Sunday 12 November 2017


Anyone who knows me will know that I don’t like this time of year. Perhaps it is because my dad died in November when I was 18 and I have always felt sad around this time. And of course there is so much sadness surrounding Armistice Day when we remember so many who lost their lives.

This photo was taken in Malta about ten years before I was born. I must have been that twinkle in his eye. It's a favourite of mine because I can see both my boys in him.

My Dad

This week it will be six years since Tilly died. My funny, special, loving little dog. The first and only girl dog I ever had. It still feels raw. Perhaps because of the hopelessness that surrounded her decline and death. The way we knew we were losing her, but there was nothing we could do. I still feel the shock of realising she’d gone blind – and I didn’t know then that it was a result of liver disease. She had such a poor start in life and we didn’t get her until she was 8 months old. I’ll never forget the bond I had with her. I won’t say from the start because she barked at me for 90 minutes solid, but when I brought her home, she climbed on my lap in the back of the car and that was it - bonded. She never left my side. If I was ill in bed, she stayed with me, not even going downstairs to go out in the garden. If I went out, she howled miserably (Dusty does that too!) even with other people in the house.

My Tilly

I’ve loved all my dogs and cats and none any more than any of the others, but there is a corner of my heart that will always be bruised by her loss. She used to make me smile too, so much. And she was so clever. Indy and Oakley used to stand back and let her open doors for them. Despite being the smallest of the gang, she used to rescue them from other dogs.

I remember once – at this time of year – a load of geese were gathered on the field. She ran round them in a wide arc and disappeared into the glaring sun so that she could emerge from the glare, startling them all into the air. She was so pleased with herself! She never caught anything, never wanted to, but she did like to have fun.

A good thing that happened this month was visiting my youngest son and his family. I don’t know why, but I decided to take a photo of the halfway point between there and here. I always feel when we get to Stansted that we are either nearly there or nearly home. And sometimes we get to see planes flying low which I love! Never seem to have any children in the car though when that happens – typical isn’t it.


Several mornings running I’ve seen Mute swans flying from the marshes to the boating lakes. I haven’t yet been able to get a decent photo! So this will have to do I’m afraid. The only sound they make is that loud wing whooshing.

Another bird blur

Speaking of swans, I took a picture of these on the Dock River during one of my walks before school pick-up. You’d hardly know there was a busy road behind me carrying all the port traffic, an industrial estate to the left of the river and the big shops, Morrisons, B&M etc to the right – and the port straight ahead. It's quite a nice and surprisingly peaceful spot to stop and think for a while.

Dock River

I will be glad once November is over and the Christmas lights start to appear (some people have already started) and the evenings will be darker, but bright. In December we can look forward to getting the shortest day out of the way as the nights start to pull out and we head towards spring!