Sunday, 10 November 2013
You may have noticed the recent absence of Washminster. I'm afraid it has been a rather busy period for me. My mother has recently moved from my childhood home (I was there from the age of seven) into a brand new apartment in the Hagley Road Retirement Village in Birmingham. After studying law I did all in my power to keep as far away from conveyancing as possible - but this move has involved, almost other things, working with our solicitors to ensure that the deadlines were met (complicated by the fact that as a joint owner in the property since our father passed away, my sister was touring in the USA during the conveyancing period). Anyway the move is now complete & I spent a couple of days this week making sure that she was settling in. I'm very impressed by the ExtraCare Retirement villages. My mother in law moved in the ExtraCare village in Shenley Wood, Milton Keynes earlier this year - and is really enjoying it. I have to say - as an option for retirement - a well built apartment with lots of facilities; plus an active social calendar - it's ideal for retirement. My wife and I often go over to Shenley for the quiz (I blew it this week - the first time I couldn't make it - and our team wins for the first time!) and for other events.
I've also started up a new blog - West of Watling Street. It's about that part of Milton Keynes lying to the west of the Roman Road which has been known (but NOT by the Romans themselves) as Watling Street. I live in Furzton, which is bounded on the North East by Watling Street. The blog includes lots of history - I was provoked by an American friend who said that she loved the city - it is well planned, with lots of walks; cycle routes; trees (30 million!); lakes; a long length of canal.... but she regretted that "it doesn't have the history that she loves about England." I have set out to demonstrate that while MK is a "new city", it is full of history. The Romans lived here (and a Celtic settlement lay just behind my house); there remain a number of medieval villages (within the modern estates); Richard III took his nephew-King into "protective custody" in Stony Stratford; and Bletchley Park played a key role in World war Two. If you want to know more about Milton Keynes rich past - and superb present - then do visit the blog.
All this having been said - Washminster is now back. This month is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. I've already attended one major conference on his life and legacy, and read quite a bit (and listened to some audiobooks) - so I'll be posting quite a bit about JFK.