About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Y is for YEAR

The year 2016 brought many changes to my life - some good, some not so good.  Regardless, I am looking forward to what 2017 might bring - better health I hope (especially regarding my back as I will be facing the prospect of another back surgery), more travel (dependant on the back situation), and making new friends.  One thing I am happy about is that 2016 brought me to a new home.  I love my condo and have already made some good friends here. 

As this is a busy time of year for everyone, I will keep this brief.  Just would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and may all your wishes come true.  Blessings to all.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

X is for XMAS

This is partly a repeat from last year's X week so I thought that with X being our letter of the week and landing just days before Christmas Day, I thought I'd take this opportunity again to wish everyone who celebrates it a very Merry Christmas.

Christmas is also sometimes known as Xmas. Since Christmas comes from Christ-Mass, the Church service that celebrated the birth of Jesus, some people don't think it's correct to call Christmas 'Xmas' because that takes the 'Christ' (Jesus) out of Christmas.  But that's not quite right! In the Greek language and alphabet, the letter that looks like an X is the Greek letter chi / Χ (pronounced 'kye' - it rhymes with 'eye') which is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Christos.  Therefore, Xmas can also mean Christmas; but it should also be pronounced 'Christmas' rather than 'ex-mas'!

The following is a shot that I took last week just outside the front doors of our local library.  I think it encompasses everything we should all aspire to for every day of the year, especially with all the terrorism, wars, hunger, and strife happening all over the world right now!

from -  'Twas the Night Before Christmas

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

Sunday, December 11, 2016

W is for WHITBY

Whitby is a seaside town in the North Yorkshire Moors, at the mouth of the River Esk that empties into the North Sea.  The area around this wonderful town is one of my favourite places that I have ever visited because of the history and beauty of the countryside.  My dear friend Jill lives in a small village about 3 miles inland from Whitby and, after two visits, has shown me so much of the area that I wish I could live there!  If I could drive standard shift from the right hand side of the car, I'd be there in a flash.  However, I did try it once and was totally upside down and twisted.  Although I do know how to drive shift, doing it with my left hand had me flummoxed!  So I guess I'll just have to make do with visits when Jill or her husband can drive me.

Whitby's history is amazing!  The earliest known settlement was in 656 when the Christian king of Northumbria founded the first abbey.  In 867 the monastery was destroyed by Viking raiders and another monastery was founded in 1078. It was during this period when the town got its name Whitby, meaning "white settlement" in Old Norse.  The town functioned as a fishing settlement until, in the 18th century, it developed as a port and centre for shipbuilding and whaling, trade in locally mined alum, and the manufacture of Whitby jet jewellery.  See my post on jet jewelry here. 

Whitby Abbey is the town's oldest and most well-known landmark.  Whitby also has a strong literary tradition and has featured in literary works, television and cinema, most famously in Bram Stoker's "Dracula."  There's a fascinating article about Dracula's birthplace in Whitby right here, well worth reading!

The actual town of Whitby has an "old" side and a "new" side so after we had seen Whitby Abbey and the Abbey House plus St. Mary's Church high on the hillside, we wandered down to the older area of town.  As someone who has lived in or near Whitby all her life, Jill knew all the little nooks and crannies.  Suddenly, she said "Come with me!"  And we crept down the narrowest alleyway I'd ever seen and at the other end was a spectacular sight.  We saw private gardens, little shops, artwork and crafts and sights that the other tourists would never see!  We went to the Jet Museum, but just as we were going to leave, a rain cloud dumped its load.  As tourists scattered, we crossed over to Marie Antoinette's tea house where we had hot chocolate and carrot cake beneath the most beautiful chandelier.  All I could think as we sat there was "Let them eat cake!"

When the rain finally stopped, we crossed the bridge into the newer side of Whitby and went into a modern grocery store to pick up a few supplies.  Then we headed back home to her village of Grosmont on the bus.  What a ride that was!  Bumpity bump along the winding roadway up the hills and down until we arrived home.  What a wonderful day!
There's a slideshow waiting for you to view, should you wish to do so.  The music is the theme to the movie "Black Beauty," very subtle as you view my photos.  Enjoy!
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Sunday, December 04, 2016


Venta Silurum was a Roman town in the province of Britannia (Britain) that was established in AD75.  Today, some of its remains can be seen in the village of Caerwent, Monmouthshire in south east Wales.  One day this past summer, my friend Jane and I were on our way home after spending most of the day at a place nearby.  Jane said that she often goes by this way, but had never stopped to see what was beyond the wall at the side of the road.  She suggested we investigate.  Lo and behold it was part of the remains of Venta Silurum!

A sign told us quite a bit of history of the place and referred us to other areas within the village center. So off we went, found a parking spot at the side of the road and started to explore. "Venta Silurum" apparently means "market town of the Silures" (a Roman tribe in Wales).  For more history of the place, check out sites online.  Not everyone is interested in the history of the Romans in Wales, but if you are, it's quite extensive.  There's a Roman museum and amphitheater in Caerleon that I visited in 2006 with Jane.  Following are some shots from then. 

The village of Caerwent continues to excavate, concentrating on the forum-basilica (the market place and civic hall) of Venta Silurum in order to study the urbanisation of Rome-Britain.  It's incredible how the village has grown around these ruins...imagine having that history in "your" backyard!

So this year, having seen the Roman ruins in Caerwent, I thought I'd put a few shots on a slideshow. I chose the music, called "The Emperor" because it sounds just like you'd hear in a movie when the Roman troops come marching in...powerful yet haunting.   So enjoy - only 12 photos, most mine but a couple from Mr. Google.
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