Blog 2015

Thursday 31st December 2015

The end of a year with special anniversaries, which remind us that despite the current upheaval in the Middle East and beyond plus the current terrorist threats we live in privileged times.  We have lost some close family members and some dear friends.  Little ones continue to grow and develop, so there is much hope for the future.

A poignant moment was early morning on the 21st May when the ‘Little Ships’ were setting sail from Ramsgate on route to Dunkirk (Dunkerque) to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of ‘Operation Dynamo’. IMG_8635 The Chumley was one of the smallest, IMG_8722The Thames Sailing Barges Greta and Pudge were most probably the most practical with their shallow draft and capacity. IMG_8724 The Hurricane and the Spitfire significant because of their involvement in Operation Dynamo and the Battle of Britain, which also celebrated it’s 75th Anniversary this year.

R.I.P 2015

Wednesday 30th December 2015

IMG_0183As another year draws to a close and we reflect on the year past.  I wonder how many more times the Wincheap Farm fields will be cultivated.  The land deserves crops and not  bricks, but I guess money will subsequently speak.

Hilltop Fields for ever!

Tuesday 29th December 2015

IMG_0413Another balmy December day so the currents Mrs Smith and I ventured out to our favourite place by the sea, Whitstable.  The fishing fleet were all in harbour and looked quite tranquil.  The Renown LO88, which is new to me was looking smart and peaceful but a little lonely.

Monday 28th December 2015

IMG_0405IMG_0408After the excess of Christmas the current Mrs Smith thought it prudent to get some exercise and fresh air.  Winter and spring can both be seen in the hedgerows.IMG_0406

Saturday 19th December 2015

Today we reinstate this blog for a very special lady, Doris Helen Wren, 1934 – 2015.

Sadly after a long period of illness Doris passed away peacefully on the 10th December.  She was a much loved person and was always so interesting to be with,  she had knowledge of many things and was always full of fun.  In fact she could be the cheeky Lassie, in the best possible way.  It was a privilege today to attend the Service to Celebrate her life and listen to her Granddaughter’s view of a Grandmother.  A wonderful Lady who will be missed by all her family and friends.

Rest in Peace Doris.

Suspended in the pre-christmas period.  Visit the advent page for a bit of fun.

Friday 20th November 2105

ParkinsonsOne week ago as we were getting excited by the achievements of Children in Need only to be shocked by the events in Paris.  Seven days later Parisians came out to remember the victims and exercise the right and values of ordinary people.  This family today has been touched by the expectation that an important member of that family may be suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.  This reminds us that life is fragile so we must live it to the full, while we can, providing that we enhance life itself. We must not be intimidated by the misguided and dangerous organisations on the peripheral of humanitarian decency. The way forward is fraternity.

Thursday 19th November 2015

It’s the third Thursday in November so it must be Beaujolais Nouveau day.

Gordon the Gopher travelled all over Canterbury to find a bottle and then he found Waitrose and his job was done.  IMG_0081 This year it is amazing a true reflection of summer past. His only problem was the accompaniment, Roquefort or the Stilton?  Can anyone help him with his dilemma?

Wednesday 18th November

England 2 – France 0

The result was unimportant.  The winner was a game of football.

Unionjack & French Flag 1

Tuesday 17th November 2015



Monday 16th November 2015




Candles from Canterbury

Sunday 15th November 2015


The message from Montparnasse, Paris

“In grief Solidarity to the victims”


Unionjack & French Flag 1

We all stand together

Montparnasse we love you

Saturday 14th November 2015

DSCF0096This morning we should be celebrating the success of the Children in Need appeal, instead we are mourning the needless loses of life in Paris.  It’s difficult to find the words this morning, except to say it was an atrocity and a violation of human life.  Paris we share your grief and are thinking of you all particularly those people killed and their friends & families.  We also pray for those injured and the medical teams tending their wounds.  The authorities now have to deal with the aftermath of this co-ordinated attack and I’m sure they have all our full support with that.

Stay strong Paris, once more, we are all with you in this fight against this awful ideology.

Friday 13th November 2015

Children in Need 2015

Pudsey 3A most special day in the year for fundraising for children, none more so than The Rickshaw Challenge. Well, done to all the team and particularly Matt Baker who has that light touch that encourages and supports the riders and is obviously moved , as we are, by their efforts.  Please support them by donating to the Rickshaw Team and get them to £2,100,000, which will take them to a staggering£10,000,000 over the five years of the challenge. Amira, Elliot, Erin, George D, George G & Lucy, you are fantastic! Matt Baker for the New Years Honours List.👍

Thursday 12th November 2015

IMG_9777Today we celebrate!  It’s Ghislain Spiers’ birthday.  We all wish you a very happy birthday Ghis. Have a lovely day & enjoy the delicious meal that your wonderful Ophelie will cook for you.🍾

Don’t forget it’s only 7 days and it will be Beaujolais Nouveau 2015🍷

Wednesday 11th November 2015

Remembrance Day.

IMG_0676Plaque on the wall in the nave of Canterbury Cathedral commemorating casualties of the Prince Albert, Light Infantry in Afghanistan  between 1838 to 1842.

Nothing changes?

Although perhaps tranquility can come from absolute horror thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). The picture below is of Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, Near Arras Northern France. Loving looked after by CWGC.IMG_7267

Tuesday 10th November 2015

IMG_0342Today we remember the sailors, soldiers & airman from all countries in different theatres of operation. The seaborne landing in the Bay of St. Tropez, an American lead operation were supported by the French & British  among others.  The Rhone American Cemetery at Draguinan remembers the fallen in that campaign including British Army, Airforce & Navy, the latter being from both Royal & Merchant.  The loss of a loved one is the same no matter what side your country was on. Elsewhere on this site the story of the Wife of a German soldier is briefly told and her loss was equal to anyones. Interesting seventy years on and those enemies  are now allies, hopefully  todays problem areas will also become friends.IMG_0344

Monday 9th November 2015

As remembrance week continues we remember the casualties from Asia.  The photo below is of Sai-Wan Cemetery, Hong Kong, which is the resting place for so many.  Also remembered in the register are the souls lost without a trace from the prison ship, SS Lisbon Maru.  She was transporting prisoners from Hong Kong to Japan with no markings suggesting she was a prison ship and was torpedoed by an American Submarine.IMG_1736

Sunday 8th November 2015

On this remembrance weekend it is impossible to mention everyone but we remember them all.  The recent campaigns brings us stark reminders that death can come knocking, others sustain serious injuries.  We owe a dept of gratitude to each and everyone plus the families left without a Husband, Wife, Dad, Mum, Brother, Sister, Son or Daughter. 2015 has provided many anniversaries but the image below perhaps covers a sentiment for the Spitfire a special machine flown by very special pilots.IMG_8733Spitfire AB910 (FS-H) Battle of Britain Memorial Flight over the Dunkirk 75th Anniversary Flotilla.  Ramsgate, Kent 21st May 2015.

Wednesday 4th November 2015

Tom Sackett 1940

Today we remember Thomas Ernest Sackett who left this life 22 years ago.  He was a true family man and will always be missed by his  nearest and dearest.

As member of the Sackett family working for Robert Brett and Sons he was pivotal as the company chauffeur. He was responsible for driving the directors but most important of all taking subsequent generations  of children to school. Not always easy, perhaps?

Some of us lost a mate, colleague, friend, drinking partner and father-in-law and all-round good egg.

Rest in peace Tom.

Tuesday 3rd. November 2015

IMG_2722One of these monkeys has a birthday today, which one?  Happy birthday??????

Monday 2nd. November 2015

IMG_7259Jeremy Corbyn, apparently questioned why we should commemorate the First World War. It may have escaped his notice that it was working people, that he alleges to support that paid a terrible price. So should they not be commemorated?  I would imagine he would support commemorating the Tolpuddle Martyrs, who had a struggle in a difficult time for workers, therefore perhaps there are some inconsistencies? The cemetery below is Duisans, Etrun in Northern France and the resting place for Canterbury Citizen, George Twyman,  a relatively small cemetery it may be but significant and one of so many. Perhaps Corbyn should visit the Western Front to acquaint himself of the commitment of his countrymen to his country. An area of knowledge he appears to lack. I wonder what Corporal G. W. Twyman would have made of the leader of the Labour Party, as  a working man I would suggest,  disappointed.IMG_7264

Sunday 1st. November 2015

Poppy 2The British Legion Poppy appeal is well underway and it’s a time to remember the fallen and the injured.  This site has two such people, Frank Smith who paid the ultimate price in France and Herbert Barrett who suffered horrendous injuries when his vessel was blown-up on the Dover Patrol.

Smith, Frank Haine - Version 2 Barrrett, Herbert & Sister - Version 2

R.I.P. Granddads

Saturday 31t October 2015 is back.  Following the transfer of hosting-site, which upset the system, this website went absent without leave for some time.  Luckily with the help of others it’s back.  I have missed you, I don’t expect you have missed me.  Today we have planted broad beans and tomorrow we are hoping to plant garlic. Look out 2016 we’re already planning for you. Get in!

This neighbourhood has survived the summer and is looking pretty dapper. Watch this space for future comment and perhaps a bit of fun.

The picture below is a reflection of the best lane in the country, most probably.IMG_9988

Thursday 9th July 2015

Wichambreaux School and a sunny, thankfully, Sports Day.  The Greens were up for the challenge but it was the Reds that came through as champions. Julius a key member of the Green (Dream) Team put in a sterling effort showing his prowess across a range of disciplines.

Football and it was a pity there was a lack of talent scouts from the Premiership about.


His Rugby manoeuvrability was even better, with a swerve here and a swerve there.IMG_9272

The sprint started well but the legs couldn’t keep up with the effort & eventually buckled, it could have been so different.IMG_9283

If true grit could win trophies then the effort in the Relay Race would have given Gold.IMG_9304

After getting tangled with the net on the assault course Julius decided that fishing would not be a good career move.

IMG_9233Well done Wickhambreux School, teachers, parents and most important of all the children.  You are remarkable bunch.

Sunday 5th July 2015

After a fabulously sunny week the sun didn’t shine on Wickhambreaux School today.  It is to the credit of staff and parents that their summer fete went on despite the rain. Julius won the prize for his cake, he must be artistic like his Mum.  Julius lines up to take his prize.IMG_9192

IMG_9190When it’s wet and nothing much happening there is only one thing to do slide down chute.  Fred & Julius take the plunge.  What the photo doesn’t show is that Fred’s ended up in a massive puddle and spent the afternoon wet through.


Friday 3rd July 2015

IMG_9092 - Version 2Today was a special day for the Fordwich Boys.  Julius had a fabulous week at school and was awarded a Merit Certificate. Click on the link to be amazed.  Julius Award 2015.07.03 On the other hand Oliver was left with the Odd Couple who put him to work on picking up the June Drop.  Although he received no pay Nanny assured him she would always be there with the melon, water etc. whether he wanted it or not. IMG_9178

Thursday 2nd July 2015

Iceland needed to come to Morrison’s, Canterbury store as you needed a Birds Eye to look beyond the Wall’s to Findus anything “beautiful” or remotely like a cold Iglo.IMG_0674IMG_0675

Saturday 27th June 2015


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The White House, London Pride and an event in Somerset.

There appears to be a lot of love about.

Friday 26th June 2015

IMG_9140St Stephens School, Canterbury held their Fete today with excellent performances by all the children. Freddie joined with his class mates to perform the Wizard of Oz & he made a very convincing scarecrow.

His teachers on the other hand looked very silly dancing around a Maypole, but were really good sports.

They were lucky with the weather, warm and sunny to the point the children had to be sat under a tree the get some shade.


Thursday 25th June 2015

IMG_9001A celebration of the Marriage of Andrew & James with a marvellous meal at the Rocksalt Restaurant Folkestone.  The children were very excited and just loved being with their Uncles from Hong Kong.  Oliver IMG_9033 - Version 2was so taken with the event he decided to do a three cheers for Arsenal, just to wind up Uncle Nigel.

Julius found that the closure of the Memorial Line was a step too far and thought hatching a plan to save it more important.


Erin, being a girl was more practical and just enjoyed the whole experience and thought it beneficial to please the Uncles.

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Fred’s was so taken by the whole thing he had to take some time out to just chillIMG_9126

Adults had to have entertainment provided to keep them active as the evening wore on.


The beautiful roses symbolised the energy of love in that room within a very special family and special friends.


Nothing could have taken away the special love and care these two have for one another.  We all love you Andrew & James may you have a long and fulfilled life together.


Wednesday 24th June 2015

The current Mrs Smith decided it was time to take James to one side and have a word.  Downtown Rye was, most probably, not the best place to have that chat but James appeared contrite.  IMG_8958

Tuesday 23rd June 2015

James and Andrew were disappointed that Smith Towers had run out of Shepherd Neam’s Spitfire so had supplies flown in. IMG_8934

Monday 22nd June 2015

Julius had had a wobbly tooth for the best part of two weeks.  Uncle James arrives and hey presto it’s out in a flash.  Be warned if you have anything wobbly keep away from Uncle James.IMG_8926

Sunday 21st June 2015

The longest day, Summer Solstice and FATHER’S DAY, it doesn’t get any better. Yes it does when you have special DADS in your family!

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Brett, Nigel and the Odd Fellow. Kids you don’t know how lucky you are👍

Saturday 20th Junes 2015

Wedding day plus one.  Photos are now published and what a beautiful record.

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Photographs by Stuart Craig Photography.  Visit website for amazing photos:  


Friday 19th June 2015

Five years ago two very special people committed themselves to each other with a Civil Partnership ceremony at the Balbirnie Hotel in Fife.  Today those two people have further cemented their relationship with a marriage.  The sequel has a lot to live up to as the prequel was just fantastic.  Congratulations Andrew and James, may your life together be one of joy.  image_225

The happy couple August 2010.

Thursday 11th June 2015

Today I gave my 71st pint of blood, it was quick and easy. Do you give blood?  If not why don’t you give it a go👍

Blood & Transplant Leaflet 2015

Sunday 7th June 2015

Today we celebrate Graham Evans birthday.  Our Graham forever young at sixty?Graham at his best 2003 - DSCF0169

Happy birthday young Graham👍

Saturday 6th June 2015

Today we wake to glorious sunny skies it was not the case 71 years ago.  Operation Overlord (D-Day) with the Allied troops re-entering the continent into occupied France was a violent day by anyones standards.  Many lives lost but is the begging of the end which, eventually liberated thousands.  Today we remember the fallen.  Click on the link for details of the remembrance commemorations.

100 years ago our Great Uncle Alfred Smith succumbed to his injuries incurred in the Gallipoli campaign.  Scroll down on this page to Saturday 25th April 2015 for Anzac information.  R.I.P.

Thursday 4th June 2015

A special day at Groombridge Place with some very special people.

Time for a breather. Hilary surveys the next challenge in the Enchanted Forest.


Oliver was in a jaunty mood and thought the whole thing was swinging!


Joanne saw her reflection in the water and thought it was a good idea to stir it, just a little bit.


Perfrement’s can be just a little bit competitive so Julius decided to show them what you can achieve on a Capri.

The end of a perfect day.  Julius thought it was all a bit much and up a gum tree, but he wasn’t.  It was an apple.


Wednesday 27th May 2015

I remember when I was a youngster Whitbread best bitter wasn’t half bad.  Now they concentrate on coffee and don’t make a pint of beer.  Bonkers!IMG_8429

Friday 22nd May 2015

Eight year ago this evening we lost Mum (Bessie Smith) & Nan at the age of 92.  A great age but she is still very much missed.  She lay’s at rest in the churchyard of St Vincents Church, Littleborne with her beloved husband, Henry (Dad & Granddad)  R.I.P. both of you.

Henry & Bessie

Thursday 21st May 2015

Early this morning the flotilla having congregated in Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour over the week set sail for Dunkerque to commemorate the men and little ships of Operation Dynamo, 75 years on. It was quite a sight on a beautiful May morning, with not a cloud in the sky and a flat sea.  One can only wonder at the achievement and the conditions the troops had endured on the beaches and the skill and tenacity of the seamen and their little boats.  Not all made it back to the shores of Kent and today we remember them.IMG_8691

Sundowner – Classic lines. Built 1912IMG_8652

With many vessels preparing to depart the order of the day was steady as you go.

IMG_8678It took all types of craft.  Motor Torpedo Boat 102 is now someones pride & joy. Built 1937

IMG_8713Thames barge, Greta looked enormous alongside the little vessels. Built 1892

IMG_8625Firefly, small but perfectly formed. Built 1923

IMG_8651Massy Shaw of London, immaculately turned-out. Built 1935

IMG_8702Young or old we all, occasionally, need someone to hold our hand.  Today RNLB Esme Anderson 14-02 took on that role.

IMG_8736Having assembled outside the harbour they set sail on mass for Dunkerque. Thames barges Greta & Pudge reminding us of our recent past in these waters.

IMG_8724If the RNLB was ready to hold a hand, who was looking down?  Obviously, a Hurricane & Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Flight.

Wednesday 20th May 2015

IMG_8538It’s Louise’s Birthday, plus 1.

Time to reflect on another birthday cake.  Hilary has some way to go to beat the Caramel Condensed Milk Cheese Cake.  IMG_8548

The absolute best cheese cake to date.

Tuesday 19th May 20

40 years ago we were blessed with the birth of our dear Louise.  That wonderful baby has grown into a very special daughter, sister, mum & partner.  The montage shows some special moments.

Happy Birthday Louise.005





Monday 18th May 2015

What do you give the little people when they have been out for a big lunch and are full? Chocolate cake!  Bless their tummies.


Sunday 17th May 2015

40 years ago this lady (the current Mrs Smith) was heavily pregnant with our first born, Louise. Being a very successful mother she now concentrates on cakes and is known as Queen of Cakes. Pre-birthday cake, a Nigella Yum Yum, wonderful! Taste buds may not cope. Go Hilary, cannot wait for the cake on the day.IMG_8464

Saturday 16th May 2015

One of these little monkeys is going to be FORTY in the next few days. Which one?Scan10010

Friday 8th May 2015

It appears to be Good Friday all over again.  Nigel Farage defeated in Thanet South and Ed Balls in Morley & Outwood are we entering a new era? 75 years ago victory was achieved out of defeat with Operation Dynamo.  The Dunkirk spirit lives on, the vessel New Britannic is moored in Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour and is perhaps an ironic/iconic capture.IMG_6500

Thursday 7th May 2015

Election Day and we don’t know what colour our country will be in the morning.  It’s been a long campaign and the leaders have shied away from talking to real people, preferring to  face the party faithful.  It has cost a fair bit but Grandson Freddie has the answer.  Why go to all this trouble when there appears to be no clear winner, when you can put all the names in a hat and pull out a winner.  From the mouth’s of babes?  Today we are in the pink.IMG_8396

Monday 4th May 2015

Today Kent is Blue.  Will it be on Friday morning?IMG_8369

Sunday 3rd May 2015

IMG_8364Today was a special birthday treat for Julius with a visit to the Bredgar & Wormshill Railway. A fantastic day at a special place and watching our Jules’ excitement was a treat, indeed.  Julius despite his excitement found time to look after his big little Cousin, Fred a couple of special guys.IMG_8386

Thursday 30th April 2015IMG_1968

It’s 40 Years since the end of the Vietnam War and the classic pictures of the United States helicopter evacuation and the North Vietnamese  tank diving through the gates of their embassy.  On another page I refer to the futility of war including this one.  40 years on  you can ask the question why so many lives were lost, when the country, in 2015 is open for business and tourist business in particular.  Photos show images of Hanoi. War Museum, sculpture of the junk of war and a Douglas Skyraider, which has a bird cage attached to the wing, Vietnam propaganda images.IMG_1966 IMG_2055Under French rule the guillotine was often used as the ultimate tool of punishment. Today the country is poor but hopefully will eventually gain prosperity.

As with most poor countries there are vast differences between the rich and the poor as is evident as you walk around the city.IMG_1997

Two wheels are the major means of transport.  Normally with a screaming two-stroke engine, but some still rely on good old fashioned pedal power. The infrastructure is in urgent need of attention, particularly the electrics, which would give our Health & Safety Inspectorate nightmaresHowever the French Colonial architecture mixed with Eastern and the people are an absolute joy. IMG_1994IMG_1985Hanoi is an iconic place and a wonderful place to visit, however there are extremes, illustrated here, particularly un-paved pavements and 5 Star Hotels.


Tuesday April 28th 2015

If you find the world a little sad at times there is always the innocent little ones to make us smile.  Oliver Perfrement proving a hat is not a hat is not a hat until it’s tilted.IMG_8340

Saturday 25th April 2015

IMG_4780Today is Anzac Day 100 years on and commemorated in various places around the world especially in the Antipodes and this year particularly in Turkey, at the Cenotaph and Westminster Abbey in London. Love IMG_4781

On this site we remember family members who served for their country and now another has been found. Alfred Smith, Gunner 51701 who was the younger brother of Frank Smith and was a regular.  He served with the Royal Garrison in India  and subsequently was sent to Egypt landing on the 2nd April 1915. On the 25th April he landed at Gallipoli with the 29th Devision at Helles. Sadly he was wounded and succumbed to those wounds on the 14th June 1915 on route to Mudros, Island of Lemnos.  Such was the volume of casualties that hey were transported by cargo vessels with little or no medical facilities and may have contributed to the loss of Alfred.

The Gallipoli campaign was a one of chaos and a disaster for many reasons. One incident, which would have serious consequences was Brigadier F. E. Johnston Commander of the New Zealand Infantry Brigade and his senior officers not being in theatre and would not arrive for another weekThey had been assigned the Goslar which sailed out of Alexander on the 11th April subsequently suffering numerous defects, particularly her engines and her crew refused to sail until vermin was removed from their accommodation and sanitary arrangements were in place for the horses. IMG_4779 Colonel N Manders RAMC medical officer declared the ship unfit and all personnel and horses were unloaded and the vessels accommodation was cleaned and painted.  She eventually sailed in the 17th April arriving at Murdros harbour on the 20th. Plagued by more problems she did not sail until 25th at which time Brigadier Johnson has fallen ill with ‘gastro-IMG_4777influenza, apparently his colleagues suggested it was alcohol that was most probably the problem.

On the upside another group of people involved was the British fishermen co-opted into the RNVR and sent into the theatre, who were proved to be excellent sailors ferrying from ship to shore again and again in treacherous conditions.  A group not usually acknowledged.  As recorded on the Herbert Barrett page it was not an easy occupation being a fisherman at war. A detailed account can be read in the publication is Fishermen Against the Kaiser – Volume 1 by Douglas d’Enno. ISBN 1844159795 see Herbert Barrett page.


The information on Alfred Smith was researched and posted by Co Author Steve Smith and at this time is poignant, particularly for the family.

War provides casualties and with such campaigns as Gallipoli they come in vast numbers but each injury or loss is an individual and personal loss and tragedy to a IMG_4782family, a father, husband, sibling etc. Around the world there are many cemeteries and memorials to the fallen but a Chorus of Stones in Glenelg, South Australia, perhaps has the balance.

Rest in Peace Alfred Smith and the many from all sides.

Sunday 19th April 2015

Birthday Boy’s Birthday plus 1 and time to reflect on yesterday. You can’t beat a drive on a Ferguson.  Granddad and the Gang at the George & Dragon, Fordwhich.Kids on Tractor 2015

Saturday 18th April 2015

Today we celebrate Julius Holmes Birthday, Six today, what a big number!  Its also my Birthday and we will not mention that number 🙂IMG_8178

Thursday 16th April 2015

Birthday week for Julius and myself, so we are both excited, I expect the Julius who is going to be six is way ahead of me in this area, bless him.  The current Mrs Smith has already pushed the boat out with red roses for us.  Thanks Hill’s.IMG_8220

Sunday 12th April 2015

IMG_8191Spring continues to spring, with a Hornet looking for a new home in Fordwich.  The garden caddy was not, most probably, the best choice. Close up it looked a formidable beast the reality is very different. Click on the  link to read all about them.


Friday 10th April 2015

A sad day for cricket and an even more of a sad day for the Benaud family.  We mourn   and celebrate the life of Richie Benaud who sadly passed away today.  As a Pom you could not be disappointed to be beaten by him and his team, taking the stance as we should, in all sport, “may the best man win”.  As a commentator he entertained us and at the same time educated us.

R.I.P Richie Benaud.  1930 – 2015

Sunday 5th April 2015

Easter Sunday and amazingly the Easter Bunny has made it to Smith Towers.IMG_8155

Friday 3rd April 2015

Good Friday, and one of the traditions is to plant seed potatoes but it’s a bit chilly so Erin and Rosie decided to make Hot Cross Buns.  Yummy!IMG_8133

Thursday 2nd April 2015

Maundy Thursday and time to move on from Mothering Sunday into Easter and Smith Towers is ready to go.IMG_8131

Sunday 29th March 2015

IMG_0568Just enjoyed my last Christmas present tickets to a concert at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury,  The Simon & Garfunkel Story.  Thanks Louise.  If it come your way grab a ticket you will be transported back in time and realise the significance of their music. Dean Elliot as Paul Simon & David Tudor as Art Garfunkel are amazing.  Build in Murray Walker (Keyboards/Guitar), Leon Camfield (Bass) & Josh Powell (Drums) and you have something quite special. Click on the link to check them out.

Saturday 28th March 2015

You have to admit us Brits do like to be beside the sea.  Whitstable, today with the family and Louise’s friend Sue with her boys.  Yes, it was cold but the intrepid of the Yacht Club were starting to give their vessels some pre-season TLC. We love Whitstable but please can we have a warm day?IMG_8122

Wednesday 25th March 2015

H G Smith Circa 1948

Today we remember Henry George Smith who lost his fight against Cancer 29 years ago.

A much loved Husband, Dad and Granddad.

A perfect role model and a fun guy who loved a party.

Pictured here with Brother Brian and myself on the quay at Ramsgate Harbour.

I well remember many a Sunday and school holidays spent at Ramsgate, the parental home of both parents. Magical times with magical parents and uncles and aunties.

Tuesday 24th March 2015Brian with Bucket0001

Happy Birthday Bri.  Another year but remember it’s only a number.

Do you remember the bucket and spade, you do cut quite a dash.

Hope you enjoy your day and are thoroughly spoilt.


Monday 23rd March 2015

IMG_8107It must now be Spring with blackbirds very busy building a nest in the ivy on our patio.

Saturday 21st March 2015

Smith, Frank Haine - Version 2

97 years ago today Frank Smith (Granddad) was killed in action at Vendeuil in France while serving with The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).  We remember him today and his family.  Edith his wife and their children Len, Maud, Alf, Henry, Dolly, Daisy and Leslie. All now reunited.

R.I.P. one and all.

Friday 20th March 2015

Like a London bus when one birthday comes along there is another right behind it. Happy birthday Mr Perfrement, have a lovely day and safe travels.  Don’t over indulge as we have bacon & egg for supper. IMG_6890Only 9 more years to the big 50.

Thursday 19th March 2015

Today we mark the 61st birthday of the famous (or is it infamous) John Peverell Walker. What ever happened to that young left-wing activist who stayed with us in the seventies.  I remember many late nights discussing the finer points of British Politics with him.  John at the time being a Harold Wilson fan and myself being of the opposite persuasion it is fortunate that he has now grown-up and perhaps sees things a little different.  We can only hope.

A very happy birthday John.  Love the hair and what an stylish chair.JW - 1970's

Wednesday 18th March 2015

Today we remember Barry Allen who passed away eleven years ago.  Barry pictured (centre, front facing) prior to the Hilltop Community Association Walk, which he completed in September 2003.  Subsequently the annual walk was named as the Barry Allen Walk in recognition of his work for the community and tenacity in completing the walk in 2003 when he was a very sick man.

R.I.P. Barry.

Walk 2003 at the Hall B&W DSCF0002

Monday 16th March 2015

A day for reflection and thought with a little helping hand.IMG_8088

Sunday 15th March

Mothering Sunday and a special day to look after our special girls that take care of us throughout the year, we love you all.  It’s also a day to remember the ones that are no longer with us.

Mum with dog 3 Barbara & Hilary

Bessie with her boss’ dog and Barbara with her Hilary.

Friday 13th March 2015

Andrew Smith is Birthday Boy today.  Happy Birthday Andy.  It’s a pity that Mourinho didn’t give you the present that keeps on giving this week.  Never mind Southampton may come up with the goods on Sunday.  🙂

I just want to free

Tuesday 19th March 2015

Spring is just blooming, lovely!IMG_8019

Sunday 8th March 2015

Today It’s a year since the disappearance of Malaysia Flight MH370 and we still don’t know what happened to it or where it lies.  Since then Malaysia Flight MH17 was lost over Ukraine by missile attack.  Today we have the luxury to travel so easily by air and sea, but both areas of operation are hostile, so when occasionally something goes wrong it can be catastrophic.  The following day we flew from Hong Kong to Adelaide and the loss of MH370 was uppermost in peoples minds. 15 days later (23rd March 2014) we were in Sydney and witnessed Ocean Shield, MMSI 503728000 departing the Naval Base in search of that ill-fated flight.  It was poignant to see her slip her moorings that morning and particularly so as she disappeared through Port Jackson out into the unknown.  Previously I had these photos published in the Sea Breezes magazine, click on the link to see the article.…

R.I.P. all those lost at sea and in the air over the past year.



1st march 2015

Meteorology speaking it’s the first day of spring.


Tuesday 17th February 2015

Good news, maybe?  BBC’s South East Tonight has just run a story that the Folkestone Harbour’s heritage just might be saved.  There appears to be confusion between developers and Network Rail.  The ultimate goal must be to run trains onto the quay again.

Sunday 8th February 2015

Who needs a big hunk of a Bondi Beach Lifeguard when you have one of these?


Friday 6th February 2015

After a cold week we need to look on the bright side.  The rhubarb is sprouting. Bring on the custard!


Sunday 1st February 2015

With temperatures remaining low and a windchill factor to scorch your ears it was only for the intrepid to venture out.  Vessels all with double mooring ropes in Whitstable Harbour this Sunday.  With a strong sea running and all vessels consigned to port it reminds us following the total loss of a Belgium fishing vessel and crew this week in the English Channel the actual cost of bringing fish to our plates.  R.I.P


Saturday 31st January 2015

With sleet falling and a temperature of just 1° C at Smith Towers its time to think of warmer times to come. A summer evening at the Lobster Shack, on Whitstable Harbours East Quay seems attractive. Everyone appears to be in the bar?


Friday 30th January 2015

50 years since the funeral of Winston Churchill.  He was a man for his time, lets hope we never see the likes of WW2 again and require such a sacrifice made by his generation.

Thursday 29th January 2015

Malaysian Flight MH370 officially declared an accident today.  Our thoughts are for those lost souls and their loved ones, who are in the most difficult times with no answers to the tragedy.  To read my earlier thoughts on the subject click on the link below: –

Tuesday 27th January 2015 –Holocaust Memorial Day.

We must never forget.

Monday 26th January 2015

A special birthday cake for a very special lady.  Hilary was looked after by her family with flowers, presents and a wonderful cake. A much loved lady is our Hills!


Sunday 25th January

Spring is just around the corner.


Saturday 24th January 2015

Exceptionally high-tide with a strong sea running. Vessels were all on long mooring ropes because of the large rise & fall of the tide, which made it a comical scene with them all bobbing about this way & that. All were at jaunty angles.  The height of the tide shows just how vulnerable Whitstable is to flooding.


Friday 23rd January 2015

Recently received a letter from France with an interesting stamp.

French Stamp

The stamp records The Martyrs of Tulle.  They were some 99 men killed by elements of the 2nd SS Panzer Devision, Das Reich in June 1944.  They were the same group that committed the atrocity at Oradour-sur-Glane. A place to visit if you are in the region, the village lays to the west of Limoges. To read more about the Martyrs of Tulle click on the link below.

Information provided by the Co Author.

Thursday 22nd January 2015

You know time is marching on when one of your daughters starts selling baby stuff.


Tuesday 20th January 2015

Winter takes a hold in the Hilltop Community area. – 3.5 degrees at nine this morning.


Monday 19th January 2015

IMG_7639 - Version 2Like the Wren (Britain’s smallest resident bird) this website is equally small but hopefully it will provide interest, be thought provoking and most important of all a bit of fun.

Feel free to comment, provide content or just enjoy.

12 thoughts on “Blog 2015

  1. Wonderful photos Dad, we sure do have lots of fun don’t we!? Seeing such happy little faces is all we can ever ask for. Jules loved his day out today, thanks guys xx

  2. She is my big sister & always will be, she will always be able to beat me in a fight and a swimming contest. I love her to the moon & back 🙂 xxxxxxx

  3. Great Dads & one special Dad, my Dad. Thanks for sharing your blog Daddy fab photos as ever! I hope you have a fab Father’s Day tomorrow. Xxxxx

    • Thank you Mrs Campling. As a grandparent of one of your little treasures (who you may be able to identify from his appearance in most shots) it’s always a privilege to be part of your events at your wonderful little school. I wish you and all your staff a lovely summer break.

  4. Happy happy birthday Ghis, sending lots of love.
    Dad you need to ask Andrew how you can comment on individual photos? People will not comment having to scroll down. This will make a huge difference. Xx

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