Thursday, 15 August 2013

A Lovely Gift, Paris, the Question of the Rolls Royces and THE HOSPITAL TRAIN BLOG

I was so pleased yesterday  to get a wonderful gift from Jeanie of the Marmelade Gypsy -  a pack of note cards created from some of the photos on her beautiful blog (take a look at her site here!)

 I homed in on this one, showing the Eiffel Tower in Paris.....

... because T had a big birthday this year and we're going to Paris in October.   In honour of the trip, I made him an appropriate birthday card - well, a birthday construction really.  Hope you can tell it is meant to be a champagne bar!

You might remember that I planned to visit Japan this autumn, but the publishers have now confirmed that publication is delayed till next year. I still hope to go, but I'd need to leave a good chunk of time to organise some work and make a Japan trip worthwhile, which I can't do till a publication date is confirmed.  So feeling a bit disappointed there.

What with this, and other things, it's been an up and down week. But the BBC

project plods on.  I'm told we may not have a verdict till Christmas!

And I have solved part of a mystery that has been puzzling me for a while, the Question of the Rolls Royces.

Two vintage Rolls Royces recently appeared, parked at the curb in our street. (NOT the kind of thing we are used to happening round here, I should add).   One is yellow and one is silver. Since there is virtually no off-street parking in the area, we were wondering who they could belong to.  I thought there must be a mad Rolls Royce collector around, who loved living in an area with no parking and was happy to leave his treasures to the attention of the many weird people who pass by on their merry way..

Then last night I learned that they have different owners!  The silver one belongs to a neighbour who I  know vaguely. It seems he did several years of creative work for a Middle Eastern royal, and  was treated lavishly while he was doing the work, flying everywhere first class and so on. But then the royal refused to pay, driving him into bankruptcy.  Not quite sure what happened next, but before long, the silver Rolls Royce appeared on the scene, I assume some kind of pay off from the royal.  The neighbour is now using the car as a central part of his new business.  Since he doesn't feel like moving away from his well loved home to somewhere with parking, he keeps it as near to outside his home as he can manage, and he watches over it like a hawk.

The yellow one's still a mystery. Perhaps that is the one which belongs to a mad collector ...

And finally, I'm hoping you will take a look from time to time at the blog for our World War 1 schools project.   (That is Lord Kitchener, above, telling Britons "Your Country Needs You").  

Our story is based in Bermondsey, South East London.    We will add to it as we go along, and hopefully the kids will too.

Working in schools is all very new to me. I've never felt I'm a natural teacher, to put it mildly, and I'm far more nervous about it than any other work projects.    Anyway, here it is, with just one post so far, but if you're interested, keep checking back and there will be more posts as we get going - the school term starts in September. :
Oh, and I see the Google followers.have just hit 400. Welcome, Ms Sparrow!


  1. What a nice attractive set of cards. Like the arrangement you made for your husbands birthday and a trip to Paris sounds great.

    I'm off to check the blog with the school project.


  2. I love the birthday "construction" - very ingenious!

    I'll bet the Rolls-Royce owner is keeping a very close eye on his precious car. I remember from my time in Islington that car crime is something of an epidemic in London!

  3. You always have very interesting posts so I am not surprised that you have 400 followers. Congratulations!

    That is a very nice (constructed) gift you are giving your husband. I imagine he will enjoy it very much.

  4. I think I would feel that having two Rolls parked in my neighborhood just doubled the value of my property. Ah- your travels and your life! I live a tiny bit vicariously though you and for that, I thank you.

  5. What a wonderful celebration it will be in Paris! How interesting about the Rolls- at least that man got something out of it. The WWI project sounds fascinating and I will head over there later today to read.

  6. Thank you for the link to your schools project. I am a teacher in Australia, so will follow with interest. Remember, kids can smell fear :) just keep smiling and I am sure they will amaze you with their stories and blogging. Well done!

  7. Mm,Ms Moon, maybe I can bribe them to park outside ME instead of our dented 2006 Ford Mondeo.
    Yes, Nick, I would never have a minute's peace. I suppose they are conspicuous cars, so might be hard to break in, when in full view.
    Thanks so much for your comment on the kids project blog, Darla. It will be great for the kids to see comments - we start in 3 weeks time.

  8. How creative you are, Jenny! I love the art construction! And what a grand time you will have!

    I'm so glad you like the cards! They were fun to pull together for you!

    Christmas will be here before you know it -- seriously. It's amazing how quickly time moves. In January I thought June and retirement would never arrive and now it's just four weeks away -- and those days seem to be flying by! At least you have lots of other interesting projects. I'll check out the WWI project. I'm very interested in that. Very. It's a period that intrigues me and I would think working with kids on it would be fascinating.

    I'll look forward to more on the Rolls story! Oh! And can you tell me more about Japan? I think I missed something there about publication and Japan. And I'm curious because we have a number of friends there. Cheers!

  9. A Rolls Royce is probably safer to leave in the street than a Ford Escort - hopefully far too distinctive to pinch, and not many thieves could afford to drive it more than about five miles!
    Good luck with Japan and the BBC.

  10. Good luck with the schools project. As a former Headteacher with an interest in WW1, I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops.

  11. As usual, you've covered so many interesting things. The note paper photos are truly lovely and your upcoming autumn trip to Paris will certainly be exciting. The birthday construction that you made for "T" is very clever.

    If I owned a Rolls Royce, I'd be terrified to leave it parked out on the street!

    As for Lord Kitchener, I have some original signed photos of his (along with other items) in my collection. I'm sorry that you'll have to wait until December for the BBC verdict.

  12. I think working with students will be invigorating. Once you get used to it you might not want to stop. What interested me is the “we want you” pointed finger poster that resembles the Uncle Sam picture that has an equally long history in the US. I wonder what the connection is and if/how one inspired the other.

    And lucky, lucky you for living a stone’s throw away from Paris. It took forever for my husband and I to get there from Canada but it was a wonderful dream-come-true being there.

  13. When I repeated to myself the words "A Champagne Bar' I sounded like Lady Bracknell. I suddenly felt very much a country person (not quite a bumpkin). I had neither heard of nor did I know what a Champagne Bar was. When I used to have to spend time in London 'dining' I might well have considered such ignorance a disadvantage. Now I regard it as a positive blessing.

  14. well sorry the japan trip has been put off...that would be so cool....and interesting on the least you know one....but....
    the school project def sounds like fun too...will check that out...

  15. Two Roll Royces parked in your street! How special. Here, that could not happen as we live on a road with no parking- everyone has a garage or a driveway – sometime I’d like to stop on the road to take a picture of the mountain but there is no place to park. That picture of the Eiffel Tower is so pretty and soft – the Eiffel Tower is lovely in all lightning I think (but I am prejudiced too!)

  16. Do hope the Japan trip works out before too long (I've not been there, and would love to know more about it!). You'll enjoy working with students, once you get into it. If you know you stuff (and you do) and love it, that all rubs off on the kids and it can be hugely exciting!

  17. It sounds like book publishers and television producers move at about the same speed -- as slowly as molasses in January!

    Good luck to the car owners, and your champagne bar is very creative.

  18. Great job. Interesting post.
    We send hugs. Greetings.
    Patricia and Daniel. :)

  19. Hi Jenny!
    Love your little champagne bar model-very good! Your schools project looks intriguing-I will be back for more. Just reading through the post below too-I love K's pictures-the island does look other worldly and the sign is priceless! What has been going on there?! Hope your BBC project moves along and that you get to go to Japan sometime. We are off to Calais in October for the day for my birthday-might see you on the Eurostar!

  20. I recognise those windmills. What lovely cards.

  21. I sometimes wish I had your job - getting to travel to all these wonderful places and get paid to write about them! I'd love to go to Paris one of these days!

    Sorry the Japan has been put off for the time being. Hope it works out in the end.

  22. Ah to go back to Paris again. Loved my trip there in college.........

  23. One of my friends just took a trip to Paris for her and her husband's 20th wedding anniversary. I bet you'll have as great a time as they did!

    Two Rolls Royces appearing on your street at the same time...I wonder if the two owners felt like two women wearing the same dress to some fancy event.

  24. A birthday trip to Paris is the best thing! I love the unusual Eiffel tower picture, with a touch of pink, and your card/construction is quite unusual and very special. Hope you get to Japan sometime soon; we went years ago and I found it very appealing on many levels.

  25. Congratulations on reaching 400 Google viewers. Impressive.

  26. You could upset him by mentioning that his Rolls is one of the 'run of the mill' types of the eighties.
    A trip to Paris for a birthday? I only got a card! The BBC keeps to the course. In days past it appears producing programmes was easier as there were less people to deal with. Hopefully it speeds up.

  27. The one time in my life I've been to Paris was a long weekend, upon invitation of a Parisian friend of mine (always great to have a "native" show you around!). I remember how impressed I was of how the Eiffel tower all of a sudden appears between buildings when you approach from a certain angle instead of across the Champs du Mars. We had dinner at the restaurant on top of the tower, and I felt treated like a princess.

  28. Super post, full of interest - and a little intrigue!

  29. First of all, I just visited your other blog and I can't wait to see more of that project developing. I just got a history lesson there for free. Thanks a bunch.

    Secondly, as chance would have it, last night on our way to a free, outdoor concert, we drove past a royal blue Rolls. They're so rare these days (at least in the part of London where I live) that both my children's mouths opened wide in amazement and had some difficulty in closing again. I like the one in your photo. Where's a Middle-Eastern businessman these days when you need him? ;-)

    Thirdly, I love that birthday card. It's so original and beautiful. He'll love it.

    On another note, thank you, thank you, thank you for your comment. The reason why I posted Mehdi's article was precisely to have the kind of intelligent discussion we've had so far. Why is it necessary? Your last paragraph said it all. Every time, someone, anyone attempts to talk about immigration (especially if they're white and British) they're thought of racist. I wouldn't like anyone reading or visiting my blog to jump to that kind of conclusion ever. If they do, I will have failed. There are two main reasons why I think your voice is fundamental in this debate. You're the native, for starters, you have the right to ask questions and your questions should be answered straightforwardly. Especially if the questions are of the smart, debate-generating type. None of this beating around the bush some of our politicians indulge in, please. Secondly, if your voice is suppressed, this will be seized upon by a minority (think BNP, EDL and UKIP, plus hardcore Tories) to claim victimhood. I have no interest whatsoever in making a martyr out of the gentlemen (and ladies!) who belong to the aforementioned organisations. Let's debate the pros and cons of immigration and when we do so, let's explore the causes for the upsurge in immigration in western Europe. In my reply to your well-articulated post I mentioned some of these reasons briefly. It's not an easy topic and it will never be. But we can't stop debating it. And people born and bred in this country and living and contributing to this country right now MUST be part of that conversation.

    Many thanks. I think this will be my last visit for sometime as I will be travelling very soon to the beautiful British countryside with my family.

    Have a great weekend.

  30. Jenny,I love your story about Rolls Royces!Ha, ha!
    I wish you will have nice trip in Paris. Happy weekend!

  31. Happy Birthday T!
    Lovely champagne card

    400 Congratulations Jenny!

  32. Both Rolls' owners are very brave to leave their vehicles parked out in the open like that...either brave or very silly. I surely wouldn't be game to do so. Perhaps I have less faith in some members of the human race than they have! ;)

    Your trip to Paris draws closer as each day goes by and if the rest of this years is any indication, October will be here before you've time to take a second blink! Your birthday greeting is most original! It's great! :)

  33. Thank you for all the comments. And shucks, Stephen, followers have just gone down to 399 again! :)
    Adullamite, I will offer him the chance to swop his pathetic variety of Rolls for my up to date (nearly) Ford Mondeo, it's only a bit dented. Haha, Pixel Peeper, you might have a point there!

  34. Have no fear about teaching. After having read your posts for some time, it is obvious that you have bundles of creativity and empathy, both great skills for teaching the young. Don't forget the blackjack in the hip pocket, just in case.

  35. I can honestly say I couldn't tell it was a champagne bar but it is really unusual and nice to look at so I guess it doesn't matter if you know what it is or not.

    You certainly have some interesting neighbors. Hope you find out who the other Rolls owner is.

  36. Well, I have to admit that there are no Rolls Royce parked on my street. None whatsoever...I love the cards -very nice.
    As for followers, you will have to tell me what your secret is -my blog is stalling a bit!

  37. Interesting. :)
    Have a nice weekend.

  38. A bet that royal owed him a lot more than that Rolls is worth.
    What lovely cards. Have fun in October in Paris!!
    I will check out the other blog. :)

  39. Hmmmmmmmmmm First of all, I have to say that no parking is a strange one to us living in the suburbs of Austin, we have parking everywhere, I have 2 parking spots just for my tiny apartment. Perhaps I could offer one to the mystery car owner? lol....
    I do enjoy your blog... And I have to say that is one heck of a building card!!
    When you go to Japan I'll just be in your suitcase if you don't mind! I'll say I'm your secretary! I'm sorry your trip was postponed!
    Lucky you... Paris.
    Sigh... I have Paris stories. I've missed out on a trip to Paris 3 times now.
    One day I will go.
    I will!
    Have a great week friend!

  40. I worked with a man who had realised his dream of dreams and purchased a Rolls Royce - coloured green. The matter of envy was not lost on him, either. Christine

  41. Great set of postcards.

    Yes it's pretty unusual to see a Rolls Royce anywhere nowadays. Well apart in Dubai maybe. I can't say I'm that keen on the car really, it could look a bit too much in the Tesco car park somehow. :D

  42. Hello Jenny

    Japan sounds very exciting. The Rolls Royce is a beautiful car and such a classic shape. I'll be back

    Helen xx

  43. Very creative champagne card! Does that mean that little T is coming of age in Paris and you'll be toasting some?

    And that's some story on the Rolls Royce. In our old neighborhood, we would often see a limousine drive by in the morning. Ours was not a neighborhood of chauffeur-driven people. It turns out one neighbor ran a limo business. I often wondered what kind of folks they drove. Silicon Valley executives heading to the airport?

    Hope you have had a terrific summer! And enjoy Paris.


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