Sunday, 23 November 2014

{cousins' birthday weekend}

Last weekend I celebrated my birthday with my cousins...It was absolutely fantastic. I haven't felt so spoiled since I was a kid!
{my welcome sign!}

On the Friday night a great feast was prepared and on Saturday we walked between two gorgeous villages--Great Bardfield to Finchingfield.
{lovely cottages in Great Bardfield}

 & a walk through lovely fields and forest to, Finchingfield:
{the green at Finchingfield}

{stopped for Cream Tea at Bosworths Tearooms}
Home to my cousins' for a big birthday bash:

{fancy dress masks!}

 At dinner we recited this poem my Dad composed for me:

Friday the thirteenth
Auspicious day
That launched our scholar
On her way.

Today we toast
With joy anew
Leaps, Tinz or Dr. Clark
“Now here’s to you!”

Across the oceans
You have sailed
From many a port
You now have hailed.

Of the Coca Cola Club
You were the founder
Making sense of dollars
All the sounder.

“Three cheers”, we cry
“We wish at length,
“That on you move
“From strength to strength.”

“May the next year
“Be as full and free
“And all we wish

“Your life to be!”

{Happy Birthday to me!}

{I love these balloons with lights inside them!}
 A walk on Sunday brought us to this cute little church:

{beautiful autumn colours & mist!}

Thursday, 20 November 2014

{quotable thursdays}

Lots to do today, so this will be a brief quote, but one that I hope makes you aim to be a better person:
That person will be different for all of us. 
The important bit is not that you change yourself for others, but that you become the person, who you, yourself would want to meet and know. It also gives you a chance to look into the mirror and see if you've adopted any bad habits recently;)

I had a fantastic birthday weekend at my cousins, so will post pics of that soon!

Friday, 14 November 2014

{belated quotable thursdays-birthdays!}

{balloons & cards}

Hello blogworld,
Sorry I missed quotable thursdays yesterday, but I had a good excuse: it was my birthday!
I took the day off and ventured into Barnes, a lovely village in London that harkens back to another time, when London streets weren't quite so busy, where the local pub was charming and quiet and where shops shut early and life is refined. Simply a lovely day.
I was blessed with loads of love from all of my friends and family in all the various forms--snail mail, cards, phone calls, skype chats, facebook posts, emails, e-cards, texts, etc....
Here is a fantastic quote for a birthday girl:
{party tonight!}
The morning started off with yummy cakes, coffee & of course Buck's Fizz.

 & a few pictures from my day in Barnes:

{cream tea at the lovely Orange Pekoe}

{gorgeous homes in Barnes}

{a lovely birthday pint before a roaring fire at the charming Idle Hour pub}

I'm off to my cousins' this weekend for more b-day celebrations. Stay tuned for pics!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

{poppies at the Tower of London}

My mum's relative, John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Armed Forces, scribbled down a poem on May 1915 in Ypres, that would become the most recited poem on Remembrance Day:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

I am grateful that guns no longer are heard above our heads here in London, but I am also reminded that so many people around the world do not know peace.
The exhibition at the Tower of London, which I visited a couple of weekends ago, offers a poignant visual to the text: 


Saturday, 8 November 2014

{wedding in the Black Forest Part II}

In my previous blog, I shared pictures from my trip to Germany last month for my cousin's wedding. Those were pictures of various excursions, including a trip to Strasbourg and walks through the Black Forest. Below you will find pictures of the wedding itself. It was an amazing event, and very emotional, in a good way. What a wedding should be!

As you will have read in my blog this past summer, my uncle was lost at sea in July. It was a sad, tragic, and traumatic event for us all. My cousin decided to go through with the wedding, even though the memory of her father's loss was still at the forefront of all of our minds and in our hearts. The wedding was a lesson for us all--that in the midst of tragedy, new life springs, and the world can be a hopeful place, even a happy place, even when we have lost someone so dear to us. Marian is a demonstration of her Dad's courage. She exemplifies his sense of adventure and his perseverance, and he was very much there in spirit.
In my father's words, regarding his brother (my uncle):
"What are we to learn from all this as we seek a path through the mists of deep sorrow and uncertainty?  My brother was a competent mariner; his little ship was built by his own hands with extreme care; he had rehearsed and the planned for capsize and other scenarios that could beset him on this voyage.  The greatest disservice we could do to Paul’s memory in the wake of this mishap is to retreat to the false position that such “escapades” are foolhardy.  No mountains would be climbed, no Arctic wastes traversed, no oceans crossed without the springs of adventure that ran deep in my brother.
...he died doing what he loved.  Let this be the memory we take with us from his last passage.  A man of faith and an inspiration to many, I know he will be welcomed into the arms of the Master he served with the words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” "

Indeed, the wedding was a celebration of life, of faith, and of adventure. For what is a marriage, but a leap of faith with the person that you love, an adventure and a journey, and most importantly, a belief in an everlasting love?

{my cousin David walks his sister down the aisle}

{they're MARRIED!}


{me & my cousins}

{dancing on the river...}

{the Ihlings}

{only have eyes for you....}

{me and my cousin}

{the bride}

{happy couple}

{mother of the bride, my sweet aunt}

{lots of champers!}

{first dance}
{my pillbox net fascinator}


Congratulations to the married couple!! & thanks to all the guests who made it so much fun!