We celebrate Pat’s 96th birthday

Wednesday 14th September 2016

Today was Pat’s 96th birthday. For those of you who don’t know Pat was my Dad’s partner for many years, but had to move out when her frailty and his broken hip meant that he couldn’t look after her any more. She now lives with her son, and as her birthday fell on a day when I normally go to my Dad’s I offered to pick her up and cook them both dinner, which I did.

Here are Dad and Pat on the sofa just before lunch.

Dad and Pat

After lunch I washed up and then left Dad and Pat at the flat while I took the dogs over to Nea Meadows Nature Reserve, where we often walk with Dad on a Wednesday. Today though I had a decent camera with me so took a few photos. Here are the ducks on the pond.

Ducks on the pond

And in the gap in the trees you can see the seat Dad likes to sit on.

Our usual seat

Today we walked up to the top of the meadow and I sat on a seat under an old oak tree while Jez had a rest. Max, of course, wanted to play.


And while we played Jez kept watch over the meadows.

Jez sits and looks across the meadow

We walked back towards the stream and had to pass under the second of the two large oak trees in the meadow. I thought it looked magnificent in the sun.

Oak Tree

I love big old oak trees.

And then we walked back to the flat and after a while I got Pat and the dogs back in the car and dropped Pat home before coming on home myself.

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath.

Upton Heath


We have visitors

Sunday 17th July 2016

I had a phone call on Thursday night from Chris’ brother to say that his parents were coming down to Bournemouth on holiday for a week commencing Friday. I suggested that they come to dinner Sunday (Chris picked them up and took them back to their hotel), and I also invited Dad and Pat. And there was another reason for celebration: it was Max’s 8th birthday.

I did a salad for lunch, cooking gammon and a leek and Camembert flan, and made a pavlova for dessert. After lunch we all went and sat in the garden and I took the camera.

This is Chris’ Mum, Ann.


And his Dad, John.


This is my Dad.


And this is his partner of 16 years, Pat.


Pat will be 96 years old in a couple of months.

Chris and the birthday boy took a more laid back approach to the whole thing.

Chris and Max

In fact, a very laid back approach.

A man and his dog

It was very nice to see everyone, but I was glad of a rest when they’d all gone.

A year ago today

It was, of course, Max’s 7th birthday. Here he is with one of his birthday presents.

Max on his 7th Birthday

A nice birthday

Sunday 7th February 2016

Today was my birthday. We won’t mention how old I am. The morning started with present opening, which Max had to help with.

Max helps me open my presents

One of the presents I had asked Chris for was a monopod for the camera. Chris hadn’t wrapped it as the box was so big. I was a bit confused as I knew the size the monopod was supposed to be, and, sure enough, when I’d opened the box and removed all of the bubble pack, this is what I found.

A big box for a little object

After that I had to get up and cook dinner as I had invited Dad and Pat to lunch. When they arrived, however, it allowed me to play with my off-camera flash cable.

Dad and Pat

We had roast lamb and pork for lunch, followed by sherry trifle, and then, later in the afternoon, I produced my Birthday cake, which I’d made on Friday and decorated yesterday. It’s another lemon drizzle cake, with lemon curd and lemon buttercream filling, covered in icing. It wasn’t decorated quite as well as I would have liked, but it tasted nice.

My birthday cake

Although my birthday was quite busy, I had a nice day. After Dad and Pat had left I was glad to sit down and have a rest though.

A year ago today

My cousin, Linda, and her daughter, Lucy came to stay. We went shopping and had lunch out and then walked around Creekmoor Ponds when we got home.

Linda and Lucy

An early Christmas Lunch

Sunday 20th December 2015

We had Christmas dinner early this year. Well, the traditional turkey dinner, that is. The reason is that I asked Dad and his ex-partner Pat over the Christmas lunch today. Pat loves a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, but she lives with her son now and he doesn’t like Christmas dinner or Christmas pudding, so I cook it for her.

I managed to get on well and by mid-morning the table was set.

The table is laid ready for an early Christmas dinner

I thought it would be nice to have some family photos this Christmas so set the camera up on the tripod.

A toast.


My favourite photo of Dad and Pat.

Dad and Pat

Me and Chris with Dad and Pat.

Chris, me, Dad and Pat

Max wants a kiss.

Max wants a kiss

Dad gets a wash.

Dad get's a wash

Dinner was good too, although I say it myself. And both Dad and Pat really enjoyed it and ate large helpings. which was good. All in all we had a lovely day.

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath. Here’s Jez.


A birthday lunch

Sunday 13th September 2015

Yesterday was Jezebel’s 8th birthday, and tomorrow will be Pat’s 95th birthday. So today I invited Dad and Pat to lunch. For those of you who don’t know, Pat is Dad’s ex-partner who had to move in with her son last year after Dad fell and broke his hip.

Max was a happy boy. He’s very fond of Pat. Here are the two of them snuggled up of the sofa.

Pat and Max

I cooked roast dinner for lunch, followed by a lemon cream pie. Later in the afternoon we had fresh strawberry cupcakes which I had baked earlier in the morning (the dogs had a peanut butter cupcake each). So, a nice dinner followed by cake and Chris was a happy man.


A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath and I took this photo of Jez at Pinesprings Nature Reserve.

Jez at Pinesprings

A wet Easter Sunday

Sunday 20th April 2014

I felt so sorry for all of the people who had planned Easter Egg hunts down this way today. It chucked it down with rain for most of the day, and certainly from noon until mid-afternoon. Oddly enough it brightened up and we had some sunshine around teatime, but I digress. S

So as it was Easter Sunday I cooked roast leg of lamb for lunch. Well, for Dad, Pat and I. Chris doesn’t like lamb so I cooked him a port chop. This was the lamb just before it went in the oven.

The lamb ready for the oven

I have to say, it was very tasty. So tasty, in fact, that Dad couldn’t wait for us all to sit down and I caught him sat at the table nibbling it.

Caught sneaking a nibble of the lamb

We did all manage to sit down and eat eventually, though.

Easter Sunday lunch

I have one more photo from today (sadly, I forgot to take a photo of the Simnel cake I made). Of Max and Pat of the sofa.

Max is in seventh heaven

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath, and on the way home I managed to take my favourite photo of Max in Creekmoor Ponds.

Max in Creekmoor Ponds

Twelfth Night, or is it?

Sunday 5th January 2014

My Mum always used to say that Twelfth Night is 6th January, and that is what I have always believed. That’s the date I take my last Christmas decorations down. But a lot of people say Twelfth Night is on 5th January. I had to turn to Wiki to find out what there is such confusion. Apparently it all depends on when you start counting. If you say Christmas night (25th December) is the 1st night, then 5th January becomes the 12th Night. But if you say 26th December (the day after Christmas day) is the 1st Night, then 6th December is 12th Night. And the reason? Well apparently it all depends on whether or not you are still living in the Middle Ages, when they used to count days from Sundown, making 25th December the 1st night after Christmas night. Since we now count our days from midnight, I feel vindicated in my belief that 12th Night is on 6th January.

That said, I had Dad and Pat over to what I called a Twelfth Night dinner today. I had bought a very nice rib of beef before Christmas, which I put in the freezer with a view to them coming to lunch on New Year’s Day. In the end, though, they preferred to come today.

Here they are with Max, whose spotted an opportunity to snuggle up on the sofa with them (leaving nowhere for me to sit!).

Max snuggles up between Dad and Pat

Lunch is served.

Twelth Night lunch

Have you spotted that Yorkshire Pudding on Chris’ plate? He likes a plate sized Yorshire Pud, and I have to say this one was particularly magnificent.

My Yorkshire Pudding has risen well

And yes – he ate all of that, along with about 5 roast potatoes. As for the rest of lunch, well the inspriation for the veg came from the chef Tom Kerridge’s Christmas show: brussel sprout tops, and carrots braised with star anise. The were both really nice, as was that rib of beef.

There is one other topic I wanted to raise. As of today I have posted photos from every day for the past 367 days on this blog. I was aiming to do it for a year, which I’ve managed. I have to say, though, there are days when I find it hard going. They are days when it’s dull and grey and we’re walking in the same old places. I’ve said before I’m very conscious that this blog is getting repetitive. So my plan now is not to get too fussed if I don’t have photos from a day, or even from a few days. I want to try and go for quality rather than quantity. That, I am sure, will be easier said than done though. I’ve got into the habit of snapping and sharing. So if you don’t mind, that’s what I will do. There will still be lots of photos – they just might not cover every day.

If any of you have very strong feelings about this though, please let me know.