October 2018: Leap!

Hello, friends and neighbours, welcome to your October edition of Roundabout Rochford.

Well summer really is over. The flip flops have been packed away, barbeque cleaned and oiled, and as for the paddling pool – well, after a summer of enthusiastic use by little people, it has been sent to paddling pool heaven.

Well actually this isn’t strictly true, as it’s lying broken and battered on the shed roof. But don’t worry, it’s not alone. Keeping it company are two inflatable blow up chairs (both punctured) and a set of broken step ladders. No doubt these items will overwinter on the roof before finally making it to the tip: they are beyond repair. Oh, I nearly forgot there’s also a dismantled garden slide up there, but that will survive – I hope – for many more summers of use.

The garden slide provided great fun for visiting small people; that is, until one of them decided to use it as a launch pad.  This daredevil 18-month-old would climb up the steps to the top, turn their back on the slide and then jump into the great unknown. At which point his mother would leap up, race across and catch him – just in the nick of time to prevent broken bones, bruises and a cracked skull.

Great fun for the 18-month-old who, despite dire warnings, continued to leap off the slide with joyful abandonment.  Of course, he was having a ball. His Mother always managed to ‘save’ him, but she was frazzled with all the dashing, diving and catching.

I’m afraid my comment of ‘He’ll soon learn if he falls’ did not get the best reception. Now to be clear, I wasn’t advocating deliberately letting the small person fall – simply making an observation. Big mistake. Frazzled mothers do not take kindly to observations, no matter how well intended. Lesson learnt Anne.

Therefore, in the interests of ‘elf and safety (and family harmony) I offered to dismantle the slide until next summer. By this time our little daredevil may have learnt a bit more caution. We can but hope. Anyway, I’m not really that bothered, I’ve seen a fantastic climbing frame that all the little people in our life would really love.

Right, I’d better end now, or I’ll be getting shouted at again by the word count goblin, and his pointy teeth scare me witless (I really will be in trouble now!). Have a lovely month and don’t forget: Put your money where your house is – shop local!

 

Until next time

Anne

 

If you would like to advertise your business or service in Roundabout Rochford please get in touch. I can, as always, be contacted by telephone/email. Deadline for inclusion in the Nov 2018 issue is Saturday 20th October.   

Telephone: 01702 416555

Email: anne@roundaboutrochford.co.uk

info@roundaboutrochford.co.uk

September 2018: Season of Mists

Hello, friends and neighbours, welcome to your September edition of Roundabout Rochford.

Well that’s Summer just about over. Depending on who you listen to – meteorologists or astronomers – summer has either ended already or doesn’t end until the end of September. I prefer to think that we still have some lovely balmy days left in which to enjoy the garden.

Of course, the big event for many in September is the start of the new academic year. Suddenly children, big and small, appear on the streets every morning and afternoon; either going to, or returning from school. I like it, it’s good to see people out and about again. Though whether I’ll like it quite as much when I’m stuck in traffic on the Ashingdon Road at 2.45pm remains to be seen!

Just a quick word about our online local business directory at www.roundaboutrochford.co.uk If you are a local business, and would like a free listing, go online and fill in the form provided. Totally free, no strings attached with only one proviso: you must provide a landline and/or details of your address. You can mark the setting for these to private if you wish, however, we must have these details to approve your listing. We like to know that you really are ‘local’.

Right, that’s it for now. I think I’ve been very restrained this month. No silliness, no grand schemes, no proposals for community cows (still think it’s a good idea though).

Oh nearly forgot: isn’t the front cover just brilliant? Alpacas are just so gorgeous and there’s quite a few of them in the Rochford area… if you know where to look.

Until next time

Anne

If you would like to advertise your business or service in Roundabout Rochford please get in touch. I can, as always, be contacted by telephone/email. Deadline for inclusion in the Oct 2018 issue is Friday 21st September.   

Telephone: 01702 416555

Email: anne@roundaboutrochford.co.uk

info@roundaboutrochford.co.uk

August 2018: Pesky Critters!

Hello, friends and neighbours, welcome to your August edition of Roundabout Rochford.

Wow, what a summer we’ve had so far. Hot, hot and hot again.  There’s always a slight danger when I comment on the weather that by the time you read this it will all have changed. That is, it will no longer by hot, hot, hot but wet, windy and dismal (I was so tempted to write wet, wet, wet but resisted). I hope that’s not the case and we’re still basking in sunshine.

With the beautiful weather comes an increase in those critters that fly, crawl, scuttle, slither and bite. Most of them don’t bother me too much, except for flies…and gnats. I just don’t see the point of them: what exactly do they do apart from spreading disease and general yukiness?

In search of enlightenment I googled: What is the point of flies? I don’t recommend that you do this. The answer just reinforces how much I dislike flies and why. Gnats may be annoying, but at least they are a food source for birds and pollinate flowers…according to Google.

However, Google also provided instructions for how to make a gnat trap with apple cider vinegar and washing up liquid. Said concoction is put in a jar, covered with clingflim and a small hole made, through which the gnats fly. Amid much family hilarity I made one of these gnat traps. Don’t bother, it doesn’t work. I was so proud of it I took a picture – misplaced pride as it turned out.

I also made a fly deterrent after seeing instructions for this too on Google. A plastic bag is half filled with water, pennies are dropped into the water and the whole thing hung up. Wasted effort again – it didn’t work either: but it does provide a talking point in the garden i.e.: ‘What daft thing is she doing now?’.

I’m currently trying to understand why these contraptions seem to work for millions of people online but not for me. Any ideas?

Right, I think that’s about it for this month. Have a lovely summer, enjoy the good weather and stay safe in the heat. As for me…I’ve spotted instructions for home made fly papers that I’m very tempted to try. I’ll let you know how it goes! Oh, and if you’d like to see the photos of my useless gnat trap and fly deterrent, I’ll post the photos with the online version of the Editor’s letter. Just go to the website www.roundaboutrochford.co.ui

Until next time

Anne

If you would like to advertise your business or service in Roundabout Rochford please get in touch. I can, as always, be contacted by telephone/email. Deadline for inclusion in the Sept 2018 issue is Tuesday 21st August.   

Telephone: 01702 416555

Email: anne@roundaboutrochford.co.uk

info@roundaboutrochford.co.uk

July 2018: Let's Go Fly a Kite

Hello, friends and neighbours, welcome to your July edition of Roundabout Rochford.

I love the month of July. When my children were young I particularly loved it, because it marked the beginning of the school summer holidays. No more early morning chaos ejecting reluctant bodies from bed, hunting for school gear, making sure everyone had what they needed – and writing notes to excuse those who did not. No more clock watching.

Instead, mornings could begin in a more leisurely fashion: the back door would be thrown open to the sunshine and paddling pools filled – and refilled –  throughout the day. Or we would have cheap days out to the beach or park with a picnic and a kite to fly when we got there. We always had a kite. In fact, we had several kites over the course of a summer. Mainly due to them collapsing, tearing, becoming entangled in tree tops or disappearing out to sea. Every time I declared: ‘That’s it, no more kites, they’re a waste of money.’

Of course, we always got another. If the truth be told, it was probably my reluctance to invest in a decent kite that contributed to their short life span. However, one of the most effective kites we had was a crinkly carrier bag, tied to fishing line wound round a stick. It made a lot of noise but didn’t cost a penny. Those were the days.

I’m probably looking back with rose tinted glasses, but I think I’ll keep them on a while longer: I like the view of the world they give! Enjoy the summer: it won’t last for ever.

Moving on…you’ll notice that the book page is back this month. It was a toss up between the book page and the technology page, but I decided to be totally reckless and have both. Let me know your thoughts please: technology or books?

Finally, it’s that regular plea I make regarding the Community Events and What’s On pages. If you have a listing for your club, group, class, etc., can you please check that the details are up to date. If you don’t have a listing and you’d like one, please get in touch. It’s free for non-profit making organisations.  Have a great month.

Until next time

Anne

If you would like to advertise your business or service in Roundabout Rochford please get in touch. I can, as always, be contacted by telephone/email. Deadline for inclusion in the Aug 2018 issue is Saturday 21st July.   

Telephone: 01702 416555

Email: anne@roundaboutrochford.co.uk

info@roundaboutrochford.co.uk

June 2018: It's A Date

Hello, friends and neighbours, welcome to your June edition of Roundabout Rochford.

In case you were wondering: June is the sixth month of the year in our modern day Gregorian calendar; it has 30 days and is named after the Roman goddess Juno. It was originally the fifth month of the year in the Roman Calendar. At one point the month of June had only 29 days, until the Roman Calendar was reformed yet again and restored to 30 days length. Phew.

This month has the most amount of daylight hours, so we’d better make the best of it, as the darkness will soon be upon us again. Oh, and finally, June ends on the same day of the week as March in common years. I didn’t believe this either, so had a quick check and it does.

I must confess that I didn’t originally know what a ‘common year’ was, but a quick Google revealed it to be any year that is not a leap year. Now I don’t know why this fact pleases me so much, but I’m sure to remember it for ever. I’m going to drop it into conversation whenever I have the chance: “Do you know March and June end on the same day of the week in common years?”

Who knows, one day I may be on Eggheads, or Who Wants to be a Millionaire?,  or even facing ‘The Beast’ on The Chase and the question appears: What does the months of March and June have in common? It’s one of those deceptively simple questions that not many people would know the answer to. However, I now know the answer and so do you too – if you didn’t already.

Enough of my nonsense for this month – think the sun must be getting to me. Have a good month, enjoy the sunshine and may the smoke from your barbeque rise straight up to the clouds.

Until next time

Anne

If you would like to advertise your business or service in Roundabout Rochford please get in touch. I can, as always, be contacted by telephone/email. Deadline for inclusion in the July 2018 issue is Thursday 21st May.   

Telephone: 01702 416555

Email:            anne@roundaboutrochford.co.uk

info@roundaboutrochford.co.uk

May 2018: Ooops Ermentrude

Hello, friends and neighbours, welcome to your May edition of Roundabout Rochford.

It appears Summer really is on the way – at last. It seems to have been a particularly long and miserable winter this year, so it’s good to see some sunshine. Not only that, but a bit of warmth and brightness seems to encourage everyone outdoors. I’ve seen a definite increase in the number of people calling in to the office for a chat, which is lovely. The community biscuit tin has been replenished with chocolate chip digestives in readiness for future visitors. If you are in West Street and feel faint for want of a biscuit, then pop in.

Did you spot the deliberate mistake in last month’s editor letter? I’ve been waiting all month for someone to call and correct me. No phone calls so far, but if you’d like to see if you can spot it, all editor’s letters are now on the website www.roundaboutrochford.co.uk. Have a look and see. Here’s a clue: you are more likely to spot it if you are of a ‘certain age’, are a fan of retro children’s tv programmes or have a particular fondness for our bovine friends!

Finally, I know the puzzle page is very popular, but I was thinking of swapping the General Crossword for a Sudoku or Word Search puzzle. What do you think, yay or nay? I’ll have to ruminate on this some more – never a good idea to rush such changes 😊

Thank you so much for all your support; it really is appreciated. Keep those email and phone calls coming, and don’t forget to pop in for a chat if you’re in the area. Have a great month!

Until next time
Anne

April 2018: Community Cows

Hello, friends and neighbours, welcome to your April edition of Roundabout Rochford.

I think we can now safely say the snow has gone. I’m not normally superstitious but I feel as though I must touch wood, cross my fingers and click my heels, or we’ll wake up to an unexpected blizzard of the white stuff again. Spring will be cancelled, Summer will be delayed, and we’ll never see the sun again. Think that’s a bit dramatic? Probably is, but there’s nothing like the British weather to instil a sense of drama and send us scuttling off to grab bread and stockpile milk.

Anyway, we’re in April now. I’m sure the sun will shine, flowers will start to bloom, the grass will need cutting and lambs will gambol in fields – though not in Essex; that is the lambs not the weather. I can’t remember the last time I saw sheep or lambs in Essex. Though there are some gorgeous Alpaca out in Wakering, so there may be some sheep hiding somewhere, and maybe a cow or two. Actually, some local cows could prove quite handy if we get 10cm of snow again. Milk on tap so to speak. Would save all that scrum at the supermarket.

They could be Community Cows; there for the benefit of everyone. Not only would they provide milk, but they could be used as a learning resource for local children. We could have a competition to give them names, and they could wear straw hats in the summer a la ‘Gertrude the Cow’ from the Magic Roundabout. They could be very decorative in the fields, brightening up the place and giving us something to look at while stuck in traffic.

I think we could be onto a winner here. I’ve done a quick google search and there does not appear to be ‘Community Cows’ anywhere else in the country. There are cows in community farms, but not ‘Community Cows’ owned by everyone, with names and wearing straw hats.

Imagine it, BBC East would come out to film a ‘piece’ on ‘Rochford: Home of the Community Cow’. We’d be trail blazers, famous and on the 10 o’ clock news. Excellent! This requires more thought, so I’d better stop here before I start making plans for free roaming sheep. Right, think that’s enough nonsense for this month. I was going to tell you about my hunt for the perfect pillow, but that can wait till another time.

Thank you so much for all your support; it really is appreciated. Keep those email and phone calls coming, and don’t forget to pop in for a chat if you’re in the area. Have a great month!

Until next time
Anne

 

 

 

March 2018: Shop Shop Shop

Hello, friends and neighbours, welcome to your March edition of Roundabout Rochford.

Well, last week was ‘interesting’. I ventured out of Rochford to one of those huge shopping centres. You know the one: drive up the A127 and then on to the A13.  I’m so traumatised by the whole experience I can’t bear to mention its name – well that may be a slight exaggeration; however, I feel a small amount of dramatic license is allowed on this occasion.

First, you must get there, which means someone has to drive. On this occasion I volunteered myself as ‘official passenger’. This is a vital role  which involves giving important instructions such as: ‘Look out for that idiot coming up behind, beep your horn at him, overtake this one I think he’s been drinking, stay away from the lorry in front, get in front of this lorry as soon as possible, slow down, speed up, I like Radio 2 so stop changing the channel, brake, brake, BRAKE!’ You get the idea.

Secondly, you have to play ‘hunt the parking space’. Now, I am loathe to walk miles and miles and miles to enter a glass retail palace. I would much rather be dropped off at the entrance while the driver (who has warned me not to mention their name) drives in ever increasing circles in search of a space. However, the ‘driver’, whilst an excellent shopping companion (see what I did there), does not have the best recall of where a car has been left. Now, playing ‘hunt the car’ is bad enough in most car parks, but in these vast plains of concrete you are in danger of losing it forever. Thus, I am forced to accompany said driver, to ‘mark our spot’, so to speak. This is the only way we can be guaranteed of getting ‘out’ before Easter – and I really needed to be home in time for Emmerdale.

Finally, you reach ‘the shops’ – lots of them, on all levels, selling everything you could possibly think of, in the type of heat that has your skin shrinking, eyes shrivelling and lips puckering. It’s like being in the Gobi Desert, not that I’ve ever been in the Gobi Desert, but I imagine this is what it feels like. What is it with the heating in these places? They are undercover, there’s no need to have the thermostat set to ‘hot as hell’. I spent the whole time playing coat on, coat off and saying to anyone who would listen ‘It’s very hot in here, isn’t it?’

However, I did actually buy something: two picture frames, a scarf, hand cream and a book. Was it worth the journey, the stress and the dehydration? Probaby not, but then again it did give me a topic for this month’s letter!

Until next month
Anne