Fridays have a way of sneaking up on me these days. I love Fridays. Always have. When I was at school it was, with a bit of luck, the day we got off early. When I worked, Fridays were to be celebrated - the last day of my working week and the day before the weekend. What was not to like! Nowadays, there's a new cause for celebration. It's the day we join in with Annie, the host of Friday Smiles over on a Stitch In Time.
Once again, I've been nowhere, done nothing, and only had two very brief visits from family. Still, brief is better than the nothing we had to endure during the lockdowns. We're both having to deal with the various symptoms of Long-Covid which means, often as not, one or other of us, and sometimes both of us if we're really unlucky, is not up to having visitors. Today, unfortunately, it's Alan who is poorly, has been for the last couple of days, with terrible fatigue and lacking in energy. Very frustrating for him as he is such a get-up-and-go kind of man normally. So now that the days are getting longer we've been yearning for Spring and I've had these seats moved to a better position for watching the birds at the feeder. And catching the sun too. The border is a weedy mess at the moment but I'm hoping to sort that out once the weather is a bit warmer.
One of our visitors was grandson, William. All the family were up in Inverurie, near Aberdeen, to celebrate my SIL's father's 80th birthday at the weekend. While he was there, William took the opportunity to do a bit of hill walking and stopped off on his way to snap a few photos of Craigevar Castle in all it's pink glory. It's reputed to be the inspiration for Disney's Cinderella castle. It's also my favourite because the rooms are small, by castle standards, and so it feels cosier than most. William was pleased to bag his 43rd Munro - he has a way to go because there's 282 in Scotland alone.
I've been persuaded to put together a scrapbook album about me - something we scrappers so rarely do! So I thought I'd start with places that mean something to me and that had me starting at the beginning - where I was born. I was born in The Royal Victoria Hospital, in the village of Netley near Southampton. Prior to 1947, when I was born, Netley, as it was then known, had a reputation among the military as a mental hospital. Family history has it that I was the first baby to be born in the newly opened Maternity unit there. My one claim to fame you would think. Not for my father who was a sapper in the Royal Engineers at Marchwood at the time. It was his duty to register my birth so, given the hospitals reputation, he made a point of registering my birth as in the district of Eastleigh, another town near Southampton. There's no mention of the hospital or of Netley village on my birth certificate! It still makes me smile to know that every time I see my certificate.
And this is where my parents took me to live after I was born. It was then, and I think it still is now, three cottages. We lived in the one in the middle. I remember it well even though we left when I was around five years old. The single window you can see in the thatch was my parents bedroom. My brother Douglas was born there ... no Netley hospital for him! I remember the cottage, the garden and the neighbouring playing field, Lloyds Recreation Ground, all so well.
This is the church where we were baptised.
This is the shop where we got our sweetie rations.
And these are the New Forest ponies. I vividly remember them coming into the village in winter. It was a very cold winter, freezing and snowy conditions. They would have been hungry but I remember people putting food out for them too. My mother wrapped me up warm and carried me out to see them.
All photos of Netley and Marchwood were found on the Internet.
Apologies, once again, for what might be to some a boring post I hope, at least, that you like the photos and, perhaps, what I remember from my very early childhood.
I hope, too, that you've had equally good reasons to smile this week. If you have, why not join Annie over at A Stitch In Time
and make us smile too.