Friday, October 30, 2009

U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq & Afghanistan - 5,261 to date

President Obama salutes a fallen warrior.

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said his early morning trip to take part in a ceremony marking the return of 18 Americans killed in Afghanistan was a “sobering reminder” of the burdens of war.

Obama, who traveled to Dover Air Force base in Delaware where the remains were returned to U.S. soil this morning, told reporters at the White House he is “constantly mindful” of the sacrifices made by U.S. personnel.

“The burden that both our troops and our families bear in any wartime situation is going to bear on how I see these conflicts,” he said.

The president made the unannounced trip as the deadliest month for American forces in the eight- year war draws to a close and he considers a new U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. Fifty-five U.S. military personnel have been killed in the conflict so far in October.

The casualties returned were seven soldiers and three Drug Enforcement Agency agents killed in a helicopter crash and eight soldiers who died when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb blast in the Arghandab River Valley. Both incidents occurred Oct. 26.

Reporters witnessed Obama participating in the transfer of Army Sergeant Dale R. Griffin, whose family consented to media coverage.

Obama saluted as six Army soldiers carried the flag-draped transfer case from the plane to a waiting vehicle, which then drove away.

President Obama made the trip as he is reviewing U.S. strategy for the war in Afghanistan that includes a decision about whether to send as many as 40,000 more soldiers to the country. The U.S. has committed about 68,000 military personnel to the conflict by the end of the year.

Speaking to servicemen at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, in Florida, on Oct. 26, Obama said he wouldn’t “rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm’s way.”

Obama will confer with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, his top military advisers, tomorrow (Oct 30th) as part of his deliberations.

Obama told reporters that the trip was “a sobering reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices that our young men and women in uniform are engaging in every single day.”

Dover AFB, is the traditional point of return to the U.S. for members of the military killed overseas.

Obama earlier this year, reversed an 18-year-old policy barring media coverage of returning war dead. The Pentagon said the original policy was established to protect the privacy of the return ceremony. Now families of fallen American troops can decide if they will allow media coverage.

Public support for the war has waned as U.S. casualties have mounted. In January 2002, only 6 percent of Americans surveyed by the Gallup Poll thought the war was a mistake compared with 37 percent who said so in September.

As of today, 887 Americans have died in the Afghanistan war.

In a briefing with reporters yesterday, Gibbs said writing condolence letters to families who have lost loved ones in the war is the “hardest task” Obama has faced in his presidency.

Edited Article By Nicholas Johnston and Kate Andersen Brower


If you are concerned about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan please let the President know your feelings.

You can call or write to the President:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Phone Numbers: Comments: 202-456-1111

Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

Click here to send an e-mail message:


As of this date 5,261 U.S. military personnel have been killed in

Iraq and Afghanistan.

Please speak out on behalf of them and their families.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some Precautions for Prevention of H1N1 Flu

Some of the 1,200 people who braved rain and low temperatures line up to receive a free H1N1 flu vaccine at Richard J. Daley College in Chicago Oct 24, 2009. REUTERS/Frank Polich

A demonstrator in Florida urging people not to take the H1N1 flu shot.

Just a week ago many were protesting that they were being forced to receive the immunization from H1N1 – this week millions are lining up for the shots and demanding that they receive it. I am definitely not a medical authority and whatever you decide to do is a personal decision but most agree that it is wise to follow certain basic precautions to prevent the flu - some things just seem to be common sense.


Prevent Swine Flu - Good Advice

Physicians recommend the following:

The only portals of entry for the flu are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it is almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions.

Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as its proliferation (rapid reproduction).

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H 1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced.

1. Frequent hand washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one.

Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti, but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, water, etc) as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

How much will the H1N1 swine flu vaccine cost?

The U.S. government purchased the vaccine from manufacturers and is providing the vaccine at no cost.

The CDC has asked providers NOT to charge for administering the vaccine. Even if they do, several large insurance companies have said the costs would be covered.

For more information on the H1N1 go to this website:

The virus is spread through the air from infected people who cough or sneeze. Try to stay away from large public gatherings or anywhere where a lot of people are present. Stay away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly and carry a bottle of hand sanitizer for use when you can't wash. Careful observation of what you touch can be very worthwhile. You may sanitize your hands before entering an eating establishment but did you use bare hands on the door handle or hand railings--thousands of others did also. Did you put your hands on the counter while ordering fast food? Many others preceded you. How many people handled the money you received as change? Possibly quite a number. Is the plastic tabletop where you eat contaminated?--very likely. If you realize these things you can take steps to avoid infection. All it takes is careful observation and a little thought. Then apply the hand sanitizer after every possible exposure to a contaminated item.

In the final analysis taking every possible precaution to avoid the virus is probably the best.


President Barack Obama has declared 2009 H1N1 swine flu a national emergency, the White House said on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Deaths of U. S. Troops in Iraq & Afghanistan Wars - 5,233

The Human Cost of Occupation

American Military Casualties in Iraq

Since war began (3/19/03): 4352

Total U.S.Wounded: Official 31,536 Estimated Over 100,000

Bring the troops home now!

Latest Fatality Oct. 19, 2009

Daily DoD Casualty Release

Civilian Iraqi Casualties – 1,339,771

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq 325

US Military Deaths - Afghanistan 881

Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan 582

Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq 1,395

Journalists - Iraq 335

Academics Killed - Iraq 431

Sources: DoD, MNF, and

All data was compiled from

Support the troops - Bring them home!
If these figures concern you please speak out against the wars and contact your political representatives and the President of the United States - express your concerns and ask them to end the wars now.


Monday, October 19, 2009

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty:

In recognition of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, today’s observance focuses on the plight of children and families living in poverty and the need to fulfill children's rights. The events will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Since the adoption of this event in 1992, there have been considerable advances around the world in securing children’s rights to survival, health and education. A better protective environment has been created to shield children from exploitation and abuse as well. Nevertheless, there is still much to be done to create a world fit for children.

Poverty is a global phenomenon. No matter where you go, individuals living in absolute poverty will never be far away in fact extreme poverty exists in practically every country on earth.

There are several ‘Social Definitions’ of Poverty - Some people describe poverty as ‘a lack of essential items’, such as food, clothing, water, and shelter that are needed for proper living. Poverty is also described as a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information.

When people are unable to eat, go to school, or have any access to health care, then they can be considered to be in poverty, regardless of their income.

It does not take governmental statistics to prove that a person has to fit a certain category. When one can look at a hollow eyed child whose body has so little meat on it that you can see his/her skeletal bones poking out you, are aware that they are in serious need of food and assistance.

There is merit in giving donations to children’s organizations in various countries also, but have you noticed any children in your own neighborhood or city who are undernourished, not dressed appropriately according to the climate temperatures, or living in run down buildings?

The most commonly used definition of global poverty is the absolute poverty line set by the World Bank. Poverty is set at an income of $2 a day or less, and extreme poverty is set at $1 a day or less.

1.1 billion people, or 21% of the world population, have incomes less than the World Bank’s ‘$1 a day’ line for extreme poverty. 2.7 billion people have incomes less than the World Bank’s ‘$2 a day’ line for poverty. Almost one-half of the world’s population lives in poverty, mainly in sub-Saharan African and South Asia but also in your country as well.

Poverty should be defined by an persons inability to affect change in their lives. Another factor, many experts on poverty talk about when they talk about defining poverty, is empowerment.

'Empowerment' refers to the ability of an individual to make choices regarding his or her life. Often, the poor are not empowered - they are forced to work at certain jobs or do certain things, and often, this state of existence can be linked to poverty.

So I ask you, were you aware of the serious lack of nutrition and health care for so many people in the world?

Have you ever made a conscious effort to assist a person or family who is living in extreme poverty?

Have you ever volunteered at your local food pantry or homeless shelter?

If you are not available to volunteer are you able to send in a donation to assist a similar mission in your own place of worship, neighborhood, state, country or even in another country?

When you sit down to eat your daily meal has your body received adequate nourishment for that day?

Let me know what you are doing to assist or if you have any suggestions to help. Are you training your children to have humanity in their hearts to recognize and help those who are living in extreme poverty?

I guess that my point in writing this is to say

“Won’t you please reach out and help? Please.”

Today is set aside to help to eradicate poverty. Give it some thought!

Blessings to you and yours.



“Rich and poor, we have entered the same mysterious gateway of human birth, into the same adventure of mortal life. The agony of the poor impoverishes the rich. We are inevitably our brother's keeper because we are our brother’s brother, [we are our sister's sister]. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Only in New York - Who Let the Dogs Out? :-)

'Improv Everywhere', a group of nutty folks who like to stage random and bizarre public events in New York, have struck again to celebrate the anniversary of the invisible-dog leash.

There they go walking their dogs on a peaceful Sunday afternoon.

For their latest mission, over 2,000 people walked “invisible dogs” down the streets of Brooklyn on a Sunday afternoon. The leashes were on loan from the current owner of 51 Bergen Street, the factory space where the invisible dog toy was invented in the 1970s. Participants of all ages spread out from Red Hook to Brooklyn Heights, very seriously walking their very silly dogs.

And what better way to commemorate a device that has saved the lives of no one by having literally hundreds of people take to the streets of New York with invisible dogs?

They even had a guy picking up "poop" after the dogs had passed by.

Hey, it breaks the tension of being stressed out with all of the latest news headlines, especially if their favorite sports team did not win!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

President Obama's Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

In reacting to the news on Friday morning, that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize, the President struck a note of humility and recognized that the award was a nod to a vision of what is to come:

“I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee. Let me be clear: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize -- men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that this prize reflects the kind of world that those men and women, and all Americans, want to build -- a world that gives life to the promise of our founding documents. And I know that throughout history, the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes. And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action -- a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. 
These challenges can't be met by any one leader or any one nation. And that's why my administration has worked to establish a new era of engagement in which all nations must take responsibility for the world we seek. We cannot tolerate a world in which nuclear weapons spread to more nations and in which the terror of a nuclear holocaust endangers more people. And that's why we've begun to take concrete steps to pursue a world without nuclear weapons, because all nations have the right to pursue peaceful nuclear power, but all nations have the responsibility to demonstrate their peaceful intentions.

We cannot accept the growing threat posed by climate change, which could forever damage the world that we pass on to our children -- sowing conflict and famine, destroying coastlines and emptying cities. And that's why all nations must now accept their share of responsibility for transforming the way that we use energy.

We can't allow the differences between peoples to define the way that we see one another, and that's why we must pursue a new beginning among people of different faiths and races and religions; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect.

And we must all do our part to resolve those conflicts that have caused so much pain and hardship over so many years, and that effort must include an unwavering commitment that finally realizes that the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security in nations of their own.

We can't accept a world in which more people are denied opportunity and dignity that all people yearn for -- the ability to get an education and make a decent living; the security that you won't have to live in fear of disease or violence without hope for the future.

And even as we strive to seek a world in which conflicts are resolved peacefully and prosperity is widely shared, we have to confront the world as we know it today. I am the Commander-in-Chief of a country that's responsible for ending a war and working in another theater to confront a ruthless adversary that directly threatens the American people and our allies. I'm also aware that we are dealing with the impact of a global economic crisis that has left millions of Americans looking for work. These are concerns that I confront every day on behalf of the American people.

Some of the work confronting us will not be completed during my presidency. Some, like the elimination of nuclear weapons, may not be completed in my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it's recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone. This award is not simply about the efforts of my administration -- it's about the courageous efforts of people around the world.

And that's why this award must be shared with everyone who strives for justice and dignity -- for the young woman who marches silently in the streets on behalf of her right to be heard even in the face of beatings and bullets; for the leader imprisoned in her own home because she refuses to abandon her commitment to democracy; for the soldier who sacrificed through tour after tour of duty on behalf of someone half a world away; and for all those men and women across the world who sacrifice their safety and their freedom and sometime their lives for the cause of peace.

That has always been the cause of America. That's why the world has always looked to America. And that's why I believe America will continue to lead.

Thank you very much."

Taken from the White House Website 10/9/09

Friday, October 9, 2009

President Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

President Barack Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

Those of you who follow my blog are aware that I am a Pacifist and against war. When it comes to President Obama I remain supportive. Some of you may not understand this but I maintain that when he was running for office, he never stated that he was ending war.

While it is true that he did not vote to start the war in Iraq he repeatedly stated that, if elected, he would cut back troops in Iraq (which he has done) and that he would accelerate the number of troops in Afghanistan. (Also done).

So I am not surprised at his actions. I am a little surprised at some of his supporters and Peace groups who are telling him that he has not complied with his promises regarding War.
He was very up front with his intentions.

I am also aware that he is in a situation that he inherited from the Bush era and I am praying that he will announce a resolution and withdrawal from Afghanistan in the near future.

Having said that I have been closely watching the global response to President Obama. When the outcome of the U.S. election was announced I received an e-mail that showed the front page of the newspapers of every state in the Union. All of them were hopeful and jubilant. Included in that message were also the front pages of newspapers from around the entire world.
They all expressed joy at the election of Barack Obama.

I believe that if one is meeting another person across the table for peaceful negotiations it does make a difference if you believe that he/she can relate to you. President Obama has a multicultural background and is also very intelligent and that is recognized by world leaders.
In the days following his inauguration some of his first actions were to reach out to the opposing political party and he also reached out to leaders of many countries, cultures and faiths around the world.

He spoke at the United Nations calling for global responsibility of nuclear technology. He has been acting as an agent of change where ever he goes.

This did not go unnoticed and I believe that this interaction along with the many visits from world leaders and his visible presence and rapport in many countries are directly responsible for his receiving the honor of Nobel Peace Prize Recipient.

He is receiving congratulations from around the world, however, there are some in this country who are already spewing vitriolic hatred over the airways.

President Obama says in his acceptance speech “I know that throughout history, the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes. And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action -- a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.”

That is a clear call for action for us in this country and those globally!

To those expressing outrage - President Obama did not seek this award and it is not his fault that he has received it - he should not be blamed for it.

I hope you will join me in feeling happiness that this prestigious award has been presented to the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
This is a good image for the country – let us enjoy it with him.

More on this topic tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Can We Talk? - re: Texting & Abbreviations

This message is targeted at people like myself-
the fuddy-duddies of modern technology. Those of you who are experts at texting will probably find this old news and boring :-)

I have a Goddaughter who texts me frequently. At first I didn't even know how to retrieve the messages on my cell phone.
Anyway, I finally realized that I was getting written messages and learned how to retrieve them. I then tried to answer them and had to get a personal coach ( a teenager) to show me how to do it.

I tried to answer her messages and I always wondered why people would communicate in text because I would labor over tapping on the little keypad spelling each word out in full.
It would take me ages to write a few sentences.

Recently I read the following article in a magazine and I had a big AHA! moment when I realized that most people abbreviate the words that they write. At first I had no idea what my Goddaughter meant when she used some of these abbreviations. I am gradually learning how to do it.

I am totally aware that your average 5 year old could do this with their eyes closed. So this message is for my more mature readers.

WRUD? OMG IMS I've been TOY FWIW. Sorry it took so long 2 answer - DEGT if UR upset with me. Right now IAT, PCM later, HAND, got 2 GBTW - ILUVU.

Say What?

In case you didn't understand here is a sampling of some popular shorthand texting
terms from the article that I read.

UG2BK . . . . . . . You got to be kidding

GBTW. . . . . . . . Get back to work

NMP . . . . . . . . . Not my problem

PIR . . . . . . . . . . Parent in room

GFTD. . . . . . . . . Gone for the day

FYEO. . . . . . . . . For your eyes only

BI5 . . . . . . . . . . Back in five minutes

DEGT . . . . . . . . Don’t even go there

BIL . . . . . Boss is listening

PAW. . . . Parents are watching

99 . . . . . . Parents are no longer watching

PCM . . . . Please call me

IMS. . . . . I am sorry

TOY. . . . . Thinking of you

KUTGW. . Keep up the good work

CID . . . . . Consider it done

FWIW. . . For what it’s worth

HAND . . . Have a nice day

IAT . . . . . I am tired

NRN . . . . No response necessary

4COL. . . . For crying out loud

WRUD. . . What are you doing

LMIRL. . . Let’s meet in real life

^5 . . . . . . High five



that means 'TaTa (goodbye) for now' in England

If you can relate to what I have written let me hear from you - or am I the only person left on earth who is just learning this method of communication :-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Full Harvest Moon - October 2009

October Full Harvest Moon

Lick Observatory Moonrise

(NASA) - Credit & Copyright: Rick Baldridge

The view from a well chosen location at sunset, October's gorgeous Full Moon rose behind Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, California. Captured in this lovely telescopic view, historic Lick Observatory is perched on the mountain's 4,200 foot summit, observatory and rising Moon momentarily sharing the warm color of filtered sunlight.


Scheduled to illuminate the landscape throughout the night October's bright Full Moon will also be called the Harvest Moon. Traditionally, the Harvest Moon is the Full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox.

In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the
light of this Moon.

The ‘Three Sisters’ Garden is a method of planting utilized by American Indian farming societies. The American Indian legends that tell the story of the three sisters vary from tribe to tribe, but some aspects are always the same. The three sisters represent corn, beans and squash, three crops that should be planted together, enjoyed together, and shared among the community.

Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are
now ready for gathering.

October 6th-7th are good days for planting Beets, Carrots, Onions, Turnips, and other hardy Root Crops, where climate is suitable.


Yesterday I was walking alongside the Niagara Falls and, as usual, I could feel the intense energy of the water then as I arrived home the Full Harvest Moon was visible. Mother Nature delivers a revitalizing energy while she shares her beauty with those who care to take the time to enjoy.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Deaths of U. S. Troops in Iraq & Afghanistan Wars - 5,199

A view of Afghanistan

Here are recent photos taken in Afghanistan - they give us a small idea of the what the location looks like and what the U.S. troops are doing there.

Hell on Earth

Like many of his contemporaries, American Peter van Agtmael felt compelled to cover the U.S. war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. No matter what war may mean to the soldiers, civilians and politicians caught up in its fury, for photojournalists it has always offered an opportunity to make great pictures. Yet as soon as he began his work, van Agtmael discovered that "the labels that had heretofore defined my perceptions of the world became meaningless ... A lot of my ideas proved to be misconceived, and I began wondering why they had become beliefs at all — why there weren't more answers, or why there were so many." In the photograph above, a supply helicopter lands at the Ranch House, a small U.S. outpost in eastern Afghanistan.

The Sky Over Afghanistan

"I wish these pictures could convey more of what I experienced," van Agtmael writes. "They are harsh, despite the fact that I have great affection for many of the soldiers that I met as an embedded photographer. There is much that is left out, but I see no reason to romanticize war any more than it has been and always will be. If I found any truth in war, I found that in the end everyone

GraveSection 60 of Arlington National Cemetery
is reserved for casualties of the wars in Afghanistan , ready and waiting.

photos and captions by photographer Peter van Agtmael


American Military Casualties in Iraq

Since war began (3/19/03): 4346

American Wounded 31513

Latest Fatality Sept. 29, 2009

320,000 Vets Have Brain Injuries

Estimated 18 Vet Suicides Per Day

US Military Deaths - Afghanistan 853

Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan 572

Total U.S. Troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan Wars - 5,199

More than one million Iraqis have been killed.

If these figures concern you please speak out against the wars and contact your political representatives and the President of the United States - express your concerns and ask them to end the wars now.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Shaftesbury, North Dorset, England - 2009

Shaftesbury is a small Market Town with history that goes back to medieval times.
Located in North Dorset, England 20 miles west of Salisbury. The town is built 750 feet above sea level on the side of a chalk and greensand hill.
It is one of the oldest towns in Britain. Population of 6,665 with 3,112 dwellings.

Earlier this year, when I was visiting my family in England, my sisters and I travelled to our cousin's house in Shaftesbury. This photo shows Sue's back garden which is typical in English homes. Most have plenty of flowers along with some tomato plants and runner beans.

This is a typical view of the English countryside which looks out across the Blackmore Vale and you can see the fields are broken by hedgerows in a scene that evokes the best of traditional English charm. In England we love our hedges which is the main method of indicating property lines which are designed for privacy.

When I visit this area I like to sit on the benches which are on the top of the hill. This view can throw a person into thoughtful reflections while viewing the limitless landscape. I try to imagine what life was like more than a thousand years ago in this little village.

Shaftesbury's recorded history dates from Anglo-Saxon times. Alfred the Great founded a Burgh (fortified settlement) here in 880 as a defense in the struggle with the Danish invaders. Alfred and his daughter Ethelgiva founded Shaftesbury Abbey in 888 and later the abbey became the wealthiest Benedictine nunnery in England.
Shaftesbury became a major site of pilgrimage for miracles of healing.

Tourism is one of the main industries in the town and people come from far and wide to
view Gold Hill, a steep cobbled street lined with uniquely individual thatched and tiled cottages. If this looks familiar to you this particular scene has appeared in several movies and has also appeared on the cover of countless books about Dorset and rural England.
The houses are built on a very steep hill and people still live in them. On a wet day walking on the cobblestones can be slippery.

At the top of this street is the 14th century St Peter's church, one of the few pre-18th century buildings remaining in Shaftesbury. This ancient cobbled street, running beside the walls of King Alfred's abbey, also features on countless chocolate boxes and calendars. In the Middle Ages the Abbey was the central focus of the town.

This is Sue's cottage. She and her family love living here and there is plenty of nostalgia that goes with living in a building that was designed and built so long ago. We had lunch and talked for hours, as we always do, when we get together. Catching up on family events and reminiscing about our childhood days.

Another happy day sharing time with family in a spectacular English village
with amazing scenery. It doesn't get better than that.