Archive | November 2016

Action on Blake’s cottage at last!

Yesterday I had a welcome message from a reporter who is currently writing an article on Blake’s Cottage for the Sunday Times. He told me that English Heritage will be coming down to Felpham to take a look at Blake’s Cottage next month and will presumably meet one or all three of the triumvirate at the same time. When I contacted English Heritage some weeks ago and discovered that the cottage was not on their Historical Buildings at risk register and that they hadn’t had any communication about it from the Blake Cottage Trust, my heart sank. But now – hooray -English Heritage have contacted the BCT themselves and things are moving and the plea in our Product Recall poster is finally being answered.

Now is obviously the time for me to gather up all the signed petition forms from Felpham cafes, pubs and shops and put them together with the signatures I’ve collected online and present the whole thing at the same time to whoever it is turns up to meet with the representatives from English Heritage.

I’ve been in a care home, being looked after for the last fortnight, but I shall be back home and in action on Friday.

If you haven’t signed the petition yet and would like to, could you please either hunt a copy down in Felpham or sign on the internet, the more voices that are raised now, the better.

I will keep you up to date, as and when I hear more. Bring us our bows of burning gold.

This entry was posted on November 30, 2016. 4 Comments

Room for improvement

I think I might have left myself some room for improvement! Just over two weeks ago I had a slight argument with the pavement and as is the way on these occasions, the pavement won. I was left with a fractured wrist and an injured hand, which is making my life a trifle complicated at the moment. But I have to say I’ve learnt a lot from the experience and the things I’ve learnt have all been positive and kind.

I’d no sooner hit the pavement then I was surrounded by young people all offering their help. A couple of them had just come back from a holiday in Bournemouth and were off to have a cup of coffee in the local cafe when they saw me fall. Within seconds they had wrapped me up in their coats, because I was shivering, even though it must have left them very cold as there was a sharp wind blowing and, after a while, another lovely girl arrived with a cushion for me to put my head on and a blanket to wrap round the pile of coats and an older man had already rung for an ambulance and was checking how I was to report back to them. They were a circle of kindness. I only wish I’d had my mobile in my hands and could have taken a photograph of them. But I do know who they are because we got talking when we were waiting for the ambulance to arrive and I discovered to my absolute delight that the young man had been taught by my son in the local comprehensive and had been very fond of him, and there was also a young woman on her own who sent me an email the next day to find out how I was. So even though the fall was, shall we say a bit painful, it had made me new friends.

When I got back from the hospital, where I was kindly and professionally treated, it didn’t take me long to discover that life was altogether too painful at home. You’d never believe how difficult it is to fill a kettle or take off a jersey when you’ve only got three fingers that work adequately. The kettle weighs at least a hundredweight and the jersey kept getting stuck on plasters and splints, and rapidly became something of a comedy turn as you can imagine. I’m glad that wasn’t photographed. Although there were times when I was rivalling Charlie Chaplin for contortions and odd dances.

Now, having seen a bit of sense, I have gone to a local care home which is absolutely excellent, as well as being easy on the eye as you can see.

And I’ve made a lot more friends and found a lot of people to admire. The staff are splendid, every bit as kind as the strangers who cared for me in the street and the hospital. They always manage to be there when I need them most and they’re always smiling, which makes a lot of difference to somebody feeling incapacitated. And, this being a small world, one of them turned out to be an ex pupil of mine and another an ex pupil of my sons, which is oddly but splendidly comforting.

But it isn’t just the staff. There are lots of characters to admire in this place, a man called John who can’t hear at all but comes around the restaurant at the end of the evening meal and smiles at us all and says goodnight, my three companions at the dining table who have a lot to contend with and are patient and kind. Maybe it’s because we’re all in the same boat but there’s a lot of sympathy and understanding among the people here. In all sorts of ways we try to help one another. They’re very good examples to the rest of us.

Hooray for the human spirit in adversity!


This entry was posted on November 24, 2016. 9 Comments

Now I can show you what the cottage is like.

It’s taken a very long time and a lot of badgering to get this picture to put on my blog. It was taken by Roger Crocombe who is now the chairman of the Bognor Camera Club and has been commissioned’ (although not, please note, paid) by the triumvirate of the Blake Cottage Trust, to take pictures of the inside of the cottage to show the progress of its ‘regeneration’ .

This is the latest photograph of it’s regeneration. I think they’ve got the wrong word. The one you need gentlemen is de-generation.

When the BCT reported the commissioning of a photographer on their website, I got in touch with Mr Crocombe and asked if I could see the photographs. He allowed it, even coming round to my house to show them to me. But when I asked him if I could have copies of them to put up on this blog he recoiled in horror and said he couldn’t do it because Mr Johns (one of the triumvirate) had instructed him to pass all requests for photographs over to him. Later, when I had arranged this Saturday’s meeting in the memorial hall in Felpham and booked the hall and ordered up a set of posters, I asked Mr Crocombe again and again I was refused. Someone with a suspicious mind might well conclude from this that Mr Crocombe and the triumvirate do not want these pictures to be seen.

And now bless me, Tim Heath the chairman of the BCT has actually put a photograph up on the BCT website, so it is in the public domain and here it is and you can all see it. Incidentally, the one thing he didn’t confess to on these two latest blogs is the fact that the Blake Cottage Trust DO NOT HAVE ANY MONEY. Their finances haven’t grown in any way since they bought the cottage and were left with a mere £1,462 in the bank.

I daresay a lot of you reading this will be alarmed and appalled by that picture. If you are will you pass news of this blog on to as many friends as you can, and, if you live in the Felpham area, will you join me at the meeting.