Flower of the Day: 03.03.2016 Rosemary

Rosemary flowers (1)

Not a flower that you often see, because the rosemary flowers when it wants to and not when you want it to. I noticed that after 2-3 years in the same place, and follwing a mild Winter, or protected from the cold and snow, it will flower in Spring. Not a lot of flowers, but it happens. Perhaps not so spectacular, but I am impressed every time it happens.

Flower of the Day: 03.03.2016 Rosemary

CEE’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pets

Patrick at work
Patrick at work

My son, who is autistic,  works in a factory as metal worker. His boss has a cockatoo and the cockatoo comes with the boss to work every day.

DSC_3169

This sphynx feline belonged to a neighbour. Unfortunately she has now moved, but I shot as many photos as possible when she lived here. I was surprised that she let it out on its own. My Tabby was a little worried and was not sure if it was a cat or a re-incarnation of Bastet.

Tabby and Nera - even sisters fight sometimes

Tabby and Nera, litter sisters and even sisters have differences now and again. Unfortunately Nera left us last year for her 10th life in the eternal corn chambers to give a hand to Bastet. Tabby is still with us busy writing her daily blog.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pets

Daily Prompt: Abandoned

I never abandoned anyone, I just happened to move across the english channel to another country almost 50 years ago. I visited mum and dad at least once a year,  usually at Christmas and sometimes in between.

Re-visiting my home I realised how abandoned it was becoming. Nothing to do with my parents, but the whole area of London which had suffered considerably through bombing attacks in the second world war. I grew up playing on the results of destruction: genuine adveture playgrounds. We kids of the East end would climb over rubble, hide in the nooks and crannies remaining of destroyed houses and with the smell of brickdust and aging objects in our nose. If it happened to rain, even more so: a damp dusty atmosphere. The government did not actually abandon us, but we were not their priority.

Today it has all been renewed. The rat infested cellars of the old bombed factory in the main road have been replaced by a new building. There are still some old landmarks, but few and far between. New schools have been built, there are new shops, and Bethnal Green, where my origins are, now have the street signs in two languages., english and Bengali. Yes the poplation is shifting, a sign of the times.

3881876306_21bc2fe260[1]

And here is another sign of abandonment, unfortunately. This is our family grave. It was my grandfather’s side of the family and my cemetery tourism began at an early part in my life. For some strange reason I took this photo on a visit to Woodgrange Cemetery, being about 12 years old at the time, with the only camera we owned, a Brownie box camera. I still have it in my posession today. It no longer works of course and is also not worth a fortune – I checked on that. It seems there are still enough Brownie box cameras in existence.

Back to the grave: my mum would take me to see the grave at least once a month, even when grandad was still amongst us. Her mother was buried there and a few other relations that I only got to know when I began my genealogy research of the family.

I have memories of the graveyard, although they go back to the 1950’s. It was an old graveyard, many of the graves being abandoned and no longer cared for. I remember wax flowers on some of the graves, protected by oval glass constructions. I knew the path to the family grave, which meant walking over other graves on the way. It was a real adventure finding the grave, but I knew which directio to go and which graves to walk across. There was a large flat stone embedded in the ground on the way and the inscription remains with me this day. It had a name and was a young man that had been “fished” out of the River Thames.

I have the original purchasing documents for this grave, paid for by a distant relative who I never knew. My cousin had these in his possession and kindly sent them to me.

One day I read in Internet that the owners of this cemetery property, a private organisation, had sold most of the land for redeveloping. Yes, it became something like the Poltergeist film, they built an appartment house on half of the land. Apart from a few reports in the news about objects in the property being moved by ghostly hands and things that went bump in the night (probably figments of the imagination) there was also a group formed in disgust at the development of the land. It seems that regardless of the graves, the bulldozer went its way and for a while there was a mixture of earth, bones and destroyed coffins to be seen on the property.

This all happened when I was in Switzerland. In the menwhile the remaining half of the cemetery had been transformed into a muslim burial ground.  On one of my visits to London in 2009 I decided to discover the truth. My friend and I visited the cemetery. Luckily there was a guy at the entrance office for any questions and I had a few.

Woodgrange Park Cemetery

The general impression of the remaing christian part of the cemetery was wilderness, although it seemed to suit the remaing stones. There used to be a chapel at the entrance, but the guy looking after everything said that had disappeared a few months ago due to vandalism. It had been burnt down.

Of course my family grave was no longer there, it was probably bulldozed away with the rest of the unwanted bones and coffins. There were a few new muslim graves and a special part had been separated with an iron gate for the newer muslim graves. I was given a contact number to phone if I was intersted in discovering what happened to my ancestors, but this could only be done against payment. I decided my unknown ancestor had paid enough for the privilidge of a family grave with room for six ancestors, my grandad being the last, and so I left it. Even abandonment seems to cost money today.

And grandad: yes I was at his funeral I was 16 years old at the time and I remember it well. It was the first time I had seen an open grave, ready for the final coffin. They must have dug real deep for No. 1 ancestor. No. 6, grandad just had enough space. The chapel then still existed for a small ceremony. Today the cemetery is just a place where the weeds and broken memories of old stones are left.  I suppose I should be thankful for small mercies, at least I had food for my camera.

Woodgrange Park Cemetery

Daily Prompt: Abandoned

Good Morning

Jam and honey

You might think I have the agony of choice in the morning when I cut my slice of St. Gallen bread in preparation for a layer of butter and jam, but the jam chooses me. On the right my last acquisition from the supermarket. “Let’s try something completely different” I thought and chose a strange jam which translated turned out to be Elderberry.

I remember the days of Elderberry wine, at least it was one of the only wines indigenous to the British Isles since the monks stopped growing grapes some time in the pre middle ages. When I opened the jar I found something in the substance of a dark treacle and when spreading it on the bread I noticed it had the same habit of making everything sticky. However, undaunted, I continued. It tasted OK, was mega sweet and I was wondering if my diabetes was happy with this one.

Mr. Swiss likes a slice of the sweet stuff after his tea in the evening and decided to try it. He found it good, but very sweet and sticky and would eat it now and again. My eldest son would probably also eat it, but he eats everything except for brussel sprouts, broccoli and mushrooms. I had already decded on my next visit to the supermarket, that I would choose something completely different. One of those jams with more fruit and less sugar, a little more expensive, about 5 rappen (cents in your language), but perhaps more healthy. I chose something we call “sauerkirsch” sour cherry which I quite like and I was not disappointed when I ate a slice or two this morning.

TeaThe other small glass jars are Mr. Swiss honey selection. He had one of these special offers with tokens combined from our bank (too complicated to explain, but in Switzerland you can also get honey as well as money). The honey is flavoured with orange, eucalyptus or accacia. As I am a forbidden honey person, according to my doctor, I will never taste the benefits of this exotic, special, exclusive variety. I can just watch the others enjoying it.

I also discovered this morning that I had used my last Twinings English Breakfast tea bag yesterday, but was prepared. I had a new box ready for action, thanks to Mr. Swiss and an in between shopping trip accompanied with a coffee in a street café.

Not a lot happening in the Angloswiss manor at the moment, even the vacuum cleaner is silent, but it is ready and waiting. Enjoy your blogging day and do not forget to tell us all about it. I will be reading in between. Those that are sleeping somewhere in the world, I hope your dreams are filled with ideas with something to blog about. See you somewhere on the flip side, or in the Reader.