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Have you got two minutes twenty eight seconds to spare? No? Maybe later then?

This post, on a day when I don’t usually post anything, is for my British readers, who are in sore need of distraction and a spot of cheer at the moment.

Travel Between The Pages

Wow, I really love this terrific animated alphabet from the award-winning British design studio Mr.Kaplin.

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Postcards from Granada

Our last full day in Granada. A taxi ride took us to the hills just beyond the city.

Views, always views, then a country walk down towards the town.

An unscheduled meeting with a flamenco – dancing legend: more of that tomorrow.

Sacromonte – an area of long-inhabited and quirky caves. A convivial and cheap set of tapas for a late lunch.

A teteria, or teahouse, to sample teas and sticky Arab pastries.

A quick trog up in the direction of the Alhambra to visit the Carmen de los Martires and its cool garden. Will that do? We’re not done yet. More tomorrow……..

Fruits of the Vine.

Before I begin a series of posts from Spain, I thought some of you would like to catch up with Danny. For newer readers – my daughter, who is not called Fanny, lost her husband to oesophageal cancer after a tough couple of years of unsuccessful treatment, leaving her with 10 year old twins, a business which she and Phil had run together, and a recalcitrant dalmatian. Three months later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has the all clear, but is awaiting great reconstruction. In this post, she brings her story up to date. I’m so proud of what she’s achieved these last few dreadful years.

Fanny the Champion of the World

I meant to publish this just after Christmas, which passed without incident. I’d forgotten how to enjoy festive family time, because for the last four years its presence only enhanced the pain we were in as a family. Whether we were waiting for test results, or scans, or news of a trial which might just give my husband a bit more time, or for a mastectomy which would only afterwards determine whether my life could be saved or simply prolonged a bit, every Christmas week (when the rest of the country ground to a halt and celebrated) left us dangling in painful suspended animation. Every year, we wondered if it would be the last we’d see with our children.

But this year, it was wonderful. Quiet, calm, content… and rather than being angry for the loss of my husband (though of course the grief hit us all at times) I…

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Walking in Woolwich

I was with Team William & Zoë at the weekend.  A walk in Woolwich seemed a fine Sunday outing.

Woolwich is firmly a part of London now. But it wasn’t when it was omitted from the Domesday book in 1086, on the grounds that it was part of Saint Peter’s Abbey in Ghent.

It wasn’t when Henry VIII founded a dockyard here in 1513 to build his royal ship Henri Grace à Dieu. It remained a royal dockyard till 1869. Then a Royal Laboratory, producing explosives, then a Royal Arsenal. By 1741, it had a Royal Military Academy too. Woolwich was a fine industrialised garrison town.

Royal Arsenal

Until it wasn’t. The dockyard closed first. The Academy moved to Sandhurst in 1945. The Arsenal closed in 1967, though during WWI it had employed over 70,000 workers Woolwich fell on hard times. Even though, or perhaps because it became home, in 1975, to Britain’s very first McDonald’s.

It’s beginning to recover. Those fine military buildings are finding new uses as housing. With improved transport links, Woolwich is being touted as south London’s ‘next big thing’.

We did explore. That military architecture really is pretty fine. It forms the backdrop here to Peter Burke’s Assembly, 18 cast iron figures which speak of Woolwich’s busy industrial past.

And I love a gritty urban riverscape too. We planned to walk on, to the Thames Barrier.

But it was cold. It was raw. We wanted to enjoy our exploration. So we will come back another day, when the sun is shining. And we’ll return to Vib too. The bao at this wonderful Vietnamese café are certainly worth exploring.

Walked on Sunday, published on Tuesday, this is a candidate for https://restlessjo.me/jos-monday-walk/


Yesterday, I published a post about My Old Notebook.  It got plenty of readers, so I was a bit puzzled not to get any comments from the usual suspects, or indeed from anybody at all.   Dan Drews of Life as I See it with One Eye Closed – thanks Dan – told me that somehow, comments have been disabled.  I’ve been battling with WordPress Help to get to the bottom of this, and …. I’m stuck.  Are any WP users able to help?  Comments are still open on my previous posts, which is how Dan made it through, as I assume they’ll be closed on this one too.  Grrr.

The Car Park of Destiny.

It’s a long time since I’ve updated you about my daughter Ellie. Here, in her own words, is the latest instalment.

Fanny the Champion of the World

I haven’t written an update for a while, and to be honest, I’ve been enjoying getting back to normality (and trying to learn how to parent teenagers), with limited success. I think that writing Fanny through my grief and treatment was my way of releasing stress when I had nobody else to tell. Now, I do have someone to tell, who loves me deeply, but with that happiness and contentment has come a bit of Writers’ Block. Our stories don’t end as long as we’re alive, but perhaps I wanted Fanny to have her happy ending, and I wasn’t sure if there really was any such thing.

In fact, I suppose I thought a new beginning had come instead – in July last year, when my husband’s ashes were interred in the graveyard of the church where he and I had married 15 years before, almost to the day. I’d…

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