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Posted on 11:57am Saturday 7th December 2013
Going back to Benevent L'Abbaye in The Creuse, Limousin, France, for a two-day visit, only confirmed that we were right to move on, down to the south and The Tarn .
Posted on 1:00pm Thursday 28th November 2013
Two games a golf per week did not make me fit only less unfit. I discovered that when I bought a Rubbermaid upon moving to France and pottering about The Folly.
Posted on 3:41pm Thursday 21st November 2013
Moving from The Limousin to The Tarn in France was a big wrench, particularly after I had invested so much time and energy into developing an acre plot we dubbed The Folly. But having sold, it, we had to return to clear out the outbuildings and garage.
Posted on 1:52pm Sunday 10th November 2013
So many in England without key literacy and numeracy skills and are judged behind their grandparents
Posted on 10:33pm Thursday 31st October 2013
We can see advantages to the ex-pat lifestyle in Spain but ultimately we would not swap it for our lifestyle in The Tarn, France.
Posted on 5:21pm Thursday 24th October 2013
Looking at some of the problems thrown up during research into the Watford Observer's latest publication Watford and south West Herts in the 20th Century Part 3 - 60s and 70s.
Posted on 1:00pm Friday 18th October 2013
Racism in Sw Herts in the 1960s was fairly muted because there was little opportunity to indulge in it if you were so inclined. Oliver Phillips had been schooled by a racist father but a night watching Tina Turner in 1963 confirmed what he already suspected: the colour of the skin did not matter.
Posted on 1:00pm Friday 11th October 2013
With the publication of the new book -Watford in the 20th Century (Sw Herts in the 60s and 70s) - author Oliver Phillips found himself continually reminded of those bygone days and the characters who inhabited them.
Posted on 8:00am Friday 4th October 2013
The new Watford Observer publication Watford and the 20th Century - Sw Herts in the 60s and 70s has been launched this week
Posted on 7:20am Friday 27th September 2013
Writing the book on Watford and Sw Herts in the 60s and 70s, characters from the High Street sprung to mind such as Alfie Walker, Dave 'Don' Donovan, Big Harry and de Gaulle.
Posted on 9:00am Saturday 21st September 2013
So many photographic records were lost as a result of corporate and corporation vandalism in Watford
Do you remember the 1960s and '70s? Our new book will bring back many memories, some good and some regrettable.
Posted on 12:09pm Sunday 15th September 2013
Launched on October 3, the Watford Observer is publishing the third book in the series Watford and the 20th Century covering SW Herts during the dramatic, traumatic and life=changing 1960s and '70s.
Posted on 6:26am Saturday 7th September 2013
Ted Parrish had some 96 articles published in the old Post-Echo, looking at Watford, Bushey and Oxhey past. Now they are reproduced with original photographs of the town in a new book.
Posted on 11:29am Friday 30th August 2013
My five hours in a French hospital for a local operation on my wrist, was briefly interrupted by an unwanted phone call.
Posted on 10:39pm Friday 16th August 2013
The sun was out and not a cloud to spoil the view as someone from my past once sang. However, then I found my car surrounded by the police as I returned from walking the dogs.
Posted on 9:59pm Thursday 8th August 2013
Oli's better half takes over the blog this week as he is too busy being Man Friday, while Ellie recovers from as hip operation.
Posted on 5:09pm Thursday 1st August 2013
The last in a recent series reflecting on a trip down the American South-West. Phoenix and an old gold dust town proved interesting. The last leg of the trip - a tour of Indian country - will appear later in the year.
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 25th July 2013
Camp Verde celebrates the life of the cavalry back in the 19th Century but there is scant mention of the death march which they forced on the Apaches just two years after the peace agreement gave them the area "for as long as the grass grows".
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 18th July 2013
We had been on the road for 3,000 miles so we sat out on the veranda in our rocking chairs and reflected a-whiles. An' when we gone done that, we reflected some more,.
The bar had closed, the China-man with the pig-tail had sold up and . . . well they say you should never go back
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 11th July 2013
The first of three articles detailing our stay in a one-horse town in Arizona, after we had travelled some 3,000 miles from New Orleans through Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. It was time to take stock and chill.
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 4th July 2013
Flying back to the UK for a long weekend,I took in Thorpe Park, the Harlequin, Beaconscott Village, six restaurants and sampled the quality of the assisted passage service at Luton airport, along with the vagaries and inconsistencies of airport security.
Posted on 2:56pm Tuesday 25th June 2013
We are back to confirm one of life's milestones after a long weekend down memory lane with a very dear pal
Posted on 5:06am Thursday 20th June 2013
Air conditioning was an obvious "must" after the heat-wave that hit France last July and August. It was so hot, excavating an area for a swimming pool had to be postponed until September. Happy but distant memories,.
Posted on 6:21am Wednesday 12th June 2013
For many years I travelled the nation's motorways with kick-off times in mind so it made a change to see the towns and cities beyond the stadia of Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and York.
Posted on 12:21pm Friday 31st May 2013
First come, first served is a good yardstick, but that does not give you the right to ignore those further down the line, An unusual experience so surprised me with its ignorance, I could not bother to be annoyed.
Posted on 12:50pm Friday 17th May 2013
After driving over 3000 miles from New Orleans, it was time to chill out for a couple of days in a town we had been to before. But they say you should never go back.
Posted on 12:00am Friday 10th May 2013
The prospect of being locked in by snow on the plateau above Bryce, threatened our USA tourist schedule.
Posted on 12:00am Friday 3rd May 2013
We just mapped a route in an effort to find a different way to getting to Bryce Canyon and it proved to be the most memorable 48 hours in the USA
Posted on 6:53am Monday 29th April 2013
Reflections on a trip to Arizona and Utah, taking in the magic of Monument Valley.
Posted on 4:07pm Sunday 21st April 2013
Groves of bamboo look very pleasant in your garden but they are an entirely different proposition when you seek to remove them.
Posted on 5:48pm Sunday 14th April 2013
Will they be after our bank deposits next -that's the fear but we know those who follow will truly never have it so good
Posted on 10:14am Saturday 6th April 2013
Is this a national scandal that somehow has been overlooked after the figures were released indicating that 1.5 per cent of the population have withdrawn claims for a disability benefit.
Posted on 6:16am Monday 1st April 2013
There seems to be a marked lack of general knowledge among many school leavers nowadays and anything before their life-span is either dismissed or unknown.
Posted on 5:16pm Thursday 21st March 2013
Watford general have long since charged for parking but now they are including the handicapped in the scheme.
Posted on 12:15pm Thursday 14th March 2013
I never gave the little girl's boast a moment of thought. She was obviously making it up. Just imagine a top disc jockey wanting to marry a slip of a girl,.
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 7th March 2013
Disaster followed by calamity or tiger prawns followed by tropical fruits. The contrasting nature of our friends' respective winter breaks as Ross Jenkins takes it easy.
Posted on 12:15pm Thursday 28th February 2013
When we were moving into our new house, even before we owned it technically, we had to ask neighbour Claude for the key and not only did he do this with a smile but he helped unload our car, roof-box and trailer, carrying stuff up the stairs, even though his age, girth and colour suggested he should take it easy.
Posted on 1:31pm Thursday 7th February 2013
I had not given my position much thought – it had been instinctive… I was more concerned with the fact my appreciation of French, delivered at pace, is abysmal. Anyway, all the "students" were assembled on time,so how was I to know two young ladies would arrive late and the only spare seats were each side of me?
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 31st January 2013
In November, I called in at Castres, inquired about the course. Yes, the course lasted two days, cost 250 euros and I would receive four points back. I explained that I did not think I could understand much of a technical nature if it was all in French, for I knew it would be spoken, as is their wont, at 100 mph.
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 24th January 2013
It is a sad thing that Watford, once the centre of Europe for printing the written word, does not have a High Street bookstore. It is said that Waterstones will seek other Watford premises. I hope so. They have a branch in Hemel Hempstead, so it would seem that if a bookstore is viable there, it should be in Watford.
Posted on 1:20pm Thursday 17th January 2013
An anxious journey from France to the UK through a congregation of vomiting, flu and cold bugs armed with hope and Echinacea.
Posted on 2:15pm Friday 11th January 2013
From St Amans-Soult in the Tarn, France, to Chorleywood and Sarratt via Calais, returning to family and friends for Christmas and the rain in the Uk and trying to avoid the potholes.
Posted on 1:00pm Thursday 3rd January 2013
It was time to leave Durango and the Strater Hotel with its impressive collection of Victorian walnut furniture – “the best in the South West” it is claimed (who verifies these things?).
Posted on 1:20pm Thursday 27th December 2012
The temperatures had been in the 90s, even hitting 100 a few times on this holiday, but up in Colorado, while the sky was blue, there was a bit of a nip in the air first thing in the morning.
Posted on 1:20pm Thursday 20th December 2012
We did not go into Kit Carson’s house in Taos but I bought a synopsis of his life and when we left that lovely area and travelled over that bridge, we entered Kit Carson Park after 20 or so miles and suddenly we were in Indian country.
Posted on 1:01pm Thursday 6th December 2012
A long, long time ago a man had a massive hit record that began with the words “A long, long time ago...”