Busy Times in 2019 and before

The posts below are from previous iterations of the Hopbines website and Blog. They are “Old news” but certainly not “Fake News”.

I’m painting my garden fence!

Last week was half-term and, in theory, a break from the day-to-day of life. Not if you are retired though! Half-term and other school holidays should be meaningless when you retire. Do nothing, relax, enjoy yourself, chill everyone tells you! What a waste of a life that would be. Funny word “retirement”. A meaning is “to withdraw from having an active working life”. So, by implication, it means “don’t work”. Now “work” is another funny word. One definition is ” an activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result”. So, getting out of bed, going downstairs and making a cup of tea qualifies as “work” but if being “retired” means withdrawing from active working then everyone who is retired should just sit back and be waited on “hand and foot”. As if that is going to happen! I’m going to carry on working.

I’m painting my garden fence!

So what do these ramblings have to do with being busy. Well, last week we had a great Table Tennis coaching session at Rougham TTC with three of us coaching nine juniors for the day. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and there was some good banter. On the Thursday evening I went to a workshop on Developing a Business Plan for Table Tennis Clubs which was very ably tutored by Simon with help from Claire and Jenny from Table Tennis England. OK, I had done SWOT analysis and most of the other techniques in a previous life. What it did do was concentrate minds on how to develop a Club . Perhaps I should mention here that I’m heavily involved in running the Bury St. Edmunds Table Tennis Club and have been for 20 years since we started it. I feel another “five-year plan” is about to take shape!

I’m painting my garden fence!

On Friday we went to the fine city of Norwich to the Norfolk Makers Festival in the Forum. It was a really good day and, although Valerie was much more interested in the crafts on offer on the day than I it was fun to make a chicken out of wire and then it it photo-shopped to the top on Norwich cathedral. Thank you Jose from El Salavdor, one of the undergraduates from the Norwich University of the Arts at their exhibition table. Must improve my Photoshop skills so I can do this sort of stuff.

A wire Chicken!

Did I mention that I’m painting one of the garden fences. I’ts only about 130 feet long and with both sides that’s 260 feet. I may be there some time!

Oh look! The garden fence! Well part of it!

That’s it for now. See you next time.

Decision Made & Good News

Having had a look at some other Website providers we decided to stick with One.com as it is fairly easy to use and seems reliable – and it’s quite cheap! So , once the upgrade is sorted, the Galleries can be organised.

It’s odd how ones view of “Good News” changes over the years. For me, in my schooldays, “Good News” was when Voco, our Latin Master, wasn’t in school and I didn’t have to suffer another 45 minutes of a language I didn’t ever understand properly. What it did teach me though was a good understanding of where many English words were derived from and help with their meanings. I do remember having to quote:

“A, ab, absque, coram, de,
Palam, clam, cum, ex and e,
Sine, tenus, pro and prae
Add super, subter, sub and in
When rest not motion ’tis they mean.

Then these all take the Ablative”

Even after having looked up “Ablative” I still don’t really understand what it means. Hey ho, never mind, haven’t needed it since I left school so probably won’t now!!

Anyway what I was going to says is that Good News over the weekend was that I don’t have to have any more CT scans until 2020 as everything is OK now and I’m fit again. That’s good as I will be able to confidently get back to everything I have always done in life. Bit different from missing a Latin lesson!! Puts stuff into perspective.

You may be wondering, as I am, how I linked cancer with Latin. Really weird brain!!

Blog photos today come from Anglesey Abbey, a National Trust property in Cambridgeshire. Taken on Friday 15th February 2019.

047717 Himalayan Birch, Anglesey Abbey NT, Cambridgeshire
047709 Winter Garden, Anglesey Abbey NT, Cambridgeshire
047765 Bottisham Lode & Lode Mill, Anglesey Abbey NT, Cambridgeshire
047747 Snowdrops & Aconites, Anglesey Abbey NT, Cambridgeshire.


A dictionary definition of Communication is “the imparting or exchanging of information or news”. My highlighting of “exchanging”. I can write this Blog and happily do so not knowing if a singe person or a crowd will read it. That doesn’t matter but, if you do read it, then, at some point please let me know you have and have your say. There is a comments box below – I hope! Seems like you have to click the heading to get the comments box. Will try to sort this out!  You can also see this in Facebook by clicking the “f” symbol on the website and reading it there. Twitter doesn’t work yet.

Here is the random photo for this Blog entry!

046833 Flower Border, RHS Hyde Hall, Chelmsford, Essex

Decision Time!

Back in a minute – have to put the hens to bed as it is getting dark.

Right here we are again.

So, I’ve used up the 5 free pages from One.com already, and now have to decide whether to buy the Premium offer or find another Website host. Research is needed so there may be a hiatus for a little while before any more photos are added to the Gallery. The Blog will continue though as it is provided by WordPress.

Here is a picture of an Oak tree.

047691 Oak Tree near Badwell Green, Suffolk

2019 Another New Beginning!

Well, here we are in 2019.  What happened after your enthusiastic Blog start to 2017, I hear you ask.  You know how it is! Other stuff comes along, and you decide is more fun, or more important than writing a Blog which, realistically, very few people will read or even be interested in.

So why bother to start again? I suppose after a pretty torrid 2018, when health issues within the family become potentially life-threatening, it just seems a good idea (to me anyway) to write down some of the things that have happened during my lifetime so, if  future generations are even vaguely interested, then there is something  for them to read about from the late 20th and into the 21st century.  No doubt I will ramble on a lot and it certainly won’t be in chronological order, and I will try to use lots of long words, many exclamation marks and the written English construction may not always be correct, and you will have to decide whether to read on …or not. Of course random photos may also appear! Please be aware that all photographs in this Blog are my Copyright and may not be used without my permission unless otherwise stated.

For anyone who has read the 2017 posts, the 365-day photo project was completed as was the list of all the house and garden projects and they are progressing well albeit slowly.

Nuthatch on the Stump at Lackford
Lakes SWT with a Robin Photo bombing

February 4, 2019Leave a commentEdit”2019 Another New Beginning!”

2017 The story so far!

January has been very cold so far.  In fact it is so cold today, 26th, that I have resorted to looking to see how this WordPress Blog works!!

So we have been to Felixstowe and been very fortunate to have great light during the day and then a brilliant sunset.In fact, there have been a good number of excellent sunrises and sunsets this month.


……..and of course there were container ships.


Yet another challenge has been set: to take a photo every day for the 365 days of the year.  So far 26 have been taken – well, actually a lot more than 26!! So here is a random one from 4th January.


Decided to write a list of all the things we would like to do to the house and garden.  Then decided to take photos of every area, print them and stick them on paper so I can write notes against each one.

Have just started decorating the hall, stairs and landing Yesterday I organised a new shelving system for the “Coat” cupboard.  Of course I didn’t buy anything for this!! There was plenty of shelving stuff in the garage and with a bit of “cutting and pasting” of some old shelves a new system was built.  Wall and paintwork in the cupboard completed today. Now we have to decide on colour and carpets for the main bits.

Other highlights of the month were James’ 7th birthday party – tobogganing at the Ipswich Ski Slope and a marathon baby sit last Sunday/Monday which ended with only 2 hours sleep on Sunday night!!

We have also met up with friends and had a lovely time with them.

Well, think I’ll publish this as I haven’t a clue if anyone will actually see it!!Jou are following this blog