Tessa's Tête-à-Tête
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Recent Posts:
September 2005


Battle of Britain

Fertility Treatment

The Plumber's Tale of Woe

Learning to Read and Write

Bureaucracy Gone Mad

What is Really Happening in New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina

The Tooth Fairy Forgot to Come!!!

August 2005

More Surgery!"

How I Met Michael Rennie (1909-1971)

"The Sixth Lamentation" - An Excellent Book

French Onions

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)

I'm Recovering Well

Well, I'm Glad That's Over!

Just Me Prattling

The Russian Mini-Submarine

Amazing Animals: The Sturgeon

The Tower Subway

Surgical Pre-Assessment

July 2005

The Coal Delivery

Spyware and Anti-spyware"

Getting Enough Sleep?

An Insidious Cancer

Americans First on the Moon

"The Lion King"

Update on my Biopsy

Have I had my Head Buried in the Sand?


Animal Intelligence

Fl./Lt. Dennis G. Hornsey, D.F.C.

The English Language

London Bombs

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My Biopsy

A Message for the World's Leaders

June 2005


A 'Perfect' Day

Amazing Animals: The Emperor Penguin

Crowned on this Day in 1509

A Sweet for a Special Occasion

King Solomon's Mines

Father's Day

Tiger, Tiger....


Cockroaches and Human Fertility

World's Best Character Actor

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Food for Thought


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Daft as a Brush (or Two)

Douglas Jennings, RAF Evader During WW II

Lord of the Rings

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Monday, 20 June 2005
Father's Day
Topic: Family Days Out
My, it was hot yesterday and it's not much better today - can't cool down! We had a lovely day yesterday as all the family met at the Open Air Museum at Singleton, not far from Chichester. Three proud Dads all celebrating Father's Day with the children and grandchildren. Thank goodness for a couple of big shady trees to sit under and enjoy the lovely picnic lunch my daughter brought.

Market Hall from TitchfieldThe Museum is a collection of very old historic buildings which were rescued from demolition, carefully moved from their original sites and reconstructed in the West Sussex countryside for posterity to enjoy. One thing I noticed is how cool all these medieval buildings are inside - wish our house was as cool on a hot summer's day! Yesterday was a 'Father's Day' theme and there were all sorts of craft demonstrations to try your hand at. It was too hot to have a go at the Pit Sawing but my son-in-law, Adrian, tried his hand at Pole Lathe Turning. He got the foot treadle movement just right and was told that he was a natural "Bodger"!

I felt sorry for the Blacksmith David, aged 7, working the bellows. Summer 1975demonstrating his trade in the Smithy. Warm work at the best of times let alone on such a hot day. To make matters worse, the Blacksmith was wearing a thick leather apron and what looked like flying boots to protect him from the sparks! I reminded my son about a previous visit many years ago when he was about 7-years-old. David had been completely fascinated by the Blacksmith then and I couldn't get him away from the Forge - he spent over an hour working the bellows. The Blacksmith was making a replica axe head, heating it in the fire and beating it with a hammer. When he finished it, he presented it to David as a reward for all his hard work. That wouldn't happen today as there is a cordon preventing the public from getting too close.

My daughter had a whale The toilet in the Bayleaf Farmhouse at Singleton Museumof a time trying her hand at driving a tractor whilst all the grandchildren had rides on a buggy pulled by a couple of giant cart-horses and on a tractor trailer with hay bale seats which took them round the field. We sat under the trees sipping water and watching. We weren't able to visit all the buildings as the site is very large and it was too hot to gallop round. But, I just had to have another look inside my favourite building, the Bayleaf Farmhouse. This is quite a large timber framed hall house, originally from Kent, dating from the late 15th or early 16th century. The feature I like best is the 'toilet' in the upstairs bedroom which consists of a projection overhanging the back garden with a seat with a round hole over a disposal pit. Bit drafty but it was the height of luxury in the early 16th century!

We ended our day at the Royal Oak public house near Midhurst. We had marvellous food but the helpings were really huge, no room for a pudding or even an ice cream!

Posted by Noviomagus at 18:15 BST Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink

Monday, 28 March 2005
Many Happy Returns
Topic: Family Days Out
A stroll in the park with DaddyIt's Grandpa's birthday todayI like my toy - he's called 'Shenanigan'

We have had a lovely Easter weekend! It was my husband's birthday on Easter Saturday and we were all invited up to my son's for the day to celebrate. The morning was sunny and warm and we had a very good drive up to London. Andrew was asleep when we arrived but soon woke up from his nap. He is growing fast and really tucks into and enjoys his food! I don't think his parents will have any faddy eating problems with him! We gave him a noisy farm animal book and some Lego Duplo for Easter plus a little outfit which was a little too big! No chocolate, of course. Andrew's mum, Shelley, thinks it can cause hyper-activity so she had prepared an 'egg case' full of fruit for Andrew for his Easter Sunday treat.

After lunch, we went down the road and up the hill to the Horniman Museum Park. It was a delightful little park with a small farm animal corner and beautiful flower borders. You can see how warm it was - my son in his tee-shirt.

Hubby was spoilt! Lots of presents, including a double DVD with four films on it (yes, four!) to play on his portable DVD player. And two very scrumptious looking special bars of chocolate from Stephanie and Elliot.

Posted by Noviomagus at 21:59 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

Thursday, 17 February 2005
Hey Ho - Off to the Shops We Go
Topic: Family Days Out
It's half-term week and my daughter and son-in-law took have taken some time off work to do some much needed decorating - they are sprucing up the small spare room for Elliot to move into. Originally, it was the twins' nursery room, with just enough space for two cots and a little chest of drawers, until they moved into the bigger bedroom next door and into large bunk beds. Only, before that happened, two rather naughty little people had enjoyed themselves tearing at and peeling away the lovely nursery wallpaper!

So, for a change, we went over last Tuesday evening so that Mum and Dad could go out for a meal and see a film at the cinema and today, our usual `baby-sitting' afternoon and evening, we had the whole day to ourselves. Decided to go shopping in Portsmouth, about twenty miles away from where we live. It was a dullish, slightly damp day but really quite mild for the time of the year. My, aren't the shops hot - hotter than we keep our house! All the shop assistants in their thin blouses or shirts and us with our tongues hanging out! Had to remove our coats and carry them about plus all our bags of shopping.

Still, can't grumble - we got some very good bargains in the sales, including an early birthday present for my husband (a little portable DVD player). We also bought two music cd's, jazz, of course - a difficult feat as we already have a huge collection - and I found a very interesting book on "People of the Past", reduced from £25 to £9.99. It covers the pre-history of human kind and early hunter-gatherers to the end of the Stone Age - should keep me quiet for a while. It was only yesterday that I got round to watching a video recording of last week's Horizon programme on Neanderthals. Did you see it? It was very interesting; especially the compound Neanderthal skeleton that was put together using all the various skeletal remains from numerous archaeological finds. It seems that no complete Neanderthal skeleton has ever been found and that we really do not know exactly what they looked like. They are often depicted as very hairy beings with huge beards but many races of humans adapted to extreme cold, such as the Inuit, have very little facial hair. Perhaps one day, a frozen Neanderthal will emerge from some glacier. Now, that would be an exciting find!

Have you noticed that Ladies' washrooms in public places often seem to have the automatic hand dryer situated too high up on the wall? Perhaps I am beginning to shrink with age but it is annoying to find water running up your sleeves because of the angle of your arms. They must all have been installed by 6ft tall plumbers!

Posted by Noviomagus at 23:57 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

Wednesday, 4 August 2004
A Trip to London
Topic: Family Days Out
We went up to the National Archives (Public Record Office) at Kew again last Monday. I have been several times to browse through WW II Escape and Evasion Reports, which are very interesting. You can order up to three documents on line in advance of your visit so that they are waiting for you.

Photo of Andrew sitting on his chair eating some cucumber
From Kew, we went over to my son's for the evening. A thirteen mile journey which took 40 minutes in the London Traffic! Andrew is progressing by leaps and bounds and enjoyed his slice of cucumber! However, he was a little bit off colour - not surprising, as my son emailed me yesterday to say his first tooth had finally appeared!

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Monday, 21 June 2004
Father's Day
Topic: Family Days Out
A view of Hampton Court Palace from the gardensYesterday was Father's Day - my son's first. We all decided to have a day out and meet at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey. The original palace belonged to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, chief minister to Henry VIII, who lived in it for eleven years. He added hunting lodges for the King but eventually he was forced to hand the palace over to King Henry VIII in 1525. I went there as a child but the only real memory I had was of seeing the famous old grapevine. I went again when my children were around five and six with my sister - on that occasion we tried getting lost in the maze but didn't go into the Palace. (The maze was planted in 1690 and is 2 miles long, so you need plenty of time!) We had a lovely day together wandering round the gardens and the Palace, despite a drop of rain in the afternoon. We just managed to see everything and, because of Baby Andrew's pushchair, we were privileged to use the lift instead of climbing all the stairs to view Henry VIII's state apartments! Afterwards, we all visited my sister, who lives very near to Hampton Court.

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Monday, 22 March 2004
Mother's Day
Topic: Family Days Out
It was "Mother's Day" in England, yesterday. Went over to my daughter's for lunch and my son came down too. Of course, it was her day as well so the two generations of Mums had a double celebration with all the offspring. Shelley and baby Andrew went to visit her Mum - can't have everything! Had a lovely day and got a beautiful oasis of flowers. Really lucky to have two superb grown-up kids!

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 GMT Post Comment | Permalink

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