Blog – 2017

October 23rd

Hilltop will get it’s view back if the rumours are correct that the Populars are soon to be removed.  Pentland Homes haven’t added much if anything of value to Hilltop, but this maybe a first.

The two photos 30+ years apart show what we lost and may regain.

Hilltop View 2017

Hilltop View Circa 1985

October 22nd

With tension mounting between Madrid & Barcelona it is perhaps time to remind the players in this game the strides made by their country since it’s civil war.  Our family have holidayed in Catalan for over 30 years. The two photos (30 years apart) show one generation of Smith kids with the comparison with their children.  Iberien people look what happened in the Balkans. Mariano Rajoy & Carles Puigdemont don’t re-invent your Civil War.

Can anyone name the Catalan Town where the Cannon resides?


October 20th

After the controversy over the English GCSE results the Head of the Simon Langton Boys School, Ken Moffat felt there was something afoot.  Not wanting to appear too dictatorial he thought a nice walk would be good for the boys and may take the heat off him.  However, the paparazzi caught the moment to uncover the Dragoenien method used on the boys that don’t get their English GCSE grades, preventing them leaving until they do. Gives a whole new meaning to Mature Student.

October 19th

It was decided to get out there early to gather stories for the Christmas countdown but one correspondent became confused when he found discounted Christmas fayre in October.  Had the 2016 sale run over just a little bit or had BREXIT forced the UK to miss Christmas this year. Mr Barnier you have a lot to answer for.

October 13th

It maybe Friday the 13th but good news will always triumph over bad. Today we are proud of our Joanne who has achieved RHS Level 2 Practical Horticulture.  Well done not easy holding down a job, managing two boys as a single Mum and studying at college,  Here’s to the next certificate of Garden Design.  Onwards and upwards Jo.


October 9th

My good friend Eric took me out for coffee this morning as he does on a regular basis.  Before the warmth of the venue we were out on the edge, can you identify the location?

This little gem was running all summer in 76. If you need a clue, we weren’t quite up-the-creek.

October 5th

Happy Birthday Oliver.  Four today what a lovely age and with lots of great adventures full of fun to come. The current Mrs Smith believes starting the work ethic early.

October 3rd

Today we remember William (Bill) Plenderleith.

R.I.P. Bill.

October 2nd

If you were small and living in the wild you would have been nervous with the latest visitor to Smith Towers.  Is it a Kestrel or a Sparrow-Hawk? I think perhaps the latter.

September 30

Prize-giving day for Hilltop Community Associations Photographic Competition 2017. This year had an excellent response with a very high standard from both the Children and Adult sectors.  I was lucky enough to win second prize for my Gulls  and highly commended for the photo Stranger on the Shore, (the current Mrs Smith).

Senior Trustee, David Sackett,  was on duty to present the prestigious awards. Well done to all the winners and participants. A lovely afternoon with much fun and banter. A big thank you goes to Carole Davis and Cheryl Ives the team of helpers, judges etc.

September 29

A lovely night out with the family and friends at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury to see the travelling production of WarHorse.  An excellent interpretation and reminded me that as we know we are all going to die but most of us will do so in a  warm and comfortable bed.  In the theatre of war it’s anything but. Frank Smith, mentioned on this website was such a case.  Seen to be wounded during the German’s last big push but once the action was over his body was nowhere to be seen.  No one to mop his brow.

September 28

Twenty-five years  ago being diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) and three months on from being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) it’s perhaps time to reflect on these difficult conditions.  For the last year in conjunction with Kent And Canterbury Hospital (K&C) Rheumatology Department following a flare-up of AS I was back on medication also with the K&C Physiotherapy Team, who got me to a reasonable level of relief.  However we didn’t know MND would come into play and in June it along with AS became part of daily life.  Following a recent consultation with Dr B V Prathibha, respiratory specialist both conditions are now linked and treated side by side. Ironically the symptoms of both are similar and all credit to Dr Prathibha who recognised this.  Every day is a challenge but with the team and family behind me I’m up for the fight.

September 25

46 years ago I married this young girl who became the current Mrs Smith. We’ve travelled a long way growing into the Odd Couple. It’s been a fabulous journey and we are still travelling.

July 22

The Kent Beer Festival 2017 has come and gone.  A sad occasion for me being the fist one missed in the modern era. Then Saturday afternoon and my day was significantly brightened by the gift from and delivered by the wonderful Lucy Hicks.  Thank you so much, very thoughtful and kind.  A glass to enjoy some special beers in.

July 16

Having been in charge of the Smith Towers Garden for the last 45 years, I have been frustrated watching it run out of control. Fortunately I have had some wonderful help from the family and then step in the Bourne to Garden Boys.  Sunday morning and seven volunteer lads turned up and worked some magic turning a lost site into a respectable garden once more. Hilary and I are indebted to them all.  We’re also appreciative that Colin of Bourne to Garden parachuted a grass cutting crew in on Friday to allow the Sunday team to concentrate on the disaster recovery.  Thank you one and all, it’s not until you get sick with something serious that you realise just how wonderful people are.

July 15

When you’re young all you want in life is to be all grownup and free like your parents. It must be so easy, nobody to boss you around and you’re able to do just want you want when you want.  Eventually you fly the nest and you’re free but then you feel a little peckish and dinner hasn’t arrived like it did back at the nest and you have that sinking feeling, what have I done?

Then along comes Dad and all is well.  Nothing is new.


June 23

Discharged from Kent & Canterbury Hospital after week of tests. MND now fully confirmed so we now know the direction of travel.

Thanks to all the staff of Treble Ward who were so kind to me. I witnessed much fun and compassion towards the people in their care, which was a joy to behold. A truly professional crew.

June 22

Treble Ward up-date.

Another day of inactivity waiting slots for further tests. Now moved onto soft meals with two dinners a day. Cottage Pie for lunch and Minted Lamb for supper.  Living like a king with Serco. lol

June 21



Lapin was concerned that Granddad might get up to mischief while in Hospital so came along look after him.





June 20

First full day on Treble Ward, Kent & Canterbury Hospital.  A very busy place with an aura calm and pleasant staff.  If you have to be in hospital not a bad place to be.

June 18

Fathers Day and we have staff.  It gets no better.

June 17

James arrived from Hong Kong to augment family support at our difficult time. It reminds me as important as your faith or no faith is the family reigns supreme and vital.

June 16

Nice to have haymaking rather than houses. The best thing I have seen this troubled week.

June 15

Having recently completed my 75th donation it’s now time to pass on the baton as I have now been removed from the National Blood Service register because of having Motor Neurone Disease.

However lets always be positive. Blood Awareness Week 19th – 25th June 2017 is upon us and it would be magical if just one person came along to replace me, for multiple replacements that would be fantastic. Click on the link and get yourself started.

June 14

48 hours on and one appreciates the importance of the family network.

June 13

It’s a new day and the family are coming to terms with the prognoses.

June 12

Diagnosed today with Motor Neurone Disease, so a new journey commences I wonder where this will take us.

June 2nd

Today we remember Cousin Barry Revell who was laid to rest this morning, our thoughts are with his family.

I guess he lived life to the full but was always hard working, with the lion’s share of that time as an electrician working on the Dungeness Nuclear Power Stations. Travelling from Ramsgate every day made for an early start and a long day.

The eulogy referred to his time with the Ramsgate Sea Scouts and what a dash this cheeky little chap cut all decked out in his uniform as he did in his school kit.

I have fond memories of Barry particularly when holidaying in Ramsgate at Crescent and Cannonbury Roads. It’s seems only a short time ago but some 60 years have passed.

Barry is pictured below with me when we were both fine upstanding young men.


Rest in peace Barry your memory lives on.

March 26th

Happy Mothers Day to all you wonderful Mums.

Without these two ladies a significant number of our family members would not be here.

Day 26

We celebrate the current Mrs Smith’s Birthday

Day 23

Travelling last year within a week we visited two museums, The Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo and the Tiananmen Square Museum in Hong Kong  (now closed by Beijing) both were telling the same story, albeit in different countries. With peace talks underway for Syria’s war we can only hope but I guess these scenes with be repeated for some time.

Day 20

16 Years and two very different Presidencies, but at least you got what was on the tin.  Difficult times for both not least 9/11 and in some way you could perhaps understand the way George W Bush reacted.   Barrack Obama as the first African American President didn’t have the luxury of a majority in either house so was unable to complete his program as he would have liked. He often showed the caring side of humanity, particularly with gun crime/killings.

What of the next 4 Years? Nobody knows, so lets hope someone gets the 45th President under control.  4 Years of Donald Trump it could be a rollercoaster ride, hopefully the Republicans will have a Brakeman to slow it down.

Donald Trump appears to immature with age – Hold on tight.

Day 12

Thanington Park appears to be on the way. Developers/Opportunist apparently have won the day, from Grade A Farm Land to Houses.

Day 6


Christmas has officially come to an end at Smith Towers.

Today we have the transformation.

Day 5

Spring is springing in Canterbury.

Day 1

Happy New Year: –


Hong Kong


And a Happy New Year from?

4 thoughts on “Blog – 2017

  1. Hi Colin,
    At last a moment to visit your website. Wow! I love it especially your blog. Fabulous photos and congratulations on your successes in the recent Hilltop Photographic Competition. Sorry the allotment raspberries have run out – Hilary’s raspberry cake was delicious!
    Look forward to future visits to the website and ‘keeeeep blogging!’ as they say… well actually that’s not ‘Strictly’ true but it works equally well!
    – Best wishes from Cheryl ‘over the hedge’.

    • Hi Cheryl
      Thanks for taking the time to visit the allourlives website and your kind comments. The blogging has been sparse over the summer as we were ambushed by something out of our control. Hoping to be back on the case more frequently.

      Take care


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