About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Monday, January 16, 2017

B is for BEATLES MUSEUM

As promised, I'm taking you to the Beatles Museum in Liverpool, England!  The first time I went to Liverpool, I was excited to see it because it was located under the hotel on Albert Dock where I was staying.  Unfortunately, it just happened to be the 50th anniversary of the band's formation and there were celebrations going on all over.  Thus, the museum was stuffed to its limits and I didn't want to battle those crowds when I only had one afternoon and a day in the city.  But...in 2016, I returned, stayed at the same hotel on Albert Dock, and things were much quieter in the museum.
I must say there are pros and cons to the museum - at least for me.  After buying my ticket and picking up the obligatory headphones, I headed downstairs.  It was very dark with people hunched against walls listening to their headphones while looking at the displays in each room.  I have to say it was a tad creepy as the whole place was made to look like dark streets with stages, a submarine, and displays - all things that made me feel rather claustrophobic.  I felt as though I were walking down gloomy alleys in a bad part of town expecting a barrage of bruisers to approach at any moment. Although cool from the air conditioning, there was a distinct oppressive atmosphere.
THE FIRST IMPRESSION
 RINGO'S DRUMS
THEIR GUITARS
   BACKDROP FOR A GIG
 THE YELLOW SUBMARINE
JOHN LENNON'S "WHITE ROOM"
PHOTO OF THE FAMOUS POSTER
That said, though, with my bad back aching badly after a while, I found the display that encompassed a set of seats from a jet with the story of the Beatles' first trip to "America."  There was a screen on the wall and when a seat became available, I was able to sit down and breathe easier for a bit.  I ended up listening to the end of the tape on the headphones so that I could continue meandering the museum unencumbered.
Anyway, I clambered up out of the "dungeon" to the gift shop (de rigueur at any tourist spot, of course) and took a brief look around.  As usual, things were pricey and I didn't have much room in my luggage for anything other than essentials.  So I passed and went back downstairs to the charming little restaurant to get a cold beverage before rising again from the darkness into the sunny afternoon.  That's when I went over to the Liverpool Wheel across from the hotel.  (see last week's post)

Just a few photos to give you an idea of what is in the museum - so much more than this and, no matter what I felt about the atmosphere, it is definitely worth a visit.  And when I went on the Hop On/Hop Off bus the next day to see the whole city of Liverpool, we went past the famous Cavern Pub but I didn't get off to go inside.  The street didn't look, shall I say, savory? But I did get this shot from the top level of the bus.
And this one of me with the Beatles' statues at the front of the Mersey Ferry Docks.  A stranger very kindly took the photo of me and I reciprocated by taking one of him and his wife.  I wanted to be in the photo because it's the only way to show how big it is - (I'm about 5'6 1/2" tall).  The bronze sculpture weighs 1.2 tonnes and reflects a real photo shoot of them walking along the Mersey.
Thanks to everyone at ABC Wednesday, beginning with Denise Nesbitt, the creator, to the beloved Roger, our administrator for the past several years, and to the blessed group of ABCWers who bounded on the bandwagon to keep the load of work down for each helper. Everyone who contributes to ABC Wednesday benefits from these devoted bodies who have bonded through our common dream of keeping ABCW going past Round 20.

Interested in participating?  Get in touch with Roger.

Monday, January 09, 2017

A is for ALBERT DOCK

Welcome one and all to ABC Wednesday's "Farewell Tour."  After Round 20 we will have been going strong for 10 years, thanks to the creative genius of Denise Nesbitt.  Thanks definitely go to Roger, our administrative wizard for the past several years and to the team (listed on the t-shirt) for their genuine caring that all contributors receive positive comments.  Anyone up for continuing ABCW in this format or in another, please get in touch with Roger!

Now on to the first letter of the alphabet - A as in apple, archery, appetite, acrobat, adjective, aerodynamic, and Africa.  This week I would like to take you to Albert Dock in Liverpool, England, where I stayed once in 2012 and once in 2016 before meeting with our team member Di and her awesome hubby at the amiable restaurant called Gusto!

I didn't stay long in Liverpool in 2012 because I was on my way to the Isle of Man, but did appreciate staying on Albert Dock, which was so close to the ferry terminal that I could walk there.  Last summer (2016) I stayed long enough to take the hop on/hop off bus and tour the city for the day and a half.  When I arrived by train from Wales, I spent the afternoon at the Beatles Museum and wandered over to the Liverpool Wheel where I got on and took lots of photos from the top. I got lots of photos everywhere I went the next day but this week will focus only on Albert Dock. If you click on the first photo, you can then just move forward to the next ones.

No introduction to this needed, I'm sure! Go HERE to check out close-ups and the story of when this was erected - 50 years after their last show in Merseyside.

Ronald William Wycherley, better known by his stage name Billy Fury, was an English singer from the late 1950s to the mid 1960s, and remained an active songwriter until the 1980s. Rheumatic fever, which he first contracted as a child, damaged his heart and ultimately contributed to his death. An early British rock and roll star, he equalled the Beatles' record of 24 hits in the 1960s, and spent 332 weeks on the UK chart, without a chart-topping single or album. This statue of him was between my hotel on the dock and the Mersey Ferry Terminals.
Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria - at the front of the Mersey Ferry Terminal

Albert Dock at night - I took this on my return from Gusto's restaurant after
an appetizing dinner with Di and Ian.  This week's contribution is dedicated to them!

See you next week when I'll take you to the Beatles Museum for Week B!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Z is for ZABAGLIONE


Welcome to the final week of Round 19 of ABC Wednesday, originally created by Denise Nesbitt and for the last several years administrated by our one and only Roger Green.  Roger has been ably assisted by a zesty team of bloggers who zip around religiously each week to make sure everyone who contributes receives comments from us.

Next week, we begin what we have dubbed "The Farewell Tour" with a fabulous T-shirt logo designed by the zealous Troy, who has generously added the team names to the shirt. 
20
Now just because this will be our "farewell tour," it doesn't necessarily mean that we can't have ABCW anymore.  Denise has moved on to other ventures and both Roger and I have too many other things going on in our lives to spend the amount of time we've spent administering and coordinating the meme.  We'd love to continue to contribute, but ABCW needs someone to be the "captain at the helm" to lead the team.  So please step up and email either or us of your interest. I think there will be many disappointed people if ABCW doesn't continue.  Maybe make it a New Year's resolution to volunteer for something amazing, something that has been amazing for coming up to 10 years!  Help it to continue!  Thanks!

Now for the letter Z I chose zabaglione, which is an Italian dessert made with egg yolks, sugar, and a sweet wine. It's a light custard, whipped to incorporate a large amount of air and, if you prefer, you can add other types of alcoholic drinks (like cognac) to it.  Zabaglione is said to have been invented in the 16th Century in Florence, Italy, in the court of the Medici, so if it's that old of a recipe, it must be good!  Actually, I can attest that it IS good!  Here are some photos from Mr. Google showing a variety of ways it can be served.  ENJOY!  And for recipes, check out this site (Simply Recipes)or this site (Delia Online).

Monday, December 26, 2016

Y is for YEAR

The year 2016 brought many changes to my life - some good, some not so good.  Regardless, I am looking forward to what 2017 might bring - better health I hope (especially regarding my back as I will be facing the prospect of another back surgery), more travel (dependant on the back situation), and making new friends.  One thing I am happy about is that 2016 brought me to a new home.  I love my condo and have already made some good friends here. 

As this is a busy time of year for everyone, I will keep this brief.  Just would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and may all your wishes come true.  Blessings to all.

Click to play this Smilebox invite

Monday, December 19, 2016

X is for XMAS


This is partly a repeat from last year's X week so I thought that with X being our letter of the week and landing just days before Christmas Day, I thought I'd take this opportunity again to wish everyone who celebrates it a very Merry Christmas.

Christmas is also sometimes known as Xmas. Since Christmas comes from Christ-Mass, the Church service that celebrated the birth of Jesus, some people don't think it's correct to call Christmas 'Xmas' because that takes the 'Christ' (Jesus) out of Christmas.  But that's not quite right! In the Greek language and alphabet, the letter that looks like an X is the Greek letter chi / Χ (pronounced 'kye' - it rhymes with 'eye') which is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Christos.  Therefore, Xmas can also mean Christmas; but it should also be pronounced 'Christmas' rather than 'ex-mas'!

The following is a shot that I took last week just outside the front doors of our local library.  I think it encompasses everything we should all aspire to for every day of the year, especially with all the terrorism, wars, hunger, and strife happening all over the world right now!


from -  'Twas the Night Before Christmas

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"HAPPY XMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!"Santa in his sleigh

Sunday, December 11, 2016

W is for WHITBY

Whitby is a seaside town in the North Yorkshire Moors, at the mouth of the River Esk that empties into the North Sea.  The area around this wonderful town is one of my favourite places that I have ever visited because of the history and beauty of the countryside.  My dear friend Jill lives in a small village about 3 miles inland from Whitby and, after two visits, has shown me so much of the area that I wish I could live there!  If I could drive standard shift from the right hand side of the car, I'd be there in a flash.  However, I did try it once and was totally upside down and twisted.  Although I do know how to drive shift, doing it with my left hand had me flummoxed!  So I guess I'll just have to make do with visits when Jill or her husband can drive me.

Whitby's history is amazing!  The earliest known settlement was in 656 when the Christian king of Northumbria founded the first abbey.  In 867 the monastery was destroyed by Viking raiders and another monastery was founded in 1078. It was during this period when the town got its name Whitby, meaning "white settlement" in Old Norse.  The town functioned as a fishing settlement until, in the 18th century, it developed as a port and centre for shipbuilding and whaling, trade in locally mined alum, and the manufacture of Whitby jet jewellery.  See my post on jet jewelry here. 

Whitby Abbey is the town's oldest and most well-known landmark.  Whitby also has a strong literary tradition and has featured in literary works, television and cinema, most famously in Bram Stoker's "Dracula."  There's a fascinating article about Dracula's birthplace in Whitby right here, well worth reading!

The actual town of Whitby has an "old" side and a "new" side so after we had seen Whitby Abbey and the Abbey House plus St. Mary's Church high on the hillside, we wandered down to the older area of town.  As someone who has lived in or near Whitby all her life, Jill knew all the little nooks and crannies.  Suddenly, she said "Come with me!"  And we crept down the narrowest alleyway I'd ever seen and at the other end was a spectacular sight.  We saw private gardens, little shops, artwork and crafts and sights that the other tourists would never see!  We went to the Jet Museum, but just as we were going to leave, a rain cloud dumped its load.  As tourists scattered, we crossed over to Marie Antoinette's tea house where we had hot chocolate and carrot cake beneath the most beautiful chandelier.  All I could think as we sat there was "Let them eat cake!"

When the rain finally stopped, we crossed the bridge into the newer side of Whitby and went into a modern grocery store to pick up a few supplies.  Then we headed back home to her village of Grosmont on the bus.  What a ride that was!  Bumpity bump along the winding roadway up the hills and down until we arrived home.  What a wonderful day!
There's a slideshow waiting for you to view, should you wish to do so.  The music is the theme to the movie "Black Beauty," very subtle as you view my photos.  Enjoy!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Sunday, December 04, 2016

V is for VENTA SILURUM


Venta Silurum was a Roman town in the province of Britannia (Britain) that was established in AD75.  Today, some of its remains can be seen in the village of Caerwent, Monmouthshire in south east Wales.  One day this past summer, my friend Jane and I were on our way home after spending most of the day at a place nearby.  Jane said that she often goes by this way, but had never stopped to see what was beyond the wall at the side of the road.  She suggested we investigate.  Lo and behold it was part of the remains of Venta Silurum!

A sign told us quite a bit of history of the place and referred us to other areas within the village center. So off we went, found a parking spot at the side of the road and started to explore. "Venta Silurum" apparently means "market town of the Silures" (a Roman tribe in Wales).  For more history of the place, check out sites online.  Not everyone is interested in the history of the Romans in Wales, but if you are, it's quite extensive.  There's a Roman museum and amphitheater in Caerleon that I visited in 2006 with Jane.  Following are some shots from then. 

The village of Caerwent continues to excavate, concentrating on the forum-basilica (the market place and civic hall) of Venta Silurum in order to study the urbanisation of Rome-Britain.  It's incredible how the village has grown around these ruins...imagine having that history in "your" backyard!

So this year, having seen the Roman ruins in Caerwent, I thought I'd put a few shots on a slideshow. I chose the music, called "The Emperor" because it sounds just like you'd hear in a movie when the Roman troops come marching in...powerful yet haunting.   So enjoy - only 12 photos, most mine but a couple from Mr. Google.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow