Sunday, 31 January 2010

Sunday Stealing 31/01

Sunday Stealing: The Pretentious Blogging Meme

Thnak you for some serious questions for once, I am going to enjoy this one, get yourself a cup of coffee and a biscuit

1. How long have you been blogging? -
I started on August 23rd 2009 so that's just over 5 months

2. What made you start? and
3. Who inspired you? -

Easier to answer these two together. I made friends with this person
on Twitter and she had a blog so I started to read hers and a few of the ones that she followed. As I wasn't working full time and seemed to be spending a lot of time in the house I thought it would be a good way to chat away without boring hubby to death by repeating stuff he'd heard 50 times already. Then I came across a couple of arty/crafty challenge blogs that I liked so I started a second blog for my arty/crafty things. Not working at all now so wittering on even more these days

4. About how many hours a week would you estimate you spend on your blog? -

Not that many actually, maybe a couple on each

5. What kind of experience or background do you have with writing? -

I used to write editorial for two local newspapers, mostly articles about local businesses, but also a cookery column for a while and I even got to review a car once. Also had a little business going where I wrote funny poems for special occasions, helped people with writing important letters and did a couple of Company histories to go with presentations to financial institutions. In my life as a lawyer (so long ago now it seems) I had to know how to write clearly and concisely and as a Methodist preacher I write sermons. I have also always been a letter writer rather than a telephoner

6. Talk about how you come up with blog topics. Where do you get your ideas? -

Just started Alphabe-Thursday (we are on letter B) which is a good way to think of something different, and there's this one, of course, and things pop into my sad old brain all the time anyway

7. What or who inspires you and your blog? -

-Everyone and everything

8. Where and/or how do your brainstorming for your blog? -

Have probably answered this already

9. Do you have any blogging rules or guidelines you follow? -

Yes. Stay positive. I fully understand the need to get things off one's chest but decided I would try not to do that so that my reader's could be reasonably sure of finding something upbeat to read.

10. Is there anything you will not blog about? -

Other people's private lives, anything I wouldn't want shouted from the roof tops to everybody I know (which is basically what you could be doing here anyway) And on the art blog, anything that I would be really upset about someone copying

11. Do you have any sort of a publishing schedule in terms of day of week or topic?-

Only in so far as is imposed by the challenges

Friday, 29 January 2010

B is for Blackberrying

This is a new meme wot I am going to do, called Alphabe-Thursday, only I haven't quite got the hang of all the linking that is required. And I haven't yet worked out how to put the logo in my side bar. Sorry I missed last week but I do have a note from my mum. Anyway, as my blog tries to stay positive at all times I am planning on participating in this Alphabe-Thursday with happy and nostalgic posts. When I was little I really hated school and sometimes my mum would see I was so distressed that she would let me stay at home for the day. It was usually worse after the long summer break and we would go blackberrying across the fields near where we lived. Mum and I used to walk a lot together as she didn't drive so we knew a lot of the places where you could get lovely fruit away from the exhaust fumes from the traffic (which in those days were laden with lead) and she would make blackberry jelly with them. It had to be jelly because the pips in jam got under father's plate (false teeth, you see) We used to make little talismans out of cloves wrapped in a bit of muslin to keep the wasps away as we were both very frightened of wasps. It works, you know! And we would walk and walk and identify the wild flowers and try to identify the trees and sometimes we would find ourselves somewhere we hadn't been before.
If you would like to read other people's take on the letter B go to Alphabe-Thursday Letter B
And if you are visiting me for the first time please feel free to look around at this and my crafty blog Not Cute and Not Funny

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Hope rewarded?

Following on from this mornings post, we have had a visit from a very nice man who seems to understand the requirements and actually paid attention to hubby and understood that he knew whereof he spoke. Hubby off to look at loos and washbasins tomorrow. Tiles and floor were chosen last year and see no need to change our minds over that. Might be a bit of a wait before it can be done but it will be a huge load off my mind if I know it's going to happen. Watch this space!

Here's hoping

I am full of hope for today. After being seriously let down last year by someone who was going to do our bathroom and then just didn't turn up on the agreed start date and wouldn't answer our calls, and several false starts with people who did not understand the nature of our requirements re the wheelchair, we may have found someone who comes recommended by three people I know and who has a wheelchair user in the family so might just belt up and listen to us before trying to tell us what they want to do. This could be a story that runs and runs. I hate the disruption that having things done to the house causes and the stress that it will put both of us under because naturally I worry about hubby when he starts to get uptight about things. Still, let's be optimisitic about the meeting with the builder today and hope that he and hubby see eye to eye. The sun is shining through my study window as I type this and I am planning on a good walk this morning after I have done the shopping AND the new dishwasher is installed so that's a relief too. A happy Tuesday to you all

Monday, 25 January 2010

Start again

I think I will have to call last week's trying to get thinner and fitter regime a trial run as I am no lighter or smaller than I was this time last Monday. I am not very fit so burning off the calories is not easy and because I have to be a bit careful of my dodgy back it isn't just a question of doing more exercise, it has to be the right kind of exercise too. I am not overweight as such so don't need to loose much but I would like to re-distribute what I have got. I am the unhealthiest shape because I have no bum or saddle bags, which is now reported to be a good thing to have, and I have a huge waist which means I probably have organs drowning in visceral fat which will finish me off any day now. So if anyone has any experience of these things and has some ideas I would be pleased to hear them.
Now, as I am determined to keep this blog optimistic, I am able to report that I feel as if the stress etc that I was suffering last yer has at long last released its grip and I am beginning to think more positively about some of the things I hope to get done in the next six months. I don't go out in the evening but I am even toying with the idea of joining the local choral society so if you hear any noises akin to an animal in pain it will be me practising!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Coo-eee, only me!

By the time you read this the crisis will be over and I will be back online. At the time I am typing this I am bereft, missing all my chums, and my virtual fish have probably died by now for lack of virtual food. I must say that I am a trifle alarmed by the fact that it is bothering me as much as it is. Fortunately I do actually have a real life in which I have real friends, one of whom I had arranged to meet for lunch on Saturday, although, (this is a worrying thought,) we originally met via Twitter. As Ipswich has been so busy recently we decided to go to Woodbridge instead. I used to work in Woodbridge and I go there fairly regularly to shop. The lunch was very good company wise and passable food wise but I had done a bit of a reccy earlier in the week and found that the choice is a bit limited if you only want a light meal but want something more exciting than a sandwich, (although sandwiches can be very exciting if you make the effort..) My friend also had the dubious pleasure of meeting him indoors so now when I tweet about hubby she will have a picture in her mind, but I'm sure she could get counselling if she needs it.
I know a lot of people don't get Facebook and Twitter, they think it is a waste of time; they think that if you want to communicate with people you should pick up the phone or write a letter, or visit. For me, however, it has become, in part, a substitute for the bus queue, the coffee machine, the photo copier, the lunch club, all those places in my working life when I used to have little chats with people I didn't really know very well. I would become quite friendly with some of the lawyers I used to talk to on a regular basis because we would find ourselves on either end of a number of transactions, even though I never met them. When I travelled by bus I would see the same people every day and gradually learn more about their lives, interests, hopes and dreams, and listen to their troubles too sometimes, and they would do the same for me. There was a benefit in talking to people who you didn't see any other time. And occasionally I did make a friend who became more of a part of my life. Now, of course, if you are reading this then you don't need to be convinced but I hope I may have given you some thoughts to pass on when someone else tells you that it is a waste of time.
The internet is not, however, only about social networking and I am also struck by how many times in the day I would have looked something up on Google, IMDB, Wikipedia etc. I know that you have to be wary of the information that you find and if it matters then, as a rule of thumb, try to find the same information from three different sources before I start to trust it, but it's mostly trivia, like who wrote the music for a film I am watching, and what else did they write, or do Waitrose sell the particular fruit juice that my mum wants or have I sold anything on amazon today (oh dear, I hope not or I shall get a black mark for a slow response) I wonder if any of you who are into Sci-fi remember Dark Angel which was set in the US but after a terrorist "pulse" had knocked out all the computers so nobody could get at their money, all the Social Security records, criminal records, medical records etc were unavailable and so on and so forth. Now there's a thought

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Serendipity #002

I love charity shops. A large percentage of my extensive wardrobe has come from them, but I have enough stuff now so I am trying not to even go in and look. I also love India and Indian things, not just clothes but music (both classical and Bhangra), films (when I have time, they do go on a bit)and "bits". As a hippy I loved all that Indian style tie dye and still have quite a bit of it. A while ago I acquired a pair of Rajasthani puppets which I have hanging on a wall. And yesterday I went to Woodbridge to go to the bank and decided I would allow myself a visit to one charity shop while I was there. And so here are my two new friends!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Fit for nothing

A few of my Tweeting friends have decided that getting fit might be a good idea and I have decided that it might be too. If you are a stranger and a tweeter you can try #f450 to see what we are on about. Because I have back problems I have gradually reduced the number of activities in which I engage and walking is about the only exercise I get now. I used to fence, which is a great sport for people with bad backs because it helps develop good posture, but it also develops the calf muscles to an alarming degree! I used to play badminton years and years ago but have no one to play with anymore. At school I played cricket (quite a good all rounder) and rounders ( liked fielding at 1st deep as the ball hardly ever came my way) and netball (Goal Attack) I was forced to play hockey in the winter (cruel and unnnatural punishment) and always seemed to end up playing a small butch girl who we will call Christine (because that was her name) I soon realised that the only way I was ever going to cope was to let her go gallopping off up the field and just wait until she came back again. I am grateful that we did not do cross-country or lacrosse like the convent girls did. I never learnt to swim but my greatest triumph was beating said Christine in the float race because she couldn't swim either.
So, at the moment all I am promising is that I will try to do my exercises every day, and walk more and cut back on the unnecessary calories and we'll see how it goes. I will report on how many pounds and how many inches round my middle I have lost but am not going to admit the starting points for either. I carry all before me which I am told is the most unhealthy shape there is. Hey ho.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sunday Stealing The Trivia About Me Meme

By the way, if you notice a lot of weird traffic on my Feedjit it is because I spent a lot of time last night going in and out to edit posts so I could start putting labels on

Sunday Stealing: The Trivia About Me Meme


Do you get regular massages?-Used to but go to Chiroprator now

Do you have an answering machine?-Yes.

What cuss word do you use the most?-Out loud or in my head?

Are you underweight or overweight?- A tad over at the moment but working on it. With me it's less about the overall weight and more about the distribution thereof!

Can you see your veins?-Yes, parts of me look like an underground map


Soap?-Lavender unless someone's bought me some Coco Chanel


Kind of red meat?- No too sure what qualifies as red, does lamb?
Fish?- Nemo

Candy bar?-Toffee Crisp

Have You Ever…

Eaten a whole bag of potato chips?- Yes, they don't keep you know

Eaten lobster?- Yes, many times

Climbed a mountain?-No

Been skydiving?-No but would love to only not sure what it would do to my dodgy back

Been water skiing?- No, can't swim, stay away from the water if at all possible

Do You…

Wish you could change something about your life?-I would so like more energy

Like your nose?-Yes, it's very small and sweet and people used to comment on it when I was little

Like salt and vinegar chips?- I would if they weren't so strong

Eat salsa?-Yes, my own home made

Own a boat?-Yes and there are two little plastic sailors that go inside it

What Is…

A small thing that people let slide but that actually has dire consequences?-Disciplining their children

Your most macho trait?-I can read maps and bowl straight

The longest relationship you’ve ever had?-18 years in February

Your most embarrassing thoughts?-I'm thinking them now

Your most shameful moment?- Having trouble deciding which is the most


Bath/Shower?-Shower, have problems getting out of the bath

Markers/Crayons?-Depends what I'm using them for

Pens/Pencils?-Depends what I'm using them for

Jelly/Cream Cheese?-Depends what I'm using it for. Anyway, in UK Jelly is a disgusting glycerine and E-Number concoction

Bagel/Toast?-I tried a Bagel once but it was too chewy


My greatest weakness is…-Bryan Ferry

I wish I was…-fitter

Three things I wouldn’t do for a million dollars are…- You'll call me old fashioned but I can tell you 10 things I wouldn't do

The oddest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth is…- A cup of coffee that I thought was tea


Credit card you had?-Access

Loan you got was for?-House

Paycheck was for how much?-I started on £5 a week but was paid cash so the first cheque I go was when it went up to £10. And when it went up to £15 I had to start paying tax

Time you had stitches?-Only ever had stitches twice and they were both at the dentist

Time you went to the hospital for something?-First and last time I was an in-patient was when I was born


List everything you ate in the last 24 hours?-Scrambled egg and smoked salmon, yogurt and stewed apple for tea last night, cereal and fruit for breakfast this morning, cheese rusks and an apple just now. Have to avoid eating between meals

Last thing you used a credit card for?-New dishwasher

What was your job previous to the one you have now?- Don't have a job now
Last thing you celebrated?-Christmas but quietly

Last time you were at a sports bar?-Not sure what a sports bar is but doubt I have ever been to one

Friday, 8 January 2010

Serendipity 2010 #001

One of the things I love about "listening" in on people on Facebook and Twitter is that I come across things which across I might never have otherwise come. I posted up some photos a couple of days ago which I had taken when walking to the shops to get a few essential supplies in this unusually wintery weather. A friend (both Twitter and Facebook) said that they reminded her of a favourite poem by Robert Frost. Now I have to admit that I am not a great scholar when it comes to poetry. What I know tends to be mostly 17th Century and I don't know such a lot of that. We "did" Ted Hughes for A Level and I don't remember much of it. Anyways up, I looked up the poem and was instantly transported back to my walk, except that it was night time and I distinctly heard the bells on the harness of the pony who didn't know why I had stopped, because all he wanted was to get back to his stable and his hay. Another comment by my friend pointed me to another poem so I Googled around a bit and now have a free e-book with 118 poems to read. It has reinforced my intention to try and get better acquainted with more modern poets. So, if you are reading this and have a suggestion as to who I should investigate after Mr Frost (how appropriate is that, ha ha) then I should be glad to receive them
There are some of the photos on my other blog and an album on Facebook of the ones I did today.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Back again

I've been a bit down but now I am up again! I think it is partly because at last it has sunk in that, for the moment at least, I have all the time in the world to do the things I want to get done. Sorry, some of you will no doubt think I am being smug and insufferable, well, sorry but it's a situation that isn't going to last forever so I shall revel in it. I went out to the shops today, with my knapsack on my back and trusty walking pole in hand. The snow had fallen quite thickly which actually makes it safer because the wellies grip on the soft stuff. I don't have any waterproof boots with softer rubber soles. I do have some little grippy things that you can strap round the shoe but I haven't tried them yet. On the way I took some photos and the sun came out for a while and I took my time and it was great. Got some supplies and hubby's newspaper and hopefully will do it again tomorrow.
I have also been doing a bit of sorting out and discover that I seem to own rather more pairs of socks than is reasonable for one human being!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

I went to a marvellous party

My friend Grethic has been working hard to keep us entertained over the 12 Days of Christmas and as I am a well brought up guest I have brought a little present with me to give to my hostess on the last day. Nothing special, just a token of course, but it's been such fun my dears!

With apologies to Noel Coward (if you would like to read the original you can find it HERE

Quite for no reason
Perhaps it's the season
I've started to Tweet
I've met a few people
Who put me to sleep. All
the same most are sweet.
Some of my followees are really inventive
And I'll tell you why if you can stay attentive
Wearing plimsoles and daps
They're the nicest of chaps
That you're likely to meet

I went to a marvellous party
With Sparkle and Grethic and all
It was all on the net
But I started to fret
Was it done as a bet
This 'ere ball?
For 12 days she's been sending Twitters
And as soon as we got through the door
We had to counts leggies
Hatch ostortoise eggies
And eat up our veggies
I couldn't have liked it more

I went to a marvellous party
With Farctum and Vivia too
Someone let in some hens
But in threes, not in tens
They'd come up from the Fens
(As you do!)
Then some bird started telling a story
It was spooky and full of strange lore
The kiss of the snow
A dark place to go
I worry 'bout Jo
I couldn't have liked it more

I went to a marvellous party
Goodshoeday and Unspelt arrived
We all had to say
What games from the day
We all used to play
When the old village fete was contrived
Then some nut said "Why don't we go swimming
Tho' you may have to strip to your vest
Off to Sizewell we'll go
That'll give you a glow"
Oh, I should have said NO
I couldn't have liked that less

People get ratty
And possibly batty
When they go to the pub
They try to play cricket
Counting legs and not wickets
And reviewing the grub
Jaydubblah didn't understand the rules
Went off all on her own and played some boules
And scoring DFL
Can give a blogger hell
But don't you blub
Come join our club

I went to a marvellous party
It went on for twelve nights and days
If you're anyone smart
Then you had to take part
(Friday brought us some art
By the way)
On Tuesday the place was Fort Knox
To get in required knocks four
Someone started some drumming
We all started humming
It was really worth coming
I couldn't have liked it more!