Monday, 26 July 2010

Old Parts

I took this weekend off from the paintball site to meet three Australian cousins: two firsts and a second. They are here because second (daughter of one of the firsts) is doing a PhD in astro-physics at Oxford, so her mother and aunt have come over to see her and meet us. They have been staying with another cousin near Oxford; he held a huge meet the whole family party earlier in the month but I didn't go because I had no money for the petrol. Luckily they wanted to see the Lake District, and we have another cousin who lives in Manchester, so we met up there on Saturday.

My sister, who lives even further north than me, and her husband came too. They got the train to a station from which I could pick them up, and off we drove. Thank goodness they were with me, when we got lost she was able to phone for directions.

It was lovely to be back in cousin J's house again, it had been her parent's before so I had spent many a sunny summer week there as a child. Her husband is an antique dealer who likes to paint things green, and bring home interesting things.

The shed door-stop.

Elements of other past lives merge with ours.

On Saturday evening Oxford cousin took Aussie cousins to a hotel on Lake Windermere, we stayed with Manchester cousin but arranged to meet for Sunday lunch in Bowness on our way back up to Scotland. Blimey it was busy!

It's changed since I was last there, too. I remember it being pretty but full of shops that sold stuff I wouldn't be seen dead with, and rancid fat cafés. Like any tourist spot it still has those but it also has shops that sell things like this:

(it's made out of a old boat and if I'd had two hundred and seventy nine quid and space in my car I'd have bought it for the garden, minus the shells),


and we were able to find somewhere non-rancid for lunch:

This morning I was distracted by a link on another blog to a wordle site, and spent far too long choosing colour and shape. Maybe I could justify the time spent by finding a way to use it at Thursday's workshop. I tried to put it on my sidebar but couldn't see how, so had to put it here. I couldn't work out how to save it to my computer either. Any tips would be gratefully received.

Wordle: Beulah O'Donahue

Update: I managed it all by myself, see sidebar.


Carole said...

"An antique dealer who loves to paint things green." I love that image.

Sounds like you had a great time. Cousins can be fun and interesting.

Good luck with the wordle. I have zero help.

Alesa Warcan said...

Sounds like a fun weekend! : j
What exactly do you want to do with the wordle?

Does this help?

Elisabeth said...

Australian cousins? Wow, Eryl. From where in Australia? Maybe I know them.

Do you ever get that ridiculous feeling when you visit another place and hear of someone from where you live, you imagine you might know them, notwithstanding the fact that there are many many millions of people living in Australia.

I doubt I'd know them.

A happy family reunion by the sound of things, Eryl.

Anonymous said...

You always seem full of beans!

Eryl Shields said...

Carole ~ I am tempted to tell you the story my cousin told me about his green painting of things, but will leave your imagination to work on it.

Cousins are great!

Alesa ~ it was, though I'm so tired now. I can't eat and talk like I used to!

Thanks for the link I'll check it out, though I suddenly realised how to do what I wanted.

Elisabeth ~ they live in Perth, which, if I remember correctly, is quite a distance from you. Of course, that doesn't mean you won't know them. They are maternal cousins and thus Burmese-ish, do you know any Burmese-ish people from Perth?

It was a very happy family reunion, I really enjoy the company of my family.

Jenny ~ my mum used to tell me that!

Kass said...

Oooh, I love to kanoodle with cousins.
This sounded fun.

I always take a picture of the screen when I do a wordle because I don't want to sign up with them or try to print out their version. Congratulations for figuring out how to sidebar it. "Beulah O'Donahue" is lovely in color and content.

Pat said...

It really is worth the effort to make these family parties. I'm so sad to miss my niece's wedding in October.
Ah - Bowness in the thirties was magical. At least the hills don't change.
I had a lovely black haemotite ring from a gem shop there and it was one of the pieces of jewellry I jettisoned - one drunken evening - for a fresh start with MTL.
Can't help with the techie stuff but I know a man who can. His name is Kim:)

Eryl Shields said...

Kass ~ me too, and I rarely get to do it these days. Family banter is great and every time I meet my cousins it seems we have grown more alike.

Taking a photo of the screen is a jolly good idea.

They didn't have quite the range of colours I hoped for, however I'm quite pleased with what I've ended up with, and it's just a bit of fun anyway.

Pat ~ it's very sad that you must miss your niece's wedding.

Bowness is still pretty magical in the off season, I must make a point of visiting it later in the year (it's only about and hour or so from here), and I'll look out for a gem shop.

Alesa Warcan said...

@Kass and Eryl: Just to make sure, when you say photos you mean screen caps, right?

The Unbearable Banishment said...

If I was in the same room with an astro-physicist and an antique dealer, I'd be afraid to open my mouth. I talk a pretty good game but I doubt my usual stream of bullshit would fool those two!

Titus said...

I'm still boggled by the PhD in Astro-Physics.
And love, love, love that chair!

Lulu LaBonne said...

I love the chair too ... and the doorstop

angryparsnip said...

The fact you used the word Blimey was the best !

cheers, parsnip

Kass said...

@ALESA - I have a mac so it's apple insignia, shift, 3. I understand PCs have a key on the upper right that does the same thing. Then I crop the image I want. Voilà.

Alesa Warcan said...

@Kass: Nodnod, yeah those are screen caps (screen capture). Great. : j
Wouldn't have guessed that you were a mac user. ; j

Eryl Shields said...

Alesa ~ I actually was thinking of taking a photograph of my screen with my camera, oops! However, I am also a mac user (my drug of choice) and have apple, shift, 3'd thanks to Kass and found it works perfectly. Now I must try and remember it.

TUB ~ just to make it even more daunting cousin J's daughter, who was also there, is a psychologist. Luckily we mostly talked about how much we do or don't look like our mothers.

Titus ~ me too! And she was a very pretty, tiny blond in skinny jeans. This, I thought, is what my mother dragged me on feminist marches in the 70s for.

Lulu ~ I'm glad you mentioned the doorstop, I love it. I spotted it whilst out having a fag in the garden on Sunday morning, my relatives seemed to think me slightly bonkers for taking photos of it, but it was either that or sneaking it into my bag which would have caused the rabbit a problem.

Parsnip ~ I always think of Dick van Dyke when someone uses the word blimey. The proper term is 'cor blimey' but I'm too lazy to use the whole thing.

Kass ~ me too, I love my mac but didn't know how to do a screen shot until you shared your recipe.

Alesa ~ :)

nick said...

Family reunions can be lots of fun (as long as you get on with your family!). I haven't had one for a while as my extended family is scattered all over the world.

It's great when some tatty old place full of greasy spoons suddenly goes upmarket and gets itself some interesting shops and eateries. A lot of Northern Ireland towns have gone that way recently.

rochambeau said...

It is great to find you here. I love the name Kitchen Bitch Ponders!!!!
Thank you Eryl for your kind birthday wishes.


Eryl Shields said...

Nick ~ I don't think I've seen all of my extended, maternal, family together since we were kids, there is always someone who can't get back from Prague or wherever. And there are some who still live in Burma who I've never met. As for my paternal family, I'm in touch with one or two but haven't seen most of them for over thirty years.

I must admit to having a soft spot for seedy towns and love the edges of cities for that non establishment feel they exude. I do love it when I find somewhere that does good coffee though!

Constance ~ how nice of you to return the visit. I can never resist joining in, however slightly, with a birthday! Glad you like the name, I heard my son using it when he was a student and though it suited me perfectly!

I hope your wrist is healing well.

Leni Qinan said...

The chair would look great in your garden except for the shells (ouch!) -though a bit expensive!-

MJ said...

I'm just now cluing in that you live in Scotland.

Eryl Shields said...

Leni ~ I would have to rearrange all the other chairs in the garden, maybe get rid of a few as it does look a bit like a chair graveyard, but I think you are right. One day, perhaps.

MJ ~ I like that it doesn't matter which bit of land you live on in the blogosphere.