Long overdue photos of recent goings on!

I have tried to keep this blog up to date, but I failed! We have had guests, family ones and genuine paying ones! I drove my Dad and niece to Belgrade and the grass grew like mad whist I was there, I think it thought it could overwhelm me when I returned, but I am still scything however hopelessly given the forces pitted against me.

My Dad is 85 odd years old , my niece a mere 19. I thought they might make good travelling companions and I was vindicated in this. They travelled all over Europe by train and were royally entertained by some of my friends in various cities, much thanx to them for that. Unfortunately by the time they reached Croatia my Dad had some swollen foot trouble and so the pace slowed down considerably thereafter.

Photos in no particular order …… enjoy them before someone complains and insists I delete their unflattering image!

As if in anticipation of the inevitable restrictions that Sanja is going to order me to impose on the cats to stop them wondering past our fence and on to the road, Sid shows just how easy it is for him to get over the fence. Ho hum, purrr!
This was the chair whose cloth seat and back rest had disintegrated after being left out in the elements once too often. A sanding down, a repaint, a new set of cloth sewed to fit and Sid approves of our revamped chair.
There are quite alot of potato plants growing happily in the garden. The question is when will the damn bug start eating them and will I be able to stop it?
Taking it easy, relaxing, enjoying rest and recuperation are things we humans are not very good at (unless your name is Sanja nd you have a predisposistion to being horizontal rather than upright.) Here Sid shows my Dad how to stretch out and doze.
My Dad is rarely happier than when he is in a museum or some such educational gallery and is able to sit down and read all the info and explanations that most people ignore.
This is a picture of a photo in an exhibition of of cave photographs. This is from the Tounj cave we have visited a few times and stood at that very spot but without the benefit of all those lights!
My niece Imogen shows off her not needing a stick to stay balanced, Dad rightly ignores her…. the brat!
Dads walking ability was severely hampered by his swollen foot so he didn’t get very far from the Barabrith houses but he was cajouled into trying out the new bench in the middle of the old clover patch.
Our guard cats were rather suspicious of the slow moving large creature with the stick and kept their beady eyes on him at all times.
Some idiot suggested a day trip to the seaside and knew that the mention of a Roman Ampitheatre would be a deal clincher with the old man. So I drove them to Pula and back in a day, thankfully we had a good time.
and they had ice cream! Pula is crap for vegetarains and vegans, almost everywhere vegan friendly that was worth visiting last year is now closed!
After doing Pula I drove them to the old fort site where I hoped it wouldnt be busy, it was empty! A good thing too as Imogen and my bright white skin tones were quite blinding! Great to go for a swim in the sea with no-one else around.
Our neighbours guard dogs were out on the road when we got back one day and the big beast scared poor Imogen to death with his ferocious behaviour.        Not
Dad is not really a pet person and decidedly at a loss as to how to deal with cats, often to the point of awkward unfriendliness. Sid was not having any of that.
I was looking for a suitable spomenik to visit to break our drive to Belgrade and discovered the Stone Flower of Jasenovac. This place is incredible, the flower is powerful and in a well maintained park and the free museum is seriously impressive as well as being heavy and depressing. A bit like Hiroshima and Auschwitz one really should visit such places if one can.
The stone flower is a fantastic piece of memorial art that does not deserve to be denigrated by smart arse trick photography but despite that, and the two Imps, I rather like this picture
You really have to see it from all the angles, inside and out, to get a feel of the multiude of images it inspires in ones mind and for that you need to visit it. (You got the message yet?)
After we exited the museum we all felt rather shell shocked. Dad and Imogen sat down on the bench in silence for some time till I noticed a photo opportunity and Dad got up to pose for it!
Three monkeys enjoy a simple picnic, leftover pizza, in the grounds of the Jasenovac museum. Lets call them, Goofy, Grumpy and Gormless going from left to right!
Eagle eyed blog readers will recognise this super sized spomenik from previous blog posts. This time we had the full might of the sun illuminating the concrete structure.
“The central monument at the spomenik complex at Kosmaj Mountain, Serbia commemorates the Partisan regiment from the Kosmaj area and Sava region (Posavina) and honors those who died during the National Liberation War (WWII).”
It took a couple of practice runs but eventually Sanja got the hang of Imogen and I’s panoramic trick shot game and hey presto two of them, twice!!
Like a painting by the grand masters of old this image tells a greek like story of family tragedy as the evil youth (!) plot and then enact their treacherous slaying of their  (grand) father !! Note the weeping lass standing helplessly by unable to carry out her part of the dreadful deed.
No such reservations in this photo as the yound pugilist protagonist punches her poor old uncle right in the gob!
What I did to deserve this kind of response I’ll never know! But never doubt the power of sisterhood!
The museum of Yugoslavia in Belgrade is still being refurbished! it has been for a couple of years now, so don’t trust the websites that say it is open! The Tito memorial garden and mausoleum are open and worth visiting even though my Dad wasn’t too impressed.
We went up to the old tower over looking Zemun and the rivers of Belgrade , the Danube and Sava. Imogen was feeling camera shy, Dad never so!
We were out watering the rabbit damaged trees one evening and suddenly heard Sid wowling nearby, looking round we were surprised to see him perched atop two narrow tree defence posts. I guess he wanted to get a good view from above the tall grass, maybe I should build him a little cat hide for surveying his estate!
The latest batch of peanut butters was made without the blender overheating even once. I would tell you what flavours they are but unfortunately my assistant decided to use the local lingo and I can’t remember what they are. Maybe you can guess what they are….. no prizes!
A couple of our young cherry trees are producing fruit, cherries to be exact! And they taste good as Sanja demonstrates.
A cherry sucker! Couldn’t be fresher! Straight down the hole!
Breakfast in the gazebo with Nancy engaging in another meaningful conversation with me.
There are bright red tasty wild strawberries all over the estate, literally masses of them! I guess the recent rains have brought them out.
There I was innocently listening to my little Ipod and scything the pathway grass down to acceptable levels when Sid came along and demanded attention, a right cat in the works!
Sid once again decided to interrupt my gardening. I was attempting to give the head heavy rose some string support but Sid had other ideas! And no he didn’t actually eat the rose petals but he did swipe a load off the rose with his vicious claws.
We ran out of cat food one evening, they were not impressed! I snuck out sharpish in the morning so they couldn’t rip me to pieces for their breakfast. In a pathetic attempt to mollify the moggies I bought the biggest pack of expensive cat food I could, Nancy does look like he may have forgiven me! Sid just wanted feeding.
Not sure if I’ve ever seen mulberrys growing wild in the UK, but last year there were none on our tree. Now they are all over and super sweet and tasty if a little funny looking, bit like me!
There are times when I wonder what I am doing in this screwed up country a long way from Hackney. But then the sun goes down and the sky goes a rich bluey purple and I am content. The fallen tree features silhouetted in this photo, just right of centre. I have decided to leave it alone as the leaves are still green almost two months later, perhaps it will survive in its new horizontal position.
The potato circle with a transplanted apple tree sapling in the middle is coming up well this year so far and is even visible on google maps!

Thats all for now, bye bye.