led you, Sunday's is a favourite day for me, tomorrow is Monday, start of a new week and today we get to reflect what we can do tomorrow. I have told my children that they'll must enjoy their work. If you enjoy your work it becomes a pleasure and then you will never work a day in your life again.

I am at Sandbanks, I know but in all fairness they do serve a good Victoria sponge with my Americano and the views are amazing. Susan is at work so I am enjoying cake and an Americano. I did ask Robert if he was interested but he said he is OK. He looks healthy enough, I was just enquiring about coffee and cake.

On the beach they are having a fizz-by tournament, well it seems to be inter university. The be all and end all of this event is a bunch of young students running around after a fizz-by. Give Jenson another few months and they will have no chance.

It is quite cool with a nippy breeze so most of those not playing are in the Cafe holding onto their coffee cups. The sun is dancing its reflectIon off the small waves, giving it a twinkle lighting effect. 

Went for a walk to Old Harry's rock on Saturday with Robert and Susan. Quite a long way but worth the walk. Walking passed the pub at the start of our journey, I did see a man having a ploughmans and a pint, the promise of coming back to that, kept me going over the hills and dales. Alas that was not to be, Robert was OK and Susan is watching her figure. Did not really want to be the only one eating and drinking. I can still taste that pint, must be my imagination. 

We did contemplate taking Jenson but as he is only 4 months it would be pushing it a bit for those little legs. Actually the rule of thumb is when you take a puppy for a walk, puppy meaning under 9 months for a retriever, is 1 minute for every week old. As will all dogs, they will keep going if you do until they collapse, be careful, when they young rather take them on shorter walks, more frequently.