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Showing posts from July, 2012

Final Night with the Boys!

By Belinda


Tim and John, our nephews came over to say goodbye tonight as we leave early in the morning.


Here Bruce was playing with Tim, a favourite game where he rolls a ball back and forth to whoever will play!






Rob said that this angle made him look far bigger than he is.


So I tried another angle (below) :) There's just a lot of him to love. :)

Paul helped Bruce find a kong that had disappeared behind the television set.


It has been so good to be here for these two weeks that have flown so fast. I am grateful for the many happy memories that will travel with me. 


The next time I post will be from home!


Big Excitement

Note from Belinda


The sadness at leaving Rob on our last day here is softened by excitement at another event that I am so thrilled to point readers to. 


My dear friend Dave, known to many readers here through his frequent comments and occasional guest posts, invited me to write an article with him for the August edition of a newsletter for direct care professionals: Service, Support and Success.


The article is titled: Faith, Freedom and Fealty: Supporting People with Disabilities to Live Freely.  


Please see Dave's post: August Newsletter is Out for details on how to order a copy and subscribe to the newsletter, which comes out monthly. Just 


If you work supporting people, or know anyone who does, you will find the newsletter  excellent reading.


Working on this article with Dave was a highlight of my writing life so far, although rather than being the lead writer as Dave generously says on his blog, I had the supporting role!


I felt God's energy flowing through all of it and know tha…

Rest in Peace Uncle John

By Belinda

To give some context to our day today, I am adding a link to a previous post: Remembering Uncle Johnin memory of a dear member of our family who through his visits to us in Canada, became known and loved by many of our friends, and also by those who have read about him here on Whatever He Says.


When Paul and I were here in January I wrote about our hope to scatter his ashes; in Memories and Mortality; but it proved too difficult to get everyone together at that time.


But today six of us gathered high in the breathtakingly beautiful Malvern Hills, near the town that is Paul's birthplace, to scatter Uncle John's ashes in a place that was special to him. Paul and I were there with Stephen and Sam, Uncle John's sons--and Arthur and Liz, close friends of Uncle John's. 




We met at the place called Wyche Cutting, overlooking Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The photographs don't do justice to the panorama below us.


The rain that we could see rolling in across the fi…

Bromsgrove

By Belinda


These are some photos from Thursday, when we had lunch with Paul's cousin (Uncle John's son) Stephen, and then drove to the nearby ancient town of Bromsgrove (click the link to read of the interesting history.) We enjoyed walking down the pedestrian High Street and looking in the many charity shops. I found a great book in one of them!


Later we stopped for coffee at Costa's Coffee and I could not resist a giant version of my favourite cookie--Custard Creams. I am apparently not alone in my passion. According to Wikipedia, in a 2007 survey of 7,000 British people, 9 out of 10 claimed it as their favourite "biscuit!"










"Bruce-speak"

By Belinda


I wrote a couple of days ago about Rob speaking Bruce's thoughts out loud and thought, "How do I explain that to readers?" 


I thought I'd share a couple of examples from this morning! 


I had been to The Meadows and was telling Rob about six dogs of various breeds and sizes, who were there with their owners in a group, all of the dogs in high spirits and running around in circles, playing with one another. 


Rob went into Bruce-speak mode on behalf of Bruce, who was sitting close by, "I would love to join in," he said, "but my breeding comes out, I can't help it."


Later, as Bruce jumped to attention and full bark in response to the sound of another dog beyond the open window of the flat--as he does numerous times throughout the day and evening, Rob/Bruce said, "I've got to let them know there's a dog here, or they'll think they can come and get my people." :)


Hearing my tall brother with deep and booming voice, speakin…

The Meadows

By Belinda


The Meadows were a gift to generations of children in Alvechurch by a mother and father who had lost one of theirs.


A plaque on one of the brick gateposts bears testimony to the heartbreak that blossomed into joy for others over the years:


'These Playing Fields Were Given For the Use of the Children of Alvechurch by Walter William and Edith Wiggin of The Forehill House in Memory of Their Son, George Robert Wiggin Who was Killed in Action in Sinai, on April 23rd, 1916."


Imagine choosing to make such a gift rather than retreating into bitterness or resentment; choosing generosity and lavish love in memory of someone so precious, lost to them. 


Jack Holmes, another villager built on the foundation of kindness with gifts of imagination and ingenuity, creating playthings for children from scraps and leftovers: needle grinding stones; a lorry axle and a huge packing case. 


These were all still there when we were children. Of course they wouldn't meet the stringent safety s…

Morning Glory

By Belinda


I am first to wake in the mornings here; sometime between 6 and 6.30; and get up from the roll-out bed that Paul and I share in Rob's living room. 


Bruce is asleep either in the hallway on a quilt, or in his bed lined with cushions under the shelves in Rob's storage cupboard. He doesn't stir as I tiptoe past on my way to the bathroom, but is ready the moment I emerge,  getting to his feet with an ear flapping shake. He is still in his "pajamas." This is what Rob calls Bruce's attire when he takes off his collar at the end of each day. He always says that his pajamas look very much like his stripey day suit! :) Mum used to love that little joke, as well as when Rob would speak Bruce's thoughts out loud. She would say with a laugh, "I love it when you do that!"


I pick up Bruce's collar from its place by the kitchen door, and a lead from the hook at the top of the stairs, as Bruce rockets to the bottom and waits to be "dressed"…

Tuesday

By Belinda


Help! I have some catching up to do in chronicling this vacation. :)


Our friends John and Margherita Wheeler invited Rob, Paul and I over for lunch on Tuesday. Although Margherita was born in England, her mother was Italian and she had created a four course Italian feast that did justice to her mothers' homeland!


We started off with traditional Italian antipasto, which Margherita explained means "before pasta." The antipasto was an assortment of cured meats, olives, goat cheese and artichokes. I learned how to pronounce prosciutto properly--"proshooto." 


Next came the most flavourful pasta I have ever tasted. The secret of the intense flavour in the tomato sauce? It had simmered for four hours the day before, and two hours the day it was served. 

All of this was accompanied by a white wine (Liebfraumilch) and red Chianti.

Next came the main course: escalope alla Milanese which was thinly sliced beef, marinaded overnight in beaten egg, dipped in home made b…

Monday's Adventure

By Belinda  It will seem that we have spent our time here eating. Well, it is true that a lot of our getting together with friends has been over food!
Last week, soon after arriving, we bumped into Paul's childhood neighbour, Paul Atkinson and his wife, Jean, with whom we have maintained contact over the years. They suggested that--yes of course--we get together for a meal. And we agreed to meet at the Red Lion where I had enjoyed a lovely meal with Susan on our last day here in March. Andrew Atkinson, Paul's brother, joined us too, and we spent several hours enjoying good food and good company.
Paul and Andrew's father, died on April 28th (his son Paul's 70th birthday) at the age of 97, so we had common ground there. Mr. Atkinson senior was someone my Paul loved as a child. He used to call Paul, "Bobby" inexplicably (maybe to differentiate him from his son Paul) and Paul would accompany him to the market, pushing a wheelbarrow with gospel tracts and materials fo…