Showing posts from November 1, 2015

More fun today - Toot, toot toot goes the whistle

I had a surprise for Maureen, Bern, Jean and John today. I had refused to tell them what we were doing.

 I drove them up to Parrish, FL for a visit to the Florida Rail Road Museum see  - this was the surprise.

Bern is a train buff!

We had a train ride, and  trundled along on a twelve mile section of track through rural Florida, seeing woods, marshes, vegetable fields and orange groves (and scarcely a building of any sort).

At the end of the ride the yard engine which was pulling us was decoupled, and then moved to the back of the train to pull us home to Parrish.

On the way out we sat in a "Gondola Car"  (a converted cattle car!).  On the way back we sat in air-conditioned comfort in a former privately owned carriage.

It all made for a pleasant little excursion - a nice way to relax, to see some undeveloped Florida, and while away a few hours on an unseasonably  hot November day in South West Florida.

(And of course, in utterly English tradition, I took a…

Phew! (and then some good family stuff)

I had eaten so well yesterday that I decided that a heated bread roll with butter would suffice for breakfast this  morning.

Bad choice!

As I bit into the roll my "partial" denture broke into two pieces.  Oh no!

"Oh no" because

(a) my Dentist's Office  is not open on Fridays.

(b)  I did not want to subsist on soup until Monday.

(c)  I will be giving a public performance in on Sunday.

I went on line and found that a "chain" Dental practice (Aspen Dental) offered in house denture repairs.  I drive to their nearby establishment and arrived soon after the 8:00 a.m. opening time.

The front desk staff advised me that

 (a)  I would have to register with them as a new patient before they would help, and

(b) that I would have to make an appointment, and

(c) their  dental prosthetic technician would not even take a look at the broken partial (to ascertain if it was repairable)  until I had become one of their registered patients.

WOW  (1) such incredible bureau…

Another great day for my folks

My sisters and their husbands went out to the Myakka River State Park today.

They rejoiced in the flora and fauna (who wouldn't?)

Sadly they arrived there too late for an Air-boat ride.  But they enjoyed the Park so much that they plan to return there next Monday so that they will be able to cruise the Lake in an Air-boat and blow kisses to the alligators.

This evening I took myself to the Condo I had rented for them at the Crescent Arms, right on Crescent Beach (woot woot!)

My sisters (Maureen and Jean) prepared  a delicious  supper/dinner of cold roasted chicken (which they had cooked wrapped with bacon (!) and the fixin's. Such gorgeous food.

But just before dinner my brothers-in-law Bern (Maureen's  spouse) , and  John (Jean's husband) and I walked down to Crescent Beach  to enjoy the sunset.  Such gorgeous glory.

Back at dinner the five of us had some serious chat, but then we all got to be silly, very silly.…

My brother in law Bernard

Bernard (Bern) is a man of few words.   So much so that his Pastor once said "Bern, if you were any more laid back you'd be horizontal"!

However, when Bern speaks he is often very funny. (and  always wise).

Take this morning.  I had created and printed driving instructions for the folks to go from Crescent Arms to the Ringling Museum of Art.

I had included tips such as "when you pass Crossroads Methodist Church (on your right), get into the left lane in preparation for turning into Ringling".  (no time for

Brother in law John said that it was helpful, but that Bern would have to read it as they drove, and give him instructions.

"I can't do that", said Bern.  "I have my eyes closed when you are driving".


The folks are now utterly relaxed.   Their joy and delight is to start the day by eating breakfast on a small screened-in porch which looks directly onto Crescent Beach and the Gulf of Mex…

I can be petty.

I live in a "community" with 198 units.  It is called Glen Oaks Ridge Condominiums.

I have some splendid neighbours.

But there are others, male and female, who are the fonts of nosiness and gossip.

These are the folks who want to be the first to learn about changes (or apparent changes) in the lives of their neighbours.

These are the folks who delight in passing on information about the lives of their neighbours; whether this information be true, false, slanderous, or silly.

These are the folks who would love to know that I, or another resident had changed the brand of the bathroom tissue/toilet paper of our choice, and who then passed this word around, with a question as to why this might be.

"Hey, did you know that Michael Povey is now using Charmin instead of Cottonelle.  I wonder why?"

One such neighbour brings out my inner irritation, .  To put in bluntly she is damn nosy!

In this example the nosy one  happens to be a "she".    It could well have been…

They are here!

Mys two older sisters, Maureen and Jean, with their respective husbands Bern and John are here.

After long and safe flights from the U.K. they arrived in Tampa late last night.  I had reserved rooms for them at the Marriott, so they could tumble into bed within minutes of retrieving their bags.

(There is a story about the Marriott messing up the reservations, but that can wait for one of my whiny days).

I had advised them not to spend $18 each each for the Marriott buffet breakfast, so I arrived with hard boiled eggs, soft buttered rolls, bananas, and strong "English Breakfast Tea" in a flask.  That went over well -  especially the good tea.

I'd rented a mini-van  (2016  Chrysler Town and Country) so that their ride from TPA - SRQ  would be comfortable.

I'd left SRQ in more than good time -  just as well, 'cause there was bumper-to-bumper traffic  on I-275 North from just before the  Tropicana Field exit,all the way up to the Gandy Blvd. exit.

There had not been…

The woman who would not be silenced

Just before the early service at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key FL on this All Saints' Day, one of our English parishioners told me that he had recently visited Lourdes and the shrine of St. Bernadette.

He asked if I had been there.

Indeed I had.

We, with joy, spoke of our mutual appreciation of the shrine, and that we had each been deeply moved, and spiritually blessed to be there.

I told him this story.

Way back when I was visiting my friends Jean-Paul and Lizzie in Bordeaux.  It transpired that they each had one busy day during my visit.

I had a spare day on my Eu-rail pass.  I had a very heavy head cold.

So we worked out that I could take a couple of trains and visit Lourdes and back, whilst they went about their business.

They drove me to Gare S.Jean in Bordeaux.

As I was boarding the train, Jean-Paul - a cynic in the French tradition -  said  "maybe the Vierge will  cure your cold".

So off I went to Lourdes, where this strictly Protestant John Michael Povey was d…