Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Even the best of friends fall out at times...

Annabel and Mac.  So peaceful -

Uh, Oh!

Cat fight....

No bloodshed - just a lot of hissing!

Friday, 19 August 2016

I'm a bookaholic

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Parkgate, on the Wirral peninsula, Cheshire

Parkgate on the edge of the River Dee is a regular haunt of ours and I have blogged about its ice cream and chips on a previous occasion.
If you enlarge this picture it will tell you about Parkgate.

 When I was little it was possible to buy twists of paper with cooked shrimps in them from the windows of a couple of the local buildings but the shrimp fishing has long gone.  It’s amazing to think that in Mum and Dad’s lifetime Parkgate went from having a fishing fleet that sailed down the River Dee to being the silted up marsh we see today.

Can you imagine the sea breaking over the rooftops of these houses?  That’s what it was like a century ago on stormy nights.  You can read all about it here at NestonPast.com.

In a century Parkgate went from having a fishing fleet to just gullies and channels in a marsh.

The mountain in the background across the marshes, the Dee and the intervening hills is Moel Famau about which GB blogged the other day.

The two women chatting are Partner-who-loves-tea and one of her students.  Wherever we go P-w-l-t bumps into a student or former student – usually with ensuing hugs and squeals (from the students – P-w-l-t doesn’t do squeals!).

A quiet corner of Parkgate – of which there are not many on a summer afternoon.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Sudley House, Liverpool

Last week GB, Partner-who-loves-tea and I went to Sudley House in Liverpool.  I would have taken photos of the outside but it was raining stair-rods both when we arrived and when we left.
The school that I went to was Holt High School for Boys - a school founded by the Holt family.
George Holt, who settled at Sudley House, came from a family of prominent local businessmen. His father, George Holt Senior, was originally from Rochdale. He moved to Liverpool as a young man and made his fortune as a cotton broker. In 1820 he married Emma Durning, who came from a rich and long-established Liverpool family. The couple were active in local politics and educational and philanthropic schemes.  They also collected art on a small scale. Their diary records some of their purchases, most of them made from local artists.
George Holt married Elizabeth Bright. Their only child Emma was born in 1862. The family lived in Edge Lane and then West Derby before settling at Sudley House in 1884.  Emma, who was 21 at the time, lived at Sudley for the remaining 60 years of her life. Emma was also a noted philanthropist. Like her father she was a strong supporter of Liverpool University. She never married, so with her death in 1944 George Holt's line came to an end. She bequeathed the house and the collection of paintings assembled by her father to the city of Liverpool.  For a time Sudley House housed a local library.

Today Sudley House is one of the few period homes decorated in a Victorian style that still has many of its original features. It is also the only surviving Victorian merchant art collection in Britain still hanging in its original location. Some of my favourite pictures were the following:-

A Treatise on Parrots by Henry Stacey Marks (1829-1898)

Love’s Palace by J M Strudwick (1849-1935).  
This painting was commissioned by Holt himself.  The subject is based on a poem by G F Bodley.

Mrs Sargent by George Romney (1734-1802)

The Windmill by Thomas Creswick (1811-1869)

A Lake Scene by Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-1873)

Return from the Mill by Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899)

Landscape, Hampstead (1848) by John Everett Millais (1829-1896)

Monday, 15 August 2016


Today is the ninth blogivversary of Rambles. I had various blogs before this one  including ones on Angelfire before Google came along but this has been the longest-lasting and most popular one.  During those nine years I have done 2850 posts and had 835,000 page views.  Of those page views 251,212 were from the USA and 210,537 from the UK.  Germany and Russia each had around 40,000 pageviews and the rest were predominantly from Canada, France, Ukraine, Australia, India, and The Netherlands.  Nowadays I average 300 to 500 pageviews a day.  I suspect my comment moderation puts some people off commenting but it has proved necessary because of the unpleasant spam I get.
The most popular search terms that have brought people to Rambles include starlings, new penny, wink, creepers, Buddy Holly, snowing, banana split, Rosa Bonheur, thank you, butterfly, trail, tattoo…  I wonder how many people found what they imagined they would?
My most popular posts – judging by pageviews – have been Eggheads (with 10,000 views);  Brothel Creepers (I’m sure the majority of the 9336 folk who visited that didn’t get what they wanted!!);  A Wink or a Wimble;  Eugene Grasset - Librairie Romantique;  Starlings; Buddy Holly - 1936-1959; A New Penny;  and that well known Bart Simpson phrase Eat my shorts.
Probably my most serious posting and one which still today brings comments and e-mails is “When my child has died please…
If asked which was the funniest posting I ever did, I would have to go for “Women are from Planet X…

I’ve had many other blogs in the past including ones for Words and phrases, the Wirral, my garden, the Hebrides, Exeter, Wildlife, Recipes, On This Day, Memories, Postcards…  Nowadays with the exception of my postcard one they are all incorporated into Rambles so I occasionally post about all those subjects.  But past posts on those blogs can be seen by clicking on my profile and looking down the list of blogs. The other great thing about “Rambles from my Chair” is that it has a list of my blogging friends down the side and that’s very important to me.
In 2012 I did a blogiversary post (how many 'v's are there in blogivversary?) and in it I mentioned some of the people that blogging had brought me into contact with.  "Some of them, like a Girl from Vermont (Heather) – I met early on and have kept in touch with ever since. Another reader of my blog – Canadian Chickadee (Carol) in Seattle doesn't have her own blog and yet we have become firm friends using both e-mails and snail mail.  I've visited friends and acquaintances all over the world and unlike my blogging brother, GB, I don't use aeroplanes and the car.   I just sit in my swivel chair at my desk and say hello from there."  People like Dawn Treader (Monica from Sweden), Heleen (from The Netherlands) and Hawwa (Eva from Morocco/Spain) are not only blogging friends but also fellow postcard lovers and we share our news by snail mail.  MessyMimi, Librarian (Meike), An English Travel Writer (Jenny) and A Georgia Girl with an English Heart (Kay) have visited and commented upon my blog for years now.  Fhina (Carol), the most inappropriately named Woman of No Importance, and Adrian, whose images sometimes leave me drooling with envy, are among the other friends I have made. 

So many friends I have been fortunate enough to make.   And in a month's time Partner-who-loves-tea and I will be meeting Friend-uber-special from Long Island when she and her husband come over to Scotland for a visit.  The thought of that is so exciting. 
Rambles from my Chair has given me enormous pleasure over the years and I hope it has brought you enjoyment (and possibly even education) as well.   

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