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this page was last updated on 13 August 2014

 

this is the 'Latest News' I uploaded in 2007

 
 
 

'Happy Christmas everyone'Christmas Day & Boxing Day was, as always, with family. Church on Christmas morning at Overend Methodist and then lunch at Belinda's. The family were @ Bev's for Boxing Day. More photos here

 
 

the family at mom's on Christmas Eve 07It was Christmas Eve as usual at mom's, with 19 of us there - it was good to have 3 new attendees [boy/girl friends of Abi, Matt & Amy]!!! After the usual gossip & catching up and exchanging presents we had to have the [now compulsory - by me!!] family photo. More photos here.

 
 

at the Symphony Hall 22/12/07I went with friends to the Christmas Concert at the Birmingham Symphony Hall on Saturday 22nd December - a lovely concert of all types of Christmas music and plenty of audience participation [yes, I did scare those near me with my singing!!]. Aled Jones was compere and soloist.

 
 

Bev & I went to see Abigail and Alan in their new flat in Windsor [Saturday 15th - Monday 17th December] and as it's been almost 10 years since I've been to Windsor, it was good to be able to explore the town in sunshine, albeit in near freezing weather!! More photos here.

 
 

It's been almost 2 years since some of our 'old gang' has gotten together, for one reason or another [we've been in touch since our teenage years!!] but at last a great evening of chat & gossip was had by all ... !! (From l/r: Pat, Deb, Alex & me.)

 
 

I meet with family at my aunty May's on Tuesday 11th December

 
 

Dave & Val ColeyMy cousins Val & Dave Coley celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary on Friday 7th December 07. A weekend away with their family beckons - many congrats both.

 
 

Belinda's hand post-op ... 28 Nov 07 Belinda went in to Russell's Hall hospital on 28th November for corrective surgery on her hand. This is the protective bandaging given for when she came home, the same day.

 
 

Another milestone reached & crossed!! Today I bought for the first time petrol @ over £1 per litre. Two days ago it was 98.9p; both from Tesco Extra, so the cheapest around here!!

 

Kinver Edge 21 Nov 07Another, now regular weekly, walk with my next door neighbour, Terry. Seen here over Kinver Edge on Wednesday 21st November 07.

 

Amy & boyfriend JackIt was Amy's 17th birthday on Sunday 18th November so we as a family went to help her celebrate with lunch at Bev's. More photos here

 

Birmingham Town Hall - taken after a Concert there on 17 Nov 07After being shut for almost 10 years, the Birmingham Town hall re-opened on 4th October 07. I went for my first Concert (since its re-opening) on Saturday 17th November 07 - the programme was 'Baroque Fireworks' .... just up my street! I wasn't disappointed!

 

I went to the newly opened National Memorial Arboretum [for the armed forces] near Litchfield/Tamworth on Thursday 15th November. More photos here

 

It's not many of us who can boast a member of the Royal Family marching in our local parade for Remembrance Sunday! But that's just what Abigail & Alan got in their local parade in Windsor on Sunday 11th November - photo taken by Abigail

 

The choir I'm in held, for the first time, a Festival of Remembrance which we did jointly with the local Salvation Army - Saturday 10th November 07. A service of remembrance followed our concert and was very moving. his time of year is always special to me - my dad never knew his own father as he was killed in the battle of the Somme in 1916. The poppy holds such a significance & symbolism for me; and for this reason I detest with a vengeance the calumny that is the white poppy.

 

On Wednesday 7th I went on my, now regular, walk with my neighbour. This week we walked along the canal path from Stourport to Kinver. The weather was lovely and the scenery quite Autumnal. The toasted teacakes in the Kinver teashop weren't bad either!

 

I went with friends to see the West Brom game on Tuesday 6th November. A tense game where the ref seemed to be on a different planet from reality [yes, I know I'd say that!!] but hey the facts bear me out. Sheffield Wednesday equalised at 1-1 in the 7th minute of 3 minutes extra time - don't ask!! The photo shows Kevin Phillips just before he was carried off on a stretcher with a suspected serious knee injury.

 

KatieSome good news for Kate, from her University - she's gained her year's Maths Award for 2007 and received a cheque for £1.3k in the process. What, with her and Alan's Maths Award earlier in the year from York Uni, it's good to see someone in the family is clever!!

 

belinda @ halloween partyAlso on Saturday the 27th was a Halloween party that I missed [see below] - but that's perhaps because I have a sister who looks like this .... !!! 

 

I went to a Concert by Chris Eaton, singer & song writer, on Saturday 27th October. I suppose 3 of his main successes have been chart hits written for Cliff Richard. 

 

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUERI went to see 'She Stoops to Conquer' at the Birmingham Rep on Friday 26th October 07. An excellent and funny production which I enjoyed far more than the opera the night before!! Liz Goddard took the main rŰle.

 

It was Joshua's 21st birthday on 25/10 but was away at Uni. he was coming back on 26thth Oct but I missed him. I did see Matthew into his usual entertaining ways ... !!

 

I went with Judith, Ann & Peter to see La Traviata at the NIA on Thursday 25th October. It started 15 minutes late and didn't finish until 10.45pm. Not the best interpretation I've heard, but it was 'OK' ... says it all really!!

 

Amy & Jack - 24 Oct 07I stayed at Bev's overnight 23rd/24th October and saved myself £800 by agreeing not to go to a 'family' wedding in New York in the week between Christmas & the New Year! I also met Amy's boyfriend, Jack.

 

Tuesday 23rd October 07was such a beautiful autumnal day that I managed to wrench myself out of my chair and go for a walk over Clent - more photos here

 

I went to see the play 'Brief Encounter' at the Birmingham Rep on Saturday 20th October - the only problem being it clashed with the Rugby Final .... however, I did manage to get home after watching an excellent adaptation of the book without finding out the result. So at 1115pm I sat down and watched it all ... having my cake and eating it!! Pity about the result.

 

one on my any 'breathing' stops over Clent!!My little fat face needs exercise to lose a bit (!!) of weight and as my neighbour suggested we both go walking together sometime, I took up his invite. We went for a walk over both Clent & Walton on Tuesday 16th October 07 - I puffed & panted a lot!! Perhaps it will get easier?!! The  intention is it is now a weekly event. We'll see ... !

 

The 'groovy gang' of Joy & Lynton and Lynne & Ian and I met up for the weekend of 12th/14th October 07 for the usual round of food, food and more food with a little walking and shopping thrown in. On the Friday they came to me for a meal and then we all moved to Catshill for the rest of the weekend. On the Saturday we went to see the newly refurbished fountains @ Whitley Court and, of course, watched the (end of the) rugby semi-finals on the evening after our meal. More photos here 

 

Matthew McBainPoor Matthew! Having just attained the age of 17, he went for his first driving lesson on Sunday 7th October. When he hadn't returned after 2Ĺ hours his parents phoned the local police who confirmed no accident had been recorded. Matthew eventually returned soon after, having had a double lesson!! No confidence some people ... !!! 

 

My sister Beverly was hosting an event on Friday 28th September for the World's largest Coffee Morning to which Belinda & I went. It was a good event, with a good turn out & good cakes (!), and a good cause to boot ... ! 

 

It was a short sharp burst to London (24-25 Sept) though the journey down took an horrendous 5Ĺ hours car journey!! But we made our 'slot' for the London Eye and then had tea at Claridges!! An amazing experience. Topped only by the sheer exuberance of the evening's musical "We Will Rock You" which exceeded all my expectations plus more!! On the Tuesday morning we went to the Cabinet War Rooms before descending on Harrods to spend money! Thankfully the journey home took less than 2  hours!! More photos here

 

part of the fireworks at the BrumFest - taken on mobile

I went to the Birmingham ArtsFest on Saturday 15th September - the weather was good with plenty of folk about in a happy relaxed atmosphere - and which ended with a concert in Centenary Square by the CBSO, Birmingham Royal Ballet & the Birmingham Opera Company an ending with a superb fireworks display

 

Matt @ 17

It was my nephew Matthew's 17th birthday on 11th September 07. As usual the family gathered [whether a 17 year old wanted it or not!!] and more photos can be seen here!!

 

A 'Sports Fest' indeed - on Saturday 8th September England played Israel @ football; England played India @ cricket and England played the USA @ rugby, all at international level. I hosted 'the gang' to watch all 3 events, though primarily the football. All was well in that we won all 3 events!! More photos here.

 

I went to Liverpool on Wednesday 29th August to see Steve Hess, a friend of mine who I've only had chance to see 4 times in the past 5 years. We went for a drink (and my first visit to) at the Cavern!

 

It as mom's 85th birthday on 26th August 07. We went to her church, Short Cross, first before then going to Belinda's where friends & family members were invited. The weather was glorious so for once we were able to linger in the garden, chatting and catching up with the news & gossip with not often seen cousins! More photos here.

 

AVN Enhanced Satellite Image

My niece Jodie went back to the Cayman Islands about a month ago to to pick-up her job/friends where she left off earlier this year. She's gone back just in time for 'Hurricane Dean' which is due to strike the islands later today 20/8. Take care Jodie ... !!

 

With the good folk on the cruise keep sending images & texts of all they're doing, Nicki & I decided to hold our very own "captain's Party" which we did on Monday 20th August 07. And smart we looked too, I think you'll agree?! (The yacht is the 'Fortunate Sun' which they saw anchored in one of the harbours they visited and which they all fell in love with.)

 

the Edinburgh Tattoo on Thusday 16th August - taken off the castle#s webcam. The night 'the gang' went - I am sooooo jealous!!

Belinda, and the other members of 'the groovy gang' [see below] arrived in Edinburgh on Thursday 16/8 - and on the evening attended the annual tattoo at the castle. This photo was taken off the castle's webcam on the night - they're in the 2nd tier from the castle on the left ... can you see them?? I envy them; I'd always wanted to take dad and never managed it - to my eternal regret.

 

It was Adam's birthday on Wednesday 15th August. He'd travelled home for this and the usual 'clan gathering' took place at Bev's. More photos here.

 

taken off their Cruise ship's webcam .... I think they look better pixelated anyway!!  11th Aug 07

Belinda is away with friends Judith, George & Hayley and Paul & Deb for a cruise on the Grand Princess. At a prearranged time they stood in front of this webcam on the ship - nice eh?? Do you think pixilation suits them???

 

me, Mo & Bev - 10 Aug 07

I met up with Mo Massingham, who I worked with for 4 years, at my sister Bev's on Friday 10th August, for coffee. The sun shone and we were able to sit outside for 2 hours, catching up on all the office gossip!! Nice.

 

my 2 daft sisters

At Aunty May's on 7th August 07 I gave Belinda a much-delayed part of her birthday present. It was "McDuck" [every home should have one!!] - she likes things tartan! The photo shows a 'reconstruction' of Belinda looking startled at receiving the gift!! Don't ask - don't go there ... !!  

 

I went for a [vegetarian] meal at Paul's, my former boss, on Saturday 4th August, and Ian. And with the evening being so balmy, we were able to sit outside talking the night away well into the small hours. More photos here

 

Friday 20th July - It rained and it rained and it rained!! It took me 1 hour & 10 minutes to do a 15 minute journey!! The car shown was abandoned after its engine failed as he tried to get through, just as I got there. I shouldn't say it, but it was fun to watch!!! 

 

A great, long weekend in Torquay - 13th-16th July. The weather was rain/sun/rain/sun so not too bad eh?!As usual with Joy & Lynton and Lynne & Ian, we had a great time of fun, food, drink, shopping and even exercise!! Yes, exercise!! We walked 6 miles on the last day in Budleigh Sulterton from the coast, following the river to a pub and back .... a beautiful & quiet town with superb walks! More photos coming here soon

 

Just to prove I do still walk ... !! This was taken on 11th July on a church walk, taking us round the various 'sights' of Cradley - I saw places I'd never seen before. Perhaps there is something to this walking lark!! 

 

I spent a few days in Wales with Peter, June & John from 4th - 7th June 07. The weather misbehaved again but hey when you had the views of the hills we had from the cottage [and only a 5 minutes walk from the beach] it didn't matter. This photo shows how close the field outside the back of the cottage was. More photos here

 

Deb, Adrian & birthday girl herself - 30 Jun 07 Belinda had her birthday bash on Saturday 30th June. It was supposed to be a BBQ but the weather got in the way!! There was a lot of reminiscing with music of the 60s & 70s and singing & dancing to match - it wasn't a pretty sight or sound ... !!! More photos here

 

My nephew Matthew went to his School prom on Friday 29th June. As the photo shows he decided to wear a kilt, which I was delighted about! He and 7 of his friends went to the Bromsgrove Hilton by limousine. More photos here

 

lunchtime, 27 June 07Judith & I relaxing at lunchtime on Wednesday 27th June just before we 'hot-tubbed' ... we did raise our glasses to those at work!!

 

I went to York for a few days on Thursday 21st June to visit Abi & her boyfriend Alan - they both finish Uni there very soon. The photo shows Alan completing the Rubik's cube in 2m 7s ... [he heard on 29/6 that not only did he gain a First in his Maths Degree with distinction, he'd gained the University's "Maths Award"]. More photos here

 

'the morning after the night before'Ab flew in from Edinburgh on Saturday 16th June 2007 to stay with me for a few days. On the first night he took me clubbing into Birmingham [at my age; I ask you!!]. He was a little worse the wear from drink and the photo shows the proverbial 'morning after the night before.' Wimp!!

 

Tuesday 5th June @ canal walk, BrumOn Tuesday 5th June I went into Birmingham with Judith - to visit the DVLA office, hmm exciting! But at least we later went along the canal and had a drink in the sunshine at some posh overpriced place in the Mailbox. But nice to venture into Brum once in a while!

 

I had to pick someone up from Heathrow airport on 4th June - I was an hour late! There was a major traffic accident at junction 2 of the M40 just as I was approaching it. There was no time to get off when I heard about it on the radio. We were static for almost an hour before we were taken off the motorway to be directed via Slouch & the M4 to get there.

 

A good definition of an oxymoron is 'William the gardener.' I am absolute rubbish ... but this rose bush of mine has done wonders this year, almost the only colour I have in the garden!!

 

On Friday 1st June I stayed overnight at Bev's, watching the England v Brazil game there. On the Saturday morning, with the weather so nice we sat outside for breakfast which consisted of freshly made American pancakes and maple syrup - it's no wonder I'm the size of a barrage balloon!

 

31st May the the 9th anniversary of the untimely death of my sister Barbara. Bev, Amy & I went to Clent on a dull & dismal day [as the photo shows!!] to lay roses on the bench where Barbara liked to sit during her illness, because of the lovely views, and where nearby her ashes had been scattered. The following day, 1st June, would have been her birthday; and I took mother up for her to scatter rose petals there too, but where the weather was so nice we sat out at the cafe there with bacon sandwiches & a cuppa!!

 

Hayley Tyler, in a competition, won a meal for four cooked at your own home!! This took place at J&Gs' home on 29th May, and good it was too. And no washing up ..... nice!!

 

What a fantastic number plate: COP 999 - parked 3 cars from me at Merry Hill shopping centre, on Tuesday 29th May. I wonder how much that is worth on eBay?

 

It was Alexander's birthday on Tuesday 15th May - we saw him at Aunty May's in the afternoon to exchange cards and presents. More photos here

 

I went to Joy & Lynton's for a meal on Friday 11th May 07 and stayed overnight. A lovely meal, lovely company and what a novelty it was for me to go to sleep in a tidy bedroom!!

 

George eventually got round to getting his film developed on his 35mm camera ... no rush eh? This is a photo he took when we all went to the Shugborough Festival way back in August 05!! But I like it, so it gets its debut now .... here

 

Yet another meal at my house ... though to be honest I only provided the starter and the cheese!! Belinda, Nicki, Paul & Deb made good their promise by not falling asleep during the evening!! More photos here.

 

Monday 30th April was a 'champagne day' for me and a bottle was indeed opened!! But for my good news George T was coping with the death of his father that day. How sad. The juxtaposition of good & bad news.

 

George had to pick up some items "down South" on Saturday 28th April. I went with him & Judith to help keep them company. We visited the Bicester Outlet Village on the way back and then they put on my first BBQ of the year when we got back. More photos here

 

It was our annual St George's Day concert on Saturday 21st April, held this year at the Stourbridge Town Hall. Held jointly with 'Voices in Harmony' choir and 'HalesOwen Choral Society' and the 'Langley Band' a good night of singing the Proms and flag waving was had by all. The Mayor, our local MP and Michael Collie [of BBC Midlands Today who was our compere] all added to the evening!

 

it could be I gave them too much wine or they were bored with my company ... !!!Shock of shocks - I cooked a meal for Judith & George and Peter & Phylis - Saturday 14th April. Only George managed to stay awake - who says my company is boring?! More photos here

 

On Easter Sunday I went with mom to Short Cross for the morning service; and then, with Belinda, went to join Beverly's for lunch and for us to spend time time Barbara & David Pelham. It was good to share fellowship with them. The photo shows part of Bev's table decoration on each placemat. More photos here

 

It was Paul & Deb's joint birthday party on Saturday 7th April so the usual gathering took place to help them celebrate ... !! The photo here is Deb's Easter Flowers @ home. More photos here

 

the train arriving at Highley stationLater that day [see below] I went to Bev's for an overnight stay because two of our cousins, Barbara & David Pelham, from Idyllwild, California were staying with her for a week. it was good to spend quality time with them. That afternoon we all went on the Severn Valley Railway - more photos here

 

June Hieron's simnel cakeI went to the traditional Good Friday service at Short Cross @ 7,30am on Friday 6th April; then it was round to June & John's for the annual Easter egg hunt and where we always sit outside for toasted Hot Cross buns & Simnel cake - at least the sun shone this year! More photos here

 

HalesOwen Parish Church - 5th April 07The local paper said "Hundreds of mourners today saluted 'exceptional' Black Country sailor Paul McCann, killed in a blast on board a submarine, as they gathered to pay their respects at his funeral. HalesOwen town centre was brought to a standstill as family, friends and naval colleagues crammed into St Johnís Parish Church for an emotional farewell to the 32-year-old who was given full military honours." I took this photo [on my mobile] just as the coffin was being carried into the church. It was most moving, heightened by the lady standing next to me who told me her son [part of the Guard of Honour] served on that submarine and how he had been affected  ...
 

 

It was Abigail's birthday on Monday 2nd April. Many of the family went to see her and to celebrate the day. More family photos here.

 

Margaret & Keith Bradley celebrated their Ruby wedding anniversary on Sunday 1st April by holding a lunch at Overend church. There were about 100 of us. Donations in lieu of presents are being sent to the Kamera hospital in Rwanda.

 
the family with Sylvia Heal MPIt was VIH Choir's 10th anniversary Concert on Saturday 31st March @ the new Salvation Army Centre in Cradley Heath. The photo shows the family with Sylvia Heal MP & Deputy Speaker, our principle guest.
 
taken on my mobile just after the plaster was taken off & before the stiches removed - 28 March 07I had my plaster & bandages removed on Wednesday 28th March @ Corbett's Hospital. I took his photo on my mobile while the nurse was out finding the scissors/scalpel to take out the stitches. I don't think the guy who 'sewed me up' is heavily into crocheting!! Not the prettiest of images!!
 
Deb, Adrian, Judith, me & Sainsbury's bag!!To finish of Judith's birthday celebrations we went to J&Gs on the Saturday evening, 24th March, for the usual food/drink/good company & a good laugh. This photo shows me trying not to get my plaster & bandage wet ... !! More photos here.
 
It was Judith's birthday on Friday 23rd March. She treated us to a meal at La Brasserie in Kidderminster. Another photos here.
 
l/r = Peter, John, June, Lynton, Joy & me [19 March 07]On Monday 19th March the 'Majorca Gang' met up for lunch at Joy & Lynton's. It was the first time we had all got together since we met in Majorca in May 06.
 
It was Mothering Sunday on 18th March. Belinda & I went to church in the morning with mom and then went on to Beverly's for lunch. More photos here
 
Adrian Jackson, the conductor, leading the orchestra & choirOn Saturday 17th March the Midlands Symphony Choir, of which me, Belinda, Judith & Peter are members, sang at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham, for a 'West End and Broadway Gala Concert - A Spectacular Gala Concert.' Jennie Bond was the presenter & compere. More photos here
 
my left hand in plaster; my right hand with a pint [at he Symphony Hall 2 days after my operation]On Thursday 15th March I went into Corbett Hospital for my second operation - this time on my left hand [my right hand had surgery on 21st December 06]. It was done under general anesthetic but I was allowed home the same day. My hand is in plaster, plus bandage and in a sling for 2 days! The plaster stays on for 2 weeks.
 
I had a 'turkey & tinsel' weekend with Joy, Lynton, Lynne & Ian [9th - 11th March 07]. I over-indulged on the Christmas pud, but what a lovely way to go! More photos here
 
We went hot-tubing & eating to J&G's on Saturday 3rd March. It coincided with the first total lunar eclipse in more than three years, which we avidly tracked. During "totality" the moon appeared reddish in colour as only light that had been filtered through the Earth's atmosphere reached the Moon's surface. More photos of the evening here
 
 
It was Voices in Harmony's 10th anniversary meal held on Monday 26th February - held at the Granary Hotel, nr Kidderminster. Michael Collie, of BBC's Midlands Today, was one of our guests. The photo shows Hilary & Stephen Bradley, as founding members of the Choir, cutting the anniversary cake.
 
Bethany @ 12Bethany was 12 on 25th February. As ever, the family gathered to celebrate ... !!
 
Adrian ("call me Marilyn") Sanger @ 50 ...It was Adrian's 50th birthday party on Saturday 24th February. With it being the Oscars' Weekend he decided we were all to go dressed as someone from a film - Adrian, as you can see, went as Marilyn Monroe. And a great time was had by all. More photos here
 
WBA v Cardiff @ the HawthornsI went to the WBA v Cardiff game on Tuesday 20th February, Exciting stuff with the 1 - 0 result in the Baggies' favour leaving us all biting our finger nails during the 3 minutes of extra time & renewed Cardiff pressure. But happy bunnies in the end and it does put us back in 2nd position!
 
being towed back to the main road I should have known better! Snow had been forecast and yet I still stayed overnight at Bev's on 7th February; the snow did indeed fall overnight. Despite our best efforts I couldn't get off Bev's driveway so another enforced overnight stay ensued!! At least it meant we could watch the cricket v Australia on the Friday morning without feeling guilty! later I had to be  rather ignominiously towed off by a Land Rover. More photos here.
 
I've been well knocked-out for almost 2 weeks with a viral infection that had me almost bedridden the whole time ... last week Jan/first week Feb. Thankfully that's now over.
 
I have the abilty to put anyone to sleep [the perils of talking to me]With others, I went for a meal at Judith & George's on Saturday 20th January. As you can see from George's photo left, I can easily keep people thoroughly entertained into the wee hours of the morning with my scintillating conversation and sparkling wit ... *coughs!! More photos here
 
With only 1 day at home, I then went to Bournemouth with Joy, Lynton, Lynne & Ian from 12th-14th January 06. We stayed at the Norfolk Royale hotel. Plenty of walking and shopping and eating and shopping and laughing and shopping ensued. The ladies like shopping ... yet another tradition ....... !!! More photos here
 
fish & chips on the beachI went to Brighton for a few days (6th - 10th January 07) with Ab. The weather was awful with rain & heavy winds, but I still managed to put on weight through too much food & drink!! The photo shows me eating fish & chips on the beach in front of Brighton Pier ... it has to be done!! Tradition ....... !!!

 

 
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