A really marvellous tale of Whitby in the days of Hilda and Caedmon

A Swarming of Bees

I must tell you about this marvellous book by our local author THERESA TOMLINSON ~ my friend Annie Dove (herself an author) lent me her copy and for once I can honestly say that having got into the story I could not put it down !

Sunday 6th : back in business at last ~ will make a proper start tomorrow but what a relief to get my familiar and reliable  windows 7  back ~ it's costing me, mind but mainly because the registration disc was missing ~ £250 !!  Thank Gawd for George Osborne's largesse !    Within half an hour of getting going again (I had been without it for a week) a message flashes up on the screen : "Why not upgrade to windows 10 ?"   DON'T !

Monday 7th : Here we are late afternoon and only just sitting down at the computer though I have had quite a useful day ~ Sue came and did the bathrooms and landings and both flights of stairs and the kitchen ~ to my amazement she was able to carry the Dyson down rather than get the Vax out from the cupboard under the stairs ~ a good chat as usual and I hope she went away with the idea for a three-part story to enter for some competition she is hoping to win !!   Peter & Margaret were next door recovering from family fortnight with eleven in the house and seventeen for meals including nine children under ten ~ they are wonderful grandparents.    I paid for computer repairs (£219 with discount because I paid straight away   And ordered post cards from Cheltenham Art Gallery of the Dixter Harvesters ~ I do with there was a poster-sized reproduction.   Tom and Mary are getting straight up at the White House ~ moving is such an overwhelming experience.  Vicky next door is leaving ~ her father has bought her a fish-and-chip business on the other side of the river, with a flat above it ~ so it's all change in Clarks Yard .

Ellen and Lydia are off in the Lake District ~ all those years ago I joined a trip from College, Youth Hostelling in the Lakes ~  near-enough sixty years ago ~ it was great ~ Howard didn't come with us as he felt he must get ahead with his written work ~ why didn't alarm bells ring at this ?   Foolishly I hitch-hiked home to Bristol ALONE ~ well, there were three of us to start with but he deposited the other two somewhere along the way and I ended up in a lorry with the driver's hand up my knickers !!   A wonder I was not raped and flung out into a ditch ~ strangely, we passed Rachel and a friend hitch-hiking too but my driver didn't stop to pick them up ~ he obviously had designs on my virginity !    By the grace of God I did get home in one piece ~ he dropped me off at Birmingham station ~ the crazy risks we take when we are young !   Looking back, quite terrifying.

Tuesday 8th 9pm : Oh dear ~ how can I be such an idiot ?    Turning off the telly after Jon Snow's News I must have pressed the wrong button and it's gone haywire ~ I turned it off at the wall and tried again but all is lost ~ I'll have to phone my friendly TV man in the morning ~ £10 a visit which is incredibly reasonable, and really no alternative ~ I know very well that if I try to get back I only make things worse..   I'm getting dreadfully frail (as well as stupid) ~ to PO for cash this morning ~ scarcely 100 yards along Church Street but I really wondered whether I could make it home ~ sad but I am well looked after with helpers and friends ~ just hope I am not going gaga !

This bloody DRONE strike out in Syria ~ how can they target AN INDIVIDUAL thousands of miles away ?   It's obscene ~ the guy pressing the button here in UK is in no danger himself and yet can deliver death so precisely ~ monstrous.   And the refugee situation gets worse by the day with thousands desparate to reach Europe, particularly Germany, but how long can the loving welcome last ?    Totally insoluble !

Using up veg in fridge made a delicious stew with enough for tomorrow : onion, garlic, carrot, red pepper, a chopped tomato,four small spuds, shredded cabbage, broad beans, a tin of chopped tomatoes, herbs and seasoning, and finally dropped in a section of corn on the cob ~ also the last of John Stephen's wine ~ (I have been having a glass every night since he was here) ~ half an hour in the oven and voila ~ a rich and wholesome supper.

I'm reading a Jennifer Johnston novel 'The Gingerbread Woman' which is excellent and as I can't watch NewsNight I should be able to finish it before bed time.   Feeling calmer about the Heritage weekend ~ they can come in a few at a time and listen to the story of the Sanders family but NOT GO UPSTAIRS ~ I think I can cope with that.   And as no helpers, no picnic lunch for helpers to bother about ~ there would usually be about 8 of us after each session ~ John and my helpers and Mick and Rosemary from along in Blackburns Yard ~ it was quite jolly sitting out on the yard with bread and cheese, celery, tomatoes and mugs of tea ~ oh, and Rosemary's special almond tray bake ~ change and decay . . .    Poor old Kate is unable to put any weight on her dislocated knee or she would have come to help as she did last year.

Wednesday 9th : today the Queen has reigned longer than any other English / British monarch ~ at 63 years and so many days just beating Victoria !!   And she is still so active and I noticed in Monday night's programme at 89 still walking without a stick !    I managed to lose the TV picture last night, pressing the wrong button on the wrong remote !!   I've phoned Peter Brown and hope he will come and sort it out ~ I am an idiot, I reckon to be so careful and here we go again !   Actually while he is here I will see if he can set alarm and Radio 3 up for me on the new digital radio which has just arrived ~ the other one I got a couple of weeks ago is the very devil to tune but a charming bedside lamp that comes on at a touch.   When John was here last week he assured me that the only reliable way to get radio channels is DIGITAL so here we are ~ and YES, Peter did set it all up for me ~ it should come on at 6.30am tuned to 3.

No point taking picture of new radio as I am unable to transfer them onto computer ~ there are half-a-dozen small problems with restored windows 7 and have booked for Cheryl to come and sort them out on Monday ~ the email screen is ORANGE and cannot restore WHITE background ~ this damned flika  library tries to show me 12,000 pictures whenever I turn on, the < > on email have disappeared and it is quite a struggle to move the text around ~ quite small problems but worth getting them sorted.

Thursday evening : ALL CHANGE again !   Betty Baylis turned up with balloons and posters and HODs leaflets and says she has found me helpers ~ five for sure, possibly six, which means I can open the house as before ~ having sorted out how I would cope on my own this is of course good news except that I must now make sure I've got enough factsheets printed out for everyone and make preparations for our picnic lunches and teas ~ will send an order to Sainsbury's in the morning to be delivered at 8am on Saturday so that everything is fresh ~ bread, toms, celery, water cress ~ and that should give me time to organise kitchen table before the first visitors arrive at 11.0 ~ in fact the first came today ~ two elderly women admiring the yard and they were so interested I asked them in and let them look round ~ one 80 and with a stick, from London and her friend 75 from Sheffield ~ very appreciative !   Guess I'll survive.  Thank goodness David Matthews is participating ~ he will come down tomorrow before the rest of his family and on Saturday deal with posters and balloons and bunting.

Annabel popped in looking very tired after painful trip to visit her sister yesterday who is very sick in hospital in York ~ then Ellen arrived so had quite a chatty afternoon ~ poor Barbara now has a dreadfully painful ear infection ~ this after eight weeks recovering from broken ankle !   Last night the light bulb in the kitchen went ~ there is also a strip light over the Aga but I try not to use it as too darned bright ~ grabbed Steve the Postie and he replaced bulb for me, bless him ~ I've never liked doing this especially when there are multiple switches so that the light may come on before you've got it safely home, and I'm getting so frail I can scarcely put a plugin a socket ~ the hoover, the iron, the hair dryer !   Pathetic but true.   Hope this jolly weekend doesn't finish me off !   Visitors arrived next door ~ I know them very well and although they reminded me of their names earlier, I've forgotten already !!

May not get much time now for blogging, not until the HODs w'e is over ~ assuming I survive.   Now I'll make a mug of tea and settle down to watch Gareth the Choir Master on "Who Do You think You are" ~ the new radio alarm worked brilliantly this morning ~ thank you Peter !   No more fearful cackle at 6.30 but Radio 3 for a gentle awakening ~ my friend John was right ~ DIGITAL is the answer.

PS : Monday 14th ~ my letter to the Gazette recommending Theresa's novel was in the paper on Friday so that's good ~ Dave Wharton looked in yesterday saying how pleased she was with the letter and she would like to come and meet me !  Great all round !