Monday, November 30, 2009
The dishwasher is installed and working but I haven't used it yet. My excuse was that I didn't have any dishwashing tablets but really it's because the spectre of my granny is hanging over me tutting at my extravagance and laziness. I have to resist the voice that says, 'I'll just swill these couple of dishes in the sink.'
P.S. Husband has pointed out that since the worktop has been fitted we can't open the dishwasher because the door handles have not yet been put on. So that settles my dilemma for a bit.
P.P.S. I found, in a roundabout way while doing an inventory for Linden's insurance, a fabby blackberry-coloured waste bin that would look super in our new trendy kitchen. Sadly it was £159. However it did have a very solid top and if it stopped George raiding the bins maybe ... no, you're right: Husband is not going to fall for that.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Me, I'm thankful for my family - Husband, Daughter, Son-in-law, Elder Son, Daughter-in-law, Younger Son (and Girlfriend), Grand-daughter - and the good health we enjoy, for George, for my home and my life. I'm thankful for friends, for Linden and especially for Zac's. I'm thankful for Jesus.
And did I mention Grand-Daughter?!
We laid our babies on their fronts or sides anywhere in the cot, and fed them for 10 minutes a side; Grand-daughter is lain on her back 'feet to foot' (feet against the end of the crib) and fed one breast at a time (empty one on one feed and the other next time).
Ideas may change but babies are always wonderful!
Now I must stop thinking about Grand-daughter (I find myself stroking her face with my cursor) and do some work!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
'I can't make templates without the cooker.'
'That means I won't have worktops or, more importantly, a sink until mid-December. Couldn't you just do two sides?'
He took a sharp intake of breath. 'Jobsworth,' he said. 'I'll have to ask the boss.'
He disappeared off to phone his boss. When he came back in he said, 'Well, as it's Christmas ...'
By the time I got to the prison for carol service rehearsals I was half an hour late. But that was a minor problem compared to the 'casting' dilemma. (Did I mention that one of my star performers from last year has been transferred to another prison leaving me with just the one star?) There are about 380 inmates in the prison; how hard can it be to find one other man? Very, apparently. With about 3 weeks to go and limited times when I can go in I should be panicking by now. But I have a beautiful grand-daughter so I don't care!
As I was driving home thinking, 'what day is it? who am I?' I noticed the driver's door of the car in front opening. 'Oh, please don't do anything stupid! My reflexes are roughly negligible right now.' Fortunately he must have just been re-closing it.
I got home to be told we didn't have handles for our doors, instead of the two glass doors we'd ordered for top cupboards they'd sent glass doors for bottom cupboards, and we had the wrong sink.
It was dark by now so I took George down to the beach for a quick walk. As we got there the heavens opened. I don't know if he genuinely couldn't see me clearly or whether he was doing it deliberately but George came pelting down the beach and crashed into me three times. Then I saw a torch flashing in the bushes. Now this is the bit of beach by a rather notorious car park and it was also just about the place where a naked man had strolled out at me once. Enough is enough. I called George, 'Come on, butt, come and protect me.'
And then I got home and I sat at the computer and up on the screen came a photo of Elin Grace.
And the world is perfect.
Just like her chubby cheeks, cute nose, pouty mouth, soft skin, baby scent, biteable bottom, kissable toes, adorable fingers - (I can't comment on her eyes as she hardly opened them while I was there!) - but you get the picture.
All's well with the world.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Daughter phoned to tell me and she sounded remarkably good after 44 hours of labour - without drugs! She and Son-in-law had been left alone with Baby even before Baby was weighed. And they haven't settled on a name yet so I don't have any more details.
Daughter said they'd phone back to tell me what they were doing and what time visiting is. Since then I've put in even more washing, cleaned the living-room and had my umpteenth cup of tea. (I thought to myself, 'Can a girl have too many cups of tea?' I decided the answer was no.)
Sure as omelette is eggs as soon as I get in the shower they'll phone.
Oh, and the kitchen fitter arrived at 8.05 am. It's all happening today. I should have known there was an inevitability about it.
P.S. In case of any confusion, Baby and I are in Devon; Husband and the kitchen fitter are in Swansea.
Daughter has been in labour since Saturday afternoon. I just phoned the hospital and all they would tell me is that 'she's fine' and they hope to have some news soon.
Fine? Is that a euphemism for knackered?
I've already done the ironing this morning and I'm about to clean the living room. Charlie Cat attacks me every time I walk past so that I'm a nervous wreck, I have no finger or toe nails left, and I'm just the gran-in-waiting. How must mum feel?
God, please let it be soon and safe.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Please pray for a safe delivery - and that I concentrate while driving!!
Poor Husband has to stay here as:
a) the kitchen fitter arrives at 8 am tomorrow;
b) more importantly, he is absolutely full of cold and coughs.
I don't think I actually believed it would happen but it is!
More reports will follow I'm sure!!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The kitchen bits arrive tomorrow and the fitter moves in on Monday.
Daughter's baby is due tomorrow.
It still doesn't seem real. I can't really imagine it happening: a new kitchen after all these years. No, I'm joking. Well, I'm not; the kitchen has been a long time coming. But really I meant I can't believe that any day now - or almost certainly in the next two weeks - there'll be a new baby in the family. Daughter, my child, will have a child of her own. Another rite of passage.
I must start taking my phone with me when I go out. ('Which is what you were supposed to do from the day it was given you!' Husband points out.)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Before we got started last night Gerry showed me his feet. Living rough in the weather we've had over the past few weeks has been especially hard on his feet, the skin of which was cracked and raw. He had some new boots and he was rummaging in the Zac's store for socks. His feet were in a really dreadful condition but, oh my, they ponged to high heaven.
There's a lady, a nurse, who's volunteered with the homeless for years, tending their feet, cuts and colds. I have enormous respect for her, a fact that was brought home to me again last night: there was absolutely no way I could have touched - or even gone near - Gerry's feet. My stomach would have turned.
Another lady who was there last night was telling me about her job working with 'difficult' teenagers and when she said difficult, she meant violent, foul-mouthed, obnoxious young people. She is another whom I admire tremendously. She and others like her fill a vital need and get paid, in some cases, little more than the minimum wage.
When we hear of bankers getting huge bonuses, we surely have to ask: where is fairness in this world? These women don't do what they do for the money; their motives are selfless. Which makes them all the more worthy of respect.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
'Yes, I know.'
'Well,' he took a we-have-a-problem breath, 'we have a problem with your cooker.'
They couldn't get the one I'd ordered - my guess is that they forgot. Rangemaster, the manufacturers, don't have any in stock as they build more or less to order, especially in these recession days. He offered me another Rangemaster, almost exactly the same except it didn't have a lid. 'But it does have a wok stand and griddle.'
'But I want the one I ordered with a lid.'
'This one's got a child-proof lock.'
'I want a lid.'
'It's more expensive, but obviously, we wouldn't charge you the extra.'
'I'll think about it.'
I thought and came to the conclusion I wanted the one I'd ordered. It took us long enough to choose it and I've waited years for my new kitchen: if we have to delay fitting the kitchen for a few more weeks it won't hurt.
I called them back and told them.
Today the man from B&Q phoned me again. 'My boss has said we'll go ahead with fitting your kitchen and we'll lend you a cooker until yours is ready.'
Yay! Hooray for the assertive me!!
The wind was still gusting as we scrambled over the rocks. George was struggling to keep his balance.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Now regular readers will know that this is where Husband should have stopped but lemming-like he continued. 'I've been really busy in work AND I had to do the things you usually do.'
'I thought Younger Son took him out.'
'Well, yes, he did but I had to cook dinner.'
'You had leftover cold meat and salad one night and YS cooked fajitas the second night, so all you had to do was "cook" Sainsburys pizzas.'
'Well, I had to do the dishes!'
So what Husband meant was, 'I missed you ... doing the dishes.'
We are having a dishwasher fitted in our new kitchen so I guess he won't miss me at all after that.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
A bit late and a bit of a cheat as it's a short video.
Rugby games are always preceded by singing led by an army band and a male voice choir. Here we joined in with a well-known Welsh favourite, Delilah.
To take part in Saturday Photohunt, visit tnchick
Going to Old Orleans restaurant for chicken and chips before the rugby does not count as a birthday meal.
I shall remind Husband it's his birthday in a few weeks; he's hoping for some whisky ...
Which means I need to begin emptying the kitchen. I haven't really thought much about it as my mind has been elsewhere ...
A good excuse for a clear-out. Maybe.
No, it was okay. I just love going there because there is such anticipation and a feeling of comradeship. We took Younger Son and his Italian girlfriend who'd never been to a rugby game before. She was a delight as she was so excited by everything, and exclaimed in Italian as Samoa came close to scoring a winning try.
But Wales made loads of mistakes and will have to seriously improve before taking on Argentina next week and Australia the week after.
Last weekend, after it had been hanging off its hinges for two years, Husband repaired it. He obviously did a brilliant job as it then fell apart.
This morning I sat on the downstairs toilet and the seat broke.
I'm thinking of going back to Devon ...
The epilator (which, in case like me you didn't know, pulls out hairs) had very good reviews apparently. 'And because you can use it in the shower, it doesn't hurt so much,' he said.
The weighing machine not only tells you your exact weight but what percentage of your body is fat, how much fat you have wrapped around your internal organs, your BMI and loads of other things that a woman doesn't want to know on her birthday as she's just about to eat a box of Maltesers.
Other men buy their wives roses.
I will forgive him soon. I expect ...
Oh, yes, and I nearly forgot: my birthday fell on one of our Thrive (circuit training) days. I was driving home from Devon in the afternoon and I told Husband, 'I'm not going to Thrive.'
He said, 'Why not?'
'Because it's my birthday!'
'I'm going. I'll get us fish and chips on the way home if you like.'
Good job Daughter had spoiled me with a lovely breakfast of croissants and home-made jam.
Other men buy their wives roses and take them out for meals.
I've discovered I have one leg shorter than the other. It's probably because of circuit training: Jules forgets to tell us we're halfway through and should change legs so, because I always start with the same leg, one of my legs gets exercised more than the other. Hence one is, if not shorter, then certainly stronger.
Which is why I am so good at walking round in circles.
'I'm sure we've seen that tree before, Holly.'
'Isn't that the same tree we just saw?'
'Now this is just getting silly, Holly ...'
Monday, November 09, 2009
No, actually it wasn't like old times: Alun offered to make tea for me instead of sending me to make it. Mustn't get too sentimental about this!
And now I'm home and eating lunch before heading off on my adventure. I don't usually drive long distances so this (two and three-quarter hours approximately) journey to Daughter's in Devon will be quite a challenge but I have a plan: I will talk to myself to ensure I stay awake.
And I'm going well-prepared for any emergency, so much so that I can hardly lift my bag.
Until the next time, cheerio!
Sunday, November 08, 2009
I didn't go to church this morning. Instead I worshipped at the temple of Mammon. Yes, I went to Sainsburys.
From the amount of shopping, washing and ironing I've done for two grown men you'd think I was going away for a month not two days.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
I've been reading my 'How to be a Good Granny' book. It's making me neurotic: I'll be too scared to do or say anything just in case I get it wrong!!
I'm going to be a granny/grandma!
Next week I'm spending a couple of days with Daughter. The plan is that I get to walk Holly, do the ironing, cook meals and generally be helpful while Daughter rests. And in-between we're going to have a massage. At least that was what Daughter said when she first invited me; I notice that seems to have dropped off the agenda recently. Hmm, I must point this out.
Meanwhile, this morning we had good news from Elder Son and Daughter-in-law: they've got themselves a dog! Alfie, a new grand-dog for us! If you recall they moved into their first house a few weeks ago and the main reason they got a house was to get a dog! So I'm looking forward to the first photos. And you can be sure that I'll share them with you.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Honestly, would I have asked him if I'd wanted that answer?
So I'm compromising: I'm going to sit down and rest - after I've finished blogging.
'No, we are not having visitors!'
'Why are you cleaning then?'
Honestly, anyone would think I only cleaned when we were expecting visitors.
I started by sorting out my underwear drawer as it was impossible to close. I found I have 48 - 49 if you include the ones I'm wearing - pairs of knickers. I've arranged them into three piles:
special day ones;
sloppy 'I need to let it all hang out' day ones.
And I was very good: I forced myself to throw some of my favourite in the latter category in the bin. I was late for prison yesterday and and had to run and I found myself in the middle of a busy main road in Swansea with my knickers dangling around my thighs.
It was just a relief I was wearing jeans.
Regular readers may remember that some time ago I took George to a doggy therapist. She diagnosed anxiety as the root of his problem and suggested some remedies and aids. As these have worked I'm pretty sure she was right in her diagnosis.
He is a very intelligent dog (honest he is) and sensitive. He is suspicious of anything that is where it shouldn't be e.g. a plastic bag on the road, and that's fair enough: he's being fashionably green. The real problem comes when I take him out for a walk, or rather, when I decide that we're going to walk somewhere that requires we drive there first.
You see the car is parked out the front and George doesn't like going out of the front gate with me: the minute I head down the front path, he sits down. I have to bribe him with a treat, and then to get him in the car involves another treat. (Bear in mind that car trips to the vet, which he might consider unpleasant, are far outnumbered by trips to nice walky places.)
He'll go out of the front gate with Husband and he's more than happy to go out on his own, but with me: not likely!
Incidentally it's not me as such that is the subject of his objection: he'll come out of the back gate quite happily with me. It's just me and the front gate that are linked in his deep subconscious with some nameless terror.
Like I said, he needs help. Loopy dog.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
I would like to tell their church that these two people are the living embodiment of Christianity at its best. They are devoted to God and live their lives for others. They care, share, help, listen, take action. They are reliable and trustworthy; they are there when those in pain need them. They don't hide their faith in God: they celebrate it. They are doing what Christ did, going where he would have gone, befriending those he would have touched. They are Christ-centred not denominationally-fixated.
They are the right shape for a proper Christian: they are Christ-shaped.
I came back and walked the other way: no George. Down the road again and I saw a police car had stopped at the end of our bit and a policeman was getting out. 'Oh no, he's arresting George!'
But he wasn't. He hadn't seen him either.
Back to the house to get the car keys to drive around the back streets. Nobody there had seen him either. Anxiety was beginning to gnaw at me and some urgent prayers were being directed heavenwards. As I drove past our house again I spotted George sitting happily in the doorway.
I have no idea where he'd been but we have since discovered what he was doing.
When Husband got up first thing this morning there were three - yes 3 - huge piles of sick on the kitchen floor. And it seemed to consist largely of sliced beetroot.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
'You don't have to do a press-up,' Jules, the trainer said. 'Just get your chest on the floor.'
'Some of us don't have so far to go,' I said, rearranging my bosom Les Dawson style. But even that didn't help after a minute of getting up and down. Punching was a doddle; lying down was a doddle; getting up was another matter.
You think a minute doesn't sound long? Think again.
An African children's choir is giving a concert in Swansea in a week or two and Linden was sent two complimentary tickets. In the Notices I said that I would give the tickets to the first person who came up to me and said, 'You're looking remarkably gorgeous today, Liz.'
By the time I get up he is fast asleep and I am lucky if I get as much as a tail twitch.
Honestly dogs are supposed to be pleased to see their people. I am thinking of exchanging him for a fluffy cushion that doesn't shed hair, smell or make the place dirty.