Sunday, February 25, 2018

Hey, viva Espana!

I'm grateful for holidays!

Tomorrow morning bright and early we're off to Tenerife. I should be able to continue to post there but it will depend on my techy ability. So maybe not.

Incidentally, I'm doing these gratitude posts for Lent, as you may recall. I didn't know until last week when I did some research that lenten pratices don't happen on Sundays. I always wondered how Lent was forty days when it lasts for just over six weeks.

P.S. Don't worry about George: Younger Son and Nuora are looking after him.

Picnicking in February

You know that moment when your mouth says, 'Yes,' while your head is shouting, 'No! No!'? 

If that doesn't sound familiar you won't understand the rest of this post. However if you recognise the situation you'll understand how I came to be on the beach this morning having a picnic in February when the temperature was only 3 degrees.

'Can we have a picnic on Sunday, Granny?'
'Yes, if you want.'
Husband coughs. 'You might want to check the weather forecast first. It's getting colder.'
'Oh, okay. What about if we have a picnic but we have it indoors? Yay! That sounds good, doesn't it?'
Two disappointed little faces look at me. 'No, a proper picnic. Outside with a rug and french bread and hummus and crisps and drinks and ...'
'You wouldn't prefer to go to a cafe?'
'No, we want a picnic!'

I decided we'd go to the pier beach because it's always sheltered there. Except this morning.

It wasn't that cold really; it was more the wind blowing away our crisps that caused the problem. But it took a mug of hot chocolate to warm everyone up.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

It's hard being a Welsh rugby supporter

It's the hope that gets you every time.

I didn't expect Wales to beat England the other week so rather than disappointed at the loss I was gratified by their performance. This week I foolishly let my heart rule.

Final score Ireland 37 Wales 27.

I was going to say that score flatters Ireland but really they put on by far the better performance. What the score doesn't reflect is that about five minutes before the final whistle Wales were still in with a chance to draw and even possibly win. And then they threw it all away. Literally.

It's at times like these that I am truly thankful for chocolate.

Friday, February 23, 2018

George is getting old.

Having quietened my concern yesterday George fell on the steps today and couldn't get up so we've had a trip to the vet.

Basically he's getting old. Dodgy joints, thick knees, probable osteo-arthritis. We're trying him on pain-killers to begin. See if they ease the pain and help him move more easily. The vet also suggested massaging his legs for him. 

George will think he's in seventh heaven.

If these don't work ... well, they'll try something else. 

Relieved it's not his heart but sad to think he's been in pain, even it is just a nagging ache rather than acute. We were lucky with Harvey: he made it to the end with just cod liver oil and glucosamine supplements. Could get expensive. Thank goodness we have the NHS supplying our medicines.

My bottom drawer

And the de-cluttering continues apace.

I haven't used these yet during my married life so it's not likely that I'll ever use them.
Old linen
So they're in the charity shop bag. And you can bet your bottom dollar that in two months' time someone will say we're having a retro tea party or stall or something and do you have any old-fashioned linen.

Actually some of it I think I bought at huge expense from gypsies at the door, simply to make them go away and not put a curse on me. (They did go away but had me marked down as a sucker so came back again as well.)

The rest I inherited from my gran and my great-auntie Gay. This 'bottom drawer' clutter is probably the last link I have left with my growing-up. But if I do it quickly enough I won't notice that they're gone.

A message from God

I was sitting at my desk playing a game when I heard a clomp in the hall. I ignored it assuming it was George. When I eventually got up I discovered this:
A new brush - complete with label - that I've never seen before.

Is it a message from God?

'Get up off your lazy bottom and do the housework you've been putting off in favour of things you'd rather do!'

Okay, okay, I'm doing it. We're trying to put our bedroom back together. (I'm just waiting for Husband to finish screwing wardrobes together before I go and put things in them, hence, I am sitting here blogging you understand.)

Husband is discovering the problems of me 'working' in the same room as him. I keep dancing. And singing along to Springsteen. But I only ever know one line or two so I am silent for most of the song and then every now and again I burst into life. 'Shackled and drawn, shackled and drawn, woke up this morning shackled and drawn.'

In other news had my all clear letter from Breast Test Wales. Even though it's routine screening and I don't expect them to find anything there's always that moment when the envelope arrives before you've opened and read it when the heart beats extra fast.

In other other news, does anyone else boil hankies? Does anyone else use proper hankies? (I just mistyped other as oethre and spellcheck asked me if I meant shoetree. there is a logic to it I suppose but then again how often have I used the word 'shoetree' to make it think a more likely option than other? As far as I can remember I have never used it.

Excuse me, I have been summoned to hold a screw.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The egotism of shyness

A few posts ago I wrote about feeling responsible for killing people. I realised today that I blame myself for many things. Most things. To be honest quite often it is my fault but sometimes I'm innocent.

I wonder if it's like shyness. I am shy now and as a child was painfully shy (it's always described as painfully, rightly so) and sometimes people would try to help me overcome it by saying, 'Really it's egotism, thinking everyone is looking at you. When really nobody cares.'

Yes, so that was really helpful adding egotism and guilt to my ever-growing list of faults, but am I doing the same now? Is it egotistical to think everything's my fault? As if the world revolves around me?

Possibly. Or perhaps I should stop thinking so much. 

Lent 9

The gentle warmth of the Spring sunshine, an assurance that better days are coming.
And George did really well on his walk today, even going uphill. So not so worried about him any more.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lent 8

Today I'm grateful for George. And that he seems more like his usual self again.
He's gentle and patient even when being mauled by numerous children. He doesn't display the same affection that Harvey used to when he saw us and I'd go so far as to say his favourite thing in life is food. But if we were out and someone attacked me I think he would protect me. Unless offered a tasty scooby snack in which case I'd have to rely on my street-fighting skills, all of which I learned from Miss Piggy.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Getting personal

I'm leading Zac's tonight. We've been studying the gospel of Luke and tonight we arrive at the Last Supper.

I grew up attending an Anglican church - I was christened, confirmed and married in one - and in recent years I've accompanied Uncle to Roman Catholic services. 

Try as I might I cannot find grounds for the ritual that is attached to communion in traditional and orthodox churches. Jesus says, 'Eat this bread and remember me.' From that I understand him to be saying, 'Make me a part of your everyday life. Remember me when you eat and drink, remember me when you cry or you're in pain, remember me when you're laughing and singing. Involve me in your life. Don't set me apart from it.'

It's simple, it's personal. That's what I'll be trying to say tonight.

The Last supper Da Vinci

P.S. Researching the subject I discovered that Judas is fourth from the left in this famous painting. You can tell it's him apparently because Da Vinci painted him holding a money bag. Also it's said to be a representation of the moment just after Jesus announces to his friends that one of them will betray him, hence the surprised expressions on some faces. Also Jesus' feet are missing from the painting because some time after it - not strictly speaking a mural but a picture painted on a wall - was finished they knocked part of the wall away to put in a doorway.

Lent 7

It's half term so this afternoon I was grateful for the chance to play in the woods with the grandchildren.

They insisted on paddling in the stream and on making a 'boat'. I was only just able to stop them putting their coats on it and sailing off to sea.
Our boat

Monday, February 19, 2018

Lent 6

Today I am grateful as I am every day for my 'happy' pill. I can safely say it changed my life.

I could write a long blog post about being medicated and what Christians should do (in the opinions of some people) but I'll just say that I am thankful for the doctor who finally prescribed it for me, for the scientists who developed it and for the health service that allows me to have it.


According to the little map most of my blog visitors are from Russia. The KGB must have realised that all of my seemingly random and rambling posts are really code for ... something really important. Obviously I can't tell you what otherwise there'd be no point in it being in code.

They have seen through the facade, the show I put on of being a happily married granny. I am really 6'3", with the finely-tuned athletic body of a man who survives on a diet of kefir and seaweed. Oh and I look like a young Sean Connery. 

(You believed me until the last bit, didn't you?)

Apparently this post could be truer than you - or I - think. Husband just pointed me to a BBC article about Russian Troll Farms