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In every day life, John Jackson, a former Ship's Captain now retired. He still retains an avid interest in the Hash House Harriers, Rugby, Food, Romantic Fiction, Philately, etc etc etc.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Long (and Suddenly VERY) Hot Summer.

Life seems to have been unbelievably busy since the last update.

England positively STUFFED Australia – in Australia – at Rugby. They have never done that before. This is a Good Thing!

Pam and I went over to RHS Harlow Carr for their first ever flower show. Gardening fans will know immediately what I'm talking about. Not the brightest day, but still dry enough and "full enough of flowers" to make it a great day out.

I went down to Birmingham for a Bloggers – Authors – Meeting, held in a really nice pub just next to the "New" New Street Station, and put together by Kim Nash. (otherwise known as Kim the Bookworm)  Some old friends and a few new ones and well worth a couple of hours on the train.

July started with a bang – July 1st is my Birthday, and I had 486 Facebook Happy Birthday wishes. As many of you will know, I always try to reply to messages as soon as I can, so it kept me busy all day. We were off to London during the day as well; an old friend's wedding on Saturday.
This is one of the better pics of Pam and I of recent times.

Mr & Mrs Mike Eastgate

As you can see there were lots of old friends, festivities, and Dad-Dancing!

This was followed by a meet-up with other friends in West London – out in their garden with 2 sets of twins, a 5-month old and three more under-fives. They were ALL well behaved, and a total pleasure to be with.

This is my mate William! 5 months old.

...and Charlotte & Johnathan.

The Monday saw us both fulfil a long-held ambition to visit the Royal Observatory. I was one of the last generation of seamen for whom Celestial navigation and an accurate time source was, literally, a matter of life and death. It is sad that many ship's officers today will never use a sextant or an azimuth mirror in their lives, outside, perhaps, of the classroom. The most valuable navigation tool on a ship's bridge today is a finger!

Pam bestriding the Hemispheres!!

From Pam and the girls, I got a Trail Cam for my birthday. Some great hedgehog pics coming through. I'm currently working out how the different settings affect the results. The hedgies (4 of them now) don't seem to mind it at all. Neither does the mouse!!

No sooner were we home from this trip than I was heading over to Lancaster for this year's RNA Conference. A super venue, some great sessions and talks, and two days of non-stop talking.
As is my wont, I had the camera surgically attached to my right hand; it was great snapping people, and of course, seeing so many old and new friends. As I write, a lot of my friends are complaining massively of lost voices, sore throats, and complete exhaustion – as am I. I wonder why?

I love taking pics, and there are some people who I find my camera loves. It is just SO easy to get a decent photo of them. From the camera's point of view, I would say they all have lovely "open faces". Bearing in mind I'm a "snapper" rather than a proper photographer, I would love to know if anyone else finds this. There are some people though, who are delightful to meet and know, but I just never seem to be able to get the photo I want. Isn't that weird?
In no particular order, the easy ones to snap last weekend include Immi, Katie, Jenni, Iona, Lucie, Liz, Rae and Karen.

Imogen Howson
A super pic of both Katie and Sue.

Jenni Harper

Iona Grey
Lucie Wheeler

Liz Fenwick

Rae Cowie

Karen Aldous

Hopefully, the next few weeks will be a little more restful – but somehow I doubt they will be! Enjoy your summer. I expect the next big update to be after our holidays in France.

Enjoy the hot weather!!

John  (who welcomes your comments!)

A few links:

Karen Aldous: 
Rae Cowie       
Liz Fenwick    
Lucie /Wheeler
Iona Grey        
Jenni Harper    
Katie Fforde    
Sue Moorcroft 
Imogen Howson

The Romantic Novelists Association:

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

RHS Harlow Carr


  1. You do pack a lot in, John!

    Lovely flowers at RHS. I've just been in my garden, pruning some of the shrubs, which have been going mad lately and crowding each other out.

    1. Thanks!! Our little patch is going mad at the moment.

  2. Gosh - what a wonderful, busy summer you've enjoyed, John. You look so happy with your 'mate' William and beautiful photos from the RHS show. Also, I'm so glad you're a 'snapper' as I always get caught up in conversation at RNA events and forget to take pics. You're always so generous in allowing everyone to use your photos. Really appreciated, thanks. : )

    1. A friend commented yesterday - and its the best compliment I have ever had as a "snapper" "Your pictures always make me feel I want to meet the person concerned. I think this is a good thing!"
      Happily, my friend (Simon Dove) is a person I would be happy to have anyone meet. A good bloke!

  3. Great update, John. Interesting and a lovely reminder of the RNA conference. Spotted myself up there in one of your pics - rather to my horror! But hey, that's what happens when you never look in the mirror...

    1. I will make a point of getting a couple of good ones next conference! :)

  4. Fabulous pics, as ever, John! I always get caught up in the moment and forget to take any pictures (which is why I rely on yours to remind me of RNA events!).

  5. Lovely pictures John - I envy you your hedgehogs! Also wish I could have been at the RNA conference. Hopefully next year. Thanks for sharing.