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The Phoenix arises from the Olympic flame
The Closing Ceremony set   The party starts   The film crew
Stomp and crew leave   The athletes take a last bow   The Spice Girls are back

August 27th 2012


Holiday homework

With the Olympics over - and what a thrilling Olympics it was - thoughts have unfortunately turned towards the start of the school term and all that homework that my sons promised that they would get out of the way at the beginning of the holiday and which we all knew would still be waiting to be done come the end of August! To give him his due, Alastair had managed to put a fair bit of work in on his HELP (Hampton Extended Learning Programme) project in July, but more important diversions such as annoying his younger brother and playing computer games had soon grabbed his attention.

With the threat that such diversions would be banned unless he got down to it again, he did so, and after much hard work he has produced a very impressive and informative presentation. I learnt a great deal from it and I hope that you do too.


We were fortunate to get some tickets for the Olympics closing ceremony which was a fantastic occasion. Photographs rarely do such events justice but I have included a couple to give a flavour.



They're off!   A very brief stop   The route
Robin and Roberta     An original Wesley Roddie article

August 1st 2012


The perfect hosts

As I mentioned in my last blog entry we were able to call in on Robin and Roberta Roddie in Belfast on our way back from Lough Erne on Saturday last week and they kindly put us up for the night.  Sunday mornings in the Roddie household have to be very regimented because Robin has to prepare his sermon for the 11am service and we were informed by him on Saturday evening before retiring to bed that he would be very happy if we wished to join him for his walk the following morning but that, if we were to do so, we would be leaving at 08.35 on the dot and that he did not tolerate dawdlers! 

At 08.37 Harry and I ran out the front door just in time to see Robin, Mary and Alastair disappearing around the first corner at a canter, a pace which continued for the next four and a half miles.  There was little time for sight-seeing but fortunately Mary had her pedometer app working so that I know that the large house and grounds that passed in a blur was Stormont, the Northern Irish seat of Parliament.  The pictures that I was able to take were only possible because of a very fast exposure!  On returning to the house, Robin’s porridge (with raisins) went into the microwave for 6.5 minutes on medium power as he took his shower and changed; this took exactly 11 minutes meaning that his porridge was at the ideal temperature to eat directly from the microwave glass bowel.  Then out the door again to go to the Sunday service.  Time for us to catch our breath and relax!

The rest of the day proceeded at a much more leisurely speed and, after the most fantastic lunch prepared by Roberta, we were taken around the library and archive of the Methodist Historical Society of Ireland, which is housed at Edgehill College.  Robin is the Head Archivist and treated us to a fascinating tour.  This included a look at the original bound copies of the Irish Christian Advocate, the Irish Methodist weekly to which Wesley Roddie, Mary’s grandfather, contributed articles over many years; I have added a third of these articles to the website today, appropriately entitled ‘About holidays’.

Robin and Roberta were the perfect hosts and our all too short stay with them provided the perfect ending to our holiday.  Thank you.



  © Copyright Thomas Jackson 2010