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........