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Lambourn

Oct. 13th, 2011 06:29 pm
annwfyn: (Mood - sleepy/lazy hippo)
If anyone wanted to see the house I was brought up in, it is on display here.

Pics lie beneath... )



You can see the front of the house, the orchard wall to one side and the coach house (now garage and loft) to the other side. Opposite is the injured jockeys home which used to be a racing stable, from which horses used to ride out each morning at 6am. My bedroom window is on the far right of the house. This is my home and it feels good to be here.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.


Lambourn

Oct. 13th, 2011 06:29 pm
annwfyn: (Mood - sleepy/lazy hippo)
If anyone wanted to see the house I was brought up in, it is on display here.

Pics lie beneath... )



You can see the front of the house, the orchard wall to one side and the coach house (now garage and loft) to the other side. Opposite is the injured jockeys home which used to be a racing stable, from which horses used to ride out each morning at 6am. My bedroom window is on the far right of the house. This is my home and it feels good to be here.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.


Ice skating

Dec. 1st, 2008 11:09 pm
annwfyn: (christmas - snow falling)


God, I love December.

It began today with my visit to the Somerset House Ice Rink (see above) with my sisters + brother-in-law to be.

As a skating experience, it was kinda mediocre. The rink was very small, and so felt a bit cramped, and had many many people on it. Because of the latter, the people making the rink sweep it clean with fresh water every hour, betwen sessions, so the ice shifts from slick, wet and very slippery (at the start of the session) to massively churned up, rough and slushy (at the end of the session). The crowd on the ice included huge numbers of incredibly unsteady skaters, who seemed determined to hurl themselves beneath my blades, which left me really nervous.

As a Christmas experience, it was glorious. Skating outdoors is wonderful, and the environment is heavenly. The lights, the smells of mulled wine and the Christmassy music - it was just glorious.

I went with my two sisters and future-brother-in-law who proved to be a scarily good skater - one of those men who can skate sideways, whilst going backwards, before pulling up from high speed to stationary in 10 seconds and a spray of ice. Youngest Sister hadn't skated in years, but picked it up quickly, saying cheerily "this is a lot like cross country skiing". Middle Sister hadn't been on the ice since breaking her wrist a while ago, but we actually got her to go round a couple of times, with future-brother-in-law and I holding each of her hands.

Afterwards, there was hot chocolate and then we went for dinner.

I'm home now, warm and comfortable, and in a fantastically good mood. It was a magical magical evening.

Ice skating

Dec. 1st, 2008 11:09 pm
annwfyn: (christmas - snow falling)


God, I love December.

It began today with my visit to the Somerset House Ice Rink (see above) with my sisters + brother-in-law to be.

As a skating experience, it was kinda mediocre. The rink was very small, and so felt a bit cramped, and had many many people on it. Because of the latter, the people making the rink sweep it clean with fresh water every hour, betwen sessions, so the ice shifts from slick, wet and very slippery (at the start of the session) to massively churned up, rough and slushy (at the end of the session). The crowd on the ice included huge numbers of incredibly unsteady skaters, who seemed determined to hurl themselves beneath my blades, which left me really nervous.

As a Christmas experience, it was glorious. Skating outdoors is wonderful, and the environment is heavenly. The lights, the smells of mulled wine and the Christmassy music - it was just glorious.

I went with my two sisters and future-brother-in-law who proved to be a scarily good skater - one of those men who can skate sideways, whilst going backwards, before pulling up from high speed to stationary in 10 seconds and a spray of ice. Youngest Sister hadn't skated in years, but picked it up quickly, saying cheerily "this is a lot like cross country skiing". Middle Sister hadn't been on the ice since breaking her wrist a while ago, but we actually got her to go round a couple of times, with future-brother-in-law and I holding each of her hands.

Afterwards, there was hot chocolate and then we went for dinner.

I'm home now, warm and comfortable, and in a fantastically good mood. It was a magical magical evening.

Ashes...

Apr. 29th, 2008 09:45 am
annwfyn: (love - woman in white)
So, yesterday I went to Devon to join my family in the scattering of my grandfather's ashes.

It was easier than I was expecting, although getting up at 7.30 am on three hours sleep was pretty damn painful. I got the train from Waterloo to Whitchurch, then drove down to Devon with Dad and Penny.

We scattered his ashes on bluebell hill, at Lower Leigh in Devon where he lived until he had to give up farming when he was 80. It's where Grandma's ashes are buried too. It looks out across almost all the farm, even if it is now broken up and farmed by a variety of other people.

I found myself thinking, randomly, about an article I read years ago about pagan burial practices - often people were buried at specific points, often at boundary points, in order to emphasize their group's claim to the land. It was particularly common in Ireland. The idea was that if you were buried somewhere in death, that gave you a perpetual connection to that land, and through that to your bloodline. I think. It was a long time ago that I read it.

I like the idea that Grandad's farm at Lower Leigh - which was a massive part of his identity, and where Grandma's ashes were also scattered - is now his, in some odd way, for ever. He's a part of it, and it's a part of him. His place. And somewhere beautiful and big and open where he can rest, looking down across his place and his space.

That means something.

I got home at around 7 ish and bimbled around the house for a bit. My neck and shoulders are really acting up, so I had a long hot bath, and watched TV. They are worse this morning, and I think I'm getting into a vicious cycle where I get stressed, so they tighten up. Then because I'm in pain, I get snarky and ratty and wind up getting stressed. It's not good.

This morning I'm feeling generally slightly better about the world. I said goodbye to Grandad. And I feel better for letting him go like that.

Ashes...

Apr. 29th, 2008 09:45 am
annwfyn: (love - woman in white)
So, yesterday I went to Devon to join my family in the scattering of my grandfather's ashes.

It was easier than I was expecting, although getting up at 7.30 am on three hours sleep was pretty damn painful. I got the train from Waterloo to Whitchurch, then drove down to Devon with Dad and Penny.

We scattered his ashes on bluebell hill, at Lower Leigh in Devon where he lived until he had to give up farming when he was 80. It's where Grandma's ashes are buried too. It looks out across almost all the farm, even if it is now broken up and farmed by a variety of other people.

I found myself thinking, randomly, about an article I read years ago about pagan burial practices - often people were buried at specific points, often at boundary points, in order to emphasize their group's claim to the land. It was particularly common in Ireland. The idea was that if you were buried somewhere in death, that gave you a perpetual connection to that land, and through that to your bloodline. I think. It was a long time ago that I read it.

I like the idea that Grandad's farm at Lower Leigh - which was a massive part of his identity, and where Grandma's ashes were also scattered - is now his, in some odd way, for ever. He's a part of it, and it's a part of him. His place. And somewhere beautiful and big and open where he can rest, looking down across his place and his space.

That means something.

I got home at around 7 ish and bimbled around the house for a bit. My neck and shoulders are really acting up, so I had a long hot bath, and watched TV. They are worse this morning, and I think I'm getting into a vicious cycle where I get stressed, so they tighten up. Then because I'm in pain, I get snarky and ratty and wind up getting stressed. It's not good.

This morning I'm feeling generally slightly better about the world. I said goodbye to Grandad. And I feel better for letting him go like that.
annwfyn: (love - woman in white)
I don't know how many folk have seen the Cancer Research UK ads - the "I shouldn't be here" campaign. I have embedded a video of it below the cut.

Cancer Research UK ad )

More on the ad and Sally's brainspace about cancer )
annwfyn: (love - woman in white)
I don't know how many folk have seen the Cancer Research UK ads - the "I shouldn't be here" campaign. I have embedded a video of it below the cut.

Cancer Research UK ad )

More on the ad and Sally's brainspace about cancer )
annwfyn: (misc - salt flats)
My father just forwarded an e mail to me, with some tributes that the family have received since Grandad's death.

I'm feeling rather amazed by some of them:





    It is finally too late for our intention to meet him once. We always love Brewer spectrophotometer as it is a very intelligent and valuable instrument. Dr. Alan Brewer will be in our memory although we never met him and his work will be with us for last long.


That's from the Thai Meteorological Department.

Then there's this one:

    I feel very sad to get the news.

    Every people who works associated with the atmospheric ozone layer observation will never
    forget his important contributions.


That's from the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences.

Then there's another:

    I was shocked to learn about Dr.Alan Brewer's death and was deeply saddened by the
    news. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. May the departed soul rest in peace.
    His scientific achievements will be remembered always.


That was from India, and another from Tribuvan University in Nepal read:

    The Ozone study group of Nepal has been deeply shocked to hear the sad news of sudden demise of Prof. Alan Brewer.

    We pray to GOD for the ETERNAL PEACE of the departed soul and offer HEARTFELT CONDOLENCE to you and the family members at this sad moment. Every morning we will be remembering him when we stand near Brewer spectrophotometer. Our contribution to manage a clean environment within the Brewer data would be the everlasting remembrance to Prof Brewer.


I'm feeling slightly in awe, and a little bit tearful reading these...
annwfyn: (misc - salt flats)
My father just forwarded an e mail to me, with some tributes that the family have received since Grandad's death.

I'm feeling rather amazed by some of them:





    It is finally too late for our intention to meet him once. We always love Brewer spectrophotometer as it is a very intelligent and valuable instrument. Dr. Alan Brewer will be in our memory although we never met him and his work will be with us for last long.


That's from the Thai Meteorological Department.

Then there's this one:

    I feel very sad to get the news.

    Every people who works associated with the atmospheric ozone layer observation will never
    forget his important contributions.


That's from the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences.

Then there's another:

    I was shocked to learn about Dr.Alan Brewer's death and was deeply saddened by the
    news. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. May the departed soul rest in peace.
    His scientific achievements will be remembered always.


That was from India, and another from Tribuvan University in Nepal read:

    The Ozone study group of Nepal has been deeply shocked to hear the sad news of sudden demise of Prof. Alan Brewer.

    We pray to GOD for the ETERNAL PEACE of the departed soul and offer HEARTFELT CONDOLENCE to you and the family members at this sad moment. Every morning we will be remembering him when we stand near Brewer spectrophotometer. Our contribution to manage a clean environment within the Brewer data would be the everlasting remembrance to Prof Brewer.


I'm feeling slightly in awe, and a little bit tearful reading these...

Funeral

Dec. 3rd, 2007 07:26 pm
annwfyn: (Mood - fox curled up)
Back from OM's funeral.

It was lovely in the end.

It was held in East Garston village church, which was tiny and lovely. My uncle and aunt both did readings (my poor aunt was wobbly and tearful all the way through hers), and my Dad and John Houghton, who was one of my grandfather's phd students (many years ago) both spoke of Grandad's life.

I got to lay my white rose wrapped up in a painted ribbon on the coffin which meant a lot to me, and found out things about my grandad I never knew. Apparently Brewer-Dobson circulation (named for my Grandfather, who discovered it) is important in stratospheric science - a bit like the gulf stream is when studying ocean currents.

Afterwards we went back to his cottage, and I was asked to take a record of everyone who was there. This may be a flawed record, as I rapidly discovered that I can't tell eminent elderly physicists apart. I, very embarrassingly, asked one man for his name three times. I fear I may have missed some.

[profile] pierot was lovely and supportive, and looked after me lots. After the funeral, he took me out and got me chicken ceasar salad and then I came home.

Hopefully normal service will resume tomorrow...

Funeral

Dec. 3rd, 2007 07:26 pm
annwfyn: (Mood - fox curled up)
Back from OM's funeral.

It was lovely in the end.

It was held in East Garston village church, which was tiny and lovely. My uncle and aunt both did readings (my poor aunt was wobbly and tearful all the way through hers), and my Dad and John Houghton, who was one of my grandfather's phd students (many years ago) both spoke of Grandad's life.

I got to lay my white rose wrapped up in a painted ribbon on the coffin which meant a lot to me, and found out things about my grandad I never knew. Apparently Brewer-Dobson circulation (named for my Grandfather, who discovered it) is important in stratospheric science - a bit like the gulf stream is when studying ocean currents.

Afterwards we went back to his cottage, and I was asked to take a record of everyone who was there. This may be a flawed record, as I rapidly discovered that I can't tell eminent elderly physicists apart. I, very embarrassingly, asked one man for his name three times. I fear I may have missed some.

[profile] pierot was lovely and supportive, and looked after me lots. After the funeral, he took me out and got me chicken ceasar salad and then I came home.

Hopefully normal service will resume tomorrow...
annwfyn: (mood - church/graveyard)
Tonight I've got a ribbon laid out in front of me.

I had a long chat with my Dad yesterday about OM's funeral. I said that basically, it was important to me to be able to contribute something to his funeral that felt personal to me. I raised Raven's suggestion of making a ribbon to wrap around the stem of a flower, and so tonight I am making a ribbon.

I'm trying to pain on it with glitter and glue. It's not brilliant, but it's mine.

I did love my grandad.

It's not been an easy week.

For large chunks of the week I've been horribly on edge. I've been overreacting to things, and getting incredibly upset over nothing. Now, with everything sorted with my family, and nothing really to worry about other than the drive to East Garston on Monday I'm sliding into this odd kind of zen that I had just after Mum died. All the little things just don't seem important now. I've got my friends. I've got my Jeremiah. I've got my little house, with the two cats that yowl to be fed, and curl up around me in the evenings.

That matters.

Nothing else does.

Oh, by the way, in case anyone is wondering, the new title for my LJ comes from a Tennyson poem. It's a Christmas poem that I love very much, and is there only for December.

A poem, for those who are interested )
annwfyn: (mood - church/graveyard)
Tonight I've got a ribbon laid out in front of me.

I had a long chat with my Dad yesterday about OM's funeral. I said that basically, it was important to me to be able to contribute something to his funeral that felt personal to me. I raised Raven's suggestion of making a ribbon to wrap around the stem of a flower, and so tonight I am making a ribbon.

I'm trying to pain on it with glitter and glue. It's not brilliant, but it's mine.

I did love my grandad.

It's not been an easy week.

For large chunks of the week I've been horribly on edge. I've been overreacting to things, and getting incredibly upset over nothing. Now, with everything sorted with my family, and nothing really to worry about other than the drive to East Garston on Monday I'm sliding into this odd kind of zen that I had just after Mum died. All the little things just don't seem important now. I've got my friends. I've got my Jeremiah. I've got my little house, with the two cats that yowl to be fed, and curl up around me in the evenings.

That matters.

Nothing else does.

Oh, by the way, in case anyone is wondering, the new title for my LJ comes from a Tennyson poem. It's a Christmas poem that I love very much, and is there only for December.

A poem, for those who are interested )
annwfyn: (love - woman in white)
My grandfather just died.

I called him Grandad when I was little, but as I grew older I, and my sisters, took to calling him 'OM', short for 'Old Man', which was what my aunt (his daughter) always called him. He was 92 when he died, having lived a really extraordinary life.

He was one of the first scientists to research the ozone layer. He delivered the first ever paper on the subject to the UN, back in the 1950s, and lived long enough to attend a conference held to mark the fiftieth anniversary of this at Oxford University. He was also one of the first scientists to address the UN on some of the issues thrown up by the development on the atomic bomb - specifically what effect these bombs had on the atmosphere and stratosphere.

He was a professor at Oxford University, MIT, and the University of Toronto.

He was a professor of meteorology, a highly skilled carpenter, and was a professional farmer for many years, keeping herds of sheep and cattle at his gorgeous farm in Devon until his late 70s.

He also kept several gallon drums of arsenic in his garden shed. He claimed it was to help his arthritis. No one knew why he needed quite so much, nor why he asked my sister if she could fetch him a small bottle of it when he was confined to a nursing home last year.

He feuded relentlessly with his neighbours over the boundary line between their houses, ultimately deciding to take matters into his own hands. He chopped down the boundary fence with a chainsaw. What was particularly alarming about this was that he was 90 years old at the time, and allegedly only able to walk with a zimmer frame.

He loathed the concept of taxation, and therefore always insisted on addressing all letters to the Inland Revenue with such phrases as 'To the Bloodsucking Leeches of the Government'. They always replied quite politely, which didn't deter him from continuing with his letter writing campaigns.

He only stopped doing handbrake turns in his car when he was in his seventies. He remained, however, a truly terrifying driver. I still remember with terror the one time he drove me from my home in Lambourn to the train station, twenty minutes away.

He was, in many ways, incredibly eccentric. I always thought that was because he was a genius, and that was what they did. I admired him, I loved him, and I will miss him terribly.

Rest in peace, OM.
annwfyn: (love - woman in white)
My grandfather just died.

I called him Grandad when I was little, but as I grew older I, and my sisters, took to calling him 'OM', short for 'Old Man', which was what my aunt (his daughter) always called him. He was 92 when he died, having lived a really extraordinary life.

He was one of the first scientists to research the ozone layer. He delivered the first ever paper on the subject to the UN, back in the 1950s, and lived long enough to attend a conference held to mark the fiftieth anniversary of this at Oxford University. He was also one of the first scientists to address the UN on some of the issues thrown up by the development on the atomic bomb - specifically what effect these bombs had on the atmosphere and stratosphere.

He was a professor at Oxford University, MIT, and the University of Toronto.

He was a professor of meteorology, a highly skilled carpenter, and was a professional farmer for many years, keeping herds of sheep and cattle at his gorgeous farm in Devon until his late 70s.

He also kept several gallon drums of arsenic in his garden shed. He claimed it was to help his arthritis. No one knew why he needed quite so much, nor why he asked my sister if she could fetch him a small bottle of it when he was confined to a nursing home last year.

He feuded relentlessly with his neighbours over the boundary line between their houses, ultimately deciding to take matters into his own hands. He chopped down the boundary fence with a chainsaw. What was particularly alarming about this was that he was 90 years old at the time, and allegedly only able to walk with a zimmer frame.

He loathed the concept of taxation, and therefore always insisted on addressing all letters to the Inland Revenue with such phrases as 'To the Bloodsucking Leeches of the Government'. They always replied quite politely, which didn't deter him from continuing with his letter writing campaigns.

He only stopped doing handbrake turns in his car when he was in his seventies. He remained, however, a truly terrifying driver. I still remember with terror the one time he drove me from my home in Lambourn to the train station, twenty minutes away.

He was, in many ways, incredibly eccentric. I always thought that was because he was a genius, and that was what they did. I admired him, I loved him, and I will miss him terribly.

Rest in peace, OM.
annwfyn: (Sally - looking backwards)
I went home to Lambourn yesterday, which I do far too rarely, and lo! It was good.

I somehow acquired a rosebush, an orange juicer and a casserole dish, and also managed to sort through the piles and piles of old clothes (dating back to my early teens) which were filling my bedroom at home. Four bin bags later (three to be recycled, one to be donated to Oxfam) I'm now down to two drawers full of clothes that I need to find a place for in London, and a bag of clothes brought back home with me today. I was a little alarmed to realise just how much weight I've put on since my teens - I was going through jeans, skirts and tops which were a size 10. My favourite smart skirt from my sixth form years (the skirt I wore to my Oxford interview, and for my driving test) didn't even fit my 5'1", size 10 sister. I swear to God - I just never ate when I was seventeen!

I had forgotten this whilst heading home, but it appears that the Lambourn Carnival was this weekend. It was actually a bit of a sad spectacle in some ways. I remember the Carnival being a big deal when I was little - people standing out on the pavement all the way along the route, a field full of lorries carrying the carnival floats assembling at the start of the parade, lots and lots of bright costumes, and my old riding school always used to have at least ten or so kids dressed up on horse back.

This year there were three floats, and about five or six groups on foot. The costumes were still lovely - well done, but standard cheap and cheerful village costume fare - but the whole thing just seemed so much smaller, and the reception much more muted. I stood outside our house, with my sisters and stepmother, and we threw coins into buckets enthusiastically, but I couldn't help but feel a little sad that the entire thing had faded so much.

Maybe it's Lambourn changing - house prices have gone up, a lot of the old families can't afford to live there anymore, the racing industry has moved out of the village to Upper Lambourn, and the farming industry is not that stable anymore. Maybe it's just that the times are changing and villages don't have their own little carnivals so much anymore. I don't know, but I think it's a real real shame.
annwfyn: (Sally - looking backwards)
I went home to Lambourn yesterday, which I do far too rarely, and lo! It was good.

I somehow acquired a rosebush, an orange juicer and a casserole dish, and also managed to sort through the piles and piles of old clothes (dating back to my early teens) which were filling my bedroom at home. Four bin bags later (three to be recycled, one to be donated to Oxfam) I'm now down to two drawers full of clothes that I need to find a place for in London, and a bag of clothes brought back home with me today. I was a little alarmed to realise just how much weight I've put on since my teens - I was going through jeans, skirts and tops which were a size 10. My favourite smart skirt from my sixth form years (the skirt I wore to my Oxford interview, and for my driving test) didn't even fit my 5'1", size 10 sister. I swear to God - I just never ate when I was seventeen!

I had forgotten this whilst heading home, but it appears that the Lambourn Carnival was this weekend. It was actually a bit of a sad spectacle in some ways. I remember the Carnival being a big deal when I was little - people standing out on the pavement all the way along the route, a field full of lorries carrying the carnival floats assembling at the start of the parade, lots and lots of bright costumes, and my old riding school always used to have at least ten or so kids dressed up on horse back.

This year there were three floats, and about five or six groups on foot. The costumes were still lovely - well done, but standard cheap and cheerful village costume fare - but the whole thing just seemed so much smaller, and the reception much more muted. I stood outside our house, with my sisters and stepmother, and we threw coins into buckets enthusiastically, but I couldn't help but feel a little sad that the entire thing had faded so much.

Maybe it's Lambourn changing - house prices have gone up, a lot of the old families can't afford to live there anymore, the racing industry has moved out of the village to Upper Lambourn, and the farming industry is not that stable anymore. Maybe it's just that the times are changing and villages don't have their own little carnivals so much anymore. I don't know, but I think it's a real real shame.

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