This is The Stone House. It was built in the late 18th century, and was reputedly made from stones from the old London Bridge (not the one Arizona bought thinking it was Tower Bridge, but the older one that survived the Great Fire of London).
My parents lived two doors away from it for more than 20 years (ten of which I lived with them) and we none of us ever set foot even inside the front drive. My aunt went in a couple of times, but the old couple who lived there were very nervous of visitors, having been burgled and tied up on at least two occasions.
You can't see the enormous and well-tended garden behind it (we could see it from the kitchen window) or the huge wall running along the front of it. Nor is there any sense of the horrendously busy road that runs past that wall, and the local college building across that road.
Then there are the three Tudor houses near Eltham Palace. They are on a narrow, quiet road, with a public footpath path running along the side of the end one.
The selection of burglar alarm boxes shows that the inhabitants of this house have to be very security conscious. In addition to the gate you see here, there is one part-way along the garden to give the inhabitants of the other two houses external access to their gardens.
There are visitors to the Palace passing the side and front of this house several days a week for most of the year. But at least the car park is now nowhere near this little street (called Tilt Yard, the place where the jousting tournaments and practices would have taken place in Henry VIII's time).
Despite all these negative factors, I'd live in either one of them. If I could afford it!
So far my set of numbers has not thrown up any "accidentals" - pictures of another character than Bobby, which I didn't delete before uploading them. There's an interesting one here, though, but no dancing or size 13s.
In April of last year I had a get-together with two of my oldest friends. I missed the summer reunion because Lesley (centre in the picture) had an urgent hospital appointment after a post-cancer test came back with a dodgy result, and the dinner was changed to a date I couldn't make.
I kept meaning to email her to ask how the appointment had gone, but somehow never got round to it. I suppose I just assumed everything would be OK.
A couple for weeks ago Jenny (on the left in the picture) phoned me to say Lesley was told in November that she only had six months. Jen had seen her, and as an experienced nurse, she was certain Lesley would not make it that long.
Lesley died yesterday. She was 55. I was longing for her to make it to her birthday on St Patrick's Day, but in the end the cancer was too strong for her.
She leaves behind a husband, Pete, and her elderly mother, Joy.
A. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me." B. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions. C. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. D. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. E. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
If you want me to ask you some questions, ask me in your comment, "interview me". I will send questions to the first tow (so you must be someone whose email address I have).
Here are the questions JoJo sent me, and my answers to them.
1. How old were you when it was discovered that you could sing opera? I always knew I could sing. I sang "Secret Love" when I was about 10, and my teacher recorded it. At secondary school we had a yearly music competition, and I usually sang a duet. But when I went to university, I wanted to follow one music course. You had to study an instrument and showed you improved over the course of a year. Sadly, I didn't realise that voice was an instrument.
A few years after leaving uni, I started going to the opera, and joined a Friends group. I was asked to take part in a master class, but thought I wouldn't be good enough. Then I heard the people who thought they were good enough - some of them would-be professional singers - and thought I could do better. So I signed up for a singing class. The teacher worked miracles, and within a year I was ready to take on minor roles. I suppose I was 28 or 29. A good age for a mezzo soprano.
2. How did you get into collecting dollhouses, how many do you have and for how long have you been doing it? There was a shop not far from home that sold reproduction antique dolls, and doll kits. I started making dolls from kits, but then I began to lust after the dollshouses they also sold. I'm not sure how long ago it was, but it was more than 10 years, probably more like fifteen. I found a bigger, specialist shop and spent a whole afternoon choosing the right house for me. I built it and decorated it, and filled it with furniture. I started to go to dollshouse fairs, and at one I saw a beautiful craftsman built Tudor house. If I was five inches high I could live there. I'd just seen a real Tudor house for sale that I could almost but not quite afford, and this was my consolation prize. Now I have about 10 houses, and not a single one finished! I also have room boxes containg things like a garden, a garden shed and a Chinese room.
3. What made you decide to travel to Rennes-le-Chateau in search of the Holy Grail? I was fascinated by a TV programme about it, The Priest, The Painter and The Devil. When I found a fellow opera-goer (the father of Rat Scabies of The Damned punk rock group) who was similarly interested, I translated some documents from French for him, and then went with him and his wife and younger son to the south of France, where I was supposed to be the interpreter. But the guy got really nasty and dumped me in the back of beyond while he went to Rennes-Le-Chateau. He just didn't want to have to share the treasure with me, I suppose. Not that he's found it more than a quarter of a century later.
4. What was your most memorable trip and why? I loved introducing my mum to Paris, but my most memorable trip was in 2006, when I went to Alberta in Canada for a reunion with members of my family I didn't even know existed till I started to research my family history in 2000. There were 117 people at the reunion. It was an amazing experience. The lakeside home where it was held was stunning, and the people were just wonderful. There should be another this summer, but with the collapse of Zoom Airlines, I have no idea how I'd get there.
Island Lake from the pontoon.
The end of the house.
The lake from the garden.
5. Do you think Vincent wears boxers or briefs? Yes. Or no.
Actually, I've never really made a study of how men's equipment moves in their trousers depending on what underwear they are sporting. To be honest, I've only ever even tried to make a study of Vincent's equipment. It does seem to migrate a bit from time to time, so maybe he's hanging loose. I think boxers would show some kind of an outline, and briefs a different sort.
On the other hand, I worry that the rough fabric of his suit might rub his beautiful member if the rampant Python is wandering about in there unprotected. I think I may have to rub it with oils and wrap it in soft linen...
I will not belittle the great Martin Luther King, especially on this wonderful day. Congratulations to President Obama, all my best wishes are with you.
Perhaps it was the excitement of the big day to come (sorry) but last night, at last, I dreamed of Vincent, or rather Bobby AND WE HAD SEX. I believe I now personally know the impressive use to which he would put those fingers, that tongue. And that PYTHON!
Gosh, some of my albums are in a mess. I know that when I first capped this, the DVD froze during the last scene, but that doesn't explain why I only had pictures up to the scene with the forgery advisor. To get my chosen pictures I had to cap some more. You can see the join.
My latest project is to post six pictures from each episode of LOCI by number. So from each episode I will publish numbers 19, 87, 136, 155, 228 and 301 (or if there is no 301, the last picture in the album).
The numbers were chosen randomly and for no particular reason. Who knows what will turn up? I have to confess, though, that the numbers for One are a bit off, as the renaming of the pictures went wrong right back at the beginning, before they arrived on Photobucket. Still, it's 6 random pictures of Bobby, so who cares?