April 2018

Monday 30th

Spring in Britain can be confusing

As we arrive at the end of April having recently experienced temperatures in the mid twenties we’ve plummeted to 7.9°c today and predicted to fall even lower. So what do you do if you want outdoor activities? Climb aboard your time machine and travel back to the Ice Age. There’s only one word for it, BONKERS.Sunday 29th

Allourlives Sunday Quiz

The Lovely Thames Barge Repertor, but where is she moored?

Answer next Sunday

Answer to last weeks quiz; was the Gothic Arches are part of the Canterbury Cathedral Cloisters.

Saturday 28th

What do you do on a cold grey April evening?

You admire your Bramley Apple tree in full bloom and hope for warmer days very soon.

Friday 27th

It’s been a funny old week

The Windrush saga has been played out in Parliament this week, which brought to centre stage the historic failure of successive Governments to fairly or properly resolve a problem of this country’s own making. On Wednesday it was an important day in the Australian calendar, ANZAC DAY, which this year brought more focus to the Aborigines who volunteered to fight in WW1 when they still were not recognised as legal Australian citizens. Add into the mix the Labour Party and Anti-Semitism this makes three problems that should have been resolved a long time ago.

The British Government have apologised for the first and promised to rectify matters. The Australian Government are now more sympathetic to the Aboriginal people, not before time but they are moving in the right direction. Can the Labour Party resolve its problem? A question that shouldn’t have to be asked and should only have one answer. We await that answer.

Thursday 26th

Eric & Colin’s Thursday Jaunt

Today we visited the Whitstable Museum and Gallery, which proved to be surprisingly delightful. Run entirely by volunteers its all credit to them for variety and quality of the exhibits.

If you’re in Whitstable it’s well worth a visit.

Wednesday 25th

There’s no substitute for live music.

Ruthy our Antipodean Correspondent went under cover to get the latest on the Adelaide music scene, visiting a local pub. Being from Methodist stock it was a whole new experience and Ode To Joy and the cast of thousands, it wasn’t. However, she found two guys with a guitar each a multi-plug or two playing the music they loved and delivered Odes Of Life. You have to respect people that have the skill and nerve to play live to an audience. Ruthy’s conclusion the Adelaide music scene is diverse and alive and well.

Tuesday 24th

No matter what your status the birth of a new baby is one of life’s little miracles and to be savoured. Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their new baby boy. In the UK on that same day there will be approximately 2,000 other births each one unique and special. Worldwide there are 360,000 births daily, unfortunately not all will enjoy a safe childhood. In celebrating a Royal Birth we are mindful of those through no fault of their own around the World who will struggle on their respective journeys.

Monday 23rd

Buckingham Palace has the Guards, Smith Towers has Robins

Having been given a bird table for my birthday by the current Mrs Smith,  it was interesting this little chap claimed it as his own and fended off all comer’s. Feisty, doesn’t come anywhere near.

Sunday 22nd

Allourlives Sunday Quiz

Where can you find these Gothic Arches in East Kent?

Answer next Sunday.


Answer to last weeks quiz was ‘The ledge” by Bill Woodrow, which can be found along the  Lower Leas Coastal Park, and was part of the Folkestone Triennial Festival.

Saturday 21st

Its all nature and nurture at Smith Towers

The current Mrs Smith, who likes a little bit of nurture had to content herself with her tomato plants today as there weren’t any children or grandchildren about.

She can be all house and garden, well actually perhaps more garden than house.

Friday 20th

New Spring Life

Hottest April day since 1949 and an absolute delight after a protracted winter. It was lovely to come across this little baby taking in the rays at the local Merton Farm. As they say two swallows don’t make a summer but we have to grab the opportunity when it presents itself.


Thursday 19th

Eric & Colin’s Thursday Jaunt

Today we flew back in time at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne. With a clear blue sky what could be better than sitting on the terrace having a coffee and reflecting with a dear friend. Well the haze in the Channel might have been kind and lifted, but it didn’t, we’re never satisfied, are we?

Wednesday 18th

Smith Towers is in party mood

75 years ago today it was Palm Sunday but courtesy of the German Luftwaffe nobody slept that night in Canterbury as the aforementioned carried out an air raid. My Mother had other reasons to be awake as she had just delivered me into the world and apparently I was particularly vocal all night. Doesn’t sound like me?

Move on 66 years and another Mum was busy but thankfully in more peaceful times and our Jo delivered us a wonderful little boy, Julius that in his 9 years has given us so much joy and laughter.

And now it’s Happy Birthday from me and Happy Birthday from Him.

Tuesday 17th

LGBT and the Commonwealth

Having always been a supporter of the Commonwealth it’s disappointing to realise that some member countries still criminalise their LGBT communities. The opportunity is there for all members to take advantage of membership but surely they must update out-dated doctrines. It has to be realised we all live in the modern world, which is changing ever faster and like the Church they must come to terms with the fact that you can’t run on a set of rules 2,000 years old without some change.

Then when you look deeper and find it’s often a legacy of laws made in colonial times, which criminalised LGBT relations or identities and still sit on the statute books today. Although some countries are changing others are bringing in additional new laws against their LGBT communities. If South Africa had to withdraw from the Commonwealth in 1961 because of apartheid is it time for pressure to be applied by liberal members on the more conservative? The Commonwealth can only survive if it is modern and all encompassing.

This week London hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting with the strapline ‘Towards a common future’. Sadly LGBT doesn’t appear to be on any agenda. Not much of a common future, I would suggest.

Monday 16th

As we start a special week in the Smith Towers Calendar there’s only one question.


How did we get from there to here?

Sunday 15th

Allourlives Sunday Quiz


Where can you find this Inuit Hunter in Kent?

Answer next Sunday.


The answer to last weeks quiz; was the bridge over the moat at Leeds Castle

Saturday 14th

Today our French correspondent Madame Ophilie from the Lot Department of France has detected Spring emerging among the Walnut Groves, albeit lacking temperature. Translations are available courtesy Mr Google.

BOUM quand votre coeur fait BOUM!!!!LA LA LA LA LALA… Hello les amis,

Voici quelques photos printanières…il ne manque que la chaleur pour pouvoir profiter du jardin (et la luminosité pour faire de belles photo HeHeHe) !!!

Walnut Grove Ripane – Spring 2018

Walnut Grove Ripane – Summer 2016

Theresa livrera BREXIT mais BREXIT ne doit pas enlever l’amitié 

Friday 13th

We’re going on a Bear Hunt

Four little Kentish grandchildren went out one day and decided to go on a Bear Hunt and they weren’t scared.

Bears in Kent that’s bonkers! Not if you visit Howletts. Fortunately for these little people it was a wooden bear or was it plastic? Actually it’s a MEGATHERIUM but I couldn’t link it to a child’s story. Never let the truth get in the was of a good story..

Thursday 12th

Eric and Colin’s Thursday Jaunt

Nice coffee and pleasant staff, quite delightful

Today we ventured out to a very grey and misty Faversham with a pit stop at the Creek Creative Gallery Café. A very Mediterranean themed exhibition, just what you want on a dreary April morning, no artwork photos I’m afraid. Much to discuss this morning including Syria, Commonwealth Games but we eventually came around to Wincheap Primary School, it maybe self preservation or just old blokes looking back at what would have been hard times for our parents just after the war but a magic time when viewed some 60+ years later.

If you’re looking for a nice coffee or a spot of lunch with a free exhibition then give the Creek Creative Gallery a visit.

A grey misty Faversham in April

Wednesday 11th

BREXIT is alive and well and living in Hong Kong

With Parliament currently in Easter recess, BREXITEERS have been touring the World championing the BREXIT cause. Our correspondent’s have been out and about to get the latest; Charle our Hong Kong sleuth came across a BREXITEER who had taken the BREXIT cause to extremes. Hopefully there’s more than one Hong Kong businessman that can see (or is that take) an advantage of BREXIT.

Tuesday 10th

Don’t confuse Empire with Commonwealth.

This tribute can be found at the Bondi Beach

With the Commonwealth Games in full swing on the Gold Coast, the Prince of Wales donning a grass skirt and BREXIT is it perhaps time to have the Commonwealth debate. Bringing people together and as with the Commonwealth from very diverse cultures has to be a good thing. The Empire is dead and gone and you can argue until the cows come home about how wrong it was but you can’t undo the past. Apologise for it yes but change history, sadly no. With BREXIT is there a time for a new beginning? I always thought it was wrong to abandon the Commonwealth trade when we joined the EU now we have a chance to correct this.

This sign is located at Glenelg, South Australia

So who is going to be the figurehead going forward, as currently there’s no vacancy it’s not a problem. I can’t see any alternative other than the successor to Queen Elizabeth ll. It keeps it non-political and independent of all respective politicians that will all have their own agendas. I haven’t travelled extensively throughout the Commonwealth but in Australia where they have the big struggle with the republic debate many still show their allegiances to the monarchy.

Monday 9th

5 Souls created in bronze frozen in despair in perpetuity

Following on from recent blogs focussing on the Arabella Dorman’s ‘Suspension’ sculpture in Canterbury Cathedral it was fascinating to get up close and personal with the Paloma Varga Weisz Sculpture ‘Rug People’, 2011 in Folkestone. Both deal with the same subject matter, with the latter also encompassing the memory of those that embarked to conflict through the harbour station to an uncertain future. In its life the harbour has also seen the decadence of the Orient Express and peoples excitement of travel and now the restoration is opening up a café culture and lovely place to promenade. The ‘Rug People’ reminds us that not all can enjoy the freedom we perhaps take for granted, all credit to the designers for encompassing this.

Sunday 8th

Allourlives Sunday Quiz

Where can you find these delightful arches in Kent?

Answer next Sunday.

Last weeks quiz was Ramsgate Harbour clock, click on the link to read all about Ramsgate Time. In the background is the tide-ball, which helped mariners, determine the state of the tide prior to entry to the harbour.

Saturday 7th

Today, like the bears we have come out of hibernation

Warmest day of the year so far and an afternoon trip to Folkestone was a treat. The Harbour arm and station restoration is developing well and reminds me it’s time to up-date the Folkestone page. The Lower Leas Coastal Park is a delight with the   largest free adventure playground in the South East a wonderful place for children and a good place for the big people to have a chat, knowing the little ones are safe. Additionally the Coastal Walk is an adventure in itself. Today it was all about a warm spring day and a little girl having fun, culminating with a glorious Hilltop sunset.

Friday 7th

With the field in front of Smith Towers sprayed with weed killer in the autumn and left barren all winter it was a delight when the big JD arrived. Another year we have agriculture rather than a poorly thought-out development. We await to see what the crop will be.

Thursday 5th

Eric and Colin’s Thursday Jaunt

Today we returned to the Kent Wildlife Trust Centre at New Romney on a lovely spring day. Greenfinches and a Great Tit on the feeder you could be forgiven for thinking all in the world was peace. Lots of interesting events at the centre, so well worth a look during school holidays etc. when you have little ones to entertain. Go onto their website for details.

Discussions today, politics and who will be the next leaders of Labour and Conservative Parties, Russia and nerve gas, eternal life and is top flight sport, sport or just a business. Other discussions were available and were encompassed, most probably.

Wednesday 4th

Can Australians draw a line in the sand and move on?

Today we see the start of the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast. Coming hard on the heels of the recent cricketing scandal all eyes will be on these games for all the wrong reasons. I’m looking forward to the games in the spirit of sport with plenty of competition and hard fought events but fair. What we want is a games on the right track with love and respect.

With BREXIT these games are important for the UK to rekindle commercial relationships with the Commonwealth that perhaps we have allowed to drift for far too long.

Tuesday 3rd

Which is the most powerful, sugar or megabytes?

Time to reflect on the 2018 Easter at Smith Towers, which surprisingly nobody got sunburnt or overcome by heatstroke however, there was chocolate, a-plenty. Little people even abandoned their screens for Auntie Jo’s Egg Hunt, which shows that Sugar is more powerful than Megabytes. Dentists, start counting the shekels

Monday 2nd

RAF 100 year old – Happy Birthday

Today the RAF starts it’s second century, leaving many iconic images from the first. Churchill most probably caught the mood of a country with ‘never before have so many owed so much to so few’. That’s not withstanding and arguably, the bigger job done by Bomber Command, not forgetting transport, reconnaissance and other roles. Designers, engineers, ground crew and brave pilots have served us well for the last 100 years and in respect to the pilots currently on active service they continue to do so today.

Hawker Hunter – Farnborough Airshow 1964 – Vic Goddard Collection

There were many iconic aircraft operated by the RAF during the century but the Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire symbolise the very best of propeller craft. The Hawker Hunter was the craft of transition from prop to jet. The Hawker Hunter moved things on  breaking the airspeed record at 727 mph on 7th September 1953 piloted by Neville Duke.

It begs the question where will the technology take us in the next 100 years? Armchair pilots or will there always be a need for a person in the cockpit?

Decisions for the next generation.

Sunday 1st

Allourlives Sunday Quiz

Where is this clock, traditionally telling it’s unique time?

If you look closely you also see an aid to seafarer’s in the days of sail.

The little detail in last weeks quiz is a left over from the South East & Chatham Railway and is on the gate in Harbour Street Whitstable.

2 thoughts on “April 2018

  1. With pure love and not only a superb Grandad a wonderful friendship. Happy birthday week to my very special Dad and Son. Xx 🎈🎉🎈😎🎈

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