Friday, May 24, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
As a rookie gardener in 1980, I paid my entrance fee to visit the Chelsea Flower Show and sploshed around in the mud that rainy year with all the other green fingered mob. Met lovely old Percy Thrower who gave me some hints. From then on, fell in love with growing things, even to having an allotment at the back of our 200-ft garden in Brentwood, Essex
Now, I am invited as a member of the press and in this guise, have been visiting every year since 2000. The flowers from around the world - as well as from the UK - are exquisite. The show is open until Friday when you have a chance to buy some of them at show-break prices.
|Princess Zara trying out a grass cutter|
Here are just some of the snaps which have been added to my collection. Pleased to meet Helen Mirren, Mary Berry (and daughter snapped with my daughter Sally) and a host of very nice folk from the world of arts, media and entertainment world. Great to meet David Gandy who comes from my part of the world. At the moment, he is the world's most successful male model and it was lovely to meet his family.
|President of Flower Arrangers at Chelsea|
Friday, May 17, 2013
|MP John Baron checking time for start of last year's Fun Walk|
John Baron MP: Fun Walk on 19thMay set to break all records A
The annual Fun Walk will take place at Barleylands Farm on Sunday 19th May, kicking off at 12:00pm.
The Bonus Pot sponsors have committed over £42,000 to this year’s walk. They play a crucial role in ensuring the walk goes from strength to strength. A photo-shoot with our sponsors will take place at 12:45pm after ‘thankyous’ have been said – all press are welcome. The Walk will start immediately afterwards.
John said: “Our bonus pot sponsors have been integral to the success of the Fun Walk. Our thanks go to Swan Housing Association, NYSE Euronext, c2c Rail Ltd, Veolia Environmental Services, Hallmark Care Homes, Toomey Motors, Bellway Homes, Barratt Homes, Selex ES Ltd, IFE Global Logistics, Mr Barrie Stone, and others.”
|John Baron MP meeting some of the hundreds at the 2012 Fun Walk at Barleylands Farm|
Thursday, May 16, 2013
COME MEET SOME OF OUR BRENTWOOD WRITERS' CIRCLE MEMBERS AT OUR ANNUAL DAY OF WRITING SATURDAY 18 MAY 10-4PM
Only two days left to book a ticket for the annual Brentwood Writers' Circle BIG DAY at Fairview rooms, Ursuline School, Queens Road, Brentwood CM14 4EX.
We are so lucky to be meeting top journalist/features editor with the Echo newspaper, Tom King during the morning - starting 10.00am and Jan Burchett and Sarah Vogler - that supersonic duo who write children's books. They will be on the rostrum in the afternoon, after lunch. Do phone 01277 651062 for more details.
Just a few BWC friends at a wrters' gathering a few years ago - we have 60 members.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
My sister, Elizabeth Victoria Wallace who lives in the US, is constantly uncovering interesting nuggets of historical information. As freelance writers and authors, both she and I are currently working on 'police features' and here is her latest posting. Mine will appear in the Brentwood Gazette soon. Here we have her latest blog feature.
"Another great photograph I discovered while researching Hidden History of Denver courtesy Denver Public Library.
Drunkenness and disorderly conduct was a constant worry to the policemen of Denver in the late 1890s. The men, eager to spend their money, often became drunk and disorderly. In an effort to contain the offenders, the police devised a type of “holding pen” or “kiosk.” These were usually placed on street corners in high activity areas where a man (or woman) could be locked inside until the police returned with a wagon. Two men pose for the photograph. One seemingly inebriated man, his hat pulled askew -- the policeman holds a billy club.
The actual location of this photograph is unknown. The road is unpaved. A woman is walking on the sidewalk opposite wearing a long dress, and a dog runs lose in the center of the street."
Liz's 8th book, a sequel to her Essex-based historical thriller FORBIDDEN is in the last stages and hopefully will be published in the autumn.
|PC RICHARD GRAHAM KENT circa 1944|
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
I ran into the Boston Public Garden, In downtown Boston, I walked toward the bombing site to pay witness in remembrance. On Boylston Street, trees were abloom with blossoms, branches outstretched as if to touch, white on white, the cumulus clouds above. Suddenly, I stopped. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t walk to the spot of unspeakable tragedy.
Instead I turned into the Boston Public Garden where ethereal beauty tinted the world in pink, yellow, and green. The long tresses of weeping willows swayed in the breeze, a perfect frame to the American flags fluttering atop the Swan Boats just beyond. A German couple snapped photos of the smallest suspension bridge in the world. On the grass, folks talked, laughed, and sunned themselves.
On this achingly beautiful day, how can it be that just blocks away, the darkest violence took place? Yet now school children wore purple and green balloon hats, some jousting each other with inflatable swords. I felt tears coming on. I wanted to stay right here where all is beautiful and normal.
I bought a hot dog and sat down, feeling guilty about not reaching my destination. I was a coward, or maybe I’m in denial. What did it mean that happiness and gusto surrounded me while evidence of death and maiming was just blocks away?
Then I remembered years ago when David and I witnessed an 80-year-old man who died from a heart attack in a restaurant. He was celebrating his birthday with family, and we were at a nearby table having lunch with friends. Suddenly, there was panic, and then paramedics tried to revive him but failed. His body was wheeled away on a gurney to the horror of diners, a shocked hush everywhere.
About ten minutes later, activity picked up again. First there were murmurs, then the sound of forks on china, the clink of glasses, and finally, full blown conversations and laughter. I was shocked. Should we have all asked for checks, and filed out in funereal silence? I’m not sure but overhearing someone say, “Try the bread pudding, it’s to die for!” did not seem right. I said to my tablemates, “How insensitive! People can be so callous.”
Yet my husband had a very different take. David said, “The power of life is so strong, it just wants to go on.” All of us mulled this over quietly until our waiter broke in to say, “Now who had the tiramisu?” So here I was in the Boston Public Garden, guiltily eating a hot dog, and mindful of how fiercely we cling to life, resistant to changes forced upon us. Nearby a homeless man scatted to the rhythm of his clanking coin cup, “Anybody got change? Change, change, change!”
I know I am still processing mine.