Bella the Westie

Here is a rare ‘action shot’ of Bella – who lives with SueC. She’s a very friendly little beast (Bella that is, but then, hey, so’s SueC…).

Happy Birthday Lorna!

Happy Birthday – to my good friend Lorna. Here she is with her granddaughter Courtney, working on an artistic project. Would that more people were as honest and honourable as Lorna.

Girls and Guns….

This afternoon I went on a BCS trip to the Shrivenham Defence Academy. I have rather complex and conflicted thoughts about the military, and here is not really the place to discuss it. However, I’ve always found military chaps to be extremely good eggs, and our hosts today were no exceptions.

We got to see (and scramble over) lots of tanks and movable guns (and if you buy me a pint, I can tell you the difference). This is an Italian mountain gun, which was designed to be disassembled and carried about by pack mule. Apparently, the mules that had to carry it got better rations. And there’s a photo of some loaded mules in a plane hold with parachutes (not Britsh forces) – I do HOPE it was a joke!

This tank was cut in half for training purposes. I found the shop dummies rather unnerving!

It’s no coincidence that this looks like a tough X-Box control. They’re designed this way, because this is what the kids are used to.

The highlight was a trip to the armoury, where we had a chance to handle lots of small arms. The worst group they’ve had to date were the Brownies. The girls ran and grabbed lots of really big pieces from the top shelves, then fell over under the weight! I’m looking happy as I’ve worked out how to hold it!

However, Jenny was a natural – watch out Development Team!

This min-uzi is more like it. A girl could pop it in her handbag, well it fitted in mine!

And finally, here is Jenny with today’s standard army issue. Despite it’s plastic ‘Toys R Us’ look – it’s damn heavy.

Sadly, I didn’t get a pic, but at one point, our party was joined by some veterans, there for an Army Pensions Conference. It was very moving to see and hear a guy explain how he was dropped by glider into Arnhem, and how the model of rifle he was holding had saved his life.

More Zoe piccies…

Also in the camera, were some pics from my trip to see Zoe. With expert tuition, I was able to play the ‘proud Auntie’ (BTW – my green, purple and white badge is a reproduction of a suffragette poster, which was rather apt really).

I LOVED her little hands…

…babies are rather nice when they’re asleep :-).

Because I am a girl…

We’ve recently started sponsoring a child with Plan UK. The charity was founded in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and has no religious or political affiliations.

Please read about their Because I am a girl campaign, and sign their on-line petition. In many cultures girls are not valued as much as boys and this can only be changed by helping communities to see the jewels that girls are. Plan UK puts it better than me:

  • Girls deserve the best in life – the right to education, the chance to be healthy and the opportunity to succeed
  • Investing in girls bears fruit – help a girl and you help an entire community to help themselves
  • We are all responsible and need to do something now to help the world’s girls.

Weekend Excursion

On a whim we went to Hereford on Saturday to see the Mappa Mundi. It’s quite astonishing – to be so close to minds from 1300. The chained library is quite something too.

We stopped in Ledbury and chanced upon Cafe Sez – French Tearoom and Patisserie – with a genuine French patissier, M Pascal Clarenne (yum, yum, yum).

And yes, I forgot my camera – grrr.

One for Dr Bones…!?!

I’ve been going through the various CDs scattered around the techogarret. I found one that contained photos from my bro’s time in Australia – including this one. It looks like the museum service there is slightly more laid back 🙂 (or maybe I’m the only one that thinks they look like they’re ‘having congress’).