Meeting Gilly

Who do you know that’s crazy enough to sit on a coach for 8 hours in a day just to meet me?  Why, Gilly, of course!  My lovely Lucid Gypsy friend. She of the luscious poetry and the lust for life.  Crazy, but so lovable!  Warm-hearted, impulsive, prone to hugs and tears, yet a lady of very good taste.  Didn’t she ‘follow’ me to Tavira, and like what she found there?  (Just the right mix of shabby and chique)  All this I knew, but not the lady herself.  If you’ve never ‘met’ Gilly, you’re in for a treat.


Doesn’t that smile say it all?  Of course, there were the charms of Birmingham on offer too.  It’s not every day you’ll find charm and Birmingham in the same sentence, but I absolutely loved the city.  Even though on arrival I thought I’d come to a demolition site!

It was Gilly’s suggestion to meet in ‘Brum’ (didn’t I say she was a lady of taste?).  A ‘midway’ point between Hartlepool in north east England and Exeter in Devon.  We actually managed 8 hours together, which in the circumstances wasn’t bad.  A week might have been better.  What did we actually do, you’ll be wanting to know?  Talk!  Laugh!  Share stories.  Exchange hugs.  But not enough!  Never enough hugs.  I’ll give you a quick glimpse of our day.

It was raining gently when I got up, and this steadily increased to a deluge.  But Gilly brought the sunshine with her.  First stop, coffee, of course! No, don’t get over excited!  Gilly had an Eccles cake to keep her going till lunch.  Nothing more exotic, for now.  I had booked us on to a guided walking tour (well, you know me!) at 1.30pm.  So, after talking, and talking, we set off in the direction of the Library, for the start of the tour.

Not just any library, you understand.  Birmingham Library is a monolithic yet beautiful structure, and I suspect we could have spent most of our day there.  Built over 10 levels, with garden terraces on floors 3 and 7, with a Shakespeare Memorial Room in the Rotunda at the top.  Need I say more?


Look- blue skies too!  We raced back down from the 9th floor just in time to join Jonathan and Dawn from Positively Birmingham Walking Tours. Jonathan, a history buff, and Dawn his apprentice.  I’ll spare you the details but it was quite useful for orientation. Our visit had coincided with graduation day for the Law students at the university, and as we headed into the ICC we were awash with gowns, mortar boards and excited faces.

For me, the best bit was Gas Street Basin and the narrowboats, and exchanging smiles and small asides with Gilly.  The tour was to last 1-2 hours, but time together was precious for me and Gilly.  And hunger pangs were setting in.  Back at the Library we tacitly agreed to drop out, made our apologies and headed back to the canals.  We sat outside the delightfully quirky Canalside Bar and let the world of water entertain us.  And talked, around eating and drinking, of course!

All too soon it was time to head towards separation.  I walked Gilly back in the direction of the Bull Ring and there we found a sunny seat outside Bill’s.  Apparently also a favourite of Gilly’s down in Exeter.  Bramble mojito was a very lovely way to round off our day.  Gilly had Peach Bellini.  Ah, bliss!  I wonder when we can do it again?

For Gilly’s version of events, have a look at A Gypsy and a Restless One.

Joy is… the company of strangers

This is a great time of year to show a little appreciation.  I have in my head that children’s Christmas carol that goes… ‘There isn’t any room, there isn’t any room, there isn’t any room for strangers’.  I like to think that there’s a little space for ‘strangers’ on this blog. Some of them have turned into the most wonderful friends!




















I started out with such a great idea!  I wanted to create a Christmas tree out of ‘baubles’.  Each of those baubles would represent a special blogging friend.  Sadly the reality hasn’t quite lived up to my expectations.  My ‘baubles’ have kind of fallen off the tree!  Ah, me and technology!  A fatal combination.  Never mind!  I’m glad it’s the thought that counts.

If you click on a photo it will take you to a person who brings me joy.  I don’t have space on my ‘tree’ for everybody. What a tree that would be!  Please be sure there are many more of you who brighten my life, and I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone.  This is a very special world we bloggers have, isn’t it, where strangers can become friends?  Sending you all Christmas hugs!


I’m linking this to Kan’s Joy is…  This week Yvette has posted a very thoughtful Christmas message. (she’s the little white rocking horse!)  It’s just how Christmas should be.

Wishing you peace and joy this Christmas!  I hope the New Year smiles on you.  A very Merry Christmas, one and all!


WordPress Family Award


The sun is sparkling. the cherry blossom has finally arrived and once again I’ve received a big hug from my lovely world of bloggers.  Doesn’t that sound to you like the perfect day?

If I dip back into my blogging past, I will find countless kind and heartwarming comments from Sonel, and that’s really what this award is all about.  Simply extending the hand of friendship. Sonel loves the natural world and her superb photography reflects this.  May I simply say thank you Sonel, for this award and for your friendship, with a small gallery of Spring flowers?

You’ll be glad to know that there are no complicated rules to accepting the award, which makes it quick and easy to pass on.  I don’t even have to tell you how I can stand on one leg while playing the piano and juggling eggs at the same time. (but I will, if you want)

All I do is nominate 10 people who’ve made my blogging world a delight, link back to them of course, and don’t forget to tell them.

Dear Bliary 

There isn’t a kinder heart in the blogging world than Gemma’s, so many thanks Gem.

My guilty pleasures

I can hardly imagine life without Viveka- can you?

Francine in Retirement

Appreciation, of all things in life gifted from God, is this lady’s middle name.


Nicole wanders the world trying to do her very best to make it a better place.

The Urge to Wander

Warmth, encouragement, and understanding, coupled with gifted photography and prose- Madhu doesn’t stint on any of these.

Lost in Translation

I was awfully slow to realise what this lady does for a living, but Paula simply smiled, and acknowledged the friendship. 

The world is a book

Amy is yet another warm, encouraging lady, who puts enormous thought and effort into her blog.

Another day in paradise

Ad, Sylvia that is, makes me laugh.  What can be better than that?


Christine has a dream of a kinder world.  Her posts are always gentle and nurturing.

This man’s journey

Is there a more hard-working, inspirational man in the blogging world?  If there is, I don’t know him.

Lorna’s Tearoom Delights

Lorna, I don’t like to cook, hate tea, and food I can take or leave (within reason) but you’ve been a constant source of pleasure.

A Nomad in the land of Nizwa (Catbird in Oman)

Cath is here, there and everywhere, determined to live life to its very fullest.  I respect and admire her efforts.

I don’t think I can count, and as usual, now that I’ve started I could go on and on….  The full “rules” are on Sonel’s Corner.  I’d better set about complying.  Have a good weekend all.