Thursday, 23 March 2017

St. Matthias Church

Another sad afternoon two weeks ago.
The mother of my friend Helen had passed away and I attended the funeral at St. Matthias Church...  my childhood church.

 St. Matthias Anglican Church

St. Matthias Church is located on the south coast in the parish of Christ Church.
Situated on three quarters of an acre of land donated back in 1837 by John Mayers, a clerk of the House of Assembly who also became the chief builder of the church.
The church was originally built as a Chapel of Ease but when completed after a cost of four thousand, two hundred and fifty pounds ( £4250.00), it was rather grand and larger than the other chapels of ease and other churches on the island.

It was consecrated on August 2nd, 1850 by Bishop Thomas Parry.

Due to its close proximity to The Garrison where the British soldiers were stationed it was utilized as a chapel and the two institutions formed a close bond.
The British Government leased the chapel at  £75 per annum for the soldiers. The Chaplain of the Forces conducted the Sunday morning service and the Vicar conducted the evening service.

Today St. Matthias still has close ties to the military as it serves as the chapel for the Barbados Defense Force with its Rector as the Chaplain.

Arriving early for the funeral with my girlfriends, I had the opportunity to wander around and immerse myself in memories of bygone years.
It was nice to see the old familiar building again where as a child I had lingered at the doorway many times looking up wondering if I were able to climb to the top ( I was a tomboy back then).
Entering a church is always a humbling experience for me and funerals seem to make me ponder the delicacy of life more, and this evening was no different.

The church is listed as an architectural and historic interest by the Barbados National Trust.

The Dauntless Tomb
Herein lie the remains of fifteen officers and the captain's steward of the HMS Dauntless who died from yellow fever as a result of the epidemic that gripped Bridgetown in 1852.

The frigate was moored off Carlisle Bay and the deadly disease  claimed the lives of sixty seven men on board.

The marble tomb was donated by the Royal Navy and is located in the southern section of the church cemetery.
Also buried in the cemetery are other citizens who succumbed to the disease.

A brief history of the church here .
More historical info here.
I found this Youtube video "Morning has Broken" with the church's bells.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

My poor Beast

My dear old Beast was in poor health.
Trying to oblige my desires each morning as I started him up, he would splutter and wretch.
Umpteen times I turned the ignition and he would make an effort but then he would give up... after several tries he would finally give another sluggish attempt to engage and then spring to life.
I knew it was time for a service.
I had been working him so hard recently.
Fetching and carrying heavy loads and I really had not been taking the time to care and nurture my poor baby.
Called up my friendly mechanic Frank to schedule a service.
I decided too that I would book my poor baby for an under body chassis and engine wash since we still had not found the transmission leak even after changing the seal and hoses.
 The guy I previously used for the under body wash service had gone out of business so another car care place was recommended.
I went by to check it out (can't take my beloved to any old place you know) and I was pleased with what I saw.
"Do I need to make an appointment?" I asked the pressure washer guy who was busy cleaning under a huge truck on the hoist.
"No Miss, just come by early and it's first come, first served. We open at 7.30am" came the reply.
The following day Beast and I arrived extra early.  I paid for the service inside the office with a very pleasant young lady and then headed outside to wait my turn.

 Even though my poor boy continued to give a hard start in the mornings, I was always amazed at his "ready to go" attitude.  Once he did get started he drove smoothly on our many pot-holed roads of late.
Frank was still backed up and couldn't schedule Beast for a service immediately as I'd we waited.
One day I begged him to come by to see if he could figure out the problem.
This he did.  He jumped in the driver's seat, pressed the gas pedal twice, turned the ignition and presto Beast sprang to life immediately!!
"Well Vee, you've got an old boy now so the automatic choke is will now have to do the job of the choke from now on.  Before turning the ignition, give Beast a little gas and then switch on and he should be good to go," Frank advised.
All I heard out of that is that I now have an old boy....which me as an old girl will have to look after even more (not that I mind) dear old Beast.
I thanked Frank, and he left promising me that he will fit us in early the following week for a service.
Daughter dear was a bit concerned, "Don't you want something newer to drive Mum?" she asked.
"No thanks," I told her.  "Beast has been so loyal to me over the years....has never broken down on the road....always brings me back home and then shows up the problem....brings me back with flat tyres that miraculously show up the following day before I set off from home....I know what I have now, but I don't know what I will get.  Hope you don't think of getting rid of me too because I'm getting old too."
"No MOTHER!!! Of course not!!" she cried.
Finally service day rolled around.
Beast has had his service and all is well.
We will continue to grow old together....all is well that ends well.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Rumor has it!!

"GCH CH Lockenhaus' Rumor Has It V Kenlyn".
Best in Show 2017
Rumor in her winning pose with her handler Kent Boyles

The winner of  the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was awarded to "GCH CH Lockenhaus' Rumor Has It V Kenlyn".

Breed: German Shepherd Dogs
Sex:  Bitch
Date of Birth:   11/15/11
Breeder: Pamela McElheney & Kent Boyles

Exactly two weeks ago today, on Valentine's day, Rumor the German Shepherd paraded around the ring at this years 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, stole the hearts of the judges and emerged as the Best in Show for 2017.

She won the title beating out more than 2800 other dogs in the show at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, February 14. 
It was the second time in the history of the show that a German Shepherd had won the coveted top prize.
The last time the breed  had won was back in 1987.

Rumor is five years old and this was her final contest.  She will now retire and concentrate on starting a family.
As her handler and co-owner Kent Boyles aptly put it, she is now destined to be matched with "an appropriate husband".
Owned by Deborah Stern, Pamela Buckles, Patti Dukeman, Pam McElheney and Kent Boyles of Ohio, Rumor was favoured to win the prestigious title last year, but then CJ the German Shorthaired Pointer swept the title from under her feet.
She was set to retire but came back this year for one last time and won BIG!
Rumor has 103 career championships under her collar and she is the 39th win by a female in the show.
Congrats Rumor!!!

The Westminster Dog Show was founded in 1877 and is the largest canine competition in the world.
All images respectfully borrowed from Google Images. 

Monday, 20 February 2017

Crash Bang again!!!

I have been so busy recently that I have not had the time to blog about all that has been happening.....and so much has been happening.
Gosh I don't even know where to start but I will try to fill in the blanks as the days go by.  So many things that I want to make a note of here.

I had planned to change up my grass verge once again due to maintenance upkeep.
I was tired of weeding and watering the asparagus fern that I had planted, plus the prickly fern fronds were trapping all manner of garbage blowing around in the breeze....I knew it was time for it to go.
I weeded it all out and gave the stone pavers to my girlfriend Ann.
The area stood empty until I could decide what to do with it.
A few days after Christmas Day (27th) I spotted a dark damp area outside my front wall where my water meter is located.

Water dampness seeping up the front wall.

I checked the meter and its connections for leaks but did not detect any.

As the days went by the damp area became waterlogged and my concern grew more.
Placed a call to the Water Authority and a work crew came out the same evening and dug around until they found the problem.

The connection for the water supply for my side of the street is located under the steps to my side entrance.  The connection was probably 10 years old and had worn was time to be replaced.
It was already dark when the work crew showed up but thankfully the problem area was located next to the street light.
The dedicated work crew worked hard taking turns at breaking up the concrete stone with a pick ace but at the same time being very careful not to do anymore damage.
Finally they found the worn connection after they had dug down into 3feet of muddy water and debris.

Even though they were dirty and sweaty, water soaked and mud caked, they still were a happy bunch and made me laugh quite a bit with the conversations that we had. 
I held my LED torch for extra light as they made the new underground connection.
I was really impressed how professional they were and they in turn were taken aback that a woman was outside with them in the fray of things.
At one point I may have given up but not these guys, they worked and worked until they fixed the problem. 
Many questions swam around in my mind....Gosh how do they do this kind of back breaking work all the do they manage to get their clothes clean after all that do they stay so positive in such working conditions....are they paid enough??
It made me realise even more that we the public owe these guys a ton of respect.
I took some cold drinks and water out for all of them....they really appreciated the kind gesture.
It being a cold night, the joker in the group announced, "Misses, you ain't got nothing stronger inside?  That juice going hurt my belly!" 
I laughed and returned inside to take a small portion of something strong for him which he promptly shared with his crew mates.

In about 45 minutes they had finished and tidied up and were on their way promising that the masonry crew would be back to fix back the steps and the small retaining wall.

 Naturally with everything all dug up, the large pieces of concrete debris made the area looked like a construction scrap yard.

A few days afterwards, the supervisor came by to check on the job that needed to be done to fix back the area.  He indicated that materials were at an all time low but would try to source some in order to make the front of my home look proper again.  I thanked him.

A couple of days after his visit (January 11th), the mason came by and did an excellent job at reinstalling the steps and the side areas.

A mason extraordinaire.
The mason was a true gentleman....a nice respectful young man who took great pride in his work....He worked quickly and cleaned up thoroughly as he worked...see the broom above.

No dilly dallying at out of the truck...assessed the job to be done and started pronto.

 His assistant mixing the concrete for the step repairs.

 Laying the steel to strengthen the concrete

 Making sure the consistency is right before casting.
When he was finished, I couldn't even tell where the damage was at all.

I was so impressed with the work and the manner in which he worked that I made a note of his contact number.

I was so happy that everything was looking all nice again because I was now ready to change the look of the verge again.
Just as I was about to begin my new project .....CRASH!!!! BANG!!

Well would you know it...exactly one month after the water main leak along comes more drama.
My neighbour on her way home one Friday afternoon (Jan 27th) drove over the road curb and smashed her car right into the wall area that had just been completed....she narrowly missed the street light by a very slight margin.

Thankfully she was okay....her car and the wall and the gate not so much.

Water was gushing everywhere....the water meter was completely destroyed as it had been knocked off the pipe connection.

A good quantity of soil in the front garden bed was washed away.

 Water meter smashed to smithereens.

Water formed a fast flowing river going down the side of my house.

The car was lodged firmly on to the small gate wall, but with the help of a kind gentleman who had a big truck it was eventually pulled back on to the was still driveable and after the busted tyre was changed by my neighbour down the street, she was able to drive it home.

The small gate was bent and the wall was knocked completely off from its support.  I managed to prop the wall up so the gate could remain closed and so that Brownie would be safe inside.

My poor neighbour was quite distraught over the incident and she promised to fix the damage as soon as possible.
Once again I called the Water Authority...they promised to come by pronto.
The water continued to spew out forming a rushing river flowing down the side of my house.
Thankfully a few guys saw the "water waste" and promptly attached the end connection to stop the flow.
I realised they were my neighbour's workmen and the following Friday evening I took some cold beers out to them as a THANK YOU.
However I was still without water since there was still no connection via the meter to my house.
The following day a water work crew came by and hooked our water line back up to the water supply....yeah I had water again!!
No meter was installed but I was told to go ahead with my water usage and I would be charged the minimum amount until a new meter is installed....I use minimum water anyway so no problem there.

I still could not start my new project because the area outside of my front wall was totally drenched.  I had to wait a few days for it to dry completely out.

In the meanwhile I obtained an estimate for the repairs from the mason (thank goodness I had requested his number...thanks Sean!!) and also a store estimate for the materials and presented them to my neighbour...I don't think she realised how much damage had been done but she assured me that she will honour her commitment to pay for the repairs.
The saga continues.

In case you wondering the first Crash Bang is here.

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