Friday, 22 July 2011

Wet weekend with the grandchildren.

Last weekend all my children and grandchildren visited. On Saturday we had planned to go to Barry Island but sadly it was a miserable wet weekend.  Never mind we decided to go to Techniquest instead and I think they all enjoyed it.

Jakob testing his strength pumping water.

Zachariah testing his strength in a battle with another youngster over whose turn it was. 

Stuart trying out ear extensions.

Jasmine lost her legs.

and then found she was one of triplets.  Caught myself in a self portrait here too. 

Cousins Stuart and Jasmine posing for the camera 

Sunday was also a wet day so we decided to stay home.  Only Jakob and Jasmine here now. Jasmine found the top off a box of tissues and made herself a mask.

Then auntie Sophie helped them both to make some cakes.  This is one thing I find they all enjoy doing.

Especially licking the bowl at the end

here is the finished product. The one with the pink J is Jasmines, of course!

After making the cakes we went into the garden to do some pond dipping.  We found some tadpoles and baby newts and also pond skaters. Jakob didn't like those as they looked too much like spiders so I put them back quickly.  We also spotted a frog who was out enjoying the rain. 

Saturday, 9 July 2011

A Dip in the Pond

Stuart and I did some pond dipping today to see what we could find living in there.  If you have followed my blog you will know that the pond was relined over the winter which took longer than expected because of the freezing conditions we had this last winter.  Because of this I was quite worried that we would not get much wildlife in there.  It is maturing very nicely now and the water, which became very green and murky with algae, is now clearer than it has ever been. This is due to adding barley straw extract and I think it was also helped by all the recent heavy rain we have had.  Here are two views of the pond.  I do not have the fountain and waterfall switched on because I would hate to think that the little tadpoles were being circulated through the pump and piping.  I think if I did have the pump on the water would probably stay clearer but we can't have everything. 

Frogs spawned in the pond in March which was a bit later than usual probably due to the bad winter.  There were lots of tadpoles a few weeks later. Don't know what happened to them because we have reached July and there are no little frogs yet.  At last I have seen a few with back legs so hopefully we will have frogs soon.  Caught one with legs today.

New to the pond this year are the newts.  They seem to have done very well and there are many little ones swimming around in there.  Most of them seem to have all their legs now but still have their gills. I think at this stage they are called efts.  This one looks quite big in the picture but it is only about 4cms long.

There are also lots of pond skaters which seem to feed on dead flies and other creatures that are floating on the water.  I saw a dead damsel fly one day that was being ravaged by several of them all at once. 

I introduced 5 water snails into the pond in March and they seem to have been breeding successfully.  Lots of little ones in there. This one is not much more than 1 cm in diameter.

The last thing we caught was this which I think is a water louse but not sure. 

Stuart also spotted a bee in the garden carrying a leaf.  It disappeared down a hole in the patio bricks where Stuart had been tormenting the ants with his water pistol.   I said I thought it was a leaf cutter bee and when he came  back indoors he looked up leaf cutter bees on the internet.  

Thursday, 7 July 2011

A Sad Time

My blog this week is in memory of my mother, Kathleen Lilian Eshoo, who passed away at the age of 89 in Perth Western Australia
Kathleen was born on 3rd March 1922 in Bramley, Yorkshire.  Daughter of Herbert William Tirrell and Edith Butler.  

Sadly Kathleen's mother Edith died  at the age of 25 when her clothes caught fire as she was dusting the mantelpiece at their home. In the picture below, which was taken shortly before this tragic accident, Kathleen is sitting on her mother's lap left front.

Kathleen's father remarried when Kathleen was 5 years old. Here she is with her father and step mother. 

Herbert and Evelyn had two children, Joan and Walter.
This is mum with Joan and Walter taken sometime in the 1980s I think.

Kathleen went to school until the age of 14.  She then went into service with the family of the local vicar.  At the outbreak of World War 2 she decided, against her father's wishes, that she wanted to join the Auxiliary Territorial Service.  After the initial training she was transferred to the Isle of Wight where she worked plotting the  movement of the German aircraft.  Later she decided to transfer to the military police and became a lance corporal. She was transferred to Liverpool where she met met her husband William Cox. 

Kathleen and William were married, towards the end of the war, in Liverpool.  After the war they went to live with William's parents in Romiley in Cheshire where I was born in 1946.

Over 3 years later in 1949 my brother Brian was born

In 1967 William and Kathleen decided to emigrate to Australia.  Brian went along with them but I stayed behind, planning to follow later but never did.  The photo below with mum's parents and me and dad was taken shortly before they left.

They sailed to Australia and this photo was taken on the ship. 

Sadly my father William died 2 years after they arrived in Australia,so mum had quite a difficult time. 
At the age of 50 she learned to drive. This is her with her car. 

She also went out dancing

And started playing bowls

When she retired she moved into a retirement village and this picture shows her with Mr Bob Hawke who was prime minister of Australia and who visited the village. 

Sadly, because I did not follow them to Australia, mum did not have very much contact with her grandchildren.  Here she is in 1976 when she first met my son Darius and daughter Sophia.

Her first meeting with my next son Imran was when he was born as she was staying with us at the time.

She had a grandson in Australia by this time and this her with my brother's son Jason.

The first picture I can find of her with my 3rd son Sameer was when he was about 5. 

In 2002 she was in the UK at the time of Imran's graduation, which was a great day for her, she was so proud. 

Next came the great grandchildren.  Here she is with Stuart and Jakob in 2004. This was her last visit to the UK as she had a stroke in 2005.

I visited Australia in 2005 when she had a stroke. The doctors thought she wouldn't recover, but she was a fighter and did eventually go home and  looked after herself until earlier this year.  This photo was taken in 2005 while she was still in hospital.  Since the stroke her health had not been good as she had  vascular dementia which made it more and more difficult for her to care for herself.

The last time I saw mum was in October 2009. Here she is with me and my brother Brian and his wife Marg on my last night there.

Mum was  moved into a nursing home from hospital a couple of months ago as she was not capable of looking after herself any more.  She  passed away on 1st July following a heart attack.  The staff there were very good and looked after her so well. 
She had a long life and although she had her ups and downs I think it was quite a happy one.