Sunday 31 August 2008

Doodle Week Day 7 (& Portrait of Words).......

Well here we are the last day of Doodle Week.

I hope you've enjoyed my (and the others) doodles. If you haven't seen the others already go here and take a look.

The theme for today is PARTY!

Want to try out your writing talents?
Here's the perfect opportunity.

Jeff (A Word in Edgewise) has started up this monthly challenge, derived from a previous challenge from R.E.H.'s "Picture Fiction Challenge". This month is number 1.

Each month Jeff will give FOUR pictures which represent THE CATEGORIES and THREE pictures which represent THE WILD CARDS.

The object is to:
Write a story of any length or style. Long or short, comedy or tragedy, fact or fiction, etc,etc... it's up to you. Use each of the picture representations in your story. (one from the wild card options)

Go here to get this month's challenge details. Your story doesn't have to be posted until 15th - 17th September so you have a while to get your thinking cap on.

Go on, have a go, you know you want to.

Saturday 30 August 2008

Saturday Wordzzle # 28 (& Doodle Week Day 6)....

Wordzzle first then scroll down for Doodle Week Day 6.

The idea is, every week Raven (View From A Raven's Nest) gives you between 8 and 10 words/phrases and you have to create a small but coherent paragraph using every one of them and the same with the mini challenge. You can do either, both or a megawordzzle using all the words, or even all three, it's up to you, you can post them on your blog or email them to Raven. If you join in go to Raven's and put your name on the Mr. Linky so other participants can come visit you.

Here are my efforts - complete with my doodles.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: pogo stick, ant farm, psychic, tin box, wall safe, Waterloo, surge protector, pneumonia, ravages of time, turtle

Mabel Waterloo, was a famous psychic, who had starred at all the big theatres around the country. She was very popular, and a sight to behold bouncing around the stage as though she was on a pogo stick and had an ant farm in her pants. Her psychic abilities were exceptional and quite often when she was delivering messages to the audience the lights would dim to the extent that the theatres installed surge protectors whenever Mabel was appearing. After 40 years of unfailing duty to the spirit world, unfortunately Mabel’s health had now deteriorated, she had been made weak by the ravages of time and pneumonia. No more bouncing about on stage, Mabel was now as slow as a turtle but she still did private readings with her precious tarot cards, which she kept in a tin box because she hadn’t got a wall safe. Despite her failing health Mabel’s powers were still strong, in fact the neighbours often complained about their light bulbs blowing when Mabel was working!

And for the Mini Challenge: Swollen ankles, opera singer, toothy grin, oil paints, potter’s wheel

Carla picked up the hairbrush and sitting in front of her bedroom mirror, smiled her toothy grin and began to sing. In her mind she was an opera singer, a film star – she thought of her favourite film ‘Ghost’, she was Demi Moore sitting at a potter’s wheel with Patrick Swayze whispering in her ear, artists clamoured to capture her beauty on canvas in oil paints. Unfortunately none of her dreams were likely to happen, she was a middle aged woman about 20lbs overweight with swollen ankles and a voice that sounded like a cat on a hot tin roof.


Dame Marjorie Forsythe, the opera singer, took her place on the stage playing the part of Lady Hamilton in the new Opera ‘Waterloo’. Her mind wasn’t really on the part she was playing today, she just couldn’t stop thinking about the veritable ant farm that seemed to have developed in the kitchen of her house, first thing tomorrow she would phone the pest control people and have them send someone over.

Angus, the pest control man, had arrived like a whirlwind, displaying a toothy grin and a face that only a mother could love. Showing him into the kitchen she pointed out the problem, an army of ants marching relentless across her kitchen floor. Angus proceeded to tell her some story about him having been in hospital for six months with pneumonia but Marjorie wasn’t interested so she said

“Will this take long?”
Opening his tin box Angus pulled out a device which he plugged into the nearest socket.

“What are you going to do, electrocute them?” enquired Marjorie.

“Of course not” replied Angus “this is like a minature vacuum cleaner, I’m going to suck them all up and take them away.”

Hopping from one foot to the other because of her swollen ankles, Marjorie looked on as the ants disappeared up the tube. Suddenly there was an almighty bang and all the lights went out.

“Oops” said Angus “I think I should have used a surge protector.”

“Oh good grief, how old is that contraption, it’s certainly showing evidence of the ravages of time?” said Marjorie.

“I’m going to the summer house until you sort this lot out, let me know when you’re done” Marjorie told Angus.

In the summerhouse Marjorie fed the turtle in the aquarium and pondered whether to get out her oil paints and finish the self portrait she’d been working on, or rest her feet by sitting at the potter’s wheel, instead she chose to meditate.

Once Marjorie was out of the way Angus went on a search of the house, he guessed Marjorie was well off living in such a big house so there must be cash somewhere. Up in the bedroom Angus discovered a wall safe, which had been left open, behind a painting on the wall, what luck he thought as he busily filled his pockets with the contents. Suddenly he felt a crack on the back of the head and everything went black. Marjorie had walloped him with a pogo stick. What Angus didn’t know was Marjorie wasn’t just an opera singer, she was also a psychic!


Ooooh Day 6 of Doodle Week already.

Are you playing? You can, it's really easy. Doodle something on TODAY'S theme of YELLOW and post it on your blog, then go here and put your name on Mr. Linky so others can visit you. Don't forget to visit other participants to see their doodles.

Here's my YELLOW doodle. It's a yellow capsicum, just in case you don't recognise it!

A Special Birthday......

Today would have been Reece's (our eldest grandson's) 18th birthday.

You are in our thoughts every day
but especially today.
The party would have been the best.
We love you sweetheart
Nanna and Granddad

Friday 29 August 2008

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 41 Fountain of Youth (& Doodle Week Day 5)

Fountain of Youth

The layers were peeled away,

white shiny skin underneath glistened seductively.

Sliding into the cool, pale liquid.

A liquid which would preserve the beauty keep it succulent and juicy.

Others were already in there, swimming around lazily,

Soaking up the liquid specifically designed for this very purpose.

Their life extended,

Pickled Onions in a jar.

Friday 55 Flash Fiction is brought to you by G-man (Mr Knowitall). The idea is you write a story in exactly 55 words. If you want to take part pop over and let G-man know when you've posted your 55.


Have you been taking part in Doodle Week?

You still can.

All you have to do is post your doodle on today's theme of AIR, go here and put your name on Mr. Linky (so people can come look) and visit the other participants.

Go on you know you want to.

Here's my AIR doodle.

Thursday 28 August 2008

Doodle Week Day 4.........

Day four already of Doodle Week.

If you want to join in post your doodle on today's theme of FIRE and go here and put your name on Mr. Linky so folk can come visit you. Don't forget to visit the other participants.

Here's my doodle for FIRE.

Wednesday 27 August 2008

Body Worlds (& Doodle Week Day 3).......

On 15th August MWM and I went into Manchester to the Science and Industry Museum to see an exhibition called Body Worlds, by Gunther von Hagen, the anatomist/physician, which is an exhibition of Real Human Bodies preserved by a process called plastination which was developed by Gunther von Hagen in Germany. The process makes it possible to lend rigidity to soft body parts e.g. individual muscles, organs such as the lungs, or a single nerve. This means specimens of entire bodies can be inherently stabilized and posed in such a way that they are actually capable of standing, which was formerly restricted to skeletons.

Now you may think that this exhibition would be gruesome, or resemble a circus sideshow but I can assure you it is not, it's absolutely fascintating and incredible to say the least. It enables you to see all aspects of the human body in situ and I feel priviledged to have seen what was, before von Hagen's plastinates, restricted to the closed order of physicians. Plastinates reveal the inner structure and function of the human body from the human skeleton and its interplay with the muscles, to the functions of the inner organs of the respiratory tract and the digestive organs, to the nervous and cardiovascular systems to the beginning of life in the womb. The functions of the individual organ systems are explained in accompanying texts. Disease based organ transformations, such as degenerative joint disease, myocardial infarction, or the damage caused by many years of smoking are shown as well. Having had a knee replacement I was particularly interested in an exhibit of a knee showing degeneration due to arthritis.

Obviously taking photographs was prohibited and although I bought a catalogue showing photographs of many of the exhibits there is the question of copyright, so I am unable to scan any of the photographs to show you. You can, however, see examples here.

The Manchester exhibition finished on the 17th August but there is a permanent exhibition in Guben, Germany and also exhibitions in Edmonton, Baltimore and Los Angeles. If you are anywhere near any of these exhibitions I would encourage you to go and see for yourself (if you haven't already) - you'll be amazed.


Day three of Doodle Week and todays theme is WATER.

If you want to join in post your doodle then click here and sign Mr. Linky to let others know you're playing. Don't forget to go visit the other participants.

Here's my WATER doodle.

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Doodle Week Day 1 & 2.....

Doodle Week started yesterday and I forgot.

You get a different theme every day. If you want to take part click on the link and put your name on Mr. Linky so folks will know you joined in and visit the other Doodle Week participants.

Yesterday's theme was SUNFLOWER, here's mine.

Today's theme is EARTH, here's mine.

Monday 25 August 2008

Kefalonia Part 4....

Continuing the bus tour we left Fiskardo and travelled south to the district of Sami to visit Melissani Lake.

Melissani Lake or 'Cave of the Nymphs' is located at Karavomlos, just 2km from the town of Sami. It is a unique cave structure, with a lake whose waters reach a depth of 39 meteres. To reach the cave one has to descend a sloping ramp down to the boats waiting on the lake. The cave is 160m long and 40m wide. Its stalactites date back 16,000 to 20,000 years in age. In the centre of the lake, where the covered section begins, there is a small island 30m in length on the surface of which are two small elevatioins, 8m and 9m in height.

A narrow channel between this little island and the walls of the lake leads to the rest of the cave. We were expertely ferried through the channel, 12 to a rowing boat, by one of the four boatmen who work at the lake.

Melissani has been the site of several excavations which have brought to light a number of finds, most of them from the 3rd and 4th centrues BC, and attesting to a cult of the god Pan. A number of female figures have also been found the famous Nymphs. The visitor can tour the lake on a boat and admire the wonderful colours to be seen in the water constantly changing as the sunlight falls on it ghrough the apeture in the roof above.

The lake is fed from the sea but by the time the water reaches the lake it has lost 90% of its salinity, this almost clear water is fed back into the sea. It was cool on the lake but not cold, though one could certainly feel the change in temperature ascending to the exit.

Melissini Lake is a beautiful natural phenomenon, well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in Kefalonia.

Tune in for Kefalonia Part 5 and our visit to Drogorati Cave.

Saturday 23 August 2008

Saturday Wordzzle #27

The idea is, every week Raven (View From A Raven's Nest) gives you between 8 and 10 words/phrases and you have to create a small but coherent paragraph using every one of them and the same with the mini challenge. You can do either, both or a megawordzzle using all the words, or even all three, it's up to you, you can post them on your blog or email them to Raven. If you join in go to Raven's and put your name on the Mr. Linky so other participants can come visit you.

Here are my efforts - complete with my doodles.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: tiramisu, transfixed, evacuation, Queen of the Nile, pillowcase, grammatical, voice inflection, pacified, microclimate, swami

Dressed in a Cleopatra style dress Jolene felt like the queen of the nile. Charlie stared at her transfixed then asked

“What are you wearing, it looks like a pillowcase?”

“I look better than you” said Jolene, with a rather sarcastic voice inflection “you look more like a Swami than a sheikh!”

“Don’t be upset my little tiramisu, I was only joking” cajoled Charlie

But Jolene wouldn’t be pacified, she told him

“You’ll be too warm at the fancy dress party with that teatowel on your head, you know the Carter’s house has it’s own microclimate since they got that new central heating boiler.”

“Yeah but when they start the evacuation into the garden I’ll be the only one that’s warm!” said Charlie, flicking the teatowel back over his shoulder.

“Oh don’t be so grammatical” hissed Jolene.

“Don’t you mean dramatic?” asked Charlie laughing at the disgusted look on her face.

And for the Mini Challenge: maggots, thermal pocket, industrial, bovine, feminized

The makeover was supposed to have feminized her bovine features but the industrial make-up did nothing apart from causing her face to feel as though it was encased in a thermal pocket and the false eyelashes felt like maggots on her eyes!


Petunia delicately spooned the tiramisu into her mouth whilst enjoying the sunshine on the deck of the ‘Queen of the Nile’. She had booked the Nile cruise as a way of meeting people with the same interests, now she was a widow, and up to now she hadn’t been disappointed. Everyone on board was enthusiastic about the things they saw on their daily excursions to the ancient temples and she was transfixed watching the daily life of the people living on the banks of the river, even the bovine carcass full of maggots floating in the river hadn’t put her off. Today’s excursion to the magnificent temple of Hapsetshut had totally tired her out, it had been excruciatingly hot and even the bottle of water she’d taken in the thermal pocket to keep it cool had been boiling!

The cabins on board weren’t huge but were ample and the cabin boys (she laughed to herself – they were hardly boys) kept them immaculate, making sure the beds were turned down, a different towel animal sitting on the end of the bed and a chocolate and flower petals adorning the pillowcase each night.

She enjoyed the evenings on board most of all. There was entertainment laid on, but she found the after dinner conversations with her fellow sailors most interesting, their lives were diverse, teachers, shopkeepers, administrators, all walks of life.

The swami was the one person on board who had captured Petunia’s attention more than the others. She loved his gentle voice inflection and the occasional grammatical errors in his English, though he spoke it well, and she always felt pacified after a conversation with him. He was travelling with his assistant, Cedric, a young man who seemed somewhat feminized but was affable and had superb manners. Petunia was fascinated with the Swami’s tales of the orphanage he had founded in an area of Wales that seemed to have it’s own microclimate and was dismayed to hear there were plans by the local council for the evacuation of the place unless he could raise enough money to bring it up to health and safety standards. He showed her photographs of the children, all happy and smiling, and told her of the army of volunteers who helped him make their lives bearable since they lost their parents.

Ten years older than Petunia her husband had been an industrial giant, who hadn’t really had time to enjoy the money he’d made before he died from a heart attack at the age of forty-six, before they’d had a chance to have children. Her heart went out to the children Swami talked of and by the time the cruise was over she already written a cheque for the £100,000 he needed to complete the necessary work at the orphanage. Petunia said goodbye to the new friends she had made and made a firm promise to visit the orphanage to see the fruits of her generous donation in a few months time.

Back home in London Albert smiled at his growing bank balance. Looking at his companion he said

“Well that should keep us going for a while Cedric."

“It sure will Swami, I still can’t believe these rich women fall for the Orphanage story!” laughed Cedric.


Next weeks 10 word challenge will be: pogo stick, ant farm, psychic, tin box, wall safe, Waterloo, surge protector, pneumonia, ravages of time, turtle.

And for the mini: swollen ankles, opera singer, toothy grin, oil paints, potters wheel.

Friday 22 August 2008

Friday 55 Flash Fiction #40 Hobo


Underneath the unkemptness you could see she had something.
With love she could become the beauty she'd once been.
Greg decided he would take her home, if she'd let him.
She went willingly, he made her comfortable, gave her food, she seemed to trust him.
They would be great friends

he and this little dog.

Well she had to have a happy ending didn't she after being dumped a few weeks ago?

Friday 55 Flash Fiction is brought to you by G-man (Mr Knowitall). The idea is you write a story in exactly 55 words. If you want to take part pop over and let G-man know when you've posted your 55.

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Kefalonia Part 3......

We got a day's rest after the boat trip and had to be in bed early on the Saturday because we were being picked up at 7.30 a.m. ( I know, we're gluttons for punishment)on the middle Sunday for a coach tour of the island (Kefalonia).

Still half asleep we climbed aboard the coach with Julie and Dave, a couple who were staying at our hotel with whom we had struck up a friendship. We drove NorthWest past the capital Argostoli stopping to view the most photographed beach on Kefalonia, Myrtos Bay. (see slide show). Although beautiful it is not safe to swim in the bay because of the currents, but you can sunbathe on the beach, however the extremely steep, winding road down to the beach is not for the faint hearted and certainly not designed for coaches so we could only take photographs.

Travelling North to the beautiful little fishing village of Assos a small and charming village 36 kilometres from the capital of Kefalonia. It has about a hundred inhabitants and is one of the most picturesque and beautiful villages of the island. Dominated by the ruins of a 16th century Venetian castle, the village of Assos was built on a small peninsula that has the same name. Its traditional and charming atmosphere is created by the hospitality of its inhabitants, the traditional architecture, the narrow alleys and the excellent little taverns perched on the quayside that overlook the bay. This unspoilt village is a must for photographers, with its pretty white washed and pastel houses surrounded by a picturesque stone-terraced hilly terrain. Assos sits on the west coast of the peninsular on Kefalonia, sadly damaged by the 1953 earthquake, but beautifully restored with the help of a donation from Paris,which is why the square is officially known as Paris Square with a marble inscription acknowledging the assistance received from France in rebuilding the village. There are remnants of houses from the earthquake for sale at 100,00Euros, if you buy one you have to restore it in keeping with the architecture keeping the original as it stands. Everyone on the bus agreed that if they won the Lottery they would be returning to Assos, purchasing a ruin to restore and retiring there it was so beautiful.

Continuing our journey we skirted the northern tip of the island then took the road south to the harbour town of Fiskardo - the Marbella of Kefalonia. The rich and famous moor up there and consequently the restaurants and cafes think that everyone who visits is rich. Fiskardo was not affected by the earthquake so consequently most of the original buildings have survived. We had lunch at the Cafe Tselenti which has been owned by the Tselentis family since 1893 . We were given the picture below with our bill and the text on it reads:

In 1900 all of the inhabitants of Fiskardo assembled in front of the
building which has been owned by the Tselentis family since 1893 for what we presume was a celebration for a Greek National Holiday.
Fiskardo 1900

Apparently at the end of the holiday season there are only 100 inhabitants in Fiskardo.

Tune in for Kefalonia Part 4 and the rest of the Bus Tour, visiting Melissani Lake.

Monday 18 August 2008

Knife Crime.....

Before Nick's brush with knife crime I had signed an online petition at 10 Downing Street saying:

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to introduce a mandatory minimum 5 year setence for the possesion of knives in public.”

Details of Petition:

“Given the increase in knife crime the time has come to introduce a madatory minimum 5 year sentence for the possesion of knives in public places. Maybe this way we can avoid the increase in the news headlines about this subject.”

I received the Government’s response on Thursday via email and thought you may be interested in reading it.

The Government takes knife crime very seriously. In 2006, we doubled the maximum sentence for possession of a knife without lawful authority or reasonable excuse from two to four years. Additionally, we have introduced a presumption to prosecute for this offence and people who are prosecuted for carrying a knife are now almost three times as likely to go to prison as in 1997, and for a third longer. There are, however, no plans to introduce a mandatory minimum sentence as suggested.

Where a knife is used in a crime, the consequences are likely to be very serious and a serious offence will be charged. Such offences carry severe penalties, including life imprisonment (for causing murder, manslaughter or causing grievous bodily harm with intent, for example).
Within the statutory limits, it is for the courts to determine what sentence to impose in any individual case, taking into account all the circumstances of the case, any aggravating or mitigating factors and relevant sentencing guidelines. The Sentencing Guidelines Council recently issued guidelines to the magistrates’ courts on the range of offences dealt with by those courts, including possession of a bladed article or an offensive weapon, to come into effect on 4 August. The Council has issued an update on 1 August relating to possession of a knife, in advance of the implementation of the new guidelines. This update reflects the recent comments of Sir Igor Judge in the Court of Appeal in which he stated that “Even if the offender does no more than carry the weapon, even when the weapon is not used to threaten or cause fear, when considering the seriousness of the offence, courts should bear in mind the harm which the weapon might foreseeably have caused.”

It is encouraging, we just have to wait and see if the courts take any notice.

There are any number of petitions on the go at any one time and I have signed quite a few, if you're interested see Petitions homepage.

As usual we took Sam, Harry and Gracie to Great-Granddads on Saturday afternoon.

On the way home Sam sat in the middle of the back seat, with Harry and Gracie on either side. Suddenly Gracie piped up
"Harry bit me!"
I quickly turned my head expecting to see Harry with his teeth embedded in Gracie's arm, of course he wasn't, he was strapped in his carseat.

"Harry couldn't have bitten you Gracie, he's nowhere near you" I said.

"She means yesterday Nanna" piped up Harry "but it was an accident!"

You can bite someone by accident???????

Saturday 16 August 2008

Saturday Wordzzle # 26

The idea is, every week Raven (View From A Raven's Nest) gives you between 8 and 10 words/phrases and you have to create a small but coherent paragraph using every one of them and the same with the mini challenge. You can do either, both or a megawordzzle using all the words, or even all three, it's up to you, you can post them on your blog or email them to Raven. If you join in go to Raven's and put your name on the Mr. Linky so other participants can come visit you.

Here are my efforts - complete with my doodles.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: exponentially, Nightshade, braces, impossibility, the beginning of time, barracuda, playful banter, delve, automatic, bewildered

The Scrabble Championship was underway, after some playful banter just before the beginning of time being called. They studied the letters dealt to them bewildered at the impossibility of creating words that would fit.

Dad goes first for 10 points with BRACES

Then Liam for 17 with EXPONENT

Dad again for 9 with N I G H T

Liam gets 18 by making it into NIGHTSHADE

Crafty Dad expands on Liam’s EXPONENT and makes it EXPONENTIALLY to score 25!

Liam can only manage a 4 with AUTO

But Dad makes it into 14 with AUTOMATIC

Liam scores a paltry 5 on his next go with BAR

Dad gets 9 for DELV E

A           X
R           P
             A U T O M A T I C

Liam thinks he can get 14 on his next turn making BARRACUDA but it just won't fit - Oh bugger!

And for the Mini Challenge: fragment, hemoglobin, insipid, flourish, juxtapose

The spot of hemoglobin sparkled bright red against her skin, which was insipid in comparison. Withdrawing the needle, with a flourish, the doctor was horrified to find a fragment of the needle was still embedded in her arm. His memory flashed a picture of the tramp outside the hospital begging, juxtapose his career with the life of the tramp – that’s where he was heading after this!


Nightshade was, as her name suggested, deadly!

Rick, watched her sunbathing on the deck of his boat, the ‘Barracuda’, thinking how beautiful she was. His mind wandered back to the beginning of time, or so it seemed, before she became a permanent part of his life.

She had just been the daughter of the housekeeper, but she was a beautiful child and, although he was three years older than her, he had loved her. They spent hours together playing board games like Monopoly and Scrabble – he remembered how she used to come up with words he’d never heard of like ‘exponentially’, he wasn’t sure she even knew what they meant but it impressed him.

Their life-paths had, inevitably, taken a different course and they’d lost touch for ten years, then miraculously they met again at a meeting, which she attended as a secretary to one of the partners in his company. He’d recognised her straight away, though she had looked a little bewildered until he’d reminded her of the playful banter they’d enjoyed as children. He asked how long it had been since she’s had the braces removed from her teeth, just to tease her, but then sweetened the comment by remarking on how beautiful her smile was.

Nightshade, watched Rick almost salivating at the sight of her. When she saw his photograph in the paper she had begun to delve into what he’d been doing since they’d gone to college and their own ways. She had made it her business to secure the job in his company as soon as she’d found out it belonged to Rick, though she was aware of the impossibility that Rick would still remember her. She was still getting over the death of her husband of two years, Michael, who had died from a hemoglobin problem, when the blood he had been given after an operation was contaminated.

Juxtapose Michael and Rick, there was no comparison, Rick was but an insipid shadow to Michael, but she needed to be close to him. Turning on the automatic smile she had perfected since they’d met again at the meeting, Nightshade waved with a flourish at Rick, whilst cradling the fragment of Michael’s hair secure in the locket around her neck. Rick was going to pay dearly for his company’s mistake with the contaminated blood that had killed her beloved Michael.

Friday 15 August 2008

Friday 55 Flash Fiction #39 Round in Circles.....

Round In Circles

Round and round in a circle,
Moving slowly, pursuing each other.
Some joining, others leaving.
An array of colours, most different, some alike, diverse.
Wondering where they're from,
Where they've been,
Where they're going.
Some standing, some lying down,
Some smart, mostly jaded.
Being met and disappearing.
I'm sitting watching -
luggage on an airport carousel.

Friday 55 Flash Fiction is brought to you by G-man (Mr Knowitall). The idea is you write a story in exactly 55 words. If you want to take part pop over and let G-man know when you've posted your 55.

Wednesday 13 August 2008


Last Thursday Nick asked if I would look after Sam, Harry and Gracie while he went to the hospital to have his plaster checked as he was getting a lot of cramp in his calf and thought the plaster may be too tight. As it turned out they removed the plaster and put a temporary one on until he had to go back for his proper appointment on Monday. Here's my boy thoroughly fed up.

Sam was playing some game on the Wii but I persuaded him to play me at tenpin bowling. He took great pains in showing me how to play and making sure I knew he was good, was he surprised when I beat him! Then we let the two little ones have a go, with Sam and I helping of course, that was hilarious. I offered Sam a return match but he refused and went back to playing his game.

After the bowling, as it was a (rare) fine warm day, Harry, Gracie and I played in the garden, Gracie mowed the grass with her toy mower whilst Harry whizzed round pushing Gracie's double buggy. I got to push them both on the swing then Harry decided he wanted to push Gracie, all went well until Harry got smacked in the mouth with the swing! No panic though I kissed him better and put some ice in a teatowel and held it on his mouth to prevent it swelling, he didn't even cry! I thought he'd forgotten all about it but when his mum came home he made sure she knew what had happened - I'm a bad Nanna!

Nick went back to the hospital on Monday where they xrayed his foot again and put another plaster on, so he's still on crutches until he goes back in three weeks. The doctor said it's healing well though it was a bad break, God alone knows how he managed to run on it after the attack. He's going stir crazy sitting at home all day and of course he's worried about the mortgage and the bills, I could murder the little b******ds that caused this. He hasn't heard anything from the police yet about what's happening with them, if justice isn't served I will be writing to my MP and the Godawful Gordon (Brown PM) for sure.

On a lighter note I'll leave you with some photos of the children having fun.

Monday 11 August 2008

Kefalonia Part 2.......

Apart from sunbathing, reading, sleeping, eating and drinking, we didn't do a lot on the first week of our holiday. However we booked a boat trip round the neighbouring island of Ithaca for the second Friday we were there.

We were picked up by coach at 8 a.m. and taken to the little harbour at Agia Efimia, where much of Captain Corelli's Mandolin was filmed. In fact there's a taverna called Captain Correlli's there though we didn't have time to call in for refreshments.

We boarded the boat, The Ithaca Princess, and set sail towards the narrow strait between Kefalonia and Ithaca, which for the most part is between 3 and 5 kilometres wide. Approaching the strait storm clouds were gathering, the water became rather choppy and it began to rain - not a good start to a boat trip! Thankfully we hadn't opted to sit on the sundeck because all the people up there were asked to come down to the lower decks until we got through the strait. The captain promised the sun would reappear then. Do you remember the scene in 'Jason and the Argonauts' where they were sailing through the 'clashing rocks' well it was a bit like that! (See the 'storm clouds' picture on the slide show). Anyway the captain was right, once through the strait we left the storm behind and emerged into bright sunshine.

Neolithic finds in the north of Ithaca date it's earliest inhabitation back to at least 3000 BC. According to it's infamous mythology, the island was named after either Ithacus , son of the sea-god 'Poseidon' or Ithacis, the son of a Kephalonia king who settled there. It is said to be the home of Odysseus and reached it's peak around 1000 BC, which seems to correspond with Homer's writing of the much disputed Odyssey . Archaeological finds from this period have been used to support the reading of this epic as a literal description of historic events and can be seen in Vathi's Archaeological Museum.

Our first stop was in one of the beautiful bays for a short swim-stop. MWM doesn't swim and I seemed to have got something in my eye, which was watering mercilesly, so I gave swimming a miss and just enjoyed the scenery. (see 'swimstop' on the slideshow)

We set sail again to the village of Kioni where we docked for about forty-five minutes, giving us enough time to walk round the village, have an ice-cream and take some photographs. On the 20th of July, the inhabitants of the lovely village of Kioni, reach the small church of Agios Elias (built on the rocks by the sea) with their little fishing boats to attend the holy service and celebrate the feast of the saint with a huge feast back in Kioni, full of live traditional music, dances, tasty food and excellent wine. (see 'Sailor's Chapel' Kioni on the slideshow). Of course we missed it!

Setting sail once more for the capital of Ithaca, Vathi, we marvelled at how green yet mountainous the island is and enjoyed the running commentary given by the three guides on the boat. They gave us lots of historical information about Ithaca, none of which I can remember, but it was all very interesting if you want to read up on it here.

Sailing into Vathi we saw the seaplane taking off for one of its twice daily flights to Argostoli (Kefalonia's capital). Vathi is very picturesque and we had two hours there, enough time to have a delicious Greek salad, local bread and a beer for lunch in one of the harbour tavernas (see lunch in Vathi on the slideshow) before exploring the pretty cobbled streets.

Leaving Vathi we sailed round to yet another bay for a swim-stop, I chickened out again opting to bag one of the seats on the sundeck to catch some rays whilst it's occupants were swimming. The sail back to Agia Efimia was a lot smoother than the sail out. By the time we got back to the hotel it was 7 p.m. - a long day but a very enjoyable one, time to get showered and changed and out to dinner.

Tune in for Kefalonia part 3 soon.