Thursday, 31 December 2009

Reflections and Resolutions

I am feeling in reflective mood. As I was driving over to mum's this morning I came up with a philosophical phrase of which I am rather phond -

"I must stop defining who I am by what I was"

I am becoming aware of the fact that when I answer memes or join in conversations or describe myself I always seem to be talking about what I used to be and what I used to do. This tells me (and maybe you too) that I seem to have nothing in the present to talk about. At least, nothing very interesting. I have to admit that I do miss a lot of the things I used to do. So now I need some suggestions of things I can start doing in 2010 that won't involve travelling very far or being out of the house for too long and which I can use to define who I am rather than what I was. I await your comments with interest.
In the meantime my New Year Resolutions - well, to blog better and to work out how to do my own art work for my blog background, to listen to Radio 3 more, to get a play accepted by Radio 4 and/or my novel published. To sort out the 3,000 photos that are on my hard drive, to go for a proper walk every day, to ban melancholy from my life as it is self indulgent and non-productive. To get the garden tidy. To get the house tidy and to seriously chuck out what I don't need.
So what about for February......(only joking!)

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be

On the fifth Day of Christmas at my friend Grethic's party we have been invited to share some interesting fund raising ideas for fetes and the like. I can't say that I can offer anything novel or original but it did get me quite "soggy with nostalgia" as Tom Lehrer would say and I started thinking back to the wonderful fetes held byu the Friends of St Andrew's Hospital in the Billericay of my childhood. Now when I was a child Billericay was quite a small town, it was long before all the development that is there now and not in the least the place that is lampooned in Gavin and Stacey. There was a hall called The Archer Hall on the corner that was Sun Corner and where my first tentative steps in mateur dramatics were taken, and next to it was a big field where the Hospital Fete was held once a year. My dad was often the MC for the day and, of course, rolled out the old one about a fete worse than death! There were lots of games to play - guess the weight of the cake, a coconut shy, rolling pennies down a little slope thing to see if it landed inside a square and won you a prize (these are what a lady in a shop the other day described to me as those big brown coins - did that make me feel old!)tipping the lady out of bed, tombola, and lots of other things too. And there was the fancy dress competition. One year my mum and dad made me a costume to look like Marina (no, this was a long time before Last of the Summer Wine) She was Troy Tempest's girlfriend in "Stingray" She never spoke and she had a green floaty dress and green hair and a big pearl on a chain round her neck. They dyed a hair piece and made the dress and dad fashinoned the pearl out of a candle stub and I came second. Later I found out that I didn't come first because they thought we must have hired the costume.
So, if it isn't too late, maybe I could suggest a fancy dress competition?
By the way, I am working on a poem but it's going to have to wait until the party is over.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Sunday Stealing last one of 2009

Sunday Stealing: The Final Week of 2009 Meme

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Joined up with Twitter and Facebook and got a blog

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Every year I say I will get more organised and every year I fail

3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
Don't know - what's on the tele?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Haven't been out of the County let alone the Country

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

9. What was your biggest failure?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Changed my car

12. Where did most of your money go?
See 11

13. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Can't think of anything

14. What do you wish you'd done more of?

15. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Sitting about doing nothing

16. What was your favourite TV program?
Dr Who

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

18. What was the best book you read?
The Historian

19. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Philip Glass' opera Akhnaten

20. What was your favorite film of this year?
Didn't see many new films so limited choice but I would say Frost/Nixon, but that's partly because I knew David Frost's mum and have met him

21. What did you do on your birthday?
Nothing special

22. What kept you sane?

23. Who did you miss?
All my cousins, don't get to see the family anything like as much as I would like

24. Who was the best new person you met?
I met someone on the internet and then met up with her in real life
is her

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Write things down and then you might remember them when you have to answer next years meme

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Sparkle's meme

My friend at Random Ramblings posted her own meme today so here are my answers, boring but honest!
Choose three words to describe yourself-Tired, tired and tired
What was your first job?- Washing up in a pub when I was about 13
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?- Playing the piano
What is your favourite ever film?-Not easy to choose. The one I went to see more times than anything else was the Frank Langella Dracula
What one wish would you like to be granted? - For no one ever to be nasty or violent towards anyone else ever again anywhere
What would you choose as your last meal? - Oh, what a depressing question. If I knew it was going to be my last meal I probably wouldn't feel hungry
What are you most passionate about? - My apathy
Who are your heroes? - People who get their priorities right
When are you happiest?- When I am out for a walk
What really irritates you?- Oh, don't get me started
What's your biggest indulgence?- Hats and gloves and scarves and nail varnish and eye shadow
What keeps you awake at night? Wondering where to put all the hats and scarves and gloves and nail varnish and eye shadow
Be honest, if you live somewhere that has snow – do you really like it?
Yes if I can go out for a walk in the soft crunchy stuff, otherwise no
And finally, just to make a contribution to the festive season, how do you expect to spend Christmas day? - It will just be us two unless mum wants to come over, which she probably won't so it won't be much different to what I would do on a Sunday, i.e. Church, lunch, walk, dinner, read a bit.

Sunday Stealing Lola's Meme

Sunday Stealing Lola's Holiday Meme

Before we start I just want to say that I hate the word "holiday" at this time of year. It is Christmas. Just as Hanukah is Hanukah and Diwali is Diwali, Christmas is Christmas

1. What is your favourite holiday show/animated show?
- Any children's Nativity Play

2. What holiday character do you think you're most like?
- By the time you finish reading this you'll probably say Scrooge. I get a bit fed up at this time of year because we are too far away from family for them to visit us and anyway they all have their kids and grandkids to occupy them.

3. What holiday character does your spouse think you're most like?
-He has no answer to offer

4. Favourite Christmas/holiday song?
- Three Kings From Persian Lands Afar

5. Most hated Christmas/holiday song?
- I've told you before, I don't even want to think about it or it will be stuck in my head all day

6. If you have an all holiday music radio station when do you start listening to it? Don't think we do but if we did I wouldn't

7. If you have an all holiday music radio station do you love it or hate it?
- See above

8. Have you ever wrapped yourself as a Christmas present?
- No, but my mum was a pass the parcel once

9. Who is Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer's father?
- Ask his mother

10. Do you drive your neighbourhood or one near you at night to look at other people's holiday decorations?
- No.

11. When you see a heavily decorated house do you think, 'oh that's lovely'? Or do you think, 'oh criminy, that looks like Christmas threw up all over their lawn'?
- I think "Glad I don't have to pay their electricity bill, whatever is their carbon footprint like"

12. Are you counting the days to Christmas with excited anticipation or dread?
- Not counting

13. When was the last time you had your photo taken with Santa? Did you sit on his lap?

14. Do you make a Christmas list for your spouse or significant other or do you rely on them to pick your gift(s) without a clue from you?
- We don't do presents

15. When do you put up your tree?
-We don't have a tree or decorations. Too much hassle when it's just the two of us and hubby not bothered

16. Real or fake?
-See 15

17. When do you take your tree down?
- See 15

18. Do you shop the day after Christmas sales? What do you shop for?
- No

19. Is your work/office having a holiday party this year? Will you attend?
-Left work

20. Do you have your New Year's Eve Plans set yet?
- Bed about 10 with a cup of cocoa

Friday, 18 December 2009

's no joke

It snowed. Did you notice? I am glad I didn't have to go out in the car in it. I did walk to the Heath to get a paper, but the papers hadn't srrived, nor any sign they would. For any of my Canadian readers I should explain that in this country we all grind to a halt when we get a few inches of snow because we are not used to it any more. Frankly I am of the cautious frame of mind and prefer not to risk it. Lots of people seem to have no fear and fare perfectly well, apart from the ones who don't. Anyway, took some photos of which here are a few

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

One of my best pomes

I used to write silly verses a lot, for people that I worked with, friends, etc. Writing one for Sparkle and the kind comments it received made me think I would share the one I wrote about the exhausting months we spent trying to get OH's dentures sorted out. His own private dentist said nothing could be done but my dentist at the time, who was NHS said he would give it a go. However, how he wanted to do things was not how the NHS wanted him to do them and he had to go along with their suggestion even though he wasn't very pleased about being over ruled in his judgement of the best way to deal with the situation. So this is what I wrote, with some names changed to protect the innocent.

There's a feller known as Hubby who has lost a lot of teeth
'Twas not that he was careless or the victim of a thief
But just that as a nipper and a small evacuee
The mobile dentist yanked one for his even smaller fee
The school's dentist that followed was a brutal sort of guy
He yanked another front one, but Hubby did not cry
From then it simply escalated and the rot set in
And one by one his toofypegs were put into the bin.

Fast forward now by 60 years and see that gappy smile.
He has a set of dentures and he wears them for a while.
But Wifey makes him bashful 'cos whenever they're on show
She says it cheers her up no end by laughing, don't you know.
By now he goes to Blankburgh where the steps are far too steep
To get into the surgery risks landing in a heap
But Wifey's dentist says "No probs, I'll take you, NHS
My goodness Mr Person, you really are a mess
I'll solve your dental problems with a bridge of strange design
The technicalities are naught when you have skill like mine.
But first we'll have to clear it past the dental boarding man"
(I know that isn't grammar but I couldn't make it scan)

A trip to sunny Stowmarket was called for at this juncture
And that was fine except that Hubby's wheelchair got a puncture
The man we saw was some sort of investigative dentist
He hummed and hawed and tutted and he sucked his teeth and hissed
"I think your dentist's optimism has to be admired
Do you concur with what he says?", and Hubby, who was tired
Said, "I'm not sure I understand just what it will entail"
So the dental man explained it. Hubby started looking pale.

The upshot of all this was that it didn't quite get passed.
They didn't say "No way" but Hubby's dentist was aghast.
"We'll have to find a specialist to look at you some more.
It really is a nuisance and frankly quite a bore."
The Hospital in Norwich had a chap to fit the bill
So off to them we trekked, more miles, more parking, what a thrill.
More X-rays too, that's good thought I, dear Hubby, do not pout.
They'll make it very easy for them if the lights go out
For then your teeth will glow, so radiated will they be
If the surgery's plunged in darkness by your light they still will see.

"A bridge too far" the surgeon said, unable to resist
That corny joke and I thought "I am glad I did desist
From saying that, although I thought it more than once or twice"
Our reaction to the comment made the room feel full of ice.
"But all is not quite lost my friend, I have another plan
And if your dentist's up for it then he's a brave, brave man"
Our dentist didn't like it but he bit the bullet hard
"I'll try", he said, "but it's not how I wanted to retard
The crumbling of your gnashers. I'll do the best I can
To implement the dental boarding man's fantastic plan"

The treatment was extensive, Hubby started looking haunted
And every time the dentist said, "It wasn't what I wanted"
We drove to "B-Town" several times, and to get those lovely smiles
We must have travelled very nearly one whole thousand miles.
The dentist hacked and drilled as if he worked down a coal mine
"If we'd done it how I wanted then it would have been just fine"
He pulled and pushed and moulded like an baker kneading dough
"They should have done it my way, then all this would be just so"

Then bits fell off and splintered and it all had to be mended
"This never would have happened if we'd done what I intended"
Then the lovely dentures took a grip that would not yield
Poor Hubby thought his chewing days were over, his fate sealed.
But he wiggled and he jiggled and at last the teeth were free
"This never would have happened if you'd listened up to me"

By now you will have realised the dentist was not happy
To have been over ridden, he thought Dental Boards were.... horrid
But Hubby kept his temper, a paragon of calm
A feller with a dental drill can do a lot of harm
And to be fair he does get through a steak now, once a week
And at his gold bits he's prepared to offer you a peek
And Wifey has got used to seeing such a dazzling smile
And managed to stop laughing, which she did for quite a while

The moral of this story, well to the children I would say
Be warned of what might happen if you don't floss twice a day.

Monday, 14 December 2009

A Birthday Poem for my friend

There's a lady name of Sparkle
She's a star that's in the East
She's a super powered hero
Wonder Woman at the least
And she's very calm and quiet
And you'll never see her frown
Unless some footy upstarts
Go and beat old Ipswich Town
She's half an empty nester
One son's moving out real soon
But it doesn't bother Sparkle
(Who's that baying at the moon?)
And if you should upset her
Don't you worry that she might
Hit you with one of her handbags
'cos to pick one takes all night

Happy Birthday H

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Christmas is coming

Every year I say I will cut down my Christmas Card list - yes, you guessed it, every year I say but I never do. It is nice to know that people think of you, even if it is once a year although I wish people would tell me what they have been up to. I know there are those that eel a "round robin" is a bit impersonal but I always feel that I would rather have something than nothing. Usually I do one of those and add a bit where appropriate but for various reasons I didn't get round to it and then when I came to do the cards this week inpiration was sadly lacking so I decided to do it within the boundaries of this blog and just send people the link so they can look if they want to. (You can too if you want, just look right) Not that I find anything very rivetting to say, but next year - oh, next year, all that lovely free time I am going to have, who knows what might occur.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Family Christmas Letter

Hello Family and Friends. I am sorry that I didn't get round to doing a proper letter in with your cards this year. It's all been a bit fraught! Anyway, as anyone in the whole wide world can read this if they come across it I will keep things a bit vague but you will know who I mean. Hubby is fine now but gave me two scares. Firstly, just into the New Year 2009 he had another TIA (mini stroke) then in June he was very seriously ill for a few days because his medication caused an ulcer and he had to have 4 pints of blood and really frightened me. So glad we live near the hospital now so I was able to visit twice a day and boy was he glad to get home. I also had a bit of a scare but it turned out OK in the end (those who know what I am talking about will get the pun)I also decided, for various reasons, to give up my job and take a break but I only left last week and what with mum having been quite poorly recently as well that is why the cards are late and I am only now getting this letter done. Sadly mum's sister died in October. She had been very ill for a few months following her stroke from 10 years ago.
We both changed our cars. Hubby qualified for the scrappage on his 12 year old Mondeo so got a Focus and I got a second hand Fiesta that was a good deal and top of the range, trading in my 9 year old. The bathroom never did get done, very badly let down by the builder, all very upsetting. So, also for various reasons but pressure of other people's needs being one, I had to stop my studies and it is very unlikely I will be going back to them.
And, as you see, I have become a Blogger, and Twitterer and Facebooker and have made one very good real friend along the way and a few virtual ones. I know, but I don't get out much these days. If you look at my other blog( click here ) you can see some of the art work I have been doing for challenges and on this blog (click on the "Just Jotting Along" banner at the top there are some photos and the rest of my musings if you have time.
I am working on getting hubby to start up his own blog too!
We still go to Sutton Hoo a lot as it is one place close by where we can get quite a good lunch and a walk in the fresh air.
I have left this open to comment by anyone so do leave a message if you have dropped by. HAPPY CHRISTMAS

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Free as a a free thing

Well, today was my last day at work until I find another job, but I'm not going to be looking for a few months. I managed to get away from the office at about 3:30 so literally drove off into the burgeoning sunset on the way home. It was a lovely sky, all pale blues and pinks and greys - the photo above isn't it but it's quite like it. I took that photo before we moved. I had Radio 3 on and there was some lovely music playing and I really did feel a weight lifting. There wasn't a lot of traffic on the road and all in all it was a very pleasant journey. I do feel incredibly lucky to be in this situation and I hope I make good use of the time it will give me. So tired now though but tomorrow I shall try and catch up with paperwork at home that has been neglected and hope my toothache doesn't get any worse before my appointment on Thursday. Then a bit of me time, a bit of card making (actually better get on with that) and some crocheting (if I don't get on with that it will be spring and my cardi will be too warm)and some housework (yes, better get on with that) and I have foolishly promised OH I will give him a few games of chess (if I can't find a good excuse to get out of it) - Oh dear, better get a job so I can have a rest!
Look out for lots of blog posts in the next few weeks!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Sunday Stealing well, almost Sunday

Sunday Stealing: The Can't Sleep Meme

Would it be hard to kiss the last person you kissed?
No, expect to be doin it within the hour

When is it hard to kiss someone?
When they are wearing a diving helemt

You're trapped in a room with your most recent ex for three days, what do you do?
My most recent ex dates back 20 years. Probably help him with his Zimmer frame

Does it matter to you if your significant other smokes?
He doesn't but it would

Have you ever regretted letting someone go?
Not now, ended up with the one I really wanted

Where would you go if you were butt naked and locked out of your house?
Next door, got good neighbours

Do you want to please everyone?
No (but secretly yes)

Have you ever been called heartless?
Not to my face

Someone calls you at 3:00 AM, who do you expect it to be?
My Mother having a panic attack. Never mind, usually I can calm her down

Does it matter if your significant other drinks?
He can't 'cos of the statins

Could you go the rest of your life without doing drugs?
Yes, managed so far

Which is better, amazing eyes or an amazing smile?
Some people smile with their mouth and not with their eyes, but some people can't help smiling with their eyes even if the mouth is miserable

Do you want to get married and have children one day?
Am married and past child bearing

Are you easy to get along with?
Who, me?

Do you ever want to go to sleep and not wake up?
No, go to sleep looking forward to the possibilities of the morning

Are you shorter than your Mom?
She's getting there

Describe your life currently in one word:

Are you on medication for anything?

Who would you allow to read your thoughts for one day?
Oh no, no one, things catch me by surprise

Are there things in your life that you will never be able to get over?
The fence at the end of the garden

If you woke up naked next to the last person you kissed, what would your reaction be?
Good morning hubby

We are Famileee

Had such a great day today. My cousins Christine and Helen came to visit. I haven't seen Chris for about 10 years, when we met when mum and I visited mum's sister (C&H's mum)Auntie Joan (see My Auntie Joan ) just after she had her second stroke. Before that I saw them both at my wedding. Chris and I are within a year in age and we used to get together as teenagers, and before that when we were smaller I used to go and stay with them for a week in the school holidays. Throughout our lives we have met up again and just picked up where we left off and it happened again today. After coffee and mince pies courtesy of the local baker and cake which I made myself we went over to Felixstowe to visit my mum, then back here for lunch and then I took them for a walk round the Heath. My Uncle was in the RAF in WW2 so I showed them a bit of tarmac so they could tell him about it. Then we looked at some old photos and got very nostalgic. It's just been a brill day and they have promised to come again soon and we had BIG HUGS.

A Fun Christmas Meme

A Fun Christmas Meme
I've picked this meme up from my good friend over at Random Ramblings who got it from EmptyNester and found it got me thinking so do have a go too
1) What is your favourite Christmas movie?
Anything with Fred Astaire in it
(2) What is your LEAST favourite Christmas movie?
Difficult to say but I hold it as a matter of pride that I have NEVER seen the Sound of Music so I will be avoiding that if it's on
(3) What is your favourite Christmas Song?
"Three Kings from Persian Lands Afar" if it's sung well
(4) What Christmas song(s) drives you crazy?
Don't even want to think about it
(5) What is your favorite Christmas drink?
Port (with a little Stilton and crackers on the side)
(6) What is your favorite Christmas memory?
The big get togethers at Auntie Elsie's

(7) What is the best toy/gift you've received on Christmas?
I remember getting my big teddy when I was about 3 - still got him
(8) What is the worst toy/gift you've received on Christmas?
I do remember a jumper that it took me three years to grow into
(9) What do you LOVE about the holidays?
Memories of past Christmases when I was nearer the family

(10) What annoys you about the holidays?
Decorations, stuff in shops etc way too early

(11) Do you prefer star or angel on top of a Christmas tree? Or something else?
We don't have a tree but I don't have apreference

(12) What is your family favorite recipe at Christmas?
Chestnut Tourinois - a concoction of pureed chestnuts, chocolate orange and Grand Marnier

(13) Are you a Grinch or a Who at Christmastime?

(14) Christmas light displays - Love them or Hate them?
Oh I'm sorry but I love them

(15) Santas at the mall - Fun times or Creepy?
He doesn't really exist you know. I knew this at about 3 years old. It's a man dressed up who works in the stores the rest of the year

(16) Christmas cards - do you send them, yes or no?
Oh yes, and I make a lot of them too. This year I really am beginning to think I need to cut the list down
(17) What is the best thing about Christmas, in your opinion?
Well, actually it is the fact that God sent his son to redeem us all

(18) What is the worst thing about Christmas?

(19) When do you put the tree up and take it down?
Don't have a tree

(20) Out of the 12 days of Christmas, which day and item would you want your truelove to give to you?
Are there maids in there somewhere, who would do the cooking and the washing up and the housework for a week or two or fifty)

(21) Why do you think that Grandma got run over by a reindeer?
Well, I guess because she didn't look both ways
(22) Who is your favourite reindeer?
Donner and Blitzen, one of my favourite expletives

(23) Do you believe in Santa Claus?
Please see Q15
(24) What is your favorite smell at Christmastime?
Sitting in someone else's house and smelling the cooking that I haven't had to do
(25) What would make you happy at Christmas this year?
Getting a visit from some family and friends 'cos I can't get to visit them

A bit of psychology

Some friends of mine have been doing a personality quiz and posting it into their blog. I don't know how they posted it into their blog. There are thingys to post it into Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, but I can't find a way to post it here, so you'll just have to believe me when I say I am Warm and Social, but not the same way that some of my friends are warm and social because
(I quote)

You Are Warm and Social
You are unique and philosophical. You have your own way of living life, and you relish your independence.
You are very outgoing and friendly. You feel very comfortable in a crowd, and you can get to know anyone.
Money is fairly important to you. You aren't super greedy, but you enjoy spending money on yourself.
You are curious about ideas. If you had the means, you'd like to explore the whole world.

Spookily this does sound like me!
If you look at the questions then you will smile because anyone who knows me knows that I am of the opinion that heaven has a really good second hand book shop.

Now then, to my day.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The end is nigh

Well, after a couple of really very stressful days which I don't need to dwell on, I now have a leaving date and it will be next Tuesday. I brought about 8 hours worth home with me and got a couple done today but I shall have to leave most of the rest until Monday as I have to do lots of housework in preparation for a visit from two of my cousins. They are the daughters of my Auntie Joan who passed away recently. One - Christine - is a year all but three weeks older than me, the other is five years younger. I haven't seen them for at least ten years so I am really looking forward to it.
Now I don't want you to get the impression that my place is a tip (it is, but I don't want you to get that impression!) but as there is a wheelchair coming in and out all day and the previous owner of this house had carefully carpeted throughout in a tasteful plain beige, you will see the problem. Oh yes, and the other probolem is I don't do a lot of housework.
I don't care, I don't expect them to care. With luck we will be too busy wallowing in nostalgia to notice. Now where's the photo album........

Sunday, 29 November 2009

My Meme

OK, here's my answers. now let's see yours

1. Tell me about something you still own from your childhood, or something you remember and wish you still had.
I have a blue plastic bath brush which is like the face of an elephant and the trunk is the handle. Also Teddy that my aunt made for me before I was born. First person to say antique gets blocked!

2, Name one piece of music that means something to you and why
I listen to a lot of music, mostly classical but some modern. However, I was brought up watching amateur Gilbert and Sullivan and taken to rehearsals practically in my cot so that is womb music for me.

3. Do you ever read a book a second time? What book/s
Yes, I read books more than once. There is a series of books by C.P.Snow that went under the collective title of "Strangers and Brothers" and there are 11 of them. I have read them all twice or three times and it's like going back to visit old friends. Also things by Evelyn Waugh, Olivia Manning, Anthony Powell, that sort of stuff.

4. If you could pass a law what would it be? No Christmas decorations or cards or anything in the shops until the 1st of Decenber

5. What did you have for dinner? Last night had smoked salmon and pasta with some fried onions and red peppers mixed in

6. Do you have a recurring dream? What is it and what does it tell you about yourself?
I dream my teeth are falling out. I suddenly find my mouth full of broken teeth. That's when I know the stress is getting to me.

7. What's the first record you ever bought? Telstar by The Tornados

8. Town or Country? Depends on the time of year my dear, one must spend the appropriate season in the appropriate place (I wish)

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Sunday Stealing - the cheek of the woman

This week's SS was boring and asked for too many personal details that might lead to identity theft so I am being cheeky and luring you all here to do my meme instead

1. Tell me about something you still own from your childhood, or something you remember and wish you still had.

2, Name one piece of music that means something to you and why

3. Do you ever read a book a second time? What book/s

4. If you could pass a law what would it be?

5. What did you have for dinner?

6. Do you have a recurring dream? What is it and what does it tell you about yourself?

7. What's the first record you ever bought?

8. Town or Country?

OK My answers are here

Almost there

I know I should go and start clearing the garden but my chocolate cosmos is still flowering so I'll leave it a bit longer, when I have more time - which is about to be the case!
I have found it a bit difficult to blog these last few weeks as I handed in my notice but couldn't say anything about it for reasons I won't bore you with. Consequently I have been working extra hours to catch up a lot of stuff and write a "manual" for my successor plus mum hasn't been well so I have had extra shopping and cooking to do. Then I fell over in the garage and had almighty backache. BUT, as this blog is always positive, I am delighted to say that a successor has been found and as soon as her ruptured achilles tendon has improved I will be FREE, FREE I TELL YOU, FREE.
For a while anyway. The plan is to take a 6 month break, catch up with housework, do a bit of painting (artistic not house) reading, helping mum and OH with whatever they need help with and getting my little ailments under control. And blogging of course. A nostalgiafest probably so you will need to be a certain age to get some of it. Like laundry marks and little doors marked "off licence" and the milk being delivered twi8ce a day.
Watch this space

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Sunday Stealing 22/11

Sunday Stealing: The Party Mummy Meme

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you. - My friend Lee and Monty Don - same year as well, and Rob Dunger just same day but he's older!

2. Where was your first kiss? - Front seat of a car

3. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex? If yes, why? - No

4. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? When? - Yes, many times

5. What's the first thing you notice about your preferred sex? - Always had a bit of a thing about bald men

6. What really turns you off? - Bad manners

7. What is your biggest mistake? - Why bother to remember

8. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose? - No

9. Say something totally random about yourself.- It's time I had my breakfast

10. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity? - I've answered this before - Jane Wyman

11. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows? - Yes, I have all the Shaun the Sheep DVDs

12. Are you comfortable with your height?- Yes unless the ceiling is very low

13. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you? - My husband proposed in a very romantic way

14. When do you know it's love? You just do

15. What's something that really annoys you? - People who park half off the road and don't think about the people who need to get past on the pavement

Friday, 20 November 2009

Christmas cards

I've always found that looking at colours cheers me up. If I'm low and near a wool shop I will go and look at all the colours and textures and it makes me feel better. I recently came across a lovely book about Iris Folding, which is a technique for making greetings cards and pictures using folded strips of paper, and this gives me an opportunity to play around with colours and textures again. Today I have been making some Christmas cards and forgetting the time and giving myself the backache because I was so absorbed in what I was doing. If you'd like to see a couple of examples click on this Link

Thursday, 19 November 2009

What is it about sparrows?

I went for a walk this afternoon as I had been slaving over a hot computer all morning and had a really sore back. It was a bit windy to go through the woods so I went along the cycle track that follows the line of the original farm track and went and saw my second favourite tree and said hello (Cue song "I talked to the trees - and then they took me away")
In the hedges there is often a flock of sparrows. Now where I used to live we had huge flocks of sparrows, maybe 30 or more, but here we never get any in the garden and I miss them. So I stopped and watched the sparrows in the hedge. I stood very still and after a while they came and watched me and it made me feel very happy. So what is it about sparrows that is so cheerful?

Monday, 16 November 2009

Monday Mayhem Have you/Would you

Decided to start doing another meme, like I need stuff to do in my copious free time (irony)

Go Skinny Dipping?
Can't swim, but I did go topless in Portugal about 25 years ago!

Woken up somewhere that you have no idea how you got there?

Eaten a rabbit?
Yes, often, I really like rabbit stew

Have a meet-up with another blogger?
No but I met up with a fellow tweeter and it's now a regular occurrence

Stolen a candy bar?

Roasted a pig?
Not personally but I have been present at pig roasts

Bounced a check

Gone for a balloon ride?
No, would love to but not sure my dodgy back would cope with the landing

Write a really cool Monday Mayhem ?
I'm working on it

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Sunday Stealing 15/11

Sunday Stealing: The Over the Top Meme

Part One - Describe:

Your hair? - Short, brown, some grey

Your mother? - 85 on Tuesday and the best mum a girl could have. She's intelligent, very caring and has a deep Christian faith

Your father? - He passed away 35 years ago, an extremely good amateur actor, a drama teacher so spent a lot of time with him in school holidays

Your favorite food? - My very easy home made chicken curry, let me know if you want the recipe

Your dream last night? - Don't remember

Your favorite drink? - Fresh Orange juice

Your dream/goal? - I'll have to get back to you on that one

The room are you in? - My study

Your hobby? - Making cards and bead jewellery and crocheting and a bit of drawing and a few weekly challenges which are Like This

Your fear? - Being ill so that I can't look after mum and hubby

Your TV? - Prefer factual programmes like Natural History and Science but also like SF

Your Pets? - None

Friends? - Only a few but they are good ones

Your life? - Easy most of the time

Your mood? - Ask me in the New Year

If you're missing someone? - Not really although I'm sorry my dad isn't still here

Your best friend? - Don't rate my friends, several would be joint top of the list

Part Two - The Where's?

Where do you want to be in 6 years? - I'll wait and see

Where were you last night? - Here

Where did you grow up? - Brentwood and Billericay, Essex UK

One place that I go to over and over? - Sutton Hoo

Your favorite place to eat out? - Almost never eat out

Wish list items? - To be better organised and tidier

Last time you laughed? - About 10 minutes ago

Last time you cried? - About 10 days ago

Part Three - The What's?

Something that you aren't? - Unhappy

Last thing you did? -Gave my hubby a hug

What are you wearing?- Nightie and dressing gown, only just got up

Something you're not wearing? - Work it out from last question

Your favorite store? - It has to be H.G.Crisp in Saxmundham

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Sunday Stealing 8/11

26. What color is your watch?
- Which watch?

27. What do you think of when you hear “Australia”?
- It's a very long way away.

28. Would you strip for money?
-Nobody would pay me

29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
- No drive through where I live and don't like fast food

30. What is your favorite number?
- 42

31. Who’s the last person you talked to on the phone?
- My mother

32. Any plans today?
- Church, walk, pottering about

33. In how many states have you lived?
- None unless being in a state of perpetual confusion counts

34. Biggest annoyance right now?
- Meme's that assume everybody lives in the U.S.

35. Last song listened to?
- Bete Noir by Bryan Ferry

36. Can you say the alphabet backwards?

37. Do you have a maid service clean your house?
- You are joking aren't you?

38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
-Anything that will accommodate my bunions

39. Are you jealous of anyone?

40. Is anyone jealous of you?
- Shouldn't think so

41. Do you love anyone?
- Yes

42. Do any of your friends have children?
Yes, and grandchildren and great grandchildren

43. What do you usually do during the day?
- Depends which day. Work Tuesday and Wednesday, housework Monday, Friday, visit mum Thursday

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now?
-Absolutely not

45. Do you use the word hello daily?
- Yes

46. What color is your car?
- Blue

47. What size wedding ring do you wear?
- Don't know, had it too long to remember

48. Are you thinking about someone right now?
- No, I am concentrating on this meme

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
- No, don't even know where it is

50. How did you get your worst scar?
- Chicken pox

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Those anti spammer words

I find myself getting more and more fascinated by those random words you have to type in a box before you can post links to your blog on Facebook or comment on some people's blogs. This morning I got "O'Hara Harps" and in my mind's eye saw this funny little back street shop with a leprachaun sitting in the back room surrounded by bits of string and wood and strange tools and a Pratchettesque harp made of sapient pearwood like the luggage (I know, you have to read Discworld novels, it's too complicated to explain) telling him why he's doing things wrong. I have a feeling Alan Coren wrote a piece all about the books that went under titles that were really volumes in an encyclopedia. I will have to see if I can find it. In the meantime let's see what we get when I post the link up to this!
P.S. It was "sneak featherbedding" Is that a mattress that lulls you into a false sense of security?

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Sunday Stealing - 01/11

Tried to take the Sunday Stealing a bit more seriously this week!

1. What is the color of your toothbrush?
- White with a bit of blue

2. Name one person who made you smile today.
- @Farctum on Twitter

3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
- It is 8 am and I'm doing this meme

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago?
- Sleeping

5. What is your favorite candy bar?
- Toffee Crisp

6. Have you ever been to a strip club?
- No but I've walked past a few

7. What is the last thing you said aloud?
- Good Morning

8. What is your favorite ice cream? How to choose?
- Choosing if you go to the Ice cream Parlour at Aldeburgh is very difficult. If I was there now I think I would have coffee flavour, or maybe Banoffee

9. What was the last thing you had to drink?

10. Do you like your wallet?
No, the zip just broke

11. What was the last thing you ate?
Puffed oats with some dried cranberries and soya milk

12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?

13. The last sporting event you watched?
Watched a bit of Formula one a couple of weeks ago

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?
- Didn't know you could get different flavours

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to?
A very old and dear friend whose father has just died

16. Ever go camping?
No, NO!

17. Do you take vitamins daily?

18. Do you go to church every Sunday?
-Yes, nearly every week although very occasionally I might miss

19. Do you have a tan?
-Bit of a gardeners tan on my forearms

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza?
-Not sure

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw?
- Never drink soda

22. What did your last text message say?
- It was private so not sharing that

23. What are you doing tomorrow?
- Laundry in the morning, and shopping. House group in the afternoon. Getting ready for work on Tuesday and having a look at the Monday Mayhem meme

24. Favorite color?
- Do you know the variety of Penstemon called "Sour Grapes" ? It's a sort of delicate electric mauve/blue

25. Look to your left; what do you see?
- A big pine tree and rain

Sunday, 25 October 2009

More photos (or I Like Trees)

This should really follow on from the previous post.

wooooo hoooooo

That's my attempt to make a noise like a ghost, didn't really work did it. Anyway, we went to Sutton Hoo again this afternoon and I took 63 photos and had a jolly good walk. OH borrowed the buggy for the bit of the walk that it can manage and then after tea and cake he went in the exhibition hall and I went for a walk down a couple of the less beaten tracks. This photo kind of sums up one aspect of the place but I got some lovely tree pictures too which I will share in due course. The trees are not really turning that well this year but some have a bit and maybe in a week or so they will look better. Hubby reckons it will be too cold for him to go soon. I had a top up practice in his car too, just getting my brain round driving the automatic from time to time means I don't worry about the possibility of having to drive it in an emergency. It's a lot bigger than my car too. So all in all it's been a great weekend

Sunday Stealing 25/10

Sunday Stealing: The Halloween Meme

You may find a theme beginning to emerge in this, move over (for a little while) Bryan

1. What is your favorite written work of horror fiction?
- The Haunter of the Dark by H.P.Lovecraft and Dracula by Bram Stoker

2. What is your favorite work of science fiction/fantasy?
- Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

3. Who is your favorite monster?
- Dracula

4. What is your favorite Horror movie?
Frank Langella's version of Dracula

5. What horror movie gives you the most chills?
- Frank Langella's version of Dracula

6. What character from any horror film would you most like to play?
Anyone who gets bitten by Frank Langella

7. Freddy or Jason?
- Frank

8. What is your favorite Halloween treat?
Watching Frank Langella's version of Dracula

9. Ghosts or goblins?

10. Friendly-faced jack-o'-lantern or scary one?
Friendly but with pointy teeth

11. What is your scariest encounter with the paranormal?
Saw a UFO once

13. Would you rather be a zombie, alien, or psycho?
No thanks

14. Favorite Halloween costume?
Big black cloak with red silk lining

15. Best thing about Halloween?
When It's over

16. Person in your family who most likes Halloween (not counting yourself)?
Guess it would be my cousin as it's her birthday

17. Are you superstitious?

18. Share an unusual Halloween story.
Haven't got one

19. What did you do for Halloween as a kid?
Wasn't celebrated (if that's the word) when I was a kid but my cousin did have a couple of parties with pumpkin lamps

20. What's the best Halloween party that you've attended?
See above

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Lovely day, lovely day...

I have you know, I've had a lovely day. Woke up when I was ready to - always a good start. Hubby already up and porridged, he was feeling well which always cheers me up. Usual chat with mum at 8 then off for a walk through the woods to get hubby's paper and some chicken from our terrific butcher. Saw two people that I knew. Off to Ipswich to get shirt for hubby, things from the craft shop to make Christmas cards and then to Arlingtons to meet easternsparkle for lunch. She is my friend I met on the internet about 50 years ago. Time always flys when we meet and the next step is now in the planning, which is the meeting of the husbands! Got waylaid in BHS on the way back to the bus stop.
Had a little rest then cooked huge pan of chicken and tarragon stew, froze some for us, some smaller portions for mum and the juice with pearly barley and lentils for soup. And had a glass or two. Now considering my artistic endeavours for my other blog.
Ain't life grand!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Oh Dr Beeching......

For reasons that are not very positive and therefore have no place here, I haven't been very inspired this week and so even skipped Sunday Stealing and my two arty challenges. But last night I was reminded of a happy time when I watched a terrific little jewel of a programme called Railway Walks. In it the presenter, a very healthy young woman called Julia, walks along stretches of disused railway lines, mostly ones that were closed down by Dr Beeching in the early 1960s when the railways were "rationalised" and the seed was sown for the chaos and utter horror of driving on our now far too busy and congested roads. As my mum never learnt to drive we used to travel on trains a lot and whn I started work I used to travel around by train a lot too for my job (but that's another story) What I was particularly reminded of though was that my grandfather bought a house that had been a crossing keeper's house and I remember walking along the old line and the lovely scenery and the fascinating assortment of small skeletons left by the numerous animals that had met their demise under the wheels of a train years previously. I'm not sure how much of this will resonate with my non-English readers. The places where the line crossed the road were, back in the day, controlled by a man who lived in a house by the side of the line and had to physically go out and close the gates across the road when a train was coming, no automation. And as a child it was the most exciting thing to come along and find the road barred and know that a train was going to hurtle across, even though you might have to wait 10 minutes for it to do so. I find myself back on the bench seat of a old Rover, the smell of leather upholstery and the gleam of the Bakelite knobs. Aha, that's provided me with the idea for a picture to put at the top of this... I'll have to tell you about all the wonderful old cars we had another day.
And the song?
"Oh, Dr Beeching, what shall I do
I wanted to go to Birmingham and they've taken me off to Crewe
Send me back to London
As quickly as you can
Oh Dr Beeching what a silly girl I am."

Thursday, 15 October 2009

My Auntie Joan

This is a positive story, in accordance with the ethos of this blog, although it may seem sad to start with. My mum's sister died this morning. Her daughter rang me at about 8:00 to let me know and we have spoken again this evening. Auntie Joan had a stroke about 10 years ago which took away her speech and paralysed her down one side but she remained cheerful and positive. Later she had to go to a home when it became too difficult for her husband to look after her, even with carers coming in three times a day and in the last few weeks she had deteriorated a lot and gone into hospital. But she had a strong faith, as do many of her family. I am glad she is over her pain and I am glad that I and her husband and my mum and many others can be so sure that she is in a better place and that we will all be together again one day. I do really believe that.
Anyway, we have been thinking today about her and about some fun memories and I'd like to share a couple.
I used to go and stay for a week in the summer holidays when I was a lot younger and one year I totally disgraced myself. After I had come home Joan phoned my mum. She had tried to get her younger daughter to put on her new pyjamas and she had said "I don't want those bl**dy things on" She was about 5 or 6. Joan, horrified, asked why she had said it. "Well, Janet says it"
We used to go and visit quite often in the day time, mum and me. We would get off the train and then walk along a long road which got a bit much for my little legs. I can feel myself now, holding my mummy's hand, somewhere about my shoulder level and the feeling of rejection when she said I was too heavy for her to carry! But I loved visiting, There was the tree we used to climb in the track at the back of their house, the hedgehog we found in the garden, my cousin going over the fence into the school gounds next door and nearly getting caught and the night my Uncle put fat in the little boiler that made the hot water tank boil so that steam came out of the taps. I shall have to write all this down for my cousin, as I don't know if she remembers it all. I did tell her something today that she didn't know, which my mum told me and that was that her mum threw a whole rice pudding at her dad not long after they were married, dish and all. She was really happy I told her about that and is sharing it with her sister and their children.
Rest in Peace Auntie Joan

Monday, 12 October 2009

Monday Miscellany

Today has been a days of several parts. In accordance with tradition, Monday is washing day in this household, although it is so easy when you have a machine to do it that it hardly seems a chore. No boiler to be lit and brought up to temperature, no yellow soap to rub on the collars and cuffs, no soda to redden your already chapped hands, no steam filled kiitchen, no mangle to trap the baby's fingers and no sheets to heave in and out of the bath tub. Aren't I lucky - I hope you are too.
In the afternoon I go to Bible Study at the Vicarage. I go for my lovely walk through the woods to get there (and back again) and today was dry and sunny.
Now I have to bring my brain to bear on an award wot I have been awarded. My friend easternsparkle sent me this award and now I have to get my head round the rules of acceptance which are:-
1. Thank the person who gave this to you ....Thanks Sparkle

2. Copy the logo and place it in your blog - Done!

3. Link the person who nominated you Easternsparkle

4. Name 7 things about yourself that no one would really know
OK, I'll go for the things that the people reading this probably wouldn't know
1. My mum was convinced I was going to be a boy and I was going to be called Mark
2. My big round vaccination mark is on the sole of my right foot
3. I knew a murderer
4. I went to the same school as the actress Joan Sims (but not at the same time!)
5. My mother's cousin invented OMO
6. I have had a conversation with Cliff Richard
7. I have never seen "The Sound of Music"

5. Nominate 7 bloggers for the award, post links to their blogs and leave a comment to tell them that they have been nominated

Now I have a problem here because I am not a very busy blogger and so almost all the blogs I know seem to have already had the award from someone else so you'll have to make do with this one for the time being and then I'll add some more when I find them.

Illustrations vert pistache

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Sunday Stealing 11/10

The Magical Mystery Tour Meme
Welcome back to Sunday Stealing. Today they ripped this meme off a blogger and blog called Magical Mystery Tour. He's from the UK where they spell words strangely.

Sunday Stealing: The Magical Mystery Tour Meme

Can I just comment that we spell "words" the same way you do. Colour, catalogue, favour and many others however.......

1. Is there anybody you just wish would fall off the planet?
-No, because it would mean gravity was going wrong and we would all soon follow

2. How do you flush the toilet in public?
- I don't understand this question. The flush flushes the way it flushes

3. Do you wear your seatbelt in the car?
- Yes, why are meme-ers obsessed with this

4. Do you have a crush on someone?
- Bryan Ferry

5. Name one thing you worry about running out of.
- Far too well organised to run out of stuff

6. What famous person do you (or other people) think you resemble?
- Years ago someone said I looked like Jane Wyman - these days it's more like Bill Wyman

7. What is your favourite pizza topping?
- Not really a fan of pizza - I make scone bases sometimes and just put lots of onions mushrooms and cheese on it

8. Do you crack your knuckles?
- Used to

9. What song do you hate the most?
- No, not going there, don't want to even think about what it might be because I have anticipated the next question!

10. Did just mentioning that song make it get stuck in your head?
- See above

11. What are your super powers?
- I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you

12. Peppermint or spearmint?
- Spearmint

13. Where are your car keys?
- In my handbag

14. Last song you listened to?
- I've got a Leonard Cohen CD on at the moment, he's just finished 1000 Kisses Deep

15. What's your most annoying habit?
- Not putting things away when I've finished with them

16. Where did you last go on vacation?
- Years since I went away on a proper holiday. Last time was Portugal in about 1985

17. What is your best physical feature?
- Depends on who's looking

18. What CD is closest to you right now?
- See 14

19. What 3 things can always be found in your refrigerator?
- Orange Juice (ours), Soya Milk (mine), Stewed Apple (his)

20. What superstition do you believe/practice?
- I am not superstitious

21. What colour are your bed sheets?

22. Would you rather be a fish or a bird?
- Bird, I can't swim but have always wished I could fly

23. Last thing you broke?
- Can't remember

24. What are you having to eat tonight?
- Not sure, depends on how hungry Hubby is

25. What colour shirt are you wearing?
- Not wearing a shirt, pink jumper

26. If you could be doing anything else today, what would you rather be doing?
- As it is Sunday I would love to go to a church service in Canterbury Cathedral

27. Do security cameras make you nervous?
- No, quite pleased to see them

28. If you wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
- I have already started it and it's called "Church Halls I have stood about in"

29. Last time you went to a cemetery?

30. Last concert you went to?
-It would have been something at Snape Maltings but a long time ago

31. Favourite musician(s)/bands you've seen in concert?
- Can't think of anything

32. Next concert you're planning to attend?
- Don't go anymore, can't sit for that long

33. Do you talk to yourself?
- Isn't that what I'm doing now?

34. Have you ever adopted or purchased a pet?
- Not since I was a child

35. Have you ever been present when an animal is being born?
- Yes, seen puppies and pigs being born

Friday, 9 October 2009

Fiddling about on Friday

Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day so I am trying to take my mind off it by getting on with my weekend challenges in good time. In fact, both of them are Friday Challenges but one posts the theme a lot earlier than the other one so I've done one here it is and then I have made a birthday card for a friend and maybe now I will go and help hubby eat some of the buns I baked yesterday. The sun is shining so I really ought to go for a walk too, before it starts to rain.

Monday, 5 October 2009

This was going to be a film review but.....

Monday is washing and shopping in the morning and Bible Study in the afternoon. It has been drizzly today, very autumnal, but cold and damp. On the walk to the Vicarage I saw a lot of those spider's webs all picked out with the rain drops. Next misty morning we get I shall be out there with the camera. Hubby still feeling a bit grotty when I got home so put my feet up in front of the tele with the CD of Frost/Nixon. I enjoyed it. I remember all the fuss at the time so for me it was interesting to find out a bit about the background. Also, I am a Frank Langella fan. He was gorgeous about 35 years ago in "Dracula" but hasn't made many films, he's more a stage actor I think. And I knew David Frost's mum. His father was the minister at Beccles Methodist Church (before I was there) and his mum lived in Beccles and was a member of the congregation at the same time I was. I liked her. I remember watching That Was The Week That Was, with Millicent Martin in her lovely black cocktail dresses singing the topical song every week. Do I really remember the one when JFK was assasinated or is it just that I have seen it since? Did I say I enjoyed the film? Yes, well I do recommend it.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Sunday Stealing 04/10

I think I shall have to do a few Memes of my own, questions relevant to ladies of a certain age. This one wasn't too bad tho'

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
- My horse chestnut pill

2. Where was your profile picture taken?
- In the kitchen of our last house

3. Can you play Guitar Hero?
-Don't know, is it a board game?

4. Name someone who made you laugh today. What was it about?
- My husband describing the Formula One

5. How late did you stay up last night and why?
- 9:30, cream crackered

6. If you could move somewhere else where would you and why?
- I'd like to be able to afford to go and rent a house in a different place every six months or so. Lots of places I'd like to live for a while but Cathedral cities would be top of my list

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks?

8. Which of your friends lives closest to you?
-Carolyn on the Heath

9. Do you believe ex's can be friends? With benefits?
- Don't know, never tried it

10. Do you like Dr. Pepper?

11. When was the last time you cried really hard? Really hard as opposed to just sniveling?
- Day before yesterday. Don't get me going again

12. Who took your profile picture?
- Hubby

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of?
- Hubby

14. Was yesterday better than today? Why?
- Today hasn't really got going yet but yesterday was a whole lot better than the day before (see 11)

15. Can you live a day without TV?
- Yes and I often do

16. Are you upset about anything now?
- Yes but don't get me going again (see 11)

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?
- Absolutely

18. Are you a bad influence?
- Of course, much more fun than being a good example

19. Night out or night in?
- Never go out at night

20. What items could you not go without during the day?
- My glasses

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?
- Hubby

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say?
- From easternsparkle with the number of a man who might help fix my computer

23. How do you feel about your life right now?
- Unsettled

24. Do you hate anyone?

25. If we were to look in your Facebook inbox, what would we find?
- Last thing is arranging lunch with easternsparkle

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass?
- Yes

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before?
- Too modest to remember

28. What song is stuck in your head?
- "Senza Mamma" from Puccini's opera "Suor Angelica" - had the CD on yesterday and it's still going round in my brain this morning

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2 a.m., whom do you want it to be?
- It would have to be someone with a ladder, does the man from Littlewoods still come calling?

30. Do you (or did you) want to have grandkids before you’re 50?
- No, didn't want children, haven't got them, over 50 now

31. Tell us your Saturday night.
- Trying to finish off the customer accounts for work

32. Do you think too much or too little?
- Way too much

33. Do you smile a lot?
- Yes, but through gritted teeth sometimes.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Me, the intrepid explorer

The large town nearest to where I live is Ipswich (UK) Won't bore you with statistics (mainly because I can't be bothered to look them up at the moment) but like so many places of similar size it has a shopping centre and then it has the bits that are not quite in the centre, often with shops that have closed, boarded up, grotty etc. Today I had to go exploring in the depths of one of these areas and I was amazed at what I found. Hubby had ordered some boots and wasn't well enough to go and collect them so, doing my wifely duty, armed with his exact directions, I made my way out of the comfort zone and went almost 500 yards into the dark interior of the exterior. At least one person who will read this will laugh when I say I went past the Radio Suffolk border and down Norwich Road. Anyway, I found a Polish shop (no, not a shop selling stuff to brighten up your silver, a shop selling goodies from Poland) a Jamaican snack shop, a Halal shop and a shop selling European and American goodies like Hershey bars and goodness knows what else. And there, amongst all these small independant and exotic emporia was Coes, an amazingly large, well appointed and up market gentlemans store which seemed quite out of place. I mean, so out of place that when you go in (and come out again) you can't help wondering if there is a wormhole just on the threshold.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Long time no see

I haven't seen my mum's brother for about 10 years or more. We write, and talk on the phone, but just haven't been face to face. He and his wife and another couple came on holiday our way so this morning mum and I met them in their hotel and had coffee and a good chin wag. It is amazing the difference 10 years make when it's the difference between 70 and 80. But I guess the difference in me was probably just as noticeable to them. When I was much younger my uncle used to call in on his way home from work and we would have a cup of tea and discuss all sorts, including religion quite a lot. I think it is fair to say that he had a lot to do with setting me along my spiritual path. It's the third day running I have been up at 6:30 and out by 7:30 so was feeling very tired this afternoon. Hubby had gone shopping so I put a CD on and put my feet up on the settee, just for a few minutes you understand. I thought there was something wrong with the CD because it finished only a few minutes afterwards, then I realised there was something wrong with the clock as well. My afternoon has disappeared down a rift in the space time continuum.

Monday, 28 September 2009

A Funny Old Weekend

It's been a curate's egg of a weekend so, in accordance with my mission for this blog, I will only tell you about the parts which were excellent. Firstly, mending my crashed computer and making the decision to buy a new one before it happens again. Secondly, taking an hour out on Sunday afternoon to finish the book I am reading for the book group I have joined. It was sunny and hot and I sat in the garden and really felt my spiritual batteries being replenished. My little greenhouse now has some shading so the second lot of cuttings hopefully won't wither up and die (my fault entirely) Thirdly, listening to some good music. Janacek Glagolitic Mass. I buy CDs of things I haven't heard before in charity shops and this was a find. My musical tastes are very wide and it does depend on my mood so I don't always like things the first time I hear them and then change my mind if I give them another go, but this one was a hit first time. I've also been putting Radio 3 on in the car for a change and drove home on Friday to Choral Evensong from Chelmsford Cathedral. Think I need a bit of Alice Cooper today just to even thigs up a bit!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Sunday Stealing 27/09

I have to say I am struggling with this one as the person who wrote the meme is so not in my demographic or on my wavelength, but we'll give it a go

Sunday Stealing: A Fall Meme

It’s not really fall in until...
- OK, this doesn't actually make sense but I assume the word "in" wasn't meant to be there so my answer would be when the big spiders come out If the word "in " is meant to be there then my answer is until someone pushes you off the edge of the swimming pool

What did you need to do in the waning days of summer for it to feel complete?
- Get all the bulbs in and the cuttings done

A person I know was wrong for me but about whom I frequently thought after a break-up was...
- Oh for goodness sake, I've been married so long, I don't remember

If you could only attend one major sporting event what would it be?
- A Test Match between England and Australia (that's cricket) and actually it's the only sporting event that would tempt me

Assuming that you write an anonymous or partially anonymous blog, by what non-physically identifying characteristics might you be identified in a bar?
- I'm the one that doesn't go to bars

Most blogs cover some sort of niche – personal, political, dating, culinary, etc. What topic, if any, would you like to address on your blog but doesn’t fit into your niche?

- The assassination of good English

If you could manipulate the time space continuum and give as many as three pieces of advice to a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give and to what age of you?

- Age 12, Dad's right, you really will regret not learning to play the piano

Who among your friends do you really wish had a blog because their stories, or perspective on something ought to be shared?

- Quite a few

If you were to take an e-cation (vacation from the trappings of our electronic world,) and assuming that employment obligations would allow it, how long of a break could you take? What would you miss the most, the least?

- The only thing I would miss would be listening to music, and I mean proper music, otherwise, if there were trees and enough food and a safe place to sleep I don't think I would ever want to come back

On September 11th of this year, I attended a couple of parties and was somewhat conflicted by the fact that this ignoble anniversary shall pass with it being just another day in the eyes of many (and in some ways my own eyes as well.) Thoughts?

- What a good example of the assassination of the English language

How high are your walls? Who was the last person to scale them? What tools should would-be climbers have on their belt?
- We've got fences

The sexiest thing a man or a woman can say to you (or has said to you) is:
- That's for me to know and you to find out

Friday, 25 September 2009

Do I need another Blog?

Well, yes, actually, I decided I did as I want to keep my crafting things seperate so if that's what you are here to see go to "Not Cute and Not Funny" courtesy of the link on the side there, just there, look, on the right, you need to scroll down a bit,that's it!

Monday, 21 September 2009

My Pride and Joy

A good gardening weekend. I planted about 120 bulbs, some in the garden and some in pots. This meant weeding and digging first and so I did it in easy bites, having a little lie down and reading an old "Saint" book in between. Also took about 150 cuttings from various plants and tucked them up in my new pride and joy, a little plastic greenhouse. I've been trying to find a good old fashioned cold frame but they seem to be horrendously expensive and I have a horror of broken glass so this seems like a good compromise. Any bets on what percentage will survive?
Now here's a positive thought. I had said that over the last couple of weeks I didn't do half the things I had planned, but this morning I thought "I did at least half the things I planned" and felt much better.
If you have been, thanks for reading

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Sunday Stealing 19/09

Ha ha ha beat you all! (at least I had when I posted this, don't know how someone slipped in front of me!)

27. Do you prefer to sleep or eat?
Depends how tired or how hungry I am

28. Do you look like your mom or dad?
I'm a girl - guess

29. How long does it take you in the shower?
How long does what take?

30. Can you do the splits?
Not intentionally

31. What movie do you want to see right now?
The original "Solaris"

32. What did you do for New Year’s?
Not a lot

33. Do you think The Grudge was scary?
Never heard of it

34. Do you own a camera phone?

35. Was your mom a cheerleader?
No but she was a WREN

36. What’s the last letter of your middle name?
Officially I don't have a middle name

37. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
7 or 8

38. Do you like Care Bears?

39. What do you buy at the movies?
Never go

40. Do you know how to play poker?

41. Do you wear your seat belt?
Yes, it's illegal not to

42. What do you wear to sleep?
Not telling

43. Anything big ever happen in your hometown?

44. How many meals do you eat a day?
3 (ish)

45. Is your tongue pierced?
Certainly not

46. Do you always read MySpace bulletins?
Don't belong to MySpace

47. Do you like funny or serious people better?
No preference

48. Ever been to L.A.?
What? Luton Airport? No

49. Did you eat a cookie today?

50. Do you use cuss words in other languages?

51. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads?

52. Do you hate chocolate?

53. What do you and your parents fight about the most?
This question could upset those who no longer have their parents. Never fight with my mum, dad died a long time ago

54. Are you a gullible person?
Try me

55. Do you need a girlfriend to be happy?
Explain "girlfriend"

56. If you could have any job (assuming you have the skills) what what would it be?
Professional singer

57. Are you easy to get along with?

58. What is your favorite time of day?
Play time

SomComDiff Challenge

I've called this SomComDiff because I have discovered that SCD stands for some other inferior entertainment on television ! Why watch a lot of people who can't dance when you could be crafting! Anyway, this weeks challenge was another Moo card with the subject "metal" I've posted two as I wasn't sure if photos really counted so one is a photo of the huge copy of the Sutton Hoo helmet that hangs over the entrance to the exhibition hall and the other is a "GoldenWeb" made using one of my Fiskars texture plates of which I am inordinately fond.
Don't forget to join me again tomorrow for Sunday Stealing

Friday, 18 September 2009

A lovely day

My plan for doing lots of work at home while I could forget about office work for a couple of weeks have not quite gone according to said plan and so yesterday I made the decision to stop trying and have a couple of days rest. As we don't travel far we decided to go to Sutton Hoo (I may or may not have achieved a hyperlink at this point) which is somewhere we go a lot. Hubby can borrow a motorised buggy as pushing a wheelchair round there would be well nigh impossible and it's somewhere that we both find very restful when the school holidays are over and we are no longer in danger of being mown down by screaming kids. Mind you, in term time you can get caught by the occasional crocodile. Anyway, we got there for an early lunch and then went for a walk and I found a place to sit and try and sketch a bit while H sat and read The Week and took my photo on the sly. The sun was very bright and hot but pleasingly tempered by the light wind, it was quiet enough to hear birds singing and the trees did that thing they do in the breeze. The first time we went there it was a dull damp day and quie spooky as there was no one else there but now it is a bit more popular I doubt we will catch that atmosphere again easily. No matter, it is still a calm and serene place to go. I have been for a walk through the woods (buggy not up to that path so he has to go and have another cup of tea) but didn't today. So we both sat on the veranda with tea and cake and people watched for a while. I forgot to go in the second hand book shop this time - might leave a few Book Crossing books next time I am there.
Then to cap it all I came home and found two new followers on my blog - what more could a girl want!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

SCD Challenge

This is the first time i've tried one of these challenges. The challenge was a Moo card with the theme "Circles" Now all I have to do is work out how to do the link.

Monday, 14 September 2009


Went for a long walk today along the cycle track that goes all the way to Tesco's (and back again)This follows an old farm track for part of the way and so there are some really nice bits of hedgerow that look very old and a few huge trees, plus all sorts of wildflowers and birds. We saw a sparrow hawk being mobbed and a lot of blackbirds and some cheeky cockney sparrers (I suppose they are Suffolk Sparrows here)and we dawdled. Frankly the world would be a better place for a bit more dawdling.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Sunday Stealing 13/09

One day I'm going to do a meme myself. The SS site will tell you all about this.

Sunday Stealing: One Long Meme (Part One)

1. The phone rings. Who will it to be?
My mother

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?
Yes, at my supermarket you have to put a £ in to take it but I would anyway

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?
Depends on who I'm with. I hope I am a good listener for people who need someone to listen to them

4. Do you take compliments well?
I hope so

5. Do you play Sudoku?
No and it really annoys me when people don't get it that it's nothing to do with maths

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive?

7. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?
No, nor as an adult

8. What was your favorite game as a kid?
Playing cards with my dad

9. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew she was married, would you?
Would I what?

10. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you?
I'm married to him

11. Do you like to pursue or be pursued?
Not applicable

12. Use three words to describe yourself?
Loyal, curious, menopausal

13. Do any songs make you cry?
Yes, there's one by Alison Moyet that I can't bear to listen to, I had to get rid of the CD it was on. Can't remember the title bit it says "Who will shelter me"

14. Are you continuing your education?
Yes, learn something new every day

15. Do you know how to shoot a gun?
Yes, a shot gun at least. And I can hit things too! Clay pigeons that is

16. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth?
Yes, for a passport about 40 years ago

17. How often do you read books?
Every day

18. Do you think more about the past, present or future?
Don't think any one predominates

19. What is your favorite children’s book?

20.What color are your eyes?

21. How tall are you?
5ft 4ins and a bit

22. Where is your dream house located?
In a clearing in the forest

23. If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed?
My toughdrive portable hard disk

24. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden?
What's Olive Garden?

25. Where was the furthest place you traveled today?
Day's not over yet but probably 8 minute walk to church

26. Do you like mustard?
German yes, French and English no

Friday, 11 September 2009

The best laid plans....

I had every intention of writing something here everyday; something happy, uplifting or thought provoking, but always positive. I don't know about you, but it has had an effect on me. I have been feeling so happy, uplifted and positive that I decided to have a real blitz on all sorts of de-cluttering, filing and general sorting jobs and as a consequence haven't had time to sit and provoke thought. Will try to do better. By the way. I don't think I really have had 11,000 visitors in the last 48 hours, the spring's gone on my counter!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

If you don't like spiders........

I wrote about the autumn garden spiders a while ago and getting them to cut bits of leaf out of their webs. The little ones are getting bigger now and several lurk in my tomatoes. This picture is of a spider that turned up a couple of years ago in my last garden. It is a wasp spider (bet you can't guess why ho ho) She made a beautiful nest for a big paper ball a bit like a nigella seed head and guarded it well until the cold snap that came. We moved that year so I don't know if another one turned up next year.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Sunday Stealing 06/09

Sunday Stealing: The Random Dozen Meme

1. When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration?

If you mean Tesco (Wowmart sounds much more exciting) then a headache and a carton of orange juice

2. What is something that people are currently “into” that you just don’t get or appreciate?

Reality television

3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel “ho-hum” about?

Babylon 5

4. Favorite song to sing in the shower or car?

Much too difficult to choose one song from my extensive repetoire

5. A really great salad must have this ingredient:

Those little bits of crunchy onion

6. What advice in a nutshell would you give to new bloggers?

Never forget your mother might read it

7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you?

My mum was convinced I was going to be a boy and I was going to be called Mark. She decided on Janine when she found out I was a girl but thought people might think it was too posh so she changed it to Janet. Think I'm quite happy with that.

8. What in your life are you waiting for?

My premium bond to come up

9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from?

Probably a book I've ordered from amazon

10. Today–what song represents you?

I heard that Nina Simone thing yesterday "Feeling good", not sure if that's the title but it'll do

11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself?

As I resolved only to think nice thoughts on this blog it has taught me to think of something positive about every day

12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you’re wearing today?
What do they say about you in general or specifically how you’re feeling today?

Layers. It's my age dear!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Ladies who lunch #1

When I was doing a proper job in the 1980s lunch was part of the package. In those days there was an almost bottomless petty cash box and I was expected to take out and be taken out by diverse bank managers, estate agents, the occasional barrister, property developers and the like. As a then single girl it was very useful as I didn't have to cook when I got home but it did mean being nice to people that I might not have otherwise chosen to spend time with (except that barrister, he was gorgeous) Now I have the infinitly more pleasant experience of only spending my occasional lunches out with people who I have chosen and, strange though it may seem, who have chosen me.
Today was my second lunch with she of the random ramblings. We were going to go to Arlingtons again but they were very full so we went back to a little place (positively bijou, my dear) that I had seen earlier and graced them with our presence instead. RR knows how to do the thingy with the link, I must find out how myself sometime, so you will have to visit her blog (see right) to get there but it was called Morgans and is in Arcade Street. Two hours fled by and we learned some more about each other and smiled sweetly at the two ladies who were running the joint as we interrupted their tea when we left.
When I got home it was to find that my new printer had arrived with its promise of hours of fun and frolics trying to get it installed. In fact all seems to have gone well so I can start playing with that tomorrow after Sunday Stealing.