Sunday, 26 August 2012

The world can be your oyster or a set of jail doors

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Sleeping habits

This is my view as I type this;

trying to get used to sleeping in anything other than complete darkness and silence. Anyone who knows me (well enough to have been asleep with me!) will know that I am a really light sleeper, I fidget and snore and toss and turn and moan like stink if it's too light or too noisy. This poses something of an issue when I stay away from home with work, after a 13 hour event on my feet all day being able to make the most of my sleep hours before starting again is really important so I'm trying to build up my tolerance.. Step one - fairy lights!

Autobiographical cross-stitch

Friday, 24 August 2012

Thursday, 23 August 2012

We the unwilling, trained by the unskilled to do the impossible for the ungrateful, ten minutes too late.


Very excited for this, I am a massive Daniel Day Lewis fan and Lincoln had such an interesting life - cant wait!

Think before you click

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Work in progress

Too blessed to be stressed.

Cross Stitching - recents

Some of my recent finished pieces (I have many many pieces half done that I've got bored with!) I'm planning to get all of them backed, and either mounted & framed or put onto cards and keyrings to put into my Etsy.. Watch this space.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Missing being blonde.

Great Men - Max Barton

There are many in the world and few are great.
Max Barton (Arthur Edward Mackenzie but always Max to friends and family) was my step Grandfather and he was a truly amazing man.
I recently found an obituary for him online that our family had not seen before and it reminded me how much I really miss him, he died when I was 9 years old but in the short time I knew and loved him he passed on many pearls of wisdom and many treasued heirlooms in the form of his poems, stories, painting and sculptures.

(I can't rotate this photo unfortunately!)
BARTON, Sdn Ldr Arthur Edward Mackenzie, DFC (Max) 1933–1941 (Col B)
Born 31 January 1924, died on 11 May 2001 at his home in Aust, Bristol. His wife, Jean, wrote to say: 'He had a good party at the end of January, and was then in and out of hospital. He came home for the last nine weeks. He didn't get into any great pain and just drifted away while I was there.'
Max started his education at CH in Prep A in 1933, moving to Coleridge B in 1934, where I joined him as a new boy. Our academic abilities being similar, we both opted to specialise in Engineering when we entered the Upper Fourth. In one of his letters to me, in later years, Max wrote: 'The classics masters and house masters had little interest in me, but Teddy Edwards, Kirby and Averill, and various art masters did take an interest in me, communicated to me some of their own knowledge and enthusiasm, and by so doing gave me a sound foundation for my own life. I shall always remember them with affection.'
Due to wartime policy at the end of 1940, when we were in the GE, the school was no longer a centre for University of London Matriculation examinations, so, Max and I, who had studied the Matric. syllabus, sat the examinations elsewhere. Pleased with our success, we returned to school as EM (Engineering and Medical) Deputy Grecians, working for the University of London Inter.B.Sc.. Although our age group had not yet matriculated, the Headmaster informed us that we were not suited to higher education, and that we were to leave on our 17th birthdays, before the end of the school year.
Max served with distinction in the RAF during the war, as navigator and pilot, and continued service with the RAF until 1967, when he retired as a Staff Officer, with the rank of Squadron Leader, in Operational Requirements in Whitehall.
With a recommendation from Dr Barnes Wallis (CH 1900-04), he moved to Bristol, where, he worked on the Concorde for ten years, and then moved into the Guided Weapons Division of British Aerospace as manager, project leader, study manager and inventor. He retired in 1989.
As a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, he was Secretary, and then Chairman, of the Bristol Branch. After serving on the Council of the Society for 12 years, he became Vice President in his last year on the Council.
When he retired, Max gave up his dangerous sport of sailing off shore, which included crossing the Atlantic single handed, and started motor racing. He also pursued his lifelong interests as poet, painter, potter and philosopher. He spent years writing theses on controversial theories in physics, especially his 4 dimensional theory of light transmission.
Max was a gentle man who was loved by all who knew him, and will be greatly missed by his wife, Jean, his daughter and his two sons, as well as his many friends. In Max's words, 'I do not have any ambition to attain great spiritual eminence, or wealth or power, only to try to be true to myself and truthful to others, to achieve the benevolence of loving kindness for its own sake.' - written by Arthur HC Williams Col B 1934-41

Pete McCarthy - Essential Reading

I spend a lot of my time travelling or staying in hotels, so an extensive reading list is essential. These are the ones in my bag at the moment;

McCarthy’s Bar and Road to McCarthy - Pete McCarthy

These are probably my two favourite books ever, they were recommended to my mum by a family friend and have been swapped around and re-read by all of us ever since. (The state of the covers are testament to their greatness)
Pete McCarthy was a comedian, radio presenter and writer and these books (his only two before his death in 2004) are an absolute triumph of witty, endearing and relatable thoughtfulness. Pete’s two travel rules (and now my own) are; never pass a bar with your name on it, and on entering a new town buy a copy of the local paper and read it over a local brew in the nearest pub

The first book McCarthys Bar documents his adventures exploring his Irish heritage. It starts with his trip back to his hometown in Ireland and continues across the country. The second book Road to McCarthy documents his trip to the town bearing his name in the US.
Pete was writing a third book before he sadly passed away before it could be completed.
These books are an absolute must for anyone travelling, the characters and places they document are so genuinely funny it makes them extremely hard to put down.