Monday, 4 January 2016

300 Years of History Comes To a Sad End and a Trip to the Horse Sanctuary

June 6th 2012

David and I walked to Ealing Broadway.  Even that was only around 8400 steps!  How do people ever make their 10,000 a day?

I made two superbly exciting purchases while I was there; gel pens in Tesco and anti-perspirent in Savers!  I forgot to get any headphones and also forgot that I needed a picture taken in the photo booth...the latter was especially annoying having just washed my hair the night before meaning I was feeling at my most confident for having my picture taken.  I wanted to go to the Body Shop too but didn't like to get David to walk to the other end of the shopping centre.

Oh well, at least I finally managed to get near enough to the Bob the Builder ride to take some photos!


We got new library cards.  I hadn't been a member of the library since I was about 14 and was eager to start reading again.  Obviously they hadn't missed me as the librarian "thought I'd been a member there for years"!  I couldn't believe how much the library had changed since I was last there.  There were hardly any books there now, just big open modern spaces, computers and a coffee shop!  And everybody was so rude and noisy.  In my day, everyone was forced to whisper or risk being thrown out but now everyone just spoke as normal...and one couple were even having a full blown argument, shouting "Don't talk to me!  I don't even know you any more!" across the library!

We walked back through Walpole Park and I got upset to see that four of the old trees that have been there for over 300 years had been deemed dangerous and were to be cut down.  I realise these things are necessary but it didn't make it any less sad.


Mum attempted to clean the kitchen countertops while we were out and discovered that they were scratched.  She tried to blame me but I don't see how I could have damaged them.  I never even cut anything directly on the countertop!

We had lentil soup for dinner - another first for me.  I loved it, but the smell of it mixed with the smell of cleaning products in the kitchen made me feel sick for some reason.

David returned to Grottsville as usual that night, announcing that he wouldn't be coming to see us at all the next day.  How nice for him to be able to choose which house to spend his days in!

June 7th 2012

It rained ALL DAY meaning I only managed to walk across the road to post two letters for Mum.  I wouldn't get fit or lose weight like that.

Ironically, the sun came out (very briefly) after that, but it was too late for me to go out as I knew it would cause too much aggro and stress with Mum.

Mum was in another obsessive cleaning mood and spent the day going up and down the stairs trying to clear up in various rooms.  Then she wondered why she was tired having spent most of the last few weeks sitting dead still!  Of course she automatically decided that her bad heart was to blame for her tiredness.  No, you were just overdoing it all at once, mother dearest!

She then turned around and had a go at me for "doing very little".  (Well, I was sitting down but only because I was listing on eBay and photographing more stuff to list...which IS another part of clearing up!)

June 8th 2012

David very briefly visited us from 2-6pm.  Grottsville seemed to have become his permanent home now.  He'd managed to hurt his toe on a bag of newspapers and magazines...good.  It served him right for keeping so many unpleasant things.

I walked to the South Ealing charity shops (where I found nothing) and to the Co-Op to buy cheap ice cream.  I got Magnums and what turned to to be the nicest ice cream I'd ever tasted, Ben & Jerry's Phish Food.  I wished I had the money to buy it more often!  Then again, wasn't I trying to lose weight?

I have a bit of a strange quirk when it comes to ice lollies.  Or rather, when it comes to the lolly sticks.  Something about my tongue touching the wet wood makes me feel funny.  My mouth feels like it's totally dried out!  I used to have a fear of doctors putting lolly sticks in my mouth to check my throat when I was a kid for the same reason.  Gosh, it's even happening now, just by thinking about it.  Well, there you go.  You always wanted to learn another of my weird quirks, didn't you?!

I found "Let's Play Poison", the episode of The Ray Bradbury Theatre which Shane Meier guest starred in, for free download online.  There weren't many of Shane Meier's TV appearances that I hadn't seen so it was nice to tick another one off.  Due to later occurrences, I must say that I don't take as much pleasure in watching these things as I used to, but I guess the old shows are always good for a laugh anyway!


I'd found a slot machine forum a few days previously which mentioned Andy, a chap who collected coin operated rides and had recently been featured in Mechanical Memories Magazine.  So, despite worrying that Andy might find me a bit weird or stalker-like, I tracked him down on eBay (quite easy really as he had a picture of two of his kiddie rides on his profile) and contacted him.  I'm glad I did as he wrote straight back and, as it turned out, became one of my best friends even to this very day.

What made things even more amazing was that it turned out that two of his rides were machines that I rode as a little girl!  

He had the RG Mitchell Moonbug which used to be at Willers Mill Safari Park where I went on my 8th birthday.


And, more interestingly, the Dalek ride from Bognor Pier!


As many of you will know, the rides of Bognor Pier were the rides that started my obsession with documenting old kiddie rides.  I first went to Bognor Pier in 1996 (when the above photograph was taken) and it was filled with rare, old rides from the 1950s-70s.  Sadly, the owner of the pier, John Harrison, retired that same year, and when I returned in 1997, I found that the new owner had disposed of all of the "old fashioned" machines.  I believed all of them to have been scrapped...although the Dalek and Magic Roundabout rides did make a brief reappearance in 1998/99 which gave me a small hope that the other rides might still be hiding out there in storage somewhere.  The Dalek had apparently been found in storage on Bognor Pier by a builder and Doctor Who enthusiast who had asked to buy it and restored it for his own collection a couple of years previously but then sold it onto Andy.  It was interesting to know that the Dalek had survived in storage right up until such recent times.  It made me wonder if there was any hope that my two favourite childhood rides, Carousel and Silver the life-sized horses, could have escaped the knacker's yard and still be hiding in a dark shed somewhere.

June 9th 2012

Andy sent me some more interesting ride pictures which he had saved from eBay over the years. (Before I'd even started looking for rides on there!)  One showed the Edwin Hall Noddy's Rock-a-Boat from Jackson's Pastimes in Mablethorpe.  I wonder if that one is still out there in someone's private collection?

David hired a car that night so we went to McDonalds for fries and Osterley Tesco.  David bought a horrible cut price sausage at the latter which resembled a piece of dog poo in both its appearance and fragrance.  I didn't want it anywhere near any food that I intended to eat and David got cross with me.

When we went through the self service checkout, it played up as usual, saying that items had been removed from the bagging area.  David blamed me for "picking things up and putting things down again" because I'd shifted our food to the opposite end of the bagging area to the dog poo sausage!  In fact, I hadn't touched it at that point.  If it was anyone's fault, it was his for putting the bananas too near to the scanner so that their full weight wasn't on the platform.  He was just annoyed that we weren't more accepting of his love of eating dead animals moulded into the shape of dog poo.

We discovered that the can of paint that David had brought all the way home on the bus from Richmond was leaking.  David had the bright idea of pouring the paint into a cake box.  As if the paint would really keep any better in there!  And he'd have ruined a perfectly good expensive cake box to boot!

Mum was in a terrible mood, accusing me of "spending too long on the computer and never doing anything when I should be gardening"...which was pretty hilarious when she wouldn't let me do any gardening as I wasn't strong enough as a mere woman anyway!  I know she was stressed about her test results and had convinced herself that she was having a heart attack every time she felt slightly tired or breathless, but that was no excuse to take it out on me!

June 10th 2012

Mum got me up at 5.45am because my computer wouldn't switch on again.  I'm feeling sick to my stomach reading these old blog notes as I can see I had countless warnings that the computer was packing up...but I still lost so much stuff when the inevitable eventually happened.  WHY didn't I back it up?!  WHY?!

David and I went to Redwings Horse Sanctuary for my adoption horse Dolly's birthday party.  Mum refused to come with us as it was "boring" and "doing something so strenuous might give her a heart attack"!  David was quite happy not to go at all.  He would paint the wall instead.  The "hire car money was not wasted as it had already been paid".  Eventually I persuaded him to take me but we got there late just as the party was starting.


I'm not sure why I bother with the parties anyway really as they're obviously aimed at kids, it's just that Dolly is not a very sociable pony and usually stays on the other side of the paddock when you go to see her any other time.  Today she and her best friend, Troy, had been put in a special area to see their fans.  Poor Troy was quite restless.


He was a friendly horse but only on his own terms and nobody ever restrains their kids in that place.  A group of horrible common children were climbing on the fence and yelling at Troy as he paced up and down and their mother just looked on.  It would have served them right if Troy had come and thrown the kids off of the fence, but I suppose poor old Troy would have got the blame as a dangerous animal then.

They were just so disrespectful.  The common children's mother actually climbed onto a hay truck while her partner took a photograph of her.  I wouldn't dare to climb on someone else's property in that way!

I think I managed to take some really nice photos for once.  (Which was nice as Dolly isn't normally very photogenic!)  Also pictured here are some of the other horses at Redwings including adoption star Finnegan (who is sadly no longer with us) and my favourite little pony, Lilly.


We went to McDonalds in the evening for yet more fries.  I'm surprised I didn't look like a fry by this point...then again, fries are thin little things, the exact opposite of what they cause us to be!

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

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