Wednesday, 31 December 2008

New Year's Eve


Out with the old and in with the new. New Year's Eve. How are you celebrating?


I'll be sitting at home with MyMan. With a book in one hand, one eye [well half an eye!] on the television, a choc bar at my side and a glass of something alcoholic in my other hand.

Wishing you all a very healthy and contented 2009.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Snap Shots

There are pictures, photographs and snap shots. There are cameras, digi cameras, DSLR cameras, compact cameras and mobile phone cameras. I have most of them it seems. No one camera will do all I want it to. I have a lovely Fuji Finepix E550 which has enough features and the chance to use it in manual control to keep me happy. But this year I found it wanting one way or another.

We had a few friends celebrating their milestone birthdays and an anniversary. Birthdays: two at 70 years, one at 60 years, one at 50 years and one couple their 40th wedding anniversary. I found the Fuji Finepix just a wee bit too cumbersome to fit neatly into my handbag which is very small with just enough room for a very large purse, a mobile phone and a comb. I like to travel light. Especially if I'm trying to enjoy a drink and a few nibbles at a party.

The autumnal colours in Devon have been so spectacular this year. But I found the lens on the Fuji was just not wide enough to take the stunning landscapes that I wanted to record. So I have been looking around for a compact camera. I fell in love with a cheap n cheerful girly pink Fuji Finepix Z20 which will be perfect for snaps of friends at party events. At less than £100 I bought one. It will slip easily into a coat pocket and can go anywhere with me. Very convenient.

Now I need to decide on a compact camera for wide angle travel/landscape shots. I'm wondering about a Panasonic Lumix. Any suggestions, advice, comments or views gratefully accepted.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

White Van Man

I don't often stop for coffee in Honiton. I'm usually too busy doing tasks at the bank and the shops. I don't linger as I'm inclined to do when I go to Sidmouth. But it was so cold on Monday I stopped off at Montgomery's coffee shop for a cappucinno and a free read of a newspaper. It was a welcome liesurely time and I decided I should stop more often rather than haring around town and then rushing straight home. I decided to be lazy for a couple of days and called in to buy some chilled dinners from M&S. Driving home I was thinking how pleasurable the morning had been.

On the way home on a narrow village road I clashed with a large white van. I'd thought he was parked. So I indicated, pulled out and went by it on the right hand side of the road. As I started to pull in front of the van I heard a loud bump and a grinding scrape. I'm sure that large white van man pulled away without checking his blind spot. I extricated myself from his bumper and reversed to pull up behind him. I was relieved to see the driver behind me was still there. So quickly shot out of my car to ask him what he had seen. But that small white van man who had followed me all the way from Honiton said he 'hadn't seen anything' and drove away. Hmmm.

As large white van man and I exchanged details he claimed he wasn't parked. He also said that he hadn't seen me at all until I was reversing ! He was not a local delivery driver. Yet he knew the name of the street we were in. I'm local and have never known the name of the road. It's just the road to and from Honiton as far as I'm concerned. If he hadn't parked to deliver to a nearby house then I am convinced he had paused to look at Sat Nav [or answer a mobile phone call] and pulled away without checking. As it is I have no proof.

Bloody White Van Drivers.

I'm going to request that Santa send me a CCTV system for front, sides and rear of the car.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Mercurial Moods

No wonder men find us difficult sometimes - well, all right then, - often. I'm cross crabby and a right volatile woman at the moment. I'm blaming it once again on the approaching full moon. Watch this space.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Home from Home

A good coffee shop or tea room should be, ideally, a really comfortable 'Home from Home'. Brophy's used to be such a place. I've rarely ventured in there for many a month now. However, I met up with Lou the other day. She told me although the coffee is much improved, the food is still a bit "over priced and indifferent". I thought I would go into Brophy's and test the quality of the coffee for myself. But then this morning I met Simon and he told me not to bother - poor quality coffee.

After our bridge class this week we all piled into the Tudor Rose Restaurant for lunch. I was really impressed. I only had a jacket potato but others had roast beef or chicken. It looked really appetising. The cost was modest. I'll certainly go there again.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Wildlife in Winter

Wildlife in our winter garden is missing one thing. A hedgehog. I love them. It's only recently that I read that hedgehogs are not found in the same area as badgers. I was told that badgers eat hedgehogs. I'm not sure if this is fact or not. I suspect more that they are in competition for food. As badgers always follow the same route every night then maybe some hedgehogs visit my neighbours' badger free gardens. I have slugs a plenty in my garden so could happily harbour a family of hedgehogs. The badger is continuing to look fat and well fed. It's a pity he doesn't fall into one of the holes he dug in the lawn over the summer.

Update: 6th December
Cleaning up fallen leaves, a bucketful of smelly stagnant water and pond weed today I found a huge common frog sitting on the edge of the bucket peering up at me. My sister gave me the pond weed when I last visited. I was hoping to dig a pond during the autumn but just not had the time or the muscle for such a task. I'm wondering whether the frog travelled all the way home from Croydon to Worthing to Devon. If it did I'm glad it didn't surface during my drive home.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

More Moving Tales

MyMan has started to realise that I could be right. There are not many places around in east Devon where he is willing to move to. All the places we would enjoy living are hilly. We have lived on one hill or another for 35 years. He's not the only one to experience problems hill climbing. I'm OK walking up hill but have to go at a much slower pace than i used to. But my poor feet and ankles object to walking down steep hills. There is no way I would, or could, carry shopping uphill. We'd both love to move to a rural house again. But the recent health scares here with MyMan, and of friends problems, leads me to value the convenience of semi rural life.

We could explore other counties. But it takes a good 2 years to settle in a new environment. I don't think I could take the added stress of settling into a strange county, town or village. If we are to leave the area where we now live, then I still want to return to looking for a place to live in this district , near my family.

MyMan still is not keen. The video I'd made of a possible location with a small but convenient house on the market he thought looked 'too quiet'. He didn't think there would be much going on there! He wasn't keen on having a children's play area in the grounds as it 'would be too noisy'. It was green, full of trees, on the level, a short walk to the nearest village and close to transport links.

My sister thought if we lived there I would turn into a Stepford Wife. A nephew liked it and likened it to Legoland. I thought it neat, tidy and liked the idea of friendly community neighbourliness.

Torture

I can see why sleep deprivation is used as an instrument of torture. After a few sleepless nights my mind is woolly and I ache from head to toe. I have enjoyed 3 blissful nights of gentle deep sleep. So this morning I thought I'd have the energy to go out bird watching along the river Otter.

I had the energy I just didn't realise how freezing cold it would be. I had put on enough layers to make me waddle like a Michelin woman. But the cold wind attacked my head [I know, I forgot a woolly hat], my gloved hands and my feet. Over the last 9 years winters have been so mild I'd forgotten just how cold it can get. I didn't see any birds other than gulls and mallard. I could well have missed some interesting sights but my eyes were watering so much I gave up. I went instead for coffee in Otterton Mill; re-opened following the recent floods.

While leaving I saw a very fat ginger cat which welcomed having a big fuss from me - I am still feeling very cat deprived. This picture is from an artist's website. Why not pop over and take a look. There are some impressive originals.




Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Sad Days Again

Am having a sad time at the moment. Sad for my friends. My bridge partner suddenly lost her husband last week. And a friend from my book group - her husband died yesterday. Both very unexpected deaths. So a shock to me. Heaven only knows how they are feeling. At the moment I think each is numb with disbelief.

Pauline Prescott

Much has been written in various articles on Pauline Prescott since the nation heard her speak on her husband's TV special on the class system. I'm not a fan of John Prescott. It's only since I read so much about Pauline in the media I decided to watch the repeat of the programme to decide for myself. The press articles are absolutely spot on. She's wonderful. I'd love to pop in and have cup of tea and chat with her.

I consider myself working class. Well, my father thought of himself as working class and I am my father's daughter. Both my father and uncle were stewards in the merchant service. They joined at the age of 16 . To 'do their bit for the war'. They met during training on the training ship in Sharpness Docks, Gloucestershire. They always enjoyed reminiscing and regaling the younger generation with their tales of life at sea.

My father eventually met and married my uncle's sister. And my uncle married my father's sister. At a double wedding in 1948. A close knit family this marriage halved the number of aunts and uncles available to their offspring.

Unlike John Prescott the two of them were proud of their days at sea. I think Prescott gives working class people 'bad press'. Whatever his origins he's just full of envy, twisted bitterness and is lacking in self esteem. How he managed to win the hand of his 'fair lady' I'll never know.

Monday, 24 November 2008

General Election

It looks as if there's going to be a General Election early in 2009. Darling Alistair has announced that pensioners and families will receive their bribes from January. The planned increases in vehicle excise duty are now to be delayed until 2010. VAt to be reduced by2.5% till the end of 2009. It all sounds to me as if they are keen to have an election before the recession really takes hold.

I'm still trying to understand how 'growth' of the economy can be forecast as a negative figure. Wouldn't that make it the opposite to 'growth' - death of the economy?

George Osborne could do with some voice coaching. I thought he sounded very shrill this afternoon.

Alistair was sporting a new recession proof haircut. That is, to cut it really short to make the hairdo last longer. Or maybe his hair is falling out with all his financial worries?

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Strictly Come Dancing Sergeant

Strictly Come Dancing is not the sort of programme I would normally watch. If I want to see dancing then I'd much rather watch an old film of Astair and Rogers [Fred and Ginge] or Gene Kelly 'Singing in the Rain'.

But once John Sergeant started to make an impact on the show I couldn't miss all the talk about it - so 2 weeks ago I tuned in to see for myself. Apart from not knowing most of the 'celebrities' - other than Austin Healey - I just watched John Sergeant perform. I can see why so many people have enjoyed his dancing. I liked the twinkle in his eyes. It made me smile. So I tuned in again a week later. Most of the 'dancers look pretty stiff and wooden with large false grins plastered on their faces. John when he danced had a gentle smile and a twinkle in his eyes. I was very nearly tempted to vote for him. Anyone who can make me laugh without being vulgar or insensitive will always get my vote.

I was immensely disappointed when he felt obliged to resign. I see the BBC received an unprecedented number of messages about his resignation from the show. I'll tune in just once more this week to see his 'swan song' but after that I'll definitely cross this programme off my viewing list .. I think everyone should refrain from voting this week in protest at the outcome ..

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

PC Separation

I have PC separation issues. No, I'm not talking about politically correct form of divorce but that I am having trouble accessing my PC. For those of you who read my other blog you'll know that I've recently changed bedrooms. My husband is now in my fomer bedroom. With my computer. I am having trouble accessing it when I have 'spare time' for blogging.

In between my household chores, bridge lessons, bridge homework, getting fresh air and exercise I used to grab spare moments to blog. I'd blog late into the night, early morning or, during my periodic luntatic spells when insomnia strikes, in the middle of the night.

It is not quite so easy now. Any spare time for blogging often coincides with my man's rest or sleep times. I have been puzzling over finding another nook or cranny into which I can move my PC desk. I've now identified a spot where, with a few moves of other items of furniture, I can make a new corner my PC's hot desk slot. It has the disadvantage that anyone calling at the front door will see me typing away. I will no longer be able to pretend I am up the back of the garden, far away from the sound of the doorbell. Never mind. At least I'll be able to sneak out during sleepless nights and type away to my hearts content.

All that I'm waiting for now is a strong pair of hands, some muscle and someone willing to carry that from here to there; then move that from there to here and then my PC desk can be wheeled into that gap there ... EASY. I let you know when it's done..

Monday, 10 November 2008

Financial Crisis

The Bolt from the Blue must have been just a short flash of lightening. Gordon Brown appears to be revelling in the economic crisis. The boy David doesn't appear to be saying very much at all.

Surely the opposition should be flaying the Govt about their mismanagement, ftheir lack of forward planning, failing to save for a rainy day etc. etc. And reminding everyone of Gordon's bargain basement sale of the nation's Gold.

I keep trying to do 'my bit' for the economy. I've taken savings out to go on a shopping spree but haven't seen anything to really tempt me. Not even at 50 % discount. I'd buy a gold necklace but have you seen the price of gold lately?

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Up Shit Creek . . . . ?

This rate of interest's not been seen since 1955 according to the news. Anyone with a mortgage will be pleased - unless they have recently signed up to a fixed rate deal. I'm pleased that most of my money is tied up in fixed rate deals for savers. Providing the insitutions I've chosen remain 'safe'.

I'm just wondering why the words 'headless and chickens' keep popping into mind when I think of Gordon, Darling and Mervyn. Not to mention the toothless FSA and the FSCS. Where will it all end??

Going Down the Swanee . . .

Well I've never known the BofE be so decisive before. Darling/Gordon must have leant heavily on dear Mervyn for this decision. MyMan and I had bets on what the new interest rate would be. He thought the cautious Bank of England could opt for 'half way house' and fix on 0.75% rate reduction. I said that as the news seems so bad perhaps they'd go for 2% - I was very nearly right. I wished I'd placed a bet on it.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Gloucester



During my trip I made time to call in to see Gloucester Cathedral. I had planned on my retirement to visit all the English cathedral towns. Over the years I have seen many cathedrals but by no means all of them. I should do a count one day and see how many notches I'm missing from my bed post ...

Gloucester Cathedral remains my favourite. That may be because I came to know it so well. It is very close to Shire Hall and a short walk from the shopping centre. I was often passing it so it was quick and easy to while away a half hour to inspect an odd corner. Or to light a candle and spend a moment in quiet reflection.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

A Trip Down Memory Lane . . .

I took a short trip down Memory Lane a few weeks ago. A weekend away on a return to Gloucestershire for a Social Services reunion.

I took some time out to explore the area where we lived for 25 years. Not much had changed. The countryside around the 5 valleys is still very beautiful. With large expanses of sky. Steep hills. Narrow lanes. Deep valleys. Acres of common land.

Very few speed cameras. Very few signs warning 'Beware Bend'. If you do see such a sign in Glos County then you know you need to slow down - it's just as likely to be a sharp right/left hand turn rather than a slow gentle curve in the road. It seems to me that Highways in Glos County expect drivers to take care and use their own discretion rather than exhorting them to do this/that every few yards. Driving became a pleasure again with less of the distracting driver commands so often seen in Devon.

The standard of driving in Gloucestershire is still very high. With so many extremely narrow and awkward roads to traverse drivers have to constantly think ahead. And remain aware that cattle or horses can roam many of the highways.

It was also very apparant how very friendly and helpful the local people are. The number of people who wandered over to offer help if we appeared to be looking for something. As I paused to compare the present day scene with my memory I was often asked if I was looking for somewhere. Unlike in east Devon where the locals do nothing but grumble about the number of 'grockles' .

Monday, 27 October 2008

Lies, Statistics and Vital Statistics

Lies, Damned Lies and Vital Statistics ....
I've not had chance to do much blogging lately. I have been busy. Some busy in a good [enjoyable constructive way] way and some not so good [which I wont go into here].

But the one thing I've not been able to avoid is the statistic report sent in by email from SiteMeter each week. I'm surprised how many people still call in. If you are one of my regular visitors then thank you for not giving up on me. I appreciate it.

I'm amused that I pick up a great many first time visitors from search engines. A few of them pause long enough to read something. Some are out of here in a nano second. It amuses me even more when people fall in here via a spelling error or homophone. I'm beginning to think I should use a great deal more homophones in post titles.

Briefs Encounter

Just as in the ending to the film Brief Encounter I am back ..... I hope you'll be pleased that I'm here again ...

"Blog reader: Is there anything I can do to help?
Penny: Yes, blog reader. You always help.
Blog reader: You've been a long way away.
Penny: Yes.
Blog reader: Well, whatever it was, thank you for coming back to me."
If you would like some music to accompany this emotive return to Blog land . . . .

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Fools Gold

I bet Gordon Brown wished he still had our gold reserves to sell on today's markets .. . .
And why are all the local councils complaining about losing money in Icelandic banks? They seem very surprised. Why?

I took my money back several months ago at the first whisper of a downgrade in the stability of the Icelandic banks. I know we are unable to 'trust' any financial institution in todays market but at least I've kept my money in the UK and just hope the Govt will continue to safeguard my precious savings.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

I'm Here . . .

Sorry to leave you hanging in suspense Stinking Billy - I've just been so very busy lately .... You're correct I am no longer in that hotel in Worthing .. "Why don't you pop over and see me ...."

In these uncertain financial times a gal has to keep her money somewhere ..

Monday, 15 September 2008

Here and There

I am currently sitting in a Worthing hotel on the south coast. I've spent a week with my sister, seen nephews and niece and am about to visit an elderly aunt before I make the return trip home tomorrow. Last week with family was fun and gossipy but exhausting. I left the Croydon area at 10 yesterday morning and drove along with thousands of bikers down the A23/M23 towards Brighton. Apart from the sheer numbers of Bikers involved they all rode in a very considerate manner to other road users. I didn't realise how many differnt types and personal decorations one is able to get in the motor cycle world. Our builder who lives in Sidmouth is a biker. I kept expecting to meet him there. I didn't realise just how big an event it was until I checked the web. http://www.ace-cafe-london.com/Continental-Run-Info.aspx

http://www.ace-cafe-london.com/Reunion.aspx

I then enjoyed a quiet night in the hotel watching tv, reading and checking emails. I slept like a log for over 8 hours.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Red Van Menace

I know that if I had one of these Red Vans parked near my house I would organise a rota of residents to go out at night to paint over all the advertising. Or more subtlety still alter the mobile phone numbers so that his 'business' soon went bust. Maybe for good measure I'd smash the windows and remove the tax disc. At that point the local council may stir themselves and remove it.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Good Reasons to Have Children

As I get older I often wish we had children. Grown adult children. Strapping boys able to help their old folk out with the tasks that are now too heavy for old muscles. I said this to my sister when she told me her youngest was cutting the grass. While she cleaned the back of the fridge that he'd just hauled out of it's slot in the kitchen. She told me it's "cheaper to hire in 2 young Polish men" when needed. I'm sure that if I'd had sons I would have loved them - regardless of the expense.

Knowing my luck we would probably have bred girls.

Updated:

Which wouldn't have necessarily been a bad thing.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

London Olympics 2012

Now the Olympic focus has turned to London 2012. Everyone is wondering how we can 'top' the Beijing Olympics. I hope we don't even try. I hope as the Mayor of London suggested the British will provide a different and quirky element to the 2012 Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.

I believe that we should look back to the previous London Olympics of 1948. Austerity and thrift were still in place. Rationing was tighter than during the recently ended World War 2. I think London should put in place a Thrifty Austerity Olympics where the focus is on the taking part rather than razz ma tazz. If you think this is a good perhaps you will contact Bo Jo the Mayor of London and pass on ideas.


While I am - on the subject of the London Olympics 2012 I read today on Retired and Crazy's blog the petition for the Red Arrows to be part of the opening ceremony closes in mid September. There is still time to add your signature. I did highlight the petition in a post in April. I agree with retiredandcrazy, we should pass this on to as many people as possible. We should be proud of our British heritage and should be able to highlight the few things for which we are renowned world wide.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Where the Bee Sucks ....


I am a dreadful gardener in that every plant that seeds itself has to have the opportunity to develop where it first put down roots. it leads to a haphazard planting scheme and occasional happy accidents. When I first saw this Hebe several years ago growing out of a fissure in some cracked paving I didn't expect it to live for long. I was wrong. Last year it flowered for the first time. I was pleased to find it is a totally different colour from any other of the large Hebes in my garden I wonder how far it's seed has travelled before it found a welcome niche here. This year it is putting on quite a display and on closer examination I found it a veritable hive of bee activity.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

To Share in Love

Hadriana recently asked me to accept and pass on this award.

The award originated on "memoirs of a mummy blog" and she explained that the rules are to

" SHARE THE LOVE!!! Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog." As you'll see if you click on the link there is a serious purpose on her wish for this award to be passed around.

I'm hoping that any one who calls in here during the next few days will take it up and pass it on.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Brophy's Coffee Shop Sidmouth

It's surprised me just how many hits my blog entries on Brophy's coffee shop have generated. They brought a wide range of readers to peer at this blog and some then leave a comment. Having written a few times about what used to be my favourite meeting and eating place when in Sidmouth I couldn't see why so many people ended up Googling 'Brophy's' and then falling onto my pages. I googled Brophy's myself and then found that these blog entries came out quite high along with Brophy's of Soton. So now I know. Well, I think I do. I assume they are in fact trying to find out more information about this Brophy's.

But just in case there are a few folk out there trying to find out whether or not Brophy's in Sidmouth is worth a try - then may I point you in another direction, in a friendly manner towards:
  1. The Chattery - (I love the name) I've yet to try it as it has been crowded when I've tried to get in. I have heard very good reports from many people. Informal, relaxed, good coffee, good food.
  2. Fields Coffee Shop: all round good value for money, excellent friendly service. If you ask for a glass of tap water they ask if you'd like ice and a slice in it ...
  3. Baraza: excellent coffee (not quite up to Gary's standards but well that was perfection...a once in a lifetime experience ... sigh)
  4. Clock Tower in Connaught Gardens - wonderful cakes, good coffee splendid views in fine weather

As you will see from this link of businesses in Sidmouth there are many eating places, from formal restaurants, to pubs, to coffee shops. I have enjoyed a snack and a place to rest weary limbs in many of these places. Most are very friendly. Brophy's appears conspicuous by its absence from this site. I wouldn't say that is a great loss.. .. the best I can say about it is - the seats are comfortable, it is spacious, it is not very crowded and the waitresses, Angela in particular, are friendly..

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

When the Cat's Away ....

When the Cat's Away the mice play they say ... Well, I've just enjoyed a very rare hour alone while MyMan has been out for a treatment. I wanted to sit and just enjoy the solitude with perhaps a good book. But then realised it was too good an opportunity to go through the kitchen store cupboards and clear out all the old stock of unopened jars and packets which had long gone by their 'use by dates'.

I even managed to find something which I think used to be a pinkish Thousand Island dressing with a 'best before 08/2000' date. As it had turned blue I binned it.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Penny Pincher

After a tightfisted 8 years living off our retirement capital I've become rather used to Penny Pinching. Perhaps I should change my blogging name to Penny Pincher. I could re invent myself. That's the beauty of the blogging life. But however much one tries to write as if this is a fictional account real life creeps in. It's hard to keep it out.

Over the last few months I've become much better off. It started last year with being granted, on compassionate grounds, my work pension several years early. I wasn't due to receive it till I was 65. Once my pension came in I was able to cash in my AVC pension. Finally I've been awarded a Carer's Allowance. With several months arrears. Such riches.

Just at the time the whole world appears to be going into financial meltdown I appear to be bucking the trend. Hooray.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Weighed Down

I feel weighed down and hardly have the energy to think of weight issues. I can see that some, well most, of my diet problems are caused by emotional eating. Stress, anger, frustration and sorrow all make me eat more than I need. I can see that I need to express or resolve these feelings.To find some way where food is not used as a comfort factor.

As it is I'd welcome a large glass of red wine this evening. I am upset and angry. I'm sure a glass would soothe me. But it would make me hungry and then I'd eat more. Life sucks.

Peace and Calm




No - this is definitely not a view of my garden. How I wish! These photos were taken of the garden at Burrow Farm, Dalwood, near Axminster in Devon.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

It's all in the Mind

I've been listening to Paul McKenna now for several days. The only problem is I fall asleep very quickly. I don't know if the 'mind programming' is working or not... I haven't heard any of them all the way through yet... I've copied the CDs onto an MP3 player. Now I can listen to the recordings lolling in the armchair after lunch - I still fall asleep though... I also have the P McKenna personal progress journal that I am religiously completing each day ... weigh day will be the 17th . . . fingers crossed.

A Stab in the Back

I see in yesterday's Daily Telegraph that Andrew Pierce wrote "Cabinet ministers are being subjected to so much abuse in the street ....." that they have talked informally about extending security cover to all ministers. They are afraid to go out in public, where they may have to cope with "an abusive drunk " or "slow hand clapping", without personal body guards. Well, we thought that a few weeks ago when we saw Harriet Harmless venturing out on to the streets of Peckham wearing a protective vest and surrounded by police protection officers.
How do they think the rest of us feel ?? It's a fine mess they have got us into and their solution is that we can pay more in taxes towards their personal safety! It rather reminds me of Tony Blair telling us that we will 'not let terroists change the way we live' as he built a concrete crash barrier around the Houses of Parliament and ordered himself a bullet and bomb proof car.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Return Journey

I am making a return journey. A return back to the woman I used to be. I used to be confident, positive, happy, relaxed, neatly dressed with well manicured hands and make up. And slimmer. Much slimmer.



I've always liked to wear my clothes on the loose side so as the excess weight crept on I just filled out my clothes more. I hadn't noticed just how much until Christmas when I couldn't squeeze into my festive outfits. That made me pause for thought and weigh myself. What a shock. I started to re think and go back to healthier habits. I started to lose weight. But then life events got the better [or the worse] of me. Again to have to think about food and preparation became the last thing on my mind. I just piled on the pounds I'd managed to shed.

Then a few weeks ago I decided that although my husband has health issues I really did need to sort myself out. I've decided to work on one thing at a time. To change one habit at a time. to re-introduce myself to me. To find out who I am again rather than being 'just' a wife and carer.

I decided to let many of the household chores go. To save time for myself to enjoy life. First was to start to learn to play Bridge. Second was to grow my nails, to manicure my ragged cuticles and start to wear nail polish. Now I am working on my weight problem. However, this time I am not on a diet. I already eat a healthy diet. But I think that with the stress and depression I have been eating without thinking. I have been eating too large portions. I am trying to see whether Paul McKenna can do as he says. I have bought the book and studied the rules. I will try my best. I will let you know how it goes.


Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Sod's Laws

It's Sod's Law that :
[1] the young don't want to stop for sleep, feel full of energy, but sleep as if poleaxed for 12 +hours
[2] the oldies want to sleep, feel perpetually tired but feel grateful if they manage more than 4 hours deep sleep
[3] it rains when you've just watered the garden and all the containers
[4] it fails to rain for weeks if you've just sprinkled powdered weed n feed on the lawn
[5]the house gleams, smells of polish, is tidy but no one calls
[6] the house looks like Steptoes' junk yard with thick dust every where and unexpected visitors drop in for a 'surprise' visit.

That's life I suppose ....

Monday, 30 June 2008

Bridge Too Far

Bridge lessons have been suspended until mid September. I am relieved. It will give me chance to catch up in the garden. And give me some time to blog again. I love bridge. After a 10 week course I am only half way through knowing all I need to know to start playing. I just have to keep reading and studying my notes to ensure I don't forget all we have been taught so far.

Garden and Favourite Plants


I love our garden.


On our move here from Gloucestershire we thought this was a level playing field. That garden was so steep I was unable to mow the lawn. It was a man's job. A hover mower was used to cut the grass up hill as far as could be reached. On up to a grassy terraced path and to lower the mower on a rope to cut the rest of the steeply inclined lawn. Children used to love that lawn. It was perfect for playing roly poly. But as we got older we could see it would eventually prove troublesome.

This garden by comparison was perfect. Although it is uphill it is more gentle. But being on top of the hill it is windy. So every plant has to be hardy, impervious to winds, frost and to earn its keep. Anything finicky, or especially delectable to slugs,that I find irresistible are kept in pots. The only trouble is the pots are growing in number.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Now Swiftly Moving On . .

When I started this Blog I was very unhappy. Looking back I can see I was more depressed than I realised. Suffering from unresolved grief through many bereavements over a 3-year period. The loss of my 2 very old cats compounded that feeling of bereavement so severe I lost sight of myself for a while. It was only my recent attendance at two funerals that made me realise that I no longer feel emotionally overwhelmed. I still feel sad but it is no longer an all enveloping sadness.

I've been reading 'The Book of Happiness' . It is helping me to focus. It defined the difference in the feelings of sadness and unhappiness. "Sadness is a part of life and we experience it as a result of life's events . . ."! Well I have had plenty of those of the last few years. Ithas been energy sapping. Now I am trying to come to terms with those events and 'move on'.

To move on I need to make several changes. We moved into our present house [1999] from a larger 4 bedroom house. As it was a sudden move we didn't have time to de-clutter. We just packed up and moved with more stuff than we needed. We were going to expand into the roof here with a loft conversion. It was going to be my husband's home office. Suddenly our circumstances changed and he no longer needed a home office. We never did the loft conversion. Meanwhile the spare bedroom and garage held all his office papers, tax and VAT files, etc .

To move on we need to de-clutter. We have sold all the office furniture. My husband is slowly trawling through paperwork, archiving financial information and shredding personal client papers. It's a slow process. We also need to make a decision on life changes about where we will live out our retirement years. Home is very important to me. I need to feel settled, rooted, in order to regain my equilibrium. I love it here and so it adds to my feelings of sadness on thinking of leaving. But it is not suitable for our situation now. My husband now has a strong desire to move elsewhere. We just don't know where yet. It needs to be somewhere less hilly.

We are also trying to sort out a new car. Just normal activities but very time consuming and demanding. Especially when trying to make decisions with someone who doesn't feel at all able or capable of making decisions. I'm pressing on as I don't feel we can waste time. I've reached the age where time seems to gallop by at an alarming pace.

I've missed posting a regular blog. . . .. this is just a short note to let you know why I haven't had time to call by to meet up with you and chat at yours on a regular basis.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Going Metric

Let's go metric. Completely metric. I need a 10 day week; 30 hour days. That way I may get to the end of the week and have managed some of the tasks on my ever expanding and demanding 'To Do List' .

Saturday, 21 June 2008

A Right Royal Garden Party


I was looking forward to attending a party this week. Until the weather changed for the better. I'd been looking forward to an indoor party. But with the change in the weather it changed to a garden party. Except that it was so hot and sunny most wanted to remain indoors in the shade.

Shade there was a plenty but it was hotter in than out. The huge conservatory heated the already scorching air and shepherded it in thorugh the french doors into the lounge. It was like sitting next to a huge glass Aga. The wine didn't help. It just enhanced the rosey glow on everyone's cheeks. The ice melted before it had chance to chill the drinks clasped in our hot little hands. Sandwiches and cakes began to wilt.

A few of the hardier guests [who took holidays in exotic locations] with skin like crisp brown leather, sat outdoors on the sunbaked south facing patio under the scant protection of one sun shade.

Late in the afternoon as the sun slowly sank those of us timid pale skinned folk who had already survived skin cancer or malignant melanoma ventured out to partake of the slightly cooler air. A lovely fresh 80+* F rather than 100+*F indoors. The house bricks emitting all the days stored radiation as if from a baker's oven.

By this time even the hardy brownites wanted to keep in the shade. We all huddled together at the end of the patio - squeezing up close in a friendly manner to share the measly amount of precious shade. Like penguins on an ever decreasing ice flow. Someone suggested the sun shade could be tilted to provide a bit more shade but as soon as it was tilted it caught the slightest breeze and swung like a gib to the east. Hauled back to the west someone kindly sat there with his arm up to hold it in place. Then with the next breeze it billowed like a spinnaker and slowly toppled dragging the patio table and wine glasses with it. Jim the host leapt to attention from his sun drowsed slumber and made an athletic lunge. Anchoring the table down before it hit the deck. So there we sat us ladies, with Jim clutching the table and Mark holding on to the sunshade.

The breeze dropped and the heat stored in the house walls began to leach into our small shady spot. We all started to glow. I suggested we all move the table, chairs and ourselves a few feet across the patio into the shade cast by the house as the sun continued on its westerly dip. Nobody picked me up on the idea. I repeated it in a louder voice. Still no response. I shut up. maybe it was too close to that giant Aga of a glasshouse.

I thought that if only I had been a traveller and visited South Africa or Ayers Rock then I wouldn't be so affected by a hot English summer evening. But no, Jim later confessed that it had been far too hot for him too and he'd lived for many years in Australia.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Northern Rose and Woes

Here is a little something to cheer you all for the next few weeks - this will have to do till the book is out.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

I Could Blog About this ...

I could blog about this I think numerous times a week. I'm not short of ideas. I'm not short of daft or peculiar observations on life, the universe and everything. But I have been short of time. A friend's husband has now returned to full health and driving duties after a pacemaker was fitted. So I am now relieved of taxi duties. Unfortunately a couple of friends have died. I have attended one funeral. Another one to go on Monday. After that I hope to have finished with my share of sadness and upset for 2008. I now want to cash in my 'happiness' voucher' for a bit of daft frivolity.
Funerals aren't what they used to be. Well not in Sidford they aren't. Do all funeral directors now arrange for the coffin to be carried into church on a squeaky wheeled trellised trolley? or is it only in Sidford - where the pall bearers appear older than the recently dead incumbent of the coffin? If Health and Safety at Work rules now insist on coffins being wheeled along then couldn't the Funeral Director at least ensure the wheels are well oiled before the sombre journey is undertaken.

A trolley doesn't have quite the same emotional impact as a coffin being transported in and out of church on the shoulders of 6 burly black clad men. Replaced instead by a less dignified slow march to squeak squeak squeak.... We crowded into the church 15 minutes ahead of the service. It slowly filled with people of all ages over 70 yrs, the walking sticks and zimmer frames taking up as much room as the mourners. I feel very young amongst so many older folk.
A moment - well several moments - of quiet reflection was frequently broken by the clatter of falling walking sticks. Each clatter on the stone floor made me jump. I must be stressed and tense - I leapt out of my skin each time. A sad occasion but as I felt a giggle trying to surface I was reminded once again that Les wouldn't be there to share the funny side of his funeral service with me. He had a wicked devilish sense of humour. I'll miss him.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Meme for the Bookish

Merri tagged me the other day. I thought I might have to think up some more truthful, embarrassing or quirky facts about myself and expose them on my blog. But no - this is different, it has a form of randomness to it ... once you've selected the book.

Here are the rules:
Step 1 – take a book from the book shelf.
Step 2 – turn to page 123.
Step 3 – read and write out the 5th sentence.
Step 4 – tag 5 more people.

I have 3 bookcases. So first I had to choose which set of shelves to attack. I discarded all the encyclopedia, the books on 'How to Play Bridge' or any self improvement books such as 'How to Win Friends and Influence Money'. I was left with the choice between a book from all the books purchased but as yet unread or selecting an old favourite.

In the end I chose a very old favourite -
Lord Chesterfield's "Letters to His son and Others" a paperback version published by Dent ISBN 0 460 11823 4


"He sometimes affects hard words by way of ornament, which he always mangles,like a learned woman. A man of fashion never has recourse to proverbs and vulgar aphorisms; uses neither favourite words nor hard words; but takes great care to speak very correctly and grammatically, and to pronounce properly, ..... . "
As you can see from the excerpt which is taken from page 123 beginning with the 5th sentence [along with this page of ' quotes'] these letters were from a very different age; written by a Gentleman.
I now nominate the following to take up this meme and, if they have the time to, run with it:

If you call in and read this and want to take part please feel free to do so.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

For Pianists Everywhere

I'm so impressed to learn from MerryWeather's latest blog that she plays the piano.

However much I like and admire Merryw I bet she is nowhere as cute a pianist as Nora. I just love Nora's relaxed style of playing. I admire the fact that although there are a few off -key notes she continues with unabated enthusiasm. I think the best example of her work is at the beginning of the duet with Betsy Student. A concert of her full repertoire can be viewed here on this video.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Stats

I've hardly had time to put fingertips to keyboard these last few weeks. I came on today to post a quick link to a petition and then couldn't resist popping out to see some old friends. Then just when Ii should be in the kitchen and starting to prepare an evening meal I peeked at my Stats counter. I felt awful when I saw that a few loyal blog friends had continued to pop in to see what if any news from me and there was none.

I am out - again - tomorrow but hope to catch up with blogging over the weekend. To tell you why I've been so short on time. Meanwhile please accept my apologies.

Help Save Your Local GP Surgery

Sign the BMA petition to try and save your local GP surgeries from going the same way all our local Post Offices went.

Information for the Public and Patients: http://www.supportyoursurgery.org.uk/public.php

Click on the link below to Sign the on- line petition for public and patients: http://www.politicalwizard.co.uk/administration/campaign_layout/index.php?category=petitions&uid=3396&campid=2488&detail=y&c=s

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Counting My Blessings - the pros and cons of them

  1. After 6 weeks of no longer using my fingernails as 'tools' and taking care of my cuticles I no longer feel ashamed of my hands when I am learning how to play Bridge. But I now have to do that prissy ladylike way of holding things and pushing buttons with the pads of my fingers to preserve my long nails. I also keep hitting the CAPS LOCK button by mistake with my longer finger nails.

  2. Financial worries have eased somewhat after receiving Carer's Allowance. But I don't get time to go out to the shops to spend any of it - apart from Boots Chemist for nail care products.

  3. I have bought a '3 Easy Steps to Deep Relaxation' CD. But I've listened to it 4 times and only finished step 1 so far - on step 2 I keep falling asleep. Heaven only knows what step 3 will do to me, if I ever get that far.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Speaking for Myself

'Speaking for Myself' is the title of Cherie Blair's book which apparently has been rushed out earlier than the planned autumn release date. Perhaps she is worried that by the October no-one will have £18.99 spare cash left to waste on a work of fiction/faction. Speaking for Myself I find the idea of reading 'Speaking for Myself' by Cherie Blair to be a complete waste of time. It sounds as if she is trying to get us to like her and see everything from Tony's point of view. But all it appears to do is highlight how greedy, vulgar and self deceiving the woman is. Cherie must think we are all less than intelligent. Why should we believe any of this? After all she has admitted she is not incapable of telling 'pork pies'. Her husband is also a stranger to the truth. She only confessed to fibbing when 'found out'.

Speaking for Myself I'm also amazed that she was so embarrassed by being found to have a 'contraceptive' device in her luggage that she decided to leave it at home. Why not carry it in her handbag? Being such a devout Catholic female maybe this was the contraceptive device she chose for Tony to use.

At least this latest outing of the B Liars serves to remind us of just how grateful we should be that bungling Gordon 'Prudence' Brown did manage to remove Teflon Tony and the 'Cat Trainer' from office.

Update: 16th May - and who would like to guess just who this eager beaver of a reader and reviewer on the Amazon website is?? Me thinks it is probably a publisher/editor desperate to get the sales up - or maybe even a 'pen' name of Cherry Booth/Blair QC.

I agree with the Judge who thought she should resign as part- time Judge. Imagine standing in court and having this loose mouthed loose morals female pronouncing Judgement on your behaviour! HUH!

Smile and be Happy


Friday, 9 May 2008

London's Pride








London Pride is such a simple little plant. So often taken for granted as ground cover. But if you get down, up close and personal you will see it has such an intricate flower. It really is amazing.




Friday, 2 May 2008

Losers

No matter how bad life appears, you know there is always someone worse off than yourself. But we should act with dignity and grace at all times.

It's amazing - if only we could see ourselves as others see us!

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

What is the True Rate of Inflation?

Gordon Brown as Chancellor and latterly as Prime Minister does boast about the low rate of inflation in comparison to the years under the Conservatives.

However, several years ago the Labour Govt. changed the measure of inflation from the Retail Price Index [RPI] to the Consumer Price Index [CPI] . As can be seen from the graph from the ONS website these rates of inflation do differ by a substantial amount.

The govt can only boast about low inflation when quoting the CPI because the index is made up of many non essential items or one off purchases. However, the old RPI consists of mortgage rates, fuel costs and basic food items - all the necessities of life. The rate of RPI compared to CPI is consistently higher e.g. Nov 2007 RPI = 4.3 % CPI = 2.1 %

I find it particularly interesting that the Govt quote CPI rate of inflation when it serves its own ends and then uses the 'defunct' RPI when to its advantage. Therefore when working out the rate needed to increase the state pension it will use the CPI. Many local govt/civil service pensions are increased annually by the RPI rate. But students' loans will have the interest rate calculated using the RPI rate.

In other words, it appears to me, that if the Govt have to pay out money then they use the CPI but if they are claiming money back from us or to award themselves pay/pension increases then its the RPI figures that are used. MP's pensions are the best available - and are costing taxpayers a fortune.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Just Good Friends

What a lovely surprise. I popped in to check on emails, my bank balance, update anti- virus and firewall and then a fast sneaky look at the blog world.

I popped in on Merrydaze and then over to Stinking Billy. And what do I find? Why I find that St Billy left his word processor to go out to meet up with another woman. Crystal and he have had a meeting - well a cuddle to be precise. I rushed over to Crystal's Palace and find the meeting included a photo shoot.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Red Arrows 2012 Olympics

There has been a petition raised to overturn the view by the
"Department of Culture, Media and Sport have deemed the RAF Red Arrows
as Unsuitable for the 2012 Olympics because they are too British.
This is a
ridiculous decision and should be overturned in the name of common sense."

If you agree then click on this link to sign the petition. You will be sent an email with a request to click on a link - once you have done this your name will be added to the petition. The emailed link is just to make sure you are a person and not some robotic machine trying to place fictitious names on the petition.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Do you Agree With Me?...



I have this hanging in my kitchen - a warning to any who dare to disagree with me. If she had glasses she would look just like me.

Moved to Tears

I was first moved to tears by a movie when I was very young. "John and Julie" was about a young boy and his younger sister travelling to London for the Queen's coronation. At some point Julie becomes lost in the crowds. Much time is spent with John pushing his way through the crowds calling out "Julie, ..... Julie......., Julie......" with shots of Julie surrounded by crowds of adults calling out "John......, John.......".

A bit like Leonardo and Kate on the Titanic "Jack......, Jack ........, Jack........". However, even though Kate was wet and cold while she tried to find Jack, I remained unmoved by the Titanic experience.

I was moved to shed tears as I was fearful that John and Julie would not be reunited. It was my first visit to the movies. I had to sit on the upturned seat so I could see over the adult shoulders in front of me. The velvety plush of the seat tickling the backs of my thighs. Being 6 years old I didn't realise the film was a comedy. I don't remember laughing. I just remember the emotions it aroused in me along with the haunting music. As to the theme tune I'm not at all surprised to find it was played by Eddie Calvert. There was a haunting sweetness to his playing.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Aspiring Author

Once many years ago I was an aspiring author. I had aspirations to be a published writer. To be an author.


I can clearly remember the opening sentence of my first draft paragraph.

"The judge placed the black cap on top of his wig and pronounced sentence on
the prisoner. "You will be taken from this place to prison from whence you
will be taken to a place to suffer death by hanging"

As you can see I was attempting a dramatic opening. I remember clearly the events that raised this rich seam of drama in my mind. I was young at the time of the murder. It was the first murder of which I became aware of newspaper coverage of the crime, the victims, and then the trial. I remember my father's distress over the hanging of a man who may well be innocent.

My father didn't agree with 'legalised murder'. He thought that a sentence of imprisonment for life was sufficient punishment. It allowed for errors in judgement, mistaken identity or other extenuating circumstances. When he was explaining his thoughts to me he told me he came to this decision when Derek Bentley was hanged for murder. A shooting of a policeman committed in Croydon in by Bentley/Craig obviously aroused a great deal of local interest at the time. Many years later it still distressed my father. He was worried that another man was about to be hanged when he may have been innocent of the crime.

I'm not quite sure where I intended to go after this dramatic opening. I'd worked out the beginning. But it had no middle and no ending. The latter surprises me. It surprises me because I have always chosen my books by reading by the last paragraph first.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Desktop Meme

Many months ago I was tagged by teeni to give a glimpse of the 'real' me by taking a snapshot of my onscreen 'desktop'. I never did get around to posting about it. Now that I've been tagged again with the same project by MaggieMay I feel guilty that I never completed it the first time around!

So I've decided to do a double desktop challenge.

The first desktop on the left is a snapshot of my PC desktop taken in September when I had every intention of trying to do something interesting. I didn't think my desktop looked at all fascinating which is probably why the post petered out and died. As you can see I don't change it from whatever MS Windows and added software pacakges supply. However, what you can't see is that whenever I am away from my keyboard for more than 30 minutes a photo slide show screensaver kicks in. I've thousands of photos, local scenes, gardens, plants, family snaps, pets, friends and local architecture. It's lovely not knowing what pictures will be metamorphosing on to the screen when I return to my desk.

The second photo is my whole desktop with all its junk, notebooks etc so you can see what an untidy disorganised worker I am. It may look untidy and disorganised but I never lose anything. It's just that I have a vertical filing system.

Now I don't have time to pop around many folk to ask them to take part - so I'll just a list a few people I would love to know a bit more about. I hope they'll join in if they have the time

  1. Mark Wadsworth
  2. Richard Madeley
  3. Flowerpot
  4. Mopsa of Ramblings

and anyone else who feels they would like to have a go at this meme then please consider yourself as 'tagged'..

If you do the desktop meme please leave me a comment so I know to pop over to view. I would be interested in the double desktop view - I am particularly nosey, you see.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Chatty Bloggers Award

I would like to nominate the following for the chatty bloggers award:

I feel I would enjoy a cup of tea and a good chat with any of the above. There are others but when I've visited their blogs I see they already have won one.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Award for Being a Gossip




Retired and Crazy has very kindly given me an Award. I haven't yet had chance to find who I'll be passing it onto but will be back soon to nominate some other chatty bloggers.

I Am Revolting

I am revolting - and I wish more people would sign up for an apathy bypass and join the revolt wagon.

Today I wish to join the revolt against Tesco. The best news I've heard all day is about Dot Reid a 58 year old from Liverpool who is trying to save her home from yet another Tesco store. She wants the Tesco's boss Sir Terry Leahy to have a taste of his own medicine. She has submitted a planning application to Hertfordshire to demolish his mansion to provide a community garden, with water feature and a kiosk for pensioners.

I just hope thousands of people will write in to support her planning application. Just think of the thousands of jobs it will provide as tourists would flock to the area just to enjoy the community gardens ...

If you would like to let the council planning dept know what you think of this planning application all the details can be found here.


Remember Power to the PEOPLE


Tesco doesn't seem very popular does it - here are a few varied views of the Tesco juggernaut: -
http://www.tesco-complaint.blogspot.com/2006/11/tesco-complaint_06.html

http://tescocampaign.blogspot.com/

http://tescno.blogspot.com/2006/05/sir-terry-leahy-begins-tesco-charm.html

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/lifestyle-news/your-life/tm_headline=end-of-the-corner-shop&method=full&objectid=19843695&page=4&siteid=50003-name_page.html

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=417691&in_page_id=2


Thursday, 10 April 2008

Olympic Torch Procession

The Olympic Torch procession through London, Paris and latterly San Fransisco has been very amusing. When I first saw the procession on TV I thought it was an advert then I realised it was the phalanx of guards around the torch. I didn't realise the rough men in blue tracksuits were a Chinese contingent from the 'heavy mob' manhandling our citizens on our streets. If I'd known I'd have been up there with them protesting.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

My April Blog Selection

I would just like to draw you attention to some blogs I have enjoyed which are now listed under 'My April Blog Selection' in the right hand column.

Monday, 31 March 2008

Spring is in the Air

Spring is in the Air .... all the birds and squirrels are busy seeking out and fighting over food and mates. The badger has upturned and broken 3 of my pots. I'll have to buy new pots now to house the huge hostas which are just about budding above the surface. Shame the badger is a protected species... they are always digging up the lawn, my shrubs or breaking pots. I'd break their necks given the chance ...

Friday, 28 March 2008

A Laugh A Minute

Well to cheer myself up again I listened to Brian Johnson and Aggers giggling. Giggling is contagious.

It was interesting that so many listeners rang in to the BBC today requesting to hear once again Charlotte Green unable to speak for giggling. We all want more laughter in our lives.

Then I've just found this website that has many radio sporting 'bloomers' to listen to - enjoy..

A Moving Tale

Well in more ways than one my life is a moving tale. We have been busy de-cluttering. It is a mammoth task that can only be done in dribs and drabs owing to my spouse's ill health. It is traumatic and stressful for us both. We are thinking of where and when we should next move. There is still a part of me that wishes to move back to my old home county of Surrey. In fact when I was up there in December I did have a cast around looking at various locations. I even went as far as going into a few estate agents. In one I found them busy with a painter/decorator in the middle of refurbishing their office. When he heard where I lived (he himself commuted from Stockland near Honiton), he wondered whether I was 'taking leave of my senses' to want to move back to the mad hurly burly of the south east.

By the time we had finished talking and reminiscing about Devon I felt quite homesick. I'd only been away from home for 4 days! The pull of the south east is the family network. I would enjoy being near my sister, sister-in-law and the rest of the family for emotional support when things are tough at home. But having left Surrey over 37 years ago I have a feeling that I will find it difficult to settle there.

We had an uncle who emigrated to Australia in the 1960's. After 25 years he returned to Cornwall where he did nothing but moan about how cold and wet it was and what a beautiful life was his in Australia. Then he'd return to his daughter and grandchildren in Western Australia where he couldn't wait to get back to the lush green fields of Cornwall again. So he was forever discontented and unsettled in both locations.

I wonder whether those of us who have left our home counties are forever doomed to be footloose and rootless.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Heathers

Heather's site - no, not an article on gardening but a quick note about that rather strange woman Heather Mills. I am no Beatles fan. But if this woman cannot see that, every time she opens her mouth to voice her 'thoughts', we viewers can't see her lies, innuendo and delusional beliefs - then she is very obviously so far up her own a**s that she is more away with the fairies than I thought.

I couldn't resist having a peek at her official site but see that she has carefully avoided allowing anyone to leave comments. Perhaps that is the only wise thing she has ever done in her life. Well, after bagging a very wealthy grieving widower as a husband that is.....

I particularly like the Judge's comments that although she claimed to have been so very generous with her money to charities that no record of donations can be identified.

On the plant front though I reckon she's well named (Latin name calluna vulgaris) she is just as tough and woody as an old heather, a common pernicious weed.

Update 31/03/08: Re Mopsa's comment that this is the best article - I agree, it's worth reading.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Apologies

I just want to apologise to all who keep popping in to read any new postings. And there haven't been many at all. What there have been are invariably made up of whinges and a crosspatch moaning. I am sorry but this virus has been a bit of a b*****r to shake off. And being at home so much means I've been listening to the radio or watching TV news; surrounded by doom, gloom and the economy.
Many people are beginning to call it 'flu'. I don't know if this is flu or not. If it's a flu virus then I've got off lightly. But whatever it is it's taken a long time to clear and is still affecting my energy levels. I've only done a little bit of blogging here and there. I've popped in on blogging friends to cheer myself over the last few weeks. I've certainly hardly been out anywhere and feel as if I'm 'stir crazy' sometimes. I go to the chemist each week for essential supplies but otherwise have resorted to Internet grocery shopping to save energy.
My group of friends also have had the virus. 2 of them a month before I started it. 2 others a couple of weeks later. We keep comparing symptoms to see how long before we feel 'back to normal'. From a telephone conversation with a friend who yesterday claimed to be fully recovered I reckon I may have a couple more weeks to go.We keep on talking about arranging a get together. We've cancelled 3 lunch/dinner parties - so far. We just keep on talking about what we'll do when we all feel better.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

More Power to the People

I am a perfectly ordinary person (POP) who is feeling very frustrated and annoyed beyond all bearing with what is happening to our country. If you feel the same way then consider joining this group and move to Scotland until we have proper representation for England in parliament.

English Blogs

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Counsellor or Councillor

No I'm not going to talk politics again. I saw in the local paper when they are talking about counselling they spelt it incorrectly. It had been missed in the proof reading. I assume this is another example of people relying on a PC spell check.

However, my point is that in the advert along with the usual claim to help with depression, anxiety, bereavement and relationship problems it mentions 'LGBTQ issues'. I have no idea what this could be so I don't know if I have trouble with LGBTQ issues or not. If anyone can enlighten me or even make a mad stab [please, no blush making over vulgar suggestions] I would be interested to hear your comments. I'll look it up tomorrow and see if I can come up with an answer. I have a few ideas but I end up stumped by the 'Q' - apart from a non PC term that is.

Update: 15th March - Mark Wasdsworth is correct. LGBTQ the 'Q' from this site stands for Queer or Questioning youth. I am a little surprised 'queer' is still used but maybe in the USA they are more relaxed than us in UK who fear to use a word that may cause offence.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Power to the People

I hope that this blog will resurrect itself at a later date. I'm sorry that I didn't get to read it before it was taken off line. As Sirona Says the spooks will be looking for her. I just hope that it is only her job Civil Serf loses and she doesn't become an accidental death. I wouldn't put anything past this Govt.
Some links that you may find interesting:
http://www.britishblogs.co.uk/search/civil+serf/

http://my.telegraph.co.uk/mikeyp/march_2008/civil_serf.htm

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3512007.ece

- what a shame that no-one has saved the blog entries to their PC so that those of us a bit slow off the mark could read it. Maybe this would have been a good excuse for whistle blowers to eschew copyright issues - offer their blog to be copied directly on to other bloggers pages. So would all future whistleblowers please note - get us to spread your words so that if your blog is shut down we can still spread the 'truth' for all to hear.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Tags and Meme

    Way back when - so long ago now I expect she has forgotten all about it - teeni - tagged me to share 7 random or weird bits of information about myself with my readers/blurkers or virtual friends. Finally I have managed to put my mind to this engrossing task. Here are my confessional 7:

  1. I have no ankles. By that I mean although I have shapely [according to my husband] legs my ankles are pudgy and weak. I wish I had boney ankles with a taut visible Achilles tendons. I have to wear sensible shoes when all I crave are high heel scrappy strappy expensive things.
  2. My legs - shapely or not - take up more than half my height. I have a small squat body. I can't wear a dress I look far too funny with the waist up under my boobs - so tight around my ribs I can't breathe. I should have made my own dresses so that I could place the waist where it is rather than where dressmakers think it should be.
  3. I am by nature an optimist and look at the world through rose tinted specs; believing the best of everyone I meet. However, having a met a lot of people, I do keep a healthy scepticism.
  4. I will help anyone but will not allow anyone to 'take advantage'. I believe that God helps those who help themselves. I always try to see the best in people and make allowances for the fact that we all have our own selfish need to get through life the best way we can.
  5. I am an imaginative dreamer. I could lose hours in my own thoughts and day dreams - given the chance.
  6. I wish I had been a teacher. If we have a second life I will train to be a teacher - juniors 7 - 11 year olds - when they are full of curiosity and imagination.
  7. I am opinionated and could run the world far better than any politician - other than the lovely amusing , Boris Johnson that is.

Now for the meme, here are the rules:

Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

Unfortunately as I am still suffering from/ recovering from this flu type bug along with nursing my husband through it too (He claims he feels far worse than I did/do!) I do not have time to tag 7 people. If you would like to pick up the challenge and do this meme then please pick up the flame and carry it forth proudly. But do let me know via a comment so that I can come over to your place to blurk a look.