Friday, 10 September 2021

Astrid's Photo Scavenger Hunt for the week ending - 10/09/2021

 Pizza, there's a yummy topic for us to post about.  The only trouble is we hardly ever have pizza but quite fortuitously our youngest grandson and his girlfriend asked if they could come round and see us today and so we hurriedly bought a pizza each for them and one to us to share, for a treat.  Relief....I had something I could post about.

                                         There are of course, other brands available.

I added some sliced tomato and a little extra cheese.  As they were already Four Cheese Pizza I suppose they were now Five Cheese Pizza. (Picture a bit out of focus, but as we have eaten the pizza I can't retake!!)

Cooked and ready to take out of the oven.

Ready for eating

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, except in this case it was a pizza!!

Four clean plates.

Before we  had these pizza pictures my only entry was a picture I took of a recipe in a magazine in the optometrists last August.  I have tried the recipe and it was very nice and easy.

I see it uses mozzarella cheese, I wonder if it was Buffalo mozzarella cheese, which is I understand, the best kind there is.  Now as I always try and include an African picture for my Lovely Lady friend,  here is one just for her.  

A herd of buffalo at Rosie's Pan in the South African game park keeping cool and refreshing themselves.

Now off to see how others have used the prompt this week.  Thanks Astrid for keeping us on our toes each week.

Friday, 3 September 2021

Astrid's Photo Scavenger Hunt for the week ending - 02/09/2021

 This week's choice of topics by Astrid is school.  I had no idea which way to go with this.  I do  have the usual annual class photographs but wanted to rather try and think outside the box.  So although I have included some 'school' pictures I have tried to find some different ways of looking at the word. 

My first picture is of Katie's first day at school.  Children did not start school till after their 5th birthday in Rhodesia and South Africa. 

I had forgotten what a large garden we had, there is nearly as much behind me as there is behind Katie and it went up the side on the left as a huge rockery garden.

Then there is a 'dancing school'.  This picture is of Katie and her best friend as Ice Skaters with two reindeer. Every time I hear the opening bars of 'Winter Wonderland'  I see the little dancers 'skating' on to the stage!! 


How about a 'school of dolphins'.  We lived in Amanzimtoti, just near Durban on the South Coast.  We were lucky enough to see dolphins quite regularly, surfing on the waves.  

Then when the annual 'sardine run' came by the number of dolphins increased as they were after the fish.  It was quite a site to see.  I'll never forget the first time we saw it, ladies were taking off their tights, wading into the sea and scooping up the fish, just in knee depth water.  They were not all caught for eating, mostly they were for bait and these people would fill their freezers with the fish.  Swimming was banned as they had to lift the shark nets to allow all the various fish that were following the sardines along the coast.

I did not have  the appropriate photographs so have taken these off the net. The first one is of dolphins surfing at Amanzimtoti or Toti as we all called it.

Animals too have some sort of 'school' for their youngsters where they teach them the way of survival in the harsh conditions they have been born into; where to find water,  food and safety.

Here are elephants teaching their young by example.  The little ones are learning how to manage their trunks.  Did you know that elephants have almost 4000 muscles in their trunks?  We have a few more than 600 muscles in our entire body. Young elephants have to learn to use their very wobbly trunks to help them suck up water for drinking, pick up or touch objects, trumpet warnings and greet one another.

Here they are learning where the water holes are. This is only a small family group but when a herd come to this one to drink you can see how much hierarchy exists in their life.  Matriarch goes first, then the more senior females and eventually it goes down the pecking order.  The lower rank elephants stand back and await their turn.  It is less obvious at a larger dam where there is room for many to drink at once. 

Lions too are taught by their mother.  Here in this photograph is a family group of lions we have watched since the cubs were cute and playful.  You can see Mama lion as we call her, she is wearing a tracking collar and has many scars.  We have seen her with horrendous wounds after she has fought off male lions to protect her cubs.

There are two males - or the boys as we call them - and one female.  They seem to have branched off on their own these days.  Often Mama comes to Tembe waterhole at night and calls.  Eventually they turn up. Usually the female first then the boys.   Sometimes they are all together sleeping off a large meal.  A couple of weeks ago they bought their kill to Tembe and we could see them feeding there.  As is normal with lions the females do the work and the males just enjoy the meal!! 

My last animal picture shows the dedication one mother has to her young - well not all her young as ostriches are as bad as  cuckoos are here in Europe.  The main female lays up to 11 eggs which are positioned in the centre of the communal nest where they are the safest and the other hens lay between two and six eggs in the nest as well.  The alpha male and dominant female then look after the nest which is on open ground, taking it in turns to incubate the eggs.

I did know of this but have taken the exact details off the internet.

That is quite a brood to take care of and teach the ways of ostrich life.  It is a complete school in itself.  I counted about 20. 

I have, as usual, taken this and many of the pictures with my camera off my computer screen from the site. 

Now just to revert to regular school - here is a picture of our school hockey team. I wanted to prove I did actually go to school.  

I have become a punctuation and grammar nerd and get all irritated to see all those apostrophes where they should not be.  I wish I was bold enough to carry a marker pen and correct them.  Tomatoe's for sale just gets me and potatoe's is another.  They don't belong there!!!  

How about this picture - 

But just for fun to end with is a picture I have held in my 'possible photo hunt pictures' waiting for a chance to use it.   My maiden name broke the 'i before e' rule and I used to love telling my teachers that when this rule was quoted to us.!!   Though there were obviously many other words that broke the rule too! 

 That's my lot for this week.  Now off to see what others have done.  Have a good week and see you all for Pizza next Friday.  xx 


Friday, 27 August 2021

Astrid's Photo Scavenger Hunt for the week ending - 27/08/2021

 This week the choice of word chosen by Astrid is 'Bucket'.  Not such an easy one for me.  I have had to borrow other pictures from various archives this week.  

 My immediate thought was for the picture I knew we had of our 'bucket and spade' shop in Seahouses, Northumberland.  Every year when we went on holiday there we would go to Seahouses for a fish and chips lunch and part of the tradition was to visit the 'bucket and spade' shop.  It was about three shops joined into one vast, rambling shop filled with, lets be honest, tat. All cheap holiday souvenirs but we would wander through all the same. I found the picture as you will see below but much to my disappointment there are no buckets and spades outside. But I thought I will still use it, the title fits our name for it, then today I enlarged the picture again and poured over it and there, just below the pink spades in the window, behind the pram handle are a couple of blue buckets.  Take my word for it, they are there. Whew, I have some buckets!! 

We have tried most of the different Fish and Chip Restaurants over the years including the one in the picture above but preferred Lewis Fish Restaurant.  The lighting in this picture is bad, either I could read the menu or I could see the buckets.  I naturally have chosen the latter.  They have three little buckets joined together, holding the cutlery, savoury seasonings and sugar sachets. 

The next two pictures were taken at the annual Trawden Garden and Scarecrow Festival in 2011.  That is Mr McGregor of Beatrix Potter fame.  Peter Rabbit always was in trouble for stealing carrots from Mr McGregor's garden.  He is life sized and remade each year.  It is a tiny but perfect garden and normally wins prizes. If you look at the beautiful foxgloves on the right of the photograph then then follow them down to the second photograph you will see they are growing in a bucket.

Not quite buckets, but a sack and watering can but can you see two gorgeous little creatures peeping out.

This picture was taken just around the corner from the first. Note the daisies growing in a bucket. You can see why this garden always won prizes. Well deserved Lynne.  

Just as a footnote to Mr McGregor the scarecrow.  Each year, after the Garden Festival was over he was taken up to Beatrix Potters' Home - Hill Top Farm, in Cumbria which is open to the public.  He replaced the previous year's scarecrow.  He would sit on a bench with a collection bucket and people would donate money to sit on the bench next to him to have their photograph taken. 

This picture I took off Hill Top Farm's web page. It shows Mr M. sitting on a bench outside the farmhouse.  He has raised over £12,000 over the past few years for local charities.


I have a file on my computer labelled 'Garden Ideas' and put pictures in it for inspiration.  These are three of those pictures.  Again they are not my pictures, but they are full of buckets and who knows, someone else maybe inspired by the pictures. I love the way these buckets have been fixed over a central pole to look like they are balanced on top of each other. 

These garden tools displayed on the old green door together with plants and  old galvanised bucket inspired me to hang my tools on the side of the garden shed. 

Finally a tower of buckets filled with different herbs.

A late PS.   During the night I suddenly remembered that I do have another couple of buckets I can use.  Not my well used garden buckets but miniature brass bucket and coal scuttle (I'm sure it can be classed as a bucket too). I have put a little brass thimble in the group to give an idea of their size..

So that's my lot for this week.  Now to go and see how others have interpreted the word.  
Keep well and have a good September.  Can't believe the year is flying by so quickly.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Astrid's Photo Scavenger Hunt for the week ending - 20/08/2021

 This week Astrid has selected the word 'Dog'.  Here I am spoilt for choice.  Dog's have been in both of our families lives forever.  I have been digging though my archives for an assortment of 'dogs through our lives', some our parents, some our own and  our 'granddogs'.

This first one is of my mother Marjorie and her dog Pluto taken just before the war, about 1936,  before my parents were married.  This crazy black Labrador used to jump on the bus, go down to Eastbourne beachfront, swim straight out to sea much to the consternation of the watching people, then turn around, swim back, get out and catch the correct bus home.  The bus conductors all knew him.  How he knew which bus to catch is amazing.

This is Dachie, my mother-in-law Margaret's dachshund cross spaniel (these days she would have a silly combined name and cost a fortune).  B's family lived on an Agricultural Research Station outside Mazabuka, Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and when it was time for Dachie to be spayed the surgery was done by the only vets in the area, large animal vets more used to treating cattle.  Poor little Dachie had such a huge incision that she was very sore afterwards. Margaret worked in the office at the Research station and could not stay at home with her sick, sore dog so she just put her in a pram and took her to work with her!!  She always was one very spoilt little dog! 

This is me with our friend's dog, no idea of any more details. 

After the war we, together with several other families, travelled overland from the UK down through Africa by lorry and settled in Lusaka, Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) where we lived for 20 years.  The earliest photograph I have of myself with any dogs is me with Tucker our Rough Collie.  That hacking jacket I am wearing must have been bought for me with the idea I would grow into it!! 

My parents reverted to their favourite breed and from then on had Labradors, never well trained or obedient as my father was too soft with them. 

 Once B and I were married we had a series of dogs throughout out time in Central and South Africa.  The children always had dogs in their lives and still do.


Katie with her friend in a wheelbarrow with Scruffy and Barnie 

Here she is with Scruffy again and Heidi 

and  below David trying not to share his icecream with Max

Our lives revolved around dogs and  because of his experience with Police dogs  B had been asked to start a dog training school for the Prison service from scratch.  These were his first his first 'recruits', Roy, Shane and Bruno.

 Roy looking cool!!

This picture was taken on Max's 4th birthday.  The children had this party for him on our lawn. His cake was a tin of dog food inverted out onto a plate with candles on top - which he ate with the meat!!  Katie is holding her cat Sam who is wearing a party hat, he often was pushed around in that dolls pram wearing a yellow jersey! 

 A few years later this was the Prison Dog Section Display Team.  I had been asked to make their coats with extra braid for the Mascot, Skip.

Skip had previously been a guide dog and was wonderful, did anything he was asked to do.

Once we moved to South Africa and people got to hear of B's dog training experience he was asked to start a training club in Hazyview where we lived.  After a while we had enough trained dogs to put on displays at fetes and other dog shows. We had a real assortment of dogs, not like his all German Shepherds as before.  Big dogs, little dogs, they all were trained and loved doing all the shows.  B's dog Ben especially loved jumping and had no fear of jumping through hoops of fire, even Katie's little Henry jumped through the fire hoops.

Ben having fun.  He loved the displays and particularly loved jumping.  He actually disgraced himself at this particular display by doing a second round of the jumps when he had finished and should have returned to B' side.

We lived in a particularly hot part of South Africa and our dogs always found a way to cope with the heat.

Here Misty finds the  best way is to stand in the spray, she particularly liked to stand over it so it sprayed onto her stomach and Minty found that she could drink directly from the smaller mist spray. 

I could go on and on but must jump on to pictures of our 'granddogs'.  Followers of Katie's blogs will know dear Moss who will walk miles and miles and swim at every chance she gets.  I have so many pictures of her it was hard to choose.  She counts as a dog in our life as we no longer have any pets so just enjoy our 'granddogs' instead. 

I have recently used a picture of the late Roxy standing in her floral boots but here she has D's on too.  

Finally here is Jess, our Scottish Granddog.  She has been an only dog since her best friend Roxy was sadly put down as she was very ill.  She had been operated on about 5 years previously to remove a cancerous spleen and had to take tablets every day but lived a very happy life.   Now Jess has a new little friend.  An 12 week old yellow labrador puppy but she is not too sure about this little bundle of activity.

Jess playing in the sea at Lytham, Lancashire.

and here wondering what on earth has happened.  This little upstart has not gone home at the end of the day.  It is still here.   Taken on the first evening of little Lexi's arrival. 


I'm sorry, I've seen to gone and on and on.  Dogs have played such a big part in our lives and we have masses of photographs.  I have only used a small number especially of Roxy, Jess and Moss who all of you have seen before.  There is really no room for them all.  We had a Black Irish Setter called Wellington, a young German Shephard, a black poodle called Gigi, (taken in as homeless and turned out she was terrified of men and never settled) and Charlie Brown, so called as he looked like a peanut when he was very tiny!! He survived being flushed down the toilet by our very young and naughty nephew who wanted to see if the tiny puppy could swim!! 

Final mention must go to Heidi, given to us to start our own breeding programme for the Dog Section.  Her first litter was of 14 pups.  She could not cope with them all and I had to help bottle feed them. I would put Johnsons Baby Powder on them to identify those I had fed as they all looked the same.  Brian had the pick of the litter of one to raise as his own to handle and he chose Max. Poor Max was so unsuitable. As his training progressed B found out that Max hated jumping or scrambling up walls, one ear never stood up properly and was so gentle that we just kept him as a family pet and what a wonderful pet he turned out to be as you will have seen in previous photographs.

Now off to see if anyone else has got carried away as I have done!!