Thursday, September 21, 2017

On the walk II: four tassels please

Preparing for bible study today I had cause to glance at Deuternomy. Now I am no bible expert and I am unfamiliar with this book but it lists various laws and one in particular caught my eye. Apparently Moses wrote this book, I guess on direction from God. So, on my walk today, I imagined this sort of conversation.

It's been a long day. Moses' hand is aching from writing and he wants his dinner. And then God tells him to write this: make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear*.

Moses starts to write this down and then stops. 'Are you having a laugh, God? Seriously, tassels? I mean now come on. I put up with the 'thou shalt not wear clothes of wool and linen together'. I put that down as one of your little quirks. But put tassels on our cloaks?'
'I just want to see if people are paying attention,' God shrugged. 'You can cross it out if you want.'
'No, it's okay. I've written it down now; it would just make a mess to cross it out.'
'Okay, let's move on to marriage violations now, shall we?'

*Deuteronomy 22:12

On the walk III: an alternative to flight or fright

As I said it's usually quiet on tip but on the way back we were approached by a dog-less man. (I always view those with suspicion.) This one was perfectly respectable and we exchanged 'afternoon' smiles. He had just passed me when - well, I can only put this down to my sensors being on full alert after the George incident earlier - I suddenly had an image of him stopping behind me and grabbing me around the throat.

I would, I decided in those few seconds, punch him in the stomach with my elbow, bring my foot up backwards into his groin and hit him in the face with the metal hook end of George's lead. By the time I'd walked a bit further I was Mohammed Ali in all but reality. 'Bring it on, if you think you're 'ard enough!'

In reality I would probably just have wet myself. 

Which might have proved to be a greater deterrent. 'Urgh! You've peed on my shoe! Argh!'

In fact I think this will be my go-to emergency action: in case of attack cede control of bodily functions. I could do that.

On the walk I: George throws a wobbly

Okay, actually it was me who threw the wobbly. I'm not sure what George threw.

We were walking on the tip. It used to be the municipal tip but thirty years ago they stopped dumping and left it to nature to reclaim. And Nature has done a very good job. It's a very pleasant place to walk now and usually very quiet. 

Today I was approaching a bend in the path. I couldn't see around it and George was walking behind me. Suddenly he shot ahead, and ran around the corner, growling.

It scared me to death!

It's bad enough when he suddenly stops, his hackles rise and he looks around warily; this was taking it to another level altogether.

He must have got a scent, strong scent of something but I couldn't see anything and he came out of the bushes and continued to walk as if nothing had happened. 'Good grief, George,' I said. 'Please don't do that again. You'll give me a heart attack.'

He looked at me and shrugged. 'A dog's got to do what a dog's got to do.'

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ceredigion versus Gower

Ceredigion is very lovely and we had a great holiday but for sheer beauty Gower is hard to beat. That's probably why it was the first area in Britain to be declared An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). And Three Cliffs Bay regularly gets voted on to Most Beautiful Beach in the World charts.
Three Cliffs Bay
Three Cliffs Bay

Tor Bay and Oxwich
Ceredigion does have dolphins and seals though. And on a more regular basis than Gower.

Lunar affectation ... or not?

Moon in waning crescent
6% Waning Crescent
So these peculiar dreams are happening in the third quarter just before new moon. Last time they were between new moon and first quarter.

I do find the charts slightly confusing as the new moon is completely black which flummoxes me. But it appears from my vast research - all two incidents - that my dreams are tied in with a new moon. Which obviously means something deep and philosophical.

But doesn't explain why in my dream:
Daughter is leaving home for places unknown and she won't tell us if she has anywhere to sleep so I am very upset;
and our women's bible study group, which is normally attended by four or five, was attended by about 30, including men, and lots of them had brought cake but refused to help clear up afterwards.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hooray for Mr Benn

Mr Benn
In the last post I mentioned Mr Benn. For those who don't know who he is let me explain.

He was a cartoon character from the 70s. Created by David McKee who also created Elmer the elephant, Mr Benn was an ordinary man who each episode left his home and visited a costume shop with a shopkeeper who appeared 'as if by magic'. Mr Benn would try on a costume and then walking through the changing-room door would find himself in an adventure.

Only 13 episodes were ever made and they were repeated twice a year for twenty years. Mr Benn still is regularly voted one of the most beloved children’s programmes of all time.

There was a certain amount of repetition in every episode and it's that familiarity that David McKee says is now missing from children's television cartoons. 

A 50th anniversary exhibition featuring fifty original Mr Benn artworks has just finished and it was in an interview in The Telegraph that the author made that statement. Now 82, Mr McKee said, '... as any parent will know, children want the same story repeated. My theory is that it’s security, they know what’s coming next and they feel safe with it.' He also claimed that modern animation is too frenetic and desperate to offer something different in every episode.

I used to love Mr Benn when I watched it with my children. Gentle and safe he was just brave enough but not superhuman, and it's true that children do love repetition. Every time GrandSon1 comes to visit, out of the large selection of books on the shelf, he always opts for the same few: Albert Herbert Hawkins, A Bad Week for the Three Bears, and, especially, Burglar Bill. And each one in turn has its own level of repetition. 

Bring back Mr Benn!

What Mr Benn has in common with my holiday reading

The first three books I read on holiday were Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Size 14 isn't Fat Either and Notes to My Mother-in-Law.

The first two although very different had one thing in common: I began reading and quickly decided  I wasn't going to like them but ended up thoroughly enjoying them.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Eleanor Oliphant (by Gail Honeyman) is a woman with a traumatic past that has led to her lacking social skills. The story relates how her life gradually changes and how she copes with it. It's both funny and tragic. ****

Mr Benn and the shopkeeper
I tried to find Size 14 Isn't Fat Either (Meg Cabot) on Amazon and ebay - for an image - but there's no sign of it anywhere, which is a little strange. I found it in a secondhand bookshop so maybe it was a magic shop a bit like the one Mr Benn used to visit.
Anyway I digress. While Eleanor Oliphant is sparsely written Size 14 bubbles over. It's a bit like me on this blog when I get distracted. The author is better-known for teenage and young adult books. The heroine is a part-time amateur sleuth - aren't they all? - and it's a jolly light-hearted story. Good holiday reading. *** and a half stars.

Phyllida Law, actress, wife of Eric Thompson, mother of Emma (and Sophie), wrote notes to her mother-in-law who lived with them when she began to go deaf. The book is in big print and hardly enough to fill a space on a shelf. It's fine as far as it goes. I read them expecting at least some of the notes to build up into some sort of story but they're all fairly unrelated and very ordinary. My conversations with George are more interesting. It does a glimpse into the ordinary lives of 'famous' people but that's about as far as it goes. And one can't help feeling that had she been anyone else the book would never have been published and certainly wouldn't have had the ecstatic recommendations from more 'famous' people on the cover. I'll still give it *** because it's ... no, I won't. I'll give it **.

P.S. Interesting to note that the more stars I award the less I write about the story.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

While I'm waiting for the chicken to cook

I've borrowed this from Treey who borrowed it from etc

1.What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
A cherry.

2. Where was your profile pic taken?
I can't remember what my profile picture is. Hang on, I'll try and find out. Oh, it's that little picture. Mumbles Post Office.

3. Worst pain you've ever experienced?
Every pain is the worst pain when I have it. 

4. Favourite place you've travelled?
Mwnt or Vietnam or New York.

5. How late did you stay up last night?
Not late.

6. If you could move somewhere else, where would it be?
The fairy tale house at the edge of Caswell bay.

8. Which of your Blogger friends lives closest to you.
Shirley in Bristol.

10. When was the last time you cried?
Too long ago to remember.

11. Who took your profile photo?
Husband.

12. Who was the last person you took a picture with?
My dog, George.

13. What's your favourite season?
Spring because everything's waking up and new and fresh.

14. If you could have any career, what would it be?
WRITER!!

15. Do you think relationships are ever worth it?
Of course.

16. If you could talk to ANYONE right now who would it be?
No-body. I don't like talking.

17. Are you a good influence?
Hm, you'd have to ask others.

18. Does pineapple belong on pizza?
Sort of.

19. You have the remote, what channel? 
Netflix.

20. Whom do you think will play along?
Anyone not upset by the bad grammar in that question.

21. What happened to questions 7 and 9?
They were abducted by aliens and even now are being probed for the recipe for yorkshire pudding.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Please look back at old posts!

Just to mention I've added photos to all my holiday posts. Now I'm home and have access to technology and a proper keyboard and stuff I've been able to do it. 

And, incidentally, all week we've walked around gusty cliffs - being very grateful that the wind was blowing onshore - and it hasn't rained on us. Then today we get home and walk in Clyne and it thunders and hails. 

We're home all right!

No need to tame a shrew

We met a tiny - probably baby - shrew on one of our walks.baby shrew
* * * * * * * * 

There are some very old gravestones at the church of St. Michael and All Angel's in Penbryn. The church itself, said to be one the oldest in Wales, looks very like the one at Mwnt and indeed, they both have the same sort of roof/ceiling, the only two examples of its kind in south Wales and the reason for it being a listed building.

This gravestone caught my eye because it's unusual but it also has a wonderful tribute on it.
It's for a man and his wife, Margret who died April 1789 and  was 'distinguished for Meekness, piety and Charity, never known to turn a poor man from her Door Without relief and thus lived and died a ??? (stout maybe) Christian.'

What a fantastic way to be remembered.

In which George looks back on his holiday

Here I am keeping guard outside my holiday home. It was a cottage called Pencwnc near the village of Rhydlewis in Ceredigion. You didn't know I could speak Welsh, did you?
You can take the dog away from Gower but you can't stop him rescuing stones from the ocean. Where there is a stone to be rescued I am there!
Penbryn beach, ceredigion
They tried to get me to go further in this cave but I've read We're going on a bear hunt and I know what you find in deep dark caves.
If I'm looking a little weary here it's because they made me walk miles along a very windy coastal path to get to Llangrannog just so Lizzie could have an ice cream. And then we had to walk back!! I needed all the help I could get from St Caranog, that chap behind me with the staff.
Llangrannog, Ceredigion
'There's a church here somewhere,' Lizzie said, 'and it's supposed to be one of the oldest in Wales.' She had me scrambling through all sorts of bushes to find it.St Michael's church, Penbryn
I've saved my favourite photo till last. Here I am on the top of Mwnt, lord of all I survey. Bow me before me, minions!
Mwnt, Ceredigion
Okay, perhaps this is my favourite photo. Nothing like relaxing in front of a log fire after a long day out.







Thursday, September 14, 2017

Catastrophe!

So if you think it is catastrophic to discover you have shingles when you are on holiday imagine what it is like to have read three of your books and to find that you just can't get into the other two you have with you.