Both the title of the blog and its address come from Yeatman and Sellars’ ‘1066 and All That’, fittingly enough as history fascinates me and I love to laugh…not always, it has to be admitted, kindly.

I’m a Scot; moved when a child to England; later on I lived in France for some twenty years and now live in Costa Rica.
All four societies have enchanted and infuriated me, though not in equal measure.

I am retired, married to a man who has been in ill health for years and live most of the time on a small finca in the hills back of San Jose with dogs, sheep, poultry and bullocks.

There is no theme to this blog…I write about what interests me at the time whether that be politics, shopping, history or travel…., about France or Costa Rica…. but its chief interest lies in the comments people are kind enough to leave.

Through these comments and their writers I have had so many worlds opened to me…and I’ve learned from every one of them, so, if you care to visit the blog, be sure to catch up on the commentators.


And always remember…as in the illustration above…if there is no solution, it is because there is no problem.


78 thoughts on “About”

  1. Thank you for coming by my fledgling, hodgepodge blog! I am going to enjoy reading your posts…I know it already. Right now I have to cook dinner for my daughter. (When did they start expecting 5-6 meals a day?) No, it is my turn to cook. 🙂

  2. Lovely “About” page. We have much in common at first glance including the “loving to laugh…not always kindly” and no theme to our respective blogs. I’m eager to get to know you!

  3. I’ve just been introduced to your blog via Susie Kelly’s wonderful blogs…I now need to take a bit of time out to sit and enjoy…thank you for blogging

    1. Susies’s blogs – and books – are wonderful….it was lovely to meet her in the flesh and to find she was just as much fun and as kind as the blogs and books show her to be.

  4. I am in full agreement with you, I met Susie last year whilst she was visiting her family here in England…I have a great deal of admiration for her, not only as a writer, but as a survivor of many challenges which she has kindly documented.
    I am sorry to say that I am a failed blogger…life just got in the way of my creative side, as you know, it can’t be forced…hopefully I will manage to ‘pick it up’ at some point in the future.😊

    1. If blogging and writing mean something to you, give it another go or just do it less often. It doesn’t have to be a daily thing although it is for me at the moment but I’ve been crook for a bit and blogging has become an online community…an alternative to going out for coffee, I’ve noticed a few people have got quite into it and then suddenly stopped and I’ve wondered what’s happened to them. xx Rowena

      1. Yes, blogging can become a bit of a coffeeklatch …you get used to the ‘company’ of some blogs and should they disappear you wonder what has happened to the writer…but never quite like to ask..

  5. I like this blog. You are eclectic… I am too. Ah, 1066 and All That! My mom and dad were big fans of that, and I grew up poking through it. I liked the statue reconstructed from a big toe with dotted lines showing the full details of the whole figure. Thanks for visiting “1870 to 1918.”

    1. I used to follow your blog…then WordPress unfollowed me from a whole list of blogs and then I found you again by chance….glad to see you here…the regular commenters are a great bunch so do join in if you have the time and take a look at their blogs and others I enjoy on the roll on the right hand side.

  6. Dear Helen,

    I don’t know what “1066 and All That” is–haven’t yet googled–but Barbara of Silver in the Barn sent me your way. I’ve seen your name and comments elsewhere–I think you and I have exchanged comments somewhere? Barbara’s? Or were you over at Margaret-Rose’s place?–but for whatever reason, never headed this way before.

    I laughed when I saw your url, and blog title: Who decides on a spin on the venerable Bede? And how many palfreys until one has a surfeit? Then I read the first post and lost it when I came to the plimsoll line of the turkey. Which I reported back to Barbara, as well as reporting back my envy at your brilliant writing, and my irkedness at her for referring me to a blogger I am compelled now to follow, when I have no time to keep up with the few bloggers I follow now. Grrr.

    Resentfully yours,

    –O. Babe

    1. How can I resist ‘resentfully yours’!
      Just be careful…don’t start looking into the blogs run by the people kind enough to comment on this blog or your resentfulness levels will approach those of nuclear fission! They run some great blogs which become addictive!
      Barbara is great at putting people in touch, isn’t she…and yes, I’m sure we’ve cross commented…but where in the vastnesses of the blogosphere escapes me!

      1. Thank you for the warning, but it is unnecessary, for my eyes are already blind to all other bloggers. My stack is ready to topple as it is, thanks to drat that excellent Barbara.

          1. I have known her longer, so she has had longer to writhe her wily ways about me. Plus, she flatters me pretty much all the time.

          2. You WILL be a challenge for me: I had to google, and have now learned that the way the term is used currently is, as is often the case, somewhat contrary to its original meaning, in that David and his followers were, supposedly, taking a morally-upright stand, and merely waiting for Saul to get off their case, whereas today, the term describes schemers plotting an overthrow to return to their former glory. So: Now that I’ve learned all that, I STILL don’t get the reference. Is Adullamite a fellow blogger you particularly enjoy berating?

  7. Adullamite is the title of Tynecastle’s blog…Tynecastle being his football reference, Adullamite referring to the cave of Adullam…(.which also features in Cornford’s Microcosmograhia Academica).
    As fellow Scots we gently abuse each other….well, gently by Scottish standards…
    Have you yet encountered Rough Seas in the Med? I’m sure that Barbara would recommend too…….

  8. I love Costa Rica. We just got back from a ten day visit. We spent three days in Panama as well. We spent our last night in San Jose. We went to the Central Market, boy was that ever cool! I look forward to reading your blog.

    1. I like the Central Market too…and the Borbon alongside…then there are the big ferias on Saturdays at Plaza Viquez and Aranjuez…
      You have to come back and explore San Jose more…it has some super architecture and is the friendliest of places. Just stay away from Gringo Gulch!

      1. Have you been to Panama? We went to Bocos Del Toro, and stayed on Isla Bastimento for three days. We couldn’t believe how cheap everything was. We stayed in Cahuita and Puerto Viejo for the rest of our trip. What the heck is Gringo Gulch?

        1. Panama is certainly cheaper than ‘Costa Rica…..just about anywhere except Switzerland is cheaper than Costa Rica!
          Gringo Gulch is the area in the centre of San Jose round the Hotel del Rey known as the place where men who come to Costa Rica for freely available sex tend to congregate. Sleazy…

          1. Yikes! Really? We thought Costa Rica was pretty cheap. We live in the US, and traveling to Costa Rica was pretty cheap compared to some of the places we’ve visited in the US.

          2. My only experience of the U.S. was the airports when in transit…and that was so horrible that i will pay for a more expensive flight to avoid ever doing it again!

          3. Really? Sorry to hear that. We flew through Atlanta, Georgia, which is the busiest airport in the world. It really wasn’t bad at all. We travel a lot, so it’s just part of the process for us.

          4. You are U.S. citizens…we are ‘foreigners’!
            So, even in transit we have to collect our baggage, go through customs and immigration and so called security…queues, queues, queues. The customs staff were always civil and professional, no problem with them. Most of the immigration staff were fine – but so few desks manned with loads of planes debussing at the same time – but the security staff! Beyond words rude and bullying, shouting at passengers….how people tolerate it is beyond me.

            I travel a fair bit between Costa Rica and Europe – my mother, who has just celebrated her 100th birthday, is in England, we have family in Belgium, friends in France and a house in Spain – so I see a number of airports in operation and nowhere have I seen treatment of passengers so dreadful as at Houston, Atlanta and Miami (my only experiences of U.S. airports).
            It really is no way to encourage people to visit the U.S.

          5. I’m so sorry to hear that. Wow, your mom is 100! That’s awesome. How many different languages do you speak? I want to learn Spanish before our next Central America trip.

          6. Well, there’s Spanish and Spanish! I picked up the language here in Costa Rica and when it’s certainly not the same as Spanish Spanish! Mark you, in the village where our house is situated they speak Valenciana…just to confuse things!
            Mother’s a tough old bird – luckily for me.
            I only speak French and (Costa Rican) Spanish as foreign languages, but my husband also speaks Flemish – and was surprised how close it was to Afrikaans when he visited South Africa.
            Where are you planning to go next in Central America? Honduras is a bit dodgy – well, more than a bit – at the moment, but Nicaragua is great.

          7. In a way, accident!
            We had been living in France for twenty years and several factors made us doubt the wisdom of continuing to do so – retrospective taxation for one.
            We took a holiday in Costa Rica and bought a house with a small finca in order to escape the European winter…we did this twice and then my husband decided he would like to stay permanently, so we packed our bags and moved.
            It is not a paradise – far from that – but its bureaucracy is nowhere near as exasperating as that of France, the climate suits my husband and the national health service – the CAJA – is very good indeed in respect of major illness.

          8. Good for you! Do you travel the country much? Which coast do you prefer? We visited the Pacific Coast in 2013, I think I like the Caribbean coast better. Something about that beautiful blue water is so enticing. We visited La Fortuna on our first visit. The rain forest is so beautiful. We live in Wisconsin, so the landscape is pretty flat for the most part.Our winters are pretty brutal. We have good snow removal so it isn’t too bad. Our summers are lots of fun, as there seem to be outdoor festivals every weekend.

          9. My husband has not been well enough to travel much recently – but we used to run about on the buses: we aren’t great beach people, but I did enjoy the Osa peninsular and the Golfito area, and the Wilson Botanic gardens down on the way to Panama…The Orosi valley is just lovely, too, beyond Cartago.
            Where we live most of the forest was cut down to plant coffee when it was booming in the seventies, but now people are replanting – us too – to try to recreate something of the richness of the lost forests- and to try to preserve the water supply.
            All (I think) I know of Wisconsin is cheese! But I envy you the summer festivals: there are some here but, just as in France, pretty limited.

          10. People from Wisconsin are called Cheeseheads. Silly huh? I’m from Indiana originally, so I’m no stinking cheesehead! LOL! I think being indoors so long with our winters, makes the summers even better. We want to enjoy as much of the outdoors as possible. I was surprised how cool it was in San Jose when we were there. It must have been in the 50’s. It’s still nice here in Wisconsin. We live about 20 minutes away from Lake Michigan, which is one of the Great Lakes.

          11. I knew a chap – a pilot – who lived for some years in Michigan. His description of the winters was enough to have me shivering!
            San Jose always seems to be reasonably cool…one of the reasons i like it as you don’t get flaked out by the heat when you go in for a concert, or some shopping or just the events in the parks on Saturdays in the dry season. I know that the guide books don’t rate SJ, but it is worth a longer look.

          12. We live in Southeastern Wisconsin, so our winters aren’t as bad as some parts of Michigan. Usually around March is when we go somewhere warm, as by that time we are really sick of winter. I know when we retire, we would like to be somewhere warm.

          13. I highly recommend doing just that! The sheer relief of not having to cut stack and store wood, haul it indoors, clear the ash…quite apart from the expense of diesel for the central heating… the wrapping up in layers to venture outside…abseiling down to the hen house…wishing for ice axe and crampons to get back again… the electric blanket…

            Yes, retire somewhere warm!

          14. You cannot imagine the relief!
            Where we live – up in the hills – you don’t need air conditioning either. Best of both worlds. There are so many micro climates that it pays you to look around….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s