Back to school on Sunday

I get some odd requests on this blog. Sometimes for info about Gib which isn’t too difficult to provide.

Sometimes I’m asked to write for other blogs. Although I’ll ask what they want and what their T&Cs are, I invariably end up declining. If I’m writing something for FREE, I don’t want to be told what and how to write and that my text will be edited. Take it or leave it. Yes, I know I could possibly get a few more hits because of the different or wider readership of the other blogs, but it’s unlikely. It’s about as unlikely as being Freshly Pressed, receiving 100 comments from new visitors and even 10% of them returning ever again. And do I need that many more readers or visitors?

The other requests have been from people who earn money in a particular profession and want my advice on something. Hmmmm. An unpaid consultant in fact, while they go on to reap the benefits. I’m all for bloggers being helpful and friendly, but when money comes into it, I think I should be getting a share of it, TYVM. Why am I providing time and expertise and experience for nothing?


I got a slightly different variation on that theme last week. Would I be interested in attending a presentation by some architecture students who were doing a field trip to Gib? Luckily it was on Sunday morning, so I didn’t have to leave Little Rat Snowy unsupervised and up to his usual tricks of Podenco Scene of Destruction.

Oxford Brookes

The students came from Oxford Brookes University, which to oldies like me was the former Oxford Poly, and before that, it was originally founded in 1865 as the Oxford College of Art. It’s also one of the largest architecture schools in the country, and that was founded in 1927.

I did a quick looky for rankings, and found it had made the top ten on a 2014 list that came up. My old university, Liverpool, was only one place above it, in position nine. I was a bit surprised at that as I would have thought Liverpool would have been higher.

Oxford Brookes and Liverpool seem pretty comparable according to the criteria used, but lists are just lists at the end of the day and invariably subjective.


The school of architecture at Liverpool University was established in 1894. It became the first university in the UK to award a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) accredited degree in architecture.

I mixed closely with a group of architects in my hall of residence. All from down south, three of them from London. They genuinely thought everything north of Watford Gap was just a vast Coronation Street (back-to-back working-class housing with endless factories in a Lancashire TV programme, for non-Brit readers).

There were discussions about who had the best camera, Pentax or Canon, or Nikon preferably, for the monied ones. These days everyone has Canon or Nikon, before you ask.

Because we all flitted in and out of each other’s rooms, I got the chance to see lots of their work. They all had huge drawing boards set up, taking up half their bedrooms in hall, and I was impressed with the intricate and accurate drawings they produced to scale. Amazing. Some of their photos, invariably black and white, were pretty good too.

Of my four friends, two got firsts and the other two got 2:1s. Three went to work in London and one moved north. The one I’m still in touch with is also an honorary visiting professor with an honorary doctorate from our first university.

So that’s the background as to why I was interested in seeing what today’s students were looking at, from a different university, and comparing it with what I saw so many years ago. Not an equal comparison in one way, but a degree is a degree, so that is the bottom line.

An immigrant architecture

This was the title of the project that the students were studying on their field trip to Gib.

Before they came they were meant to carry out in-depth research about the geology, landscape and history of Gib. Mmmm, history :) This seemed an eminently sensible idea to have a broad remit, as being an architect isn’t just about doing pretty drawings.

The students had to choose an article from the Gib Chron about a moment in history (they had more than 200 years to choose from as the Chron dates from 1801), and then to choose a site for their project from that article, which they would also study and research before they arrived here. Second years had to choose a rural site, and third years, an urban one.


Poor dears had to work in their Christmas hols and design a postcard to reflect an event, a person, or a time in Gib’s history.

There was a good selection here, dating back to the early British days and coming right through the 20th century with Franco and the border closure, to the 21st with the current fishing dispute.

A selection of the postcards

Visit to Gib

They covered an awful lot of Gib in one and a half days, I have to say. It’s taken me years and I haven’t been to quite everything they have visited, although I have been to a few places not on the list. But still, a great attempt to show the variety of history, architecture and heritage that Gib has to offer on a very packed itinerary. They also spent a day working on their site and a day in Spain. Busy, busy, busy.

Site and models

After the postcard, the next part of the project was, on arrival in Gib, to map their chosen site using diagrams, sections and drawings as a basis for a model to be included with the presentations. The model was to use bought and found items in Gib. Note, this was not a building, but more to reflect the actual site.

Again, there was a variety of models, some literally reflecting their site, and others thinking of a more conceptual way to portray the site and the event they had chosen.



The theory was that each student would give a five minute talk and then there would be questions/comments for five minutes. Given that there were four people – plus other students – to give questions and comments, that leaves 1.25 minutes for each question/comment reply. And five minutes isn’t a long time to explain how you have arrived at your thinking to produce a postcard, a site, and a model. It goes without saying we finished later than planned given that there were around 20 students.

roughseas’ hasty exit

This was my downfall. Sitting in one place for more than four hours is not my strong point. I’m the person who fidgets and struggles through a 90 minute film. As the projects were interesting, the time went quickly. But I’m used to construction hours. Getting up at six. By half seven I have done two dog walks. Dished up three breakfasts, two cups of tea, made a packed breakfast and lunch and a flask of tea.

I have my breakfast/brunch mid-morning (by then there has been another dog walk). And say, light lunch around 1.30/2pm. (Another dog walk has happened of course too).

I needed to shovel in breakfast before nine, because I couldn’t last a morning going into lunchtime without food (Helen will understand this). My mistake was drinking coffee. I’ve not drunk coffee for some months. I like coffee, and this was decent coffee. But after arriving for 9.30 and sitting absorbing all the presentations, by 1pm I was starting to feel dizzy and nauseous. I figured it would go away. An hour later I was not feeling good at all. But only two presentations to go. I stuck it out, until the last one, mumbled apologies to the tutor next to me, and shot out before I disgraced myself in front of 20+ people. Luckily a hotel person was just outside.’Toilets’ I muttered, trying to keep my mouth shut. I didn’t dare risk a full sentence.

Sensitivity warning for those of a fragile stomach and TMI – but no pix :D

I made it into the toilet just in time to see all my breakfast and possibly last night’s supper rapidly disappear. I stood against the wall, shaking and shivering, then swilled my face and my mouth and staggered home. I spent the rest of the day and the night on the sofa, utterly useless. I managed to send apologies for leaving rather abruptly.

Cause? Two strong black coffees? Lack of food mid-morning? Eating breakfast earlier than normal? Overdosing on Quorn over the weekend because Morrisons restocked with the delicious pies? Don’t know. Either way it’s not a reflection on the event, rather on my body. As we age, they don’t seem too keen on changing routines. I didn’t eat for the rest of the day. I didn’t sleep much either last night – surely two black coffees couldn’t have caused that? And yet? When people go on the wagon for a while and then decide to drink alcohol again, they invariably end up drunk after two or three drinks. Does coffee work the same way?

If I ever did anything remotely like that again, I would have to make sure there was a mid-morning break, with sandwiches. Plain tomato or cucumber in brown bread would be fine, but I clearly can’t last so long without fuel. And not biscuits. Coffee and biscuits is an even worse combination than coffee alone.

Well, enough of Me Me Me, as my nearest virtual neighbour in Spain, Pink would say. Back to the students.


The most bizarre thing I learned from yesterday was that the father of the British nuclear programme and credited with the atomic bomb, Baron Penney, was born in Gibraltar (24 June 1909). His father was a sergeant major in the British Army Ordnance Corps and was serving overseas at the time, hence Penney’s birth here. He had little else to do with Gib but he certainly merits a post on here at some point in his own right. Interesting presentation with a good postcard and a creative model.

Another learning point for me was about the volunteering done for WW1 to help the war effort, initially through the Gib Rowing Club and working with the GibReg.

Common themes to come up were historical legends, military fortifications, the loss of visual Moorish artefacts and buildings (linked to religious buildings), the border closure under Franco, the current border disputes, smuggling, and the fishing problem. I don’t think I need to remind regular readers of any of those last few as you probably know more about them than the students did.

Other individual projects looked at the mixture of food in Gib due to immigration, markets, the cemeteries at the back of Devils’ Tower Road, sense of identity within continual change, the water catchments and filtration, movement within Gib linked to dance and the movement of troops, freedom of speech, the annual cardboard boat race, Indian culture in Gib, and the Garrison Library and subsequent civilian ones.

So there was a good selection. I liked the older topics better, because it’s too easy to concentrate on current disputes with Spain, but that’s just a comment from a historian. It strikes me as being an easy option to latch onto the latest big recent story without doing much research, and I think the older stories offered more scope. Another comment is that in their five minutes, the students didn’t have time to present the findings of their research properly, but I did wonder how thorough that had been. I’m thinking back to seminars with my professor of ancient history and I wouldn’t have got away so lightly in terms of historical accuracy and breadth/depth of coverage. Maybe that will come in their formal write-up. Do hope they cite sources.

Some students didn’t present postcards, others didn’t present models. One had worked out her site but not from an article in the Chron, she was going to find one to fit later. That wasn’t her brief, but I had to secretly admire her as it is the sort of pragmatic way of going about it that I would now choose. Thirty or more years ago, I would dutifully have designed my postcard, done my research based on my article from the Chron, and made my model, rather than starting from the end point and going backwards. A bit like when you do one of those puzzles to go through a maze, always works better to start from the end.

Some presented their projects well, others seemed hesitant. Maybe about what to show or what to say? Don’t know. A post on presentations looms for Clouds.

I didn’t know what to say either. Look for positives, and try and say other things that may or may not be relevant?

I liked the creative thinking aspect of the whole project. Not sure I would have liked it at around 20. But this wasn’t an MBA (which is where I learned creative thinking) it was an undergraduate course in architecture. I thoroughly endorse the wider perspective the tutors were trying to instill, taking into account environment, society, community, history, cultures, geography, geology, materials, design and cost. Tall order.

And don’t laugh. Why did they all look SOOOOOO young ??!! I think I’ll say yes to an OAP course next time :D Even the tutors could have been my children. At the very least :D

Incidentally, I appreciate Hugh and Catrina asking me to comment yesterday on the presentations, but I must quote a comment from one of the briefs I was sent by Hugh which briefly introduced the two of them who have a practice in London:

“We are open, have a sense of humour, ….”

They would need it. Or maybe the name of their practice is deliberate. But if the initials of my partner and I were S&M, I think I would have used our full names rather than initials. Not a name I would have recommended with my PR hat on.

And a short article about UK schools of architecture – Are there too many schools of architecture in the UK?

Links to my other new blog posts:


Pippa’s tenth Gotcha Day and more info on harnies for our American friends


57 comments on “Back to school on Sunday

  1. Coffee, now, can make me hyper. It is more like anxiety than a wee bairn going wild, but rather uncomfortable.

    When I was drinking it regularly, and getting headaches if I did not, a decaffeinated coffee would prevent a headache as well as caffeinated.

    I watched my niece, an architecture student at Glasgow, on CAD, adding and erasing lines quickly. Beautiful.


    • I really used to like starting the day with coffee, as did my partner. We loathe instant coffee and drink either espresso or filter. But we’ve both stopped and stick to weak tea these days. It probably did make me hyper too.

      Glasgow is meant to be a pretty good school. I think there is such a lot for architects to learn about, you can see why it takes so long for them to qualify.


  2. Black coffee, a change of food routine and a stuffy environment…lethal.
    If I was going to something that looked likely to be long winded I used to take a few oatcakes with me.

    I’ve never been to meetings with presentations, which sound like seminars without guidance. I think I might glaze over after a while as I respond much more to something I can look at and read in my own good time rather than having someone tell me things.

    And I’m still smiling at S&M, for when you want to build a dungeon…


    • In retrospect I would agree. I still think I’m 20 or 30 years younger and invincible. It wasn’t so much stuffy as stagnant. There wasn’t any air, although it was a large cool room. It was also quite dark, as you can probably work out from the photos. Having said that, I’m not a fan of bright lights either.

      I OD’d on presentations in NHS (forcible OD I add) which is why I’ll write about them on Clouds. Would have made this one even longer than it is.

      A dungeon, an excellent idea. Partner and I did wonder if they were aiming for a niche market.


      • But what is the point of presentations?
        I really don’t particularly want to be forced to sit and look and listen…a project gets much more of my attention if I can take it away to read when I’m receptive and then come back to discuss it when I’m sure I’ve taken it all in.


  3. I like to think it’s not just my age but paying more attention to eating a bit cleaner over the last 2 years that makes ultra sensitive to sugary stuff/rich food….or too much coffee nowadays….which is a good thing I guess, as long as you don’t get a bodily reminder in a crowded room :)


    • I think it’s just literally that I haven’t drunk coffee for months, maybe getting on for a year. And of course, it is good coffee normally around here, and strong, so ……

      I think I’d have been better off with a beer!


      • I spent 10 days in Tasmania just drinking pale ale…..haven’t drunk it for years! not one single glass of wine or a cocktail! Might have been the weather, English style pubs and breweries and a disorientation of being in an Australian state that was full of English wild and cultivated flowers……I was on the verge of bringing a beer gut back with me from my hols!!


  4. I like reading your posts; I have a penchant for really good writing and although I seldom comment I thought it worth mentioning, my wife and I especially enjoyed the history lesson on Gibraltar.
    Incidentally I have had coffee make me quite nauseous numerous times since as I have grown older, but I keep going back for more.
    Take care and keep writing.


    • Thanks TA. I don’t expect people to comment on every post, I certainly can’t comment on every blog I follow, especially if people post daily, or every other day. I do try and keep up to the regular commenters on mine, as apart from anything else, it is only courteous.

      I do write about history from time to time, there are a couple (or more) posts in the past, and a summary on the history pages.

      It’s nice to know you are reading and enjoying the blog, even if you don’t comment. A quick word when you feel like is still appreciated.

      My bossy partner keeps telling me to leave it alone. But he wasn’t there so I rebelled and gave in to temptation. Of course when I arrived back at the flat, not looking too good, told him I’d had one coffee (didn’t dare confess to two straightaway) he just rolled his eyes. I think this might have cured me of the coffee urge though..

      Thank you, I’ll try, and I’m pretty incapable of not writing!


  5. What an interesting bunch of presentations.An ambitious assignment – how wonderful they given this challenge. And such a field trip. Hope they appreciated their good fortune – oh, they were all frantic about the presentations – still, maybe they enjoyed the experience.
    (will try and get back to complete comment…dog eating mat, cat demanding food….)


    • I thought it was challenging too. I could probably do it at my age, but I don’t know how I would have tackled it as an undergrad where I was still mostly into rote learning from teachers who knew better than me. Thinking for myself wasn’t my strong point. I’ve tried to make up for it since.

      I’m not sure whether they were frantic or bored. Although some were clearly interested as they contributed occasionally to the discussion. I think I would probably have structured the session differently. Maybe paired up the ones with the same or similar themes/sites. Or even put together a couple that were totally different. That might have helped with any nerves (if there were any) and would save feedback time, plus giving people chance to work together. The tutors could have given individual feedback at a later time, or sent some notes/views/comments via email if they wanted to criticise particular aspects or ask for them to be changed. I’m not a big fan of public criticism, I think it can be very damaging.

      Ooops Podenco on the rampage. Also must go.


      • Good point about that evaluation and feedback being done in private. Public comments can make people even more worried and nervous the next time they must present.
        I was never really into rote learning – boring – and it showed in grades which drove my mother wild. Once I got out of the lower grades it got better. Analysis, research, and ability to put thoughts in words became more important.
        Gib is so fascinating – it probably drives you nuts seeing their tourist efforts…Perhaps we should start our own tourism promotion – like that Rick Steves guy with the books and TV show and travel products. You certainly could write several targeted guidebooks for Gib, Spain, and assorted places – market them online?


        • I’m speaking from a personal perspective, I found public criticism hard to take, so for me a public session for discussion of ideas works well, and specific evaluation better in private. I could have criticised a few projects but I didn’t see that as my role. I’m sure the tutors will give further feedback later as the projects develop back at university in the UK.

          My grades were pretty good as I was a whizz at churning out dates and facts because I thought that was what was needed (it was at the time). Learning facts is very different to questioning and analysing and drawing your own conclusions and it needs clever teachers to achieve the right balance at school.

          Thanks for that idea. You are right, I should work on it.


  6. The projects sounded interesting and it made me realize something. I’m too old to go back to school. Sometimes I miss it, but then again, I’d rather read a book instead of working on projects again.

    And a change in my food/beverage routine has been known to cause some mishaps. Thank goodness you make it to toilet in time. Once after getting off a rollercoaster I had to use a trashcan. incidentally, that was the last time I rode a roller coaster.


    • They were interesting. I wanted to see what they had made out of their trip to Gib and how they interpreted their work. Well, I did my MBA in my 30s, think I graduated around 34/35, but it was distance learning, with occasional lectures/tutorials, and summer schools. I was working so fitted it in at weekends and evenings, but got time off for exams and summer school. Got work to pay for it too, so that was good :) It was totally different to an undergrad course though, we were all adults with reasonable careers, many of us with first degrees.

      Being vegetarian we have a pretty consistent diet, 90% of which is fresh veg. Processed food is (veg) burgers and sausages and the occasional Quorn pie or escalope. Going out consists of an Indian take-away or infrequently a take-away pizza. I think Helen summarised it neatly, it was the combination.

      I was on the bus once, with someone and her kid or two, sitting at the back. She told me she didn’t like bus travel. Shortly afterwards she asked me if I had a plastic bag :( Now if bus travel made her sick – why didn’t she take her own plastic bags with her?


      • I get sick by all forms of travel. A couple of years ago we did a Thames River cruise with dinner. A gentleman sat down next to me and mentioned that he always gets sick on boats and he hoped he didn’t ruin my dinner. I asked him if he wanted a motion sickness pill (which I always carry) and he said yes he hadn’t thought of that. We all had a wonderful dinner together and no one ran to the toilet.


        • I used to be bad when I was a kid. I later put it down to my dad smoking in the car and started laying down the law about windows to be open when smoking, and then I progressed to NO SMOKING! And of course if I dozed off, and woke up to the smell of smoke, there would be hell to pay. Fords. Something about the suspension in those was a bit iffy. I liked bumpy rides. I could do my homework on the back of the bus with no problem, but read a book in a smooth car? No.

          What a bind though, given your travel list!!


          • When I was a kid, we teased our neighbor who worked for Ford and said it stood for: Found on Road Dead. I had another one, but it isn’t suitable for the blog.

            Once I’m off the plane, train, boat, bus, or car I’m okay. But getting from point A to B is not fun for me. It’s gotten a little better. I was able to read on my last flight, but that can be iffy.


          • Oh I don’t know, I can work out the first two words, and I have used it occasionally on here to make a point.

            Can’t you go to sleep when you travel? Or does that make you feel sick?

            Here is one of my worst travel journeys. Amazingly I did not vomit then (I was younger!)


  7. I like Helen’s diagnosis and your solution–next time there needs to be a break. A whole morning like that–brutal!
    That said, this is the kind of event I love, as an educator. It’s best when it’s not “business as usual” and that, in my experience, is when the most growth and positive transformation occurs for the students.
    Now as for growing readership and that sort of thing–who cares! We do this for self expression; to curate our thoughts. What matters most is the action of putting them together. So what if “the masses” don’t care to take the time to digest some developed thoughts. The internet has lots of cute cat pictures to occupy the minds of those with shorter attention spans.


    • Yes, Helen got all of her diagnosis spot-on. As usual :D

      As for the whole morning, yes, 9.30 till 2.30 was pretty lengthy. The students weren’t stupid, a lot of them got up and walked around. Maybe went outside for a fag (a cigarette before you comment) for all I know. But having been invited I felt rather glued to my chair.

      There were so many different ways you could have played it. Who’s to say what’s the best way? As I said to Philosopher Mouse, I prob would have done it differently but I’m basing that on work events and on post-grad studies, although that’s no reason why not to bring those techniques into undergrad studies.

      They were under severe time pressure though to cram such a lot into three and a half days, and after the workshop/presentations had finished, many of them had been told to go back to their ‘site’ to do a little more work. And that was their last chance as Monday morning they were leaving first thing.

      When I write about this on Clouds I’ll mention my OU studies and summer schools – they were very intensive and very well organised. I am sure you would have loved those. I certainly got a lot out of them.

      I was partly explaining why I took up this offer (the first one I’ve accepted I think from this blog). I *might* write for other people if I thought there would be some gain for me, of whatever type, intellectual, interest or cash. But not just to waste a couple of hours when I have other things to do. And certainly not to garner inane comments from people who aren’t really interested in my eccentric blogs. I am a big believer in quality not quantity. Intellectually I found it interesting. Physically – well, I think I’ve already described that :D

      Plenty of cute dog pix on my blogs too ;) But a cute pic without some text does very little for me. Anyway, must go and post some cute pix on the dog blog.


  8. I find all the snippets about Gib, here and in earlier posts, fascinating. One cannot have been an avid reader of naval books, fact and fiction, old and new, without having come into frequent contact with it – but fleetingly (pun intended).
    Had your sudden bout of misery occurred here recently the coffee and all other foodstuffs would have been innocent. There has been a 24-hour ‘flu going round with all of those symptoms.


    • Having always been a history addict I could write a whole history blog, but I try not to overdo it, I still have memories of school where I loved history classes and most people groaned when our twice weekly lessons came around, so I still tend to think people switch off to it.

      I don’t honestly think I can say that I have contracted 24 hour ‘flu from where you live. Unless someone brought it with them of course!


  9. “It’s about as unlikely as being Freshly Pressed, receiving 100 comments from new visitors and even 10% of them returning ever again. And do I need that many more readers or visitors?”

    Loved that line …

    Write because you want to, about what you want to. I blog because I enjoy it – nothing more, nothing less. And as for someone who wants you to write something for them – for free – and has the temerity to set a fistful of parameters, well, you know where they can stick it.


    • Thanks. I think it’s nice to highlight good blogs, but so many (ie nearly all) of the ones on FP are not good. And it is just a waste of everyone’s time writing ‘Hi, great post’ and a reply of ‘Thank you so much’. I mean, just where, is the value in that for anyone? And then ‘great post’ flits off into the ethersphere never to be seen again. I’ll link to blogs that I follow, from time to time, and sometimes people like them enough to want to follow, so that’s good. For example, I linked to Helen’s in the above post because she had written a recent post about breakfasts. I think that’s a more constructive way of promoting a blog because I know that people who read my blog regularly either a) follow or b) follow and comment as well, so they are consistent.

      I would still write a free post for any of my regular readers/commenters if they wanted and didn’t impose parameters, because they invest time in my blog, so I see that as a quid pro quo. But the people I follow aren’t into that type of blogging (luckily!).


      • I don’t pay much attention to what gets Freshly Pressed, but the ones I have read haven’t impressed me that much. There are some folks out there putting out some really good writing on occasion, but too much of what I read that was Freshly Pressed was First Person stuff which, when there’s no added value such a bigger perspective, gets old real quick.

        I think you’ve got the right idea – but then again you’ve got a pretty good idea who your regular readers are and aren’t writing just for page views.


        • Having regular readers can actually be difficult. I know who they are. In print journalism, you never assumed that anyone had read the previous story in a newspaper about the same topic, so you provide a brief summary. For example in the case of this blog, the fishing dispute, which I have written about a number of times. BUT, I know my regular readers have read about it and commented, so I can’t keep repeating the story, yawn. I’m not selling hundreds of thousands of newspapers. I wish.

          The journalistic theory is that you present a story assuming your reader hasn’t read it. But basically I can’t do that on a blog. Different. The last thing I want, is for people to read and think ‘Yes, yes, I know all that! You wrote that before’.

          Fine line between reminding regular informed readers and catering for new ones. Sure I could use links, and I do, but few hit on them (usually regular readers!).

          Mine isn’t quite first person, but borders it. Mostly it’s what’s happening around where I live, but that can be news, politics, gossip, with my take on it, or what I’m up to. This post was more about what I was up to, but was mainly a report on the students’ projects.

          ‘Me’ blogs are ok, if they are interesting. Which isn’t very often. I think the ones aiming at/achieving FP are invariably aiming at a quick hit/fix and instant glory. Life isn’t like that.


  10. Very interesting post. It’s great that you could lend a hand. But yes, no food and strong coffee would have killed my stomach since I have GERD. I have to drink decaf now with the afib thing that reared its ugly head back in the summer.

    If that had been me, I would not have vomited but almost fainted from lack of food. I suspect that you are like me with hardly any fat storage which means we deplete our caloric supply quickly. I get nauseated, weak and, dizzy with no food.

    I can just imagine how sick you were feeling that day.


    • Thanks Y. It was an interesting, if overly long, morning. I thought I might have had it too at one point, but since I’ve stopped on the coffee I’ve felt less nauseous and dizzy. We both drink tea at the moment, it’s black, but very, very weak.

      I did feel faint. It was debatable which was going to happen first, but as I’m not normally an actual fainty person, I figured the vomit would win out. And it did. Yup, I’m slim. My weight has rarely varied throughout my adult life. 119-126 lbs when younger (see I even converted it for you, means nothing to me though! as we use stones and lbs so that would be 8.5-9)). And over the last ten years, around 126-133. I’m 5’9″. So there’s not a lot of spare kicking around.

      And although I’ve always had a mostly sedentary job, I’ve found that concentrating mentally depletes the body as well. So five hours of total concentration = Bleugh!

      Sorry, didn’t mean to make anyone feel sick, but you obviously know exactly what I meant.


      • Thanks for the reply. Yep we are both thin. I am 5-3 now having lost an inch (old age) even though I have good posture. I weigh between 108-110 pounds but I have to eat lots of bananas and grapes in order to add up the calories. I don’t eat bread so that is a bit of a problem. One day I’ll maybe find some gluten free flour that does not contain corn and if so then I’ll try baking some bread.

        Thin folks simply can not go for long without eating something and it needs to be the right kind of food. I marvel at people that can eat junk food and such and it never seems to bother them. Amazing! :-)


        • I always try to reply unless I forget or miss one. A comment deserves a reply. Simple.

          Ah, my mother shrunk too. I haven’t as yet, that I’ve noticed. Not that I pay any attention to charts but I was well borderline BMI. Now I’m slightly inside. To me, what is important is how I feel within myself.

          I base my meals around carbs. Potatoes, or rice, or pasta, and have done for years. Works for us. I add the veg/greens/salad whatever, and some protein of whatever type. But it gets balanced over the whole day too.

          Gluten free must be disastrous. I understand it, but as I don’t need to use that type of flour, I don’t feel like trying it. One of our shops sells a potato mix GF flour. My potato bread was great (wheat flour plus pots) so that may be an option (I mean potato flour) if you can find it. I am pleased with my bread efforts, tastes great, fresh ingredients and lasts. Brill. I’ll try and have a look for the GF options that are on sale around here, to give you some idea of other flours. Might not try them though :(

          I hadn’t thought about the thin folks thing before (in all of my 50+ years) but it truly makes sense. Junk food would have me vomiting in five minutes let alone five hours.


  11. I rather like that first model using the local rocks, I am fond of picking up debris like this myself! I have still got some bits of Vesuvius in a drawer somewhere. Perhaps there is a commercial venture in the rocks?
    I took a break from coffee about 15 years ago and then could never drink the stuff again without it making me feel ill! I took a break from beer as well at the same time but luckily I was able to take that back up again!


    • I thought it was clever using a sketch plan and local rocks to produce an idea of the topography of the area. Hmm, not sure how profitable it would be. You might be able to sell your boats I suppose. I don’t think you will get rich out of it though.

      These coffee comments are interesting. We’ve still got half a pack of Columbian ground in the cupboard so I’ll have to find a way of using it up :( Beer, on the other hand, does not give me a problem. Two San Miguels would have been a better option than two black coffees. I really, really, must learn my lesson from this about coffee.


  12. I start my day with coffee. I have only the one, but I buy coffee beans and grind only what I need for the one cup each morning…two scoops. Then I put the grounds into the small coffee jug, add boiled, but settled water, stir, wait for the grounds to settle, put the filtered on, push down the filter with its handle and then pour it into my coffee mug that by now contains two sugars. Milk is added and voila! I can’t stand the instant crap, that would make anyone go to the bathroom.


    • I used to, but I also drank far more than one cup, and as I’d not drunk it for some time (weak tea rather than strong coffee) – it just pushed me over the edge. TW sugars and milk? Now that would send me to the toilet (which I think is what you mean by bathroom as I would hardly need a bath).


  13. That was quite an interesting tour and thanks for the link. I love when you talk about Gib and everything that goes on around there.

    Strong coffee is not for me either and definitely not black. I would die!

    The models and presentations were quite interesting and love the photos. Thanks for sharing darling. :D ♥


    • It was an interesting experience … as they say. But not one I’d be repeating again in a hurry.

      Me and black coffee used to get on well. Maybe it’s an age thing?

      I was surprised at the difference between what they presented and how my university friends used to work. This seemed creative and lateral thinking, but oh, they seemed so young!!

      Liked by 1 person

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