June 2018

Saturday 30th

The current Mrs Smith loves her roses

As temperatures approach record levels, which have made the current Mrs Smith’s roses peak early creating a need for serious deadheading. In the South East we have had misty/cloudy mornings  but have had some staggering sunsets. The more vivid the sunset the more pollution, which is often blamed in our part of the world on the outfall from the Ruhr in Germany. Mrs Smith’s capture of a recent sunset caught another polluter flying off to a distant destination.

Friday 29th

BREXIT WEEK – Day 5

Having voted remain I was originally disappointed with the referendum result but as events have unfolded my mind has changed, somewhat. The attitude of the EU and Michel Barnier in particular has shown an inward looking negative and sometimes rude attitude towards us. In all arrangements there’s pluses and minuses but if you listen to Mr Barnier it’s all doom. A threat that we will not have access to EU security information is rich as who has one of the best security infrastructures in Europe? Yes the UK, apparently over the last year four terrorist plots were foiled in France by information provided from our security services. The Galileo Sat Nav project is another case of EU negativity with the UK, having already provided funding and expertise we are apparently going to be shut out of the program. These are just two examples of the negative stance that the EU are taking with the UK and is precisely why we voted leave. Prior to the referendum David Cameron went to Brussels to get a better deal for the UK but the EU was not forthcoming, had they listened they wouldn’t be in the pickle they are today. The morning after the referendum I was in Bergen, Norway having a coffee alongside the harbour and the talk in the café was all about the result. One Norwegian gentleman turned to me and said the one thing you don’t want is our deal, all the bureaucracy but no vote. Is this our direction of travel?

That’s it for BREXIT WEEK. I have only scratched the surface touching on a few things that I feel important and make no definitive conclusions but have posed questions that require some answers. Travel through the ports and onwards, Airbus manufacture, reciprocal trade, fishing and today security are some key issues aired. As time diminishes as we approach our leaving the EU we will see if BREXIT did mean BREXIT.

Thursday 28th

BREXIT WEEK – Day 4

Living in the South East we don’t have large fleets of big trawlers scouring the seabed destroying everything in its wake, but across the Channel they do. Fishing like all things in nature has to be managed and sustainable and some sort of quota system has to be put in place, however it must be fit for purpose and fair to all. Our local small craft are put in the mix with the big players and that’s not fair. If our little boats fished every day stocks would still be sustainable and the fact that currently they have to put good edible fish back in the water even when they’re dead is just bonkers. To be signed up to the EU Common Fisheries Policy for an extended period after BREXIT is ridiculous for these small boats and their owners, many of whom could be driven out of business by EU Bureaucracy. In two World Wars we called on our fishermen to serve the country particularly with the Dover Patrol/s and at an extreme cost in injuries and loss of life, is this how we repay that legacy? The French don’t own the English Channel half of it is ours. Iceland once made a stance against us with the so-called Cod War and won, is it time we had the courage to do the same and save our heritage? We were sold BREXIT as getting back control not giving it away.

Wednesday 27th

BREXIT WEEK – Day 3

I have some sympathy for the Government as I do for Kenneth Clarke and his cohorts, including those in the other place with regards the BREXIT negotiation criteria. On the one hand it would seem absolutely right that Parliament has the final say on the outcome of the final deal, or no deal (Noel Edmunds not involved). However in any negotiation there comes a point where you may have to walk away, you cannot negotiate by committee. In my working life as a senior buyer the Board of Directors gave me that trust to deliver the very best deal but if it wasn’t available and I walked away it was accepted, although I had to provide a thorough explanation of proceedings. If the EU fails to be flexible and sensible then walking away may be the only option and it will certainly wake them up and I would suggest create panic across Europe. Mediterranean farmers not being able to stock UK Supermarket shelves, French wine being replaced by New World wines etc. We are told investment in car manufacture in the UK has halved because of uncertainty, or is it cyclical? Either way we need to avoid as much uncertainty as is possible. The Opposition are equally all at sea so perhaps it’s time to take the politics out of BREXIT and get on and deliver what the people voted for.

Does BREXIT mean BREXIT or perhaps is BREXIT beginning to mean FUDGE?

Whether you voted remain or a leave we all need answers but if the EU want to punish us then tough questions have to be asked and robust action taken.

Tuesday 26th

BREXIT WEEK – Day 2

Air New Zealand Airbus A320-200

Katherine Bennett, senior Vice President of Airbus made noises last week about pulling out of the UK if they found themselves in a no deal situation. She cited the wing manufacturing facility in Wales as a potential casualty among others. It seems to me this is just project fear as there is a bigger question, how much would it cost Airbus to build a new Wing manufacturing facility in Europe?  It would be millions and it would take time to get quality control up to high levels.  Finding the expertise would present another major problem, as not all existing workers would be happy to relocate to a new European factory.

Qantas Boeing 737-800

Airbus needs the UK as a customer; it was only because of the RAF support of the A400-M that saved that aircraft from failure. If Airbus abandoned UK manufacture who will be the beneficiary? Boeing and Lockheed-Martin as we would look west for our aircraft needs and I’m sure the Americans would be open to business with deals including some UK build as part of any major contract. A ready-made wing manufacturing facility might also be attractive to them. What is required is a grownup conversation from both sides with practical and pragmatic solutions, not the stuff of playgrounds.

Monday 25th

BREXIT WEEK – Day 1

Port Dover in the fifties

In the sixties and very early seventies we still enjoyed travel around Europe prior to joining the European Community, which predated the European Union. Things were a little different then, no trucks on the ferries, which with the exception of Townsend were all state owned and you had to plan. Early in January, if you lived in the South East, you went down to Dover and visited the AA or RAC office to book your ticket, essential if you wanted your choice of crossing. You then needed a Green Card from your car insurer to prove you had European cover; vehicle breakdown cover was your choice as it is today. All of the above became part of the excitement of independent continental travel with your car.

Port Calais 1972

On travel day you arrived at Dover lined up, tickets checked and eventually slowly you ventured forward for loading, passing passport control (UK outgoing). All similar to today except the outgoing passport recording is carried out by the Ferry Companies now. On arrival at Calais you disembarked and drove through arrivals hall for immigration/customs checks and finally a Gendarme would check that your Green Card was valid and off you went into Europe. All quite simple and welcoming as European countries wanted our business then, as it still will post BREXIT.

Volumes are very different today but we have the advantage of technology so if the Dartford River Crossing and the London Congestion Charge systems can do it why can’t the ports/authorities both sides of the Channel bring it into play? Immigration is a issue across Europe, whether we’re in or out of the EU.

Port Calais Circa 1969

Sunday 24th

Allourlives Sunday Quiz

Can you identify this City façade?

Post your answer or best guess at the bottom of the page on the comments facility. We will then see who is first with the correct answer and how many got it right or wrong.

Answer to last weeks quiz

The moth was a Mint MothJames was the only correct answer. Well done.

Saturday 23rd

Ollie’s gone all Latin American

One little chap in the Smith family drew Mexico in the Smith Towers World Cup Sweepstake, and thought he had better get into the spirit of things, working on the premise of if you want to get ahead get a big hat.

 

Apparently Mexicans dance on their hats.

 

 

Friday 22nd

Grape Stompers required

As we pass the Summer solstice the Châteaus of France will be lavishing tender loving care on their vines, grapes are also swelling on the vines at Smith Towers. President Macron said ‘the British have BREXIT we have our wine delusion’. Don’t be fooled Mr President us Brits can also be very delusional but always resourceful. With Kent sparkling wine beating Champagne in blind tastings and competitions, who would have thought it? That’s not a delusion. Château Smith Towers? Now there’s a dream.

Only experienced Stompers need apply.

Thursday 21st

The Bard and the bees

Although the population of bees has increased lately at Smith Towers they are not back to past numbers. However they are enjoying the Honeysuckle and Blackberry blossom.From The Tempest – William Shakespeare

Where the bee sucks, there suck I:

In a cowslip’s bell I lie;

There I couch when owls do cry.

On the bat’s back I do fly

After summer merrily.

Merrily, merrily shall I live now

Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

Wednesday 20th

The current Mrs Smith has gone all green

Traditionally Smith Towers has always had colour co-ordinated balloons for birthdays and special occasions. In an effort to save the planet the current Mrs Smith has converted to bunting, a magical step back in time for our futures.

The current Mrs Smith always ahead of the curve.

If you’re looking to save the planet and would like a supplier with a fresh approach then Bunting by Mhairi is a delightful place to start. Click on the link for additional information; @buntingbymhairi  

Tuesday 19th

LGBT 2018 and is the Church fit for purpose?

Having awoke Sunday morning to Edward Stourton interviewing Vicky Beeching on Radio 4 about the shameful treatment she received from some in the Church when she came out and then reading Nicholas Hellen’s article in the Sunday Times left me feeling very disappointed but I guess not surprised. To have been very high profile in the Church, particularly musically and encouraged by Archbishop Welby to train as a priest, the attitude taken by some elements of the Church have devastated her.

In the order of things the male is attracted to the female and vice versa throughout all species, which makes the system work but when that turns out different who’s fault is it? Not the new-born, I would suggest. If a child is born with a deformity, blindness, brain damage etc. the Church would support, nurture and love it, have a chromosome mix-up and that same Church can vilify you. The Scriptures tell us that God made man in his own image, so if that is true who is to blame or should there be blame if you’re born different?

The Church predominantly runs on a set of rules 2,000 years old, which are now out of date and not in tune with the populace. The treatment of Vicky Beeching is disgraceful and some elements of the Church should be ashamed of themselves. It’s time for Archbishop Welby to come over the parapet and bring her back into the flock, along with others from the cold and deal with the rogue elements. Being warned she must stay celibate and told it’s sinful to be in a sexual relationship shows how out of touch the Church can be. The Church belongs to the people not a few out dated old Bishops.

The question remains; would God punish her? I think not.

Monday 18th

Fathers Day Plus One

Having had a lovely Fathers Day yesterday it’s time to reflect on our Dads that influenced us but are, sadly no longer with us. The current Mrs Smith’s Dad, Tom Sackett with his little Angel and my Dad, Henry Smith with his troublesome boys.

Both still live on in our memories and still influence us to this day.

Sunday 17th

Allourlives Sunday Quiz

Can you identify this Moth?

Post your answer or best guess at the bottom of the page on the comments facility. We will then see who is first with the correct answer and how many got it right or wrong.

Last weeks quiz

Where is this beach scene? Answer – Whitstable East Beach

What is the tall industrial building? Answer – The Brett Groups Asphalt Plant

Louise gave the only correct answer to part one. Her description of part two should have gained a point for comedy but nil point for identifying it as: –

 a pebble cleaning/sucky thing to do with Brett’s and aggregates or dredging’.

Saturday 16th

The current Mrs Smith and Colin’s Jaunt

As Eric wasn’t about this week, yesterday the current Mrs Smith decided it was time I visited the Barbers and my reward would be a nice coffee. The ‘Hair Raid’ completed it was off to Tiny Tim’s Tearooms for an Americano. The current Mrs Smith throwing caution to the wind had a Gluten Free Scone with a Blue Mountain Coffee, which was never in the budget. Don’t know what the kids will make of such decadence.

If you’re in Canterbury and want a nice tea or coffee and a quality light lunch or afternoon tea then Tiny Tim’s Tearooms in St Margaret’s Street is the place to go. Look out for the ghost, as it is the most haunted building in the city.Friday 15th

New Life in a Cemetery

Recycling comes in all shapes and sizes particularly if you’re an Island race. When you live on an island space can be at a premium but how can you recycle space? Hong Kong have managed it by having secondary use of a cemetery with a garden centre. It brings new life to a sombre place and puts a smile on the face of eternity.

Now that’s what I call recycling.

Thursday 14th

The Humble Broad Bean

Following on from yesterday, packaging doesn’t  have to be a problem and can be very sustainable. Early November our daughter Jo planted broad beans, they took a while to germinate but up they came. Having survived all the winter could throw at them in come the Beast from the East, which they shrugged off. Now it’s June and the current Mrs Smith is busy picking, shelling and cooking. It reminds me of the Dig for Victory campaign in WW2, what would that do to the Super Market giants if it was reintroduced?

The sustainable broad bean

Sow in Oct/Nov

Apart from a little hoeing they will look after themselves

Pick in June

No packaging required as they have their own

Carbon footprint no greater than the length of your garden

Growing faster than your picking, some will be unsuitable for the table

Save these in a paper bag in a dry place and plant the next year

Cost? A little energy to cook.

Wednesday 13th

Corn Starch or Plastic that is the question

A local vegetarian/vegan café moved premises in 2015 and went from ceramic crockery to corn-starch recyclable/compostable cups and beakers. A sensible move you might think, but I’m not so sure. Coffee out of a real cup maintains it at an optimum temperature and therefore delivers a better taste experience. They can be washed up and used over and over again, excepting some power and water will be used, but they will not kill dolphins. This got me thinking and in 2015 I took my recyclable beaker home to see how quickly it broke down. The wording on it is as follows: –

I’m not a plastic cup

100% compostable 100% biodegradable

It has been sitting on our BBQ wall exposed to all weather and sunlight and it’s as good today as it was in 2015, whereas plastic would have disintegrated. Where does this leave the environment if we converted totally to corn-starch products? From my simple experiment it would appear we would be no better off and mammals of the oceans would still be at risk.

Tuesday 12th

A résumé of 12 months with MND

Having been unwell for sometime, originally being treated for a flare up of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) I was put into a physiotherapy programme, which had always worked previously. Having some initial success other issues manifested themselves, particularly weight loss, shortness of breath and chronic catarrh. After blood tests, X-Rays and a camera procedure by an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist it was deemed there was nothing wrong other than the Catarrh problem, which the ENT Specialist said I would have to live with, as it was an age related problem. No one in this period picked up the possibility of MND, which apparently is normal as it is so rare that a GP might not have seen it previously, however I feel the ENT appointment, perhaps should have. Having become very unwell I was fast tracked to a Neurologist and on the 12thJune 2017 a provisional diagnosis of MND was made, subsequently confirmed on the 23rd after a short stay in Treble Ward at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital (K&C).

Prior to the provisional diagnoses I was sure that I had a serious problem, which in my mind would be Parkinson’s disease. When told it was MND there was some shock but as it’s less likely to have dementia associated with it found some relief.

The short stay in the K&C was as pleasant as these things can be and the staff of Treble Ward were most kind. Each test confirmed the diagnoses so by the time of discharge I fully accepted my situation.

I then had to think through the future be it long or short a question no one can or wants to answer. Keeping some independence was a priority, which I knew would be diminishing.

Living long or short was the issue as if it were short it would save a lot of anguish as the mourning process could start and given time would allow those close to me to get back to normal lives. Living long can add stress all round to my family as they watch my deterioration with nothing gained in my quality of life. Having said that I do have a quality of life albeit the days become more challenging being less able to do even some simple things.

Since diagnoses I have had the very best of support from the East Kent Hospital Trust and their MND support group. The support team have all come to the house and have also been seen at hospital appointments. The problem, if it is a problem, that too many visits can add stress into the situation so we agree to keep in contact by telephone with less frequent visits.

How has it been living with MND this past year? Firstly it’s worth noting the day-to-day problems that start off barely noticeable but by stealth creep up on you: –

  • Balance
  • Catarrh
  • Cramp
  • Lack of strength
  • Muscle wastage
  • Shortness of breath
  • Speech deterioration
  • Spasms
  • Swallowing

It’s been frustrating, debilitating, annoying and a feeling of being cheated. On the positive side I have realised what a wonderful family and friends I have. I joke, as I always have about my psoriasis that I treat it like an old friend, which can put life in perspective as it’s of no benefit to anyone to question why you have the condition so a little humour can help. Looking back I realise this had been coming on for some time, fortunately the current Mrs Smith and I made the very best of our retirement time prior to MND taking it’s grip.

The support and care I receive from the current Mrs Smith is amazing, she truly is a treasure and I love her dearly. Thanks Kid xx

One thing that’s kept me focused is the Allourlives website and my Blog in particular. Having published a blog every day since October 2017 it’s kept the grey matter working and the comments from the readers are wonderful. Please keep looking if you enjoy them.

 

 

Finally is MND a fight or a battle?

Be blowed if I know.

Monday 11th

CLIC Sargent

While the Canterbury Pride was in full swing on Saturday I came across another event, which was face painting, raising money for the charity CLIC Sargent. It was a low-key affair but had a big message in supporting young people and their families when cancer hits them. The charity strapline, ‘YOUNG LIVES VS CANCER’ suggest a battle and in their publications the use of the word fight is prevalent. I make no judgment on their use of language, other than to say the English language is diverse and colourful and no word should be censored.

Sunday 10th

Allourlives Sunday Quiz

Where is this beach scene and what is the tall industrial building?

Post your answer/s or best guess at the bottom of the page on the comments facility. We will then see who is first with the correct answer/s and how many got them right or wrong.

 

Answer to last Sunday’s Quiz: St Mary’s Church, Chilham.


Bonus picture of an Erin with baby Ethel seeking inspiration from the St Marys Big Chair. Reminds me of Ronnie Corbett.

Congratulations to James the one and only correct answer.

Saturday 9th

LGBT Canterbury  Pride

Canterbury High Street was awash with colour this morning with the ordinary and the extraordinary but most important of all everyone being able to be themselves. The Lord Mayor of Canterbury headed up the parade, which made its way from the Marlow Theatre to the Dane John for an all day party. It was the third Canterbury Pride and judging by the turn out has been a complete success.

Enjoy the photos with buskers in the High Street, the parade through the City to a dog in a fountain.

RUDY WARMAN & The HEAVY WEATHER

Friday 8th

Spring Watch at Smith Towers

Spring brings with it new life in abundance but it also has its challenges. When you’re a baby sparrow and Mums off getting your next tasty mouthful the lawn seems a big place and you can feel just a little vulnerable.Foot Note:

You may have missed, or maybe not, the Eric and Colin Jaunt yesterday, this was mainly due to me having a Doctors appointment so we didn’t have our usual adventure. Eric has commitments for the next couple of weeks so no E&C Jaunts over that period.

Thursday 7th

Fight, the debate moves to France

Yesterday Madame Ophilie our French Correspondent from the Lot Department posted a comment on the May page about the word fight, which you may have missed. Today I publish it in full in it’s own right. Should you require a translation Google will help you. Other platforms are available.

Quote:

Pour apporter un mot à la notion de combattre Co, en français on dit “en découdre avec quelque chose” c’est comme ci on défaisait, on décousait…ce qui est mal fait…il ya de l’espoir dans ce mot pour moi.

en anglais la traduction est par ex de reverso: découdre v —detach v · separate

Voici celle en français du dictionnaire Littré:

  1. n. Familièrement, en découdre, se battre, lutter, contester, disputer.

Je te souhaite cela, en découdre!!!

Beau courage et grosses bises des correspondants lotois.

Ophélie.

Unquote:

If BREXIT means BREXIT does FIGHT mean COMBATTRE?

Where’s Mr Barnier when you need him?

Wednesday 6th

D Day 6th June

Today is the 74thanniversary of ‘D Day’ and we remember those that perished on the beaches of Normandy. One family member who was part of the early arrivals onto the beaches was my Uncle William (Barrett), a Glazier/Painter from Thanet. As an older man he only just made the cut and was called up/enlisted in 1942 and posted to the Royal Engineers. He embarked for France on the 1stJune and we presume he was at sea until the 6th. Being on the water in poor weather, which delayed ‘D Day’, for 4/5 days would not have been comfortable. Like many from his generation he spoke little of his service experiences but being an early arrival to those hostile shores would have witnessed much. He survived the war and returned to his family to continue his role as Husband, Dad and subsequently Granddad.

Tuesday 5th

The Grass is always Greener on the other side

As we approach the longest day and after a weekend of temperatures in the mid twenties East Kent has dropped to the mid teens. In Glenelg, a suburb of Adelaide in South Australia they have temperatures also in the mid teens as they approach the shortest day. Ruth and her good friend Liz have been out for an evening stroll and have dressed accordingly. I would take mid teen temperatures in December if offered, the grass is always greener on the other side and this case the world.

Monday 4th

Can a person become an Honorary Man of Kent?

I once had the privilege to welcome someone into the family and my opening remark was “you do realise that you will never be a Man of Kent”. The subject arises as my very good friend, Vic visits me on a regular basis and brings me beers from the Hogs Back Brewery, which use Fuggles, Golding and Farnham White Bine hops to very good effect. Nothing strange in that you might think, but they’re not Kentish hops, they’re Surrey hops from their own hop gardens. So the dilemma is I have a friend born in the East End of London who moved to Kent shortly after, was brought up as a young man on Fremlins 3 Star bitter (Kent’s best and a wonderful brew still missed today) and he now brings me beers from Surrey. It doesn’t tick any boxes in respect of Men of Kent but the beers do as they are very good indeed, so I may have to make an exception in his case and make him a Man of Kent. Unless of course he still feels he’s a Londoner at heart.

What else is the Hogs Back famous for? The A25 with wonderful views but the arduous journeys with the road jam-packed with traffic before the M25.  Also the demise of the legendary racing driver, Mike Hawthorn.

Sunday 3rd

Allourlives Sunday Quiz

Where is this lovely East Kent Church in the evening sunshine?

It gets a mention in the Doomsday Book and at one time it was alleged to have held the remains of St Augustine.

Post your answer or best guess at the bottom of the page on the comments facility. We will then see who is first with the correct answer and how many got it right or wrong.

Answer to last Sunday’s Quiz

Where is this lovely East Kent view?

The Swale Estuary taken from the Isle of Harty on the Isle of Sheppey looking towards Harty Ferry, Faversham.

 

Saturday 2nd

Where have all the BEES gone?

Horsham Bee – Pam Thomas collection

Adelaide Bee – Ruthy collection

On the 4th of May I posted a photo of a solitary bee after weeks with little success of capturing a bee image. When Pam our Sussex Correspondent saw the photo she decided it was time for a ‘bee off’ as she would show me how different Sussex is compared to Kent as she was sure it wouldn’t be difficult to find a few to snap. The reality, however was she had the same experience raising the question, where have they all gone? Sitting on our patio in the recent hot spell there was no significant increase in bee population; even the large thyme in full bloom attracted barely a visitor. At one time our patio would have been wall-to-wall bees. So we launch today the Pam’s Bee Watch. E-mail your bee photos from around the world and we will publish the best of them. If you find like us a shortage of the little chaps but find out where they’ve disappeared to that would be interesting so please let us know.

Horsham climbing hydrangea – Pam Thomas collection

As I was compiling this Blog there’s been a sighting on a climbing hydrangea in Horsham and French Lavender at Smith Towers.

Friday 1st

A Tale of Three Generations

Once upon a time, a long time ago there was a group of children that predominately lived in New House Road in the Thanington Without suburb of Canterbury, which is now known as Hilltop. They were a mischievous lot but generally a good bunch but had no name or obvious leader, so for the sake of the story we will call them the Gang of 56. Not all but most started school at Wincheap Primary and then dissipated to various secondary schools, before heading out into the workplace and subsequently the world. A nucleolus of the group kept in touch (predominantly the girls) with pen and paper, which was fortunate as we knew where everyone was. Introduce the Internet and modern travel and we are fully back together and with the inclusion of spouses, partners and family members make for a treasured group.

Moving onto the eighties and the Gang of 56 were all grown up and another Hilltop group of equal mix of boys and girls emerges. The Gang of 85 were equally mischievous like their predecessors but again a really good bunch and a very close-knit unit to this day. This group also have spouses and partners that have all been encompassed. It’s been a delight to see them grow and blossom and have families of their own.

Green shoots have appeared as the embryo of the Gang of 2018 develops and although a very young group they already mirror both previous gangs behaviours. The Gang of 2018 are all the product of the Gang of 85 and four of them are linked back to the Gang of 56. In the fullness of time will there be a fourth generation of such Hilltop Gangs? If it becomes the product of the Gang of 2018 that I would suggest be quite unique. What would the names be? The Gang of 2047?

Gang of 2018 L to R – Oliver, Imogen, Olivia, Erin, Lauren, Albi, Julius, Daisy and Freddie – Photo from the Lucy Hicks collection.

The Gang of 56 Reunion 2012

27 thoughts on “June 2018

  1. The gang of 2047… now there’s a thought! I’ve just rediscovered a birthday video tape from the Gang of 85. Being converted to DVD now…. Hoping it’s a window back to the 90s although suspect it might just be an episode of neighbours.

    • The exploits of the Gang of ‘56 have been recorded with the occasional B&W photo (few of them had cameras) but predominantly their memories, which do differ with the elapse of time. By the time the Gang of ‘85 arrived technology had moved on to video (VHS) but again there were few video cameras about so once again memory comes into play. With the Gang of 2018 we have a quantum leap, every one of them will have a mobile phone as they arrive at secondary education giving them a still and video camera. They all have access to the Internet and some already have their own web pages. The Internet provides them a myriad of platforms, FB, Snapchat, etc. and whatever comes next. Looking to the future what will be available to the Gang of 2047?

      With the challenge of today’s blog, I’m expecting some stunning Hong Kong Bee photos.
      No pressure but get snapping. lol

    • Looking forward to hearing what’s on the video James. (Even if it is Madge bishop!)
      Loving the inclusion of the gang of 2018 Colin.

      • Watching Madge for me is a step too far. I would prefer to watch the Gang of 2018 blossom and grow.

  2. Is it Whitstable beach and a pebble cleaning/sucky thing to do with Brett’s and aggregates or dredging?

    Great words on the living with MND and don’t even think that you will ever burden us Colin no matter what the future holds – everyday I come across a situation where I think ‘hmmm I’ll ask dad about that’! You carry the same value to us you ever did even if we have to grow up and sort our own tyres out! X

    • Thanks Lou.

      Is it Whitstable? All will be revealed on Sunday.

      Living with MND has its problems but you Guys help enormously.

  3. Great blog today Colin – fascinating about the bio-mug – I like proper china / pot mugs personally. Looking forward very much to meeting somewhere on the 24th July. No ship trips but am sure some harbours and ports. Your year has been “interesting” stay positive m8 – Best wishes from “The North” – Howard

    • Thanks Howard for your nice comment. We’re looking forward to catching up on the 24th July.

      Take care

      Colin (Southern Softy)

  4. Great blog on the 12th Dad! Agree with what Jo and Lou said. Sunday quiz – is it the Mint moth? What’s my prize?!! Xx

    • Thanks for comment James.

      You’re first back with quiz answer but is it correct? All will be revealed next Sunday.

      Prize will be a well done. lol

  5. I support and wholeheartedly agree with your blog regarding Vicky Beeching. Indeed is the Church of England fit for purpose.
    You need a bigger voice Dad.
    Love ya xx

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