Monday, June 30, 2008
I'm fine. Phew.
Then I saw Elsie's email and my tummy went AWOL again.
Here am I stressing about what-ifs, and what if has happened for Winston. Like many others, I only knew him through his blog but he was funny, intelligent, wise, forthright and kind. He'd also had an interesting life with, I think, three divorces behind him. I was honoured to be on his blogroll and to have visits from him.
Winston was a pretty good guy.
If you ever visited his blog, please call over and leave a word for Roomie.
P.S. That's how roomie said he wanted to be remembered.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
One of the ideas, and one which I've seen recommended before, is to give sensible titles to your posts. That is, to give a title that would be the sort of thing you might google for yourself if looking for something, rather than a witty or punning title.
So the last few posts I've tried to do something along those lines with depression, eating out in Mumbles, and puppy teething problems. The trouble is that, if you're googling for depression for example, you'll want information, not someone moaning on about feeling miserable. Similarly if you search on puppy teething problems, you'll be wanting helpful advice not ammunition to add to your armoury in the battle to stop your teenage daughter having a puppy. (Furtheron, it occurs to me that you are becoming a bit of an anorak when it comes to obscure bands. you need to get out more. A dog is just what you need to take yourself out of yourself.)
And do I want to increase the number of hits I get that way? Stats and visitor numbers are all very well but how much nicer to have readers who will come back again and again because they like what you write rather than one-offers who are seeking a quick fix. Readers who become friends and who care. Look at all those lovely sympathetic comments on my depression post. Those are the ones who really count.
I know some have had problems in the past getting onto this blog but I thought by removing the music, I'd sorted that out. I really don't know why my blog should take a long time to load but I apologise if it does and thank you for persevering. Cherrypie is very kindly helping me to work out possible reasons why.
Do you get problems loading this blog?
Does it freeze on you?
Is it very slow?
Answers on a postcard or in Comments please.
'I thought you didn't want to go out.'
Honestly we've been married 30 years and he still doesn't know what I mean when I say something. Just because I said, 'Nah, I can't be bothered,' he thought it meant I didn't want to go out for a meal. Men!
So we went to Labaire's Restaurant in Mumbles and it was super. In a nice small and simple restaurant, the two girls serving were very pleasant and the food was yummy. I had cockle and crab risotto for starters, followed by sea bass on pesto mash. Followed by lemon and raspberry posset. (After I'd found out what a posset was - a Victorian mousse-like cream.) Husband had pigeon (bit tough) and bream (very tasty). He didn't have pudding because he's not a piggy.
So we finally got to celebrate our anniversary together. The card, meanwhile, is still in post ...
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
And more than anything I have this craving for cheese. A nice big chunk of cheddar cheese. But if I eat that I will feel guilty. I already feel fat and blobby. Bleuurggh.
What is the matter with me?
We're going out to Jan and Mike's for dinner tonight. That will be nice. It will take me out of this pit. But right now all I want to do is curl up in bed with my hot water bottle and sleep.
I'm sorry for off-loading my misery onto you; I don't usually but it just felt better out than in tonight. Just ignore me and I'll go away.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
If man could find a way to harness the energy produced by menopausal women's hot flushes it would solve the world's energy crisis.
It's renewable: as one woman moves out of the menopause so another moves in.
It's universal: no village is too remote to have its share of menopausal women.
It's safe: as long as no-one says anything stupid like, 'What's for dinner, dear?' at the wrong moment. Or, heaven forbid, doesn't send an anniversary card.
It's free: well, only a small charge would be made for the service.
It returns to older women their rightful value: she may look cute on your arm, but I can light your lamp.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
A few days ago I was talking to someone about the industrial heritage of Clyne Valley. That reminded me of what my sons called Gypsy Hollow, and this afternoon I decided we'd go and visit it. Now I know where it is in relation to the main tarmac-ed bike track but I didn't want to go that way, primarily because of white-trousered walkers; George is far less of a liability in the usually deserted wooded areas. So off we set.
Now as I've mentioned before forestry men have done lots of work in the woods clearing rogue rhododendrons. The result of their work and their heavy machinery is a wood much altered from what it was. Paths have been cut off or are overgrown. Undaunted George and I set off on a little explore.
Now my sense of direction is not very good. Correction: I don't have a sense of direction so our first attempt ended up back where we started although I didn't realise at first as we came at it from a different angle and I didn't recognise it. Our second explore also ended up there but that was because all the paths - or what looked as if they might be paths - ended in brambles. Our third attempt seemed more hopeful.
That was until the path we were following - which was, I think, an old stream bed - became more and more impassable. But then we heard voices.
'Yay, George, we've done it! Human life!'
We stumbled on a bit further through the ferns and then stopped sharply. We were near the path it was true; we were just 30 metres above it with a sheer slope between us.
'Stop sighing and stop muttering to yourself; I can hear you. Now, let's think.' I looked at the slope; I looked back at the brambles that had already tried to take me prisoner. 'We'll go down the slope.'
George looked at me. 'You cannot be serious?' he said in his best McEnroe voice.
'Yes, we can do it.'
'I know I can do it but can you?'
Two and a half hours later we got home and I do believe that George is actually tired!
P.S. I'm not very good at distances either. It might not have been 30 metres down but it felt like it.
And it's a good job Ruby gave me flowers as the closest I got to receiving any from Husband was on Sunday morning when he said, 'I was going to pick some flowers for you yesterday but it was raining.'
Admittedly I didn't give him any flowers either. But still.
My sweetiepies: last of the great romantics.
The prettier side of nature's restoration. Wild roses can be found all over the tip. I wish we had smellovision: the scent is fabulous.
P.S. I didn't stick my nose in the same time as the bee!
P.P.S. To take part or to see more ABC Wednesday photos, visit mrs nesbitts place
And Barbie, a homeless child* and hopeless addict, who slept through last week's meeting, looked me right in the eye, gave me a lovely smile, and said, 'That was delicious, thank you.'
*She's late teens but has a child's vulnerability. And I use the term 'hopeless addict' because that's what people say, but there is hope for her. There has to be.
P.S. I don't use real names in Zac's except for Sean and Glenn.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
And if I let him out in the garden, he runs away. I retrieved him just now from down the road where he was rummaging in a neighbour's skip. The workmen waved to me. They're used to George.
It's worse than having a toddler under your feet. Ah, yes, and that's his favourite place to sleep: at, or preferably on, my feet. I don't mistake this for love; I know he's just hoping I'll drop something tastier than onion skins.
And I shout at him and he comes and sits at my feet and looks at me with his big dark soulful eyes. And I say, 'Oh, George,' and tickle him under his chin.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Harvey was very good with food - although I don't recall what he was like as a puppy - so it's taking some remembering not to leave anything vaguely edible on the work surface. Hearing the familiar eating-something-he-shouldn't noise, I went to investigate and George was chomping on the lid from a jar of harissa (very hot) paste. I was about to take it off him when I thought, no, I won't. See if it teaches him.
It didn't. Next I'm going try to the chilli deterrent.
But I've googled it and discovered it was reported in the Sun newspaper so it must be true. They said that a police helicopter was buzzed by and then chased a strange craft.
I don't think it's particularly newsworthy: I regularly see evidence of aliens.
P.S. The police say a strange craft was reported but that was as far as the truth went.
Siani has an article about the 'UFO' here. (Thanks for the nod, Aileni.)
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Then I saw them.
Cadburys Chocolate Fingers, Buy One get One Free. I paused, stared at them. My hand hovered over the familiar purple boxes. I picked up two packets, turned ... and stopped. I sighed and replaced them on the shelf. I walked away.
I'd gone three steps when I spun round, grabbed two packets, threw them in the trolley and rushed away before I could regret it. (Not that regret would be in any way genuine or real.)
If there is anything more addictive than Cadburys Chocolate Fingers I wouldn't like to meet it.
* * * * * * * *
Also in Sainsburys I handed over Husband's suit for cleaning. And - and I can hardly face you as I write this - repair. Repair in as much as one trouser leg hem needed re-hemming. I could have sewn it up myself. And saved money. But £4.95 is a small price to pay if it means I don't have to pick up a needle. I hate sewing with a passion that I normally reserve for rugby.
* * * * * * * *
Oh, yes, remember those 15 plants I bought and planted all by myself a week or so ago? Well, three are in their death throes and four have been eaten. And I'm talking ever so nicely to them.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
He was last seen wearing a brown fleece, dark green 'T' shirt, navy jogging bottoms and black shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Swansea Police on 01792 456 999 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
It's fine in the house and even the garden is probably okay. (Well, the back garden anyway.) But I really must try not to do these things in public. I'll be getting a reputation.
Miss Kidson said: "The fence isn't all that high, but he couldn't get over it on his own and must have used the trampoline to bounce himself into my neighbour's garden and got out. He's something of an escape artist and he has got out before, but not for a long time and we were just starting to think he's stopped all that."
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
It came as a shock, that awareness that what I'd been seeing is what I wanted to see and not how it actually is. I should have been expecting it really. Every so often I climb too high - and the fall is inevitable. And each time it hurts, but I still don't learn.
Maybe this time I can take something from it. That would be to my credit at least. If I can.
Anyway, what I was going to say was that Siani is promoting the Save the Children campaign to knit baby hats. You can find out more by going to their website or by visiting Siani, who also mentions that, should you decide to knit a hat, don't use white wool as it's seen as the colour of death.
'How do you know?'
'He's got a hankie in his top pocket; that's a sure sign.'
I've never heard the term in that usage before.
I just googled it and, sure enough, it's cockney ryming slang. Ginger beer = queer = homosexual.
I'll say it again: blogging is educational.
I am suddenly feeling annoyed. Why should it be her decision? Don't I have a say? Of course I do. But she's entirely within her rights to not want to meet me, I know that. But it's annoying.
I only found out about her a few years ago - as she did about me. She is the only child of my father and his wife; I am the child he didn't want to know.
He married his wife some time after he'd fathered me and left my mother (they weren't married). So my half-sister is about 10 years younger than I am.
I suppose I'm thinking of this now after Father's Day. A few years ago I was asked to write something for the Sunday morning service on Father's Day. Was I the right person to ask? Last year I published on my blog the words I wrote but I'll republish them on my other blog if anyone wants to read them. They begin:
I can call him Lord, God, faithful one, saviour, creator, anything, except Father. I can’t call him that.
But I wanted something to cuddle.
After the busy weekend, the children have gone home, Husband has gone back to work in Hook and even Younger Son has gone to Turkey on holiday, leaving just me and the dawg. And I have a cough. Cough, cough.
Why is it when I look for cough medicine in the chemist, they never have one that is right for my cough? My cough isn't a dry, tickly cough exactly; it's not a chesty cough either; it's just a cough. It hadn't been too bad but I don't think singing loudly helped and Sunday night I kept Husband awake with my coughing. So I bought a little bottle of bronchial medicine, which makes it sound as if I will die next week. And why do medicines have to taste horrible? Eeuurrgghh!!!!! Is it to ensure you're really ill before you will take them?
Okay, rant over. Sort of. I'm going to do another post which is a bit of a rant but I need to empty my head before I can get down to work on writing about growing herbs indoors.
Monday, June 16, 2008
'Did Neil forget you were there and put the alarm on?'
'I've just got home and there's a message on my phone saying the alarm went off.'
(Explanation: When the alarm at Linden is activated, it automatically rings my boss at home to tell her. Neil had been using the downstairs hall during the morning.)
'No, it didn't.'
'It says it did. At about 11 am.'
'No, it didn't. I was here. I'd have noticed.'
The alarm box is outside the office window. I couldn't not have heard it now could I?
Half an hour later I phoned my boss.
'It's coming back to me: I did hear an alarm. I even looked out of the window (yes, the window next to the alarm box). There were some people standing beside a car; I thought it was their alarm.'
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Our church is supporting Mutende childrens' village in Zambia and we're trying to raise £35,000 for a new building. Someone came up with this bright idea: pay £25, have a fitness check and be set targets to aim for over the next three months. £15 will go towards Mutende and £10 into the prize kitty, which will either all go to the winner or be shared among a number of winners, winners being the people Jules (circuit trainer and qualified personal trainer) judges to have most improved.
So I duly went along, was weighed and checked and did fitness and flexibility tests. We get sent our targets in a week or so. I know I'm a stone overweight (according to height/weight charts) but my BMI was fine as was my blood pressure, and my resting heart rate was 'awesome'! Hey, if there's one thing I'm good at, it's resting!
I'm also very flexible. It's just anything that involves movement that I need to improve on! So watch this space and follow my progress with ... something or other. My brain is falling asleep; we were late getting home last night.
He said, 'You're embarrassing.'
Now what was embarrassing about a respectable middle-aged woman jumping up and down, waving her arms in the air, and singing at the top of her voice, 'Tramps like us, baby, we were born to run'? Precisely. Nothing.
Not in amongst the largest group of bald rockers that you've ever seen.
It was brilliant. A simple show - no fancy lights or anything - for about 50,000 people, starring musicians who were obviously enjoying themselves as much as we were. Springsteen and the E Street Band were on stage for nearly three hours and it was fab. A mix of old and new, slow and fast numbers. The Boss rocks!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
- The children are home for Father's Day tomorrow.
- I have a fitness test and challenge this morning.
- Wales play South Africa this afternoon.
- We're going to see Bruce Springsteen at the Millennium Stadium this evening.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Your sandals are funky, dazzling and strappy
Your wellies are bold, zany and sassy
Your trainers are sparkly, unusual and happy
You've been making them smile since you were in nappies.
I like to cook for my children when they come home (as they are this weekend for Father's Day). I'm planning on making a rice pudding - Elder Son's delight - for Friday evening. And I can't imagine Michael Douglas tucking into a bowl of rice pud. 'Do you like the skin, Michael?'
No, I can't see it.
And I know I owe lots of visits and I'll be round in the next two days, promise!
Flowers, candles and written tributes left at the spot that Julie died. To read the rest of Sean's words, please visit his blog.
She is a very frightened, sad and fragile old lady.
I am glad my mum died suddenly and quickly. I hope I do too. I don't want to be old and scared and dying slowly.
Some of them survived until this summer but there were still gaps so, on Sunday, I went out on my own and bought some more plants. It was a little difficult as I had to ask passing shoppers, 'Do these come every year?'
'No, dear, these are annuals.'
But how can you tell the difference?
I brought them home and planted them myself! All on my own. I was very impressed. I'm just hoping my outdoor gardening is better than my indoor: I only have to be in the same room as a plant for it to die.
I checked on them yesterday: they hadn't grown but they were still alive.
And as I'm writing this I realise that I am creating more circumstantial evidence in the case of the Husband, the Spade and the Freshly-dug Earth. Can one be arrested, on the strength of one's blog, for a crime that hasn't been committed?
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
So much so that I was able to earn £75 working at home today. That might not sound much to you but to me it's a bra and a half. (Yes, I know that's a lot to pay for a bra but I believe in looking after my best assets.) While I was working away, George was thinking. And escaping.
I found him rummaging through the Terrier's black bag, about to clamp his jaws around a stinky dirty nappy. Why are dogs so disgusting? I grabbed him and dragged him home and then went back and cleared up the rubbish. I have to say that I looked very fetching in my green Eric Morecambe shorts and yellow rubber gloves.
Shortly after that the man arrived to change our electric meter. Our electric meter is in the shed just outside the back door and it's locked with a padlock. And I couldn't find the key. After 10 futile minutes of me searching in the same place - this is where it should be - he said, 'I can get it off in a jif.' And he did with his whiz-whiz screwdriver. I said, 'That's better than Doctor Who's!'
'Mm,' he said. 'I can give you new screws too if you like.'
'Oah,' I said. There's only so much excitement a girl can take in a day.
Then I went to see Auntie Maud (more in separate post) and then my day really improved when I got bitten by a dog.
It was my own fault. I know you shouldn't attempt to stroke strange dogs and I always do; it was inevitable that one day one would bite me. He didn't even break the skin but it gave me a shock. I mentioned it to his owner - for fear he might do the same to a child - and she said, 'I've taken him to training class. He's good with other dogs but not so good with people.' As she was saying this, her dog was having a got at George. 'Well, that's all right then.'
Some days I just shouldn't get out of bed.
So how was your day?
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Husband's spade has gone missing. I was the last person to use it and that was last weekend. I remember thinking: I must put this away after or I will be unpopular. I also have this vague recollection that when I put it away I thought: I must remember where I have put it so I know when Husband asks.
There are four possible places. I 'remember' quite clearly leaving the spade in each one of them. Of course it's not there now. And it's not anywhere. We've looked. In the end Husband had to go out and buy a new spade. I went with him and was subjected to the The Life and Times of Me and My Spade. Spades never wear out (allegedly).
Anyway that's not what worrying me. (Although the onset of dementia should be a cause for anxiety I know.) What if someone's stolen it?
'Nobody'd steal a spade,' said Husband.
'That's what I thought.'
'Unless they'd murdered someone and wanted to bury the body.'
'Or wanted to murder someone by bashing them on the head!'
And a murderer would wear gloves and I was the last person to use the spade so my fingerprints would be all over it so I could be arrested for a murder I didn't do.
So I just want it put on record that I didn't do it. I can call you as my witnesses, can't I?
* * * * * * * * * *
Did anyone watch Doctor Who this weekend? Did anyone have the slightest idea what it was about? At least you know where you are with a dalek.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Oh, by the way, he's promoting his caravan website. (I've seen James do this trick of invisible writing at Nourishing Obscurity but I don't know if I've done it right. To read it,click and drag your mouse across to highlight the blank.)
Now I'm going shopping - but not for a caravan - and I have to avoid seeing or hearing any of the rugby game being played between Wales and South Africa. It's only on Sky and that would mean going to the pub to watch and Husband has a fence to build, so we're watching the highlights later. So don't tell me the score!
'What are you doing?'
'I threw water over the radio.'
'Oh,' I said and went back to sleep.
Five hours or so later, when I woke, I said, 'Why did you throw water over the radio?'
'Because I didn't know the toothpicks were there.'
'You're lucky I didn't electrocute myself.'
Thursday, June 05, 2008
I'd forgotten to put out the rubbish so I said, 'Come on, George. You can come with me to protect me from baddies.'
'I'm comfy and don't want to get up.'
'I was comfy and didn't want to get up when you were barking at the crack of dawn this morning, so GET UP!'
He muttered his way round the garden.
But he got his own back this morning. There was a pile of puppy sick just behind the kitchen door. 'Why didn't you bark to say you wanted to go out?'
He just raised his eyebrows and looked at me.
For most dogs the question would be: what did you eat that made you sick?
For George the question is: what, out of the many things you shouldn't have eaten but did, made you sick?
I'm not going to list them. A newcomer to this blog would get the idea that I was a very neglectful mummy whereas it is George who is the very naughty - and stupid - puppy.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I'd been thinking that my weeks of leading by example and lifting my leg to the side while simultaneously saying, 'Cock your leg, George,' each time he coopied down to pee must have been having some effect but now I fear my clumsy enthusiasm may have put his progress back a few weeks.
Later on the walk he spotted the poo monster ... did I tell you about the poo monster? I don't think I did.
Last weekend in the woods there was a huge pile of horse poo on the middle of the path. It happened to be covered in a swarm of flies that took off as one when George went scurrying up to it. You have never seen a puppy move so fast! He stopped about five yards away, turned and began to bark ferociously. It took us another five minutes to persuade him to walk past and then it was on a circuitous route.
Today as we approached the remains of the pile, George waited for me to catch up so he could get me between him and the nasty poo monster that attacks innocent puppies. My little hero.
George is walking down the road outside.
It is a beautiful day. George could have free run of the garden (large enough for an average dog) if he could be trusted. As it is he has to be shut in. When I let him out later he escapes again. I wander down the road in search. I spot one open French door and really really hope he hasn't gone in through that.
Eventually I find him nosing around the neighbour's open van. He is so blatantly nosey! I despair.
I should explain that George was already on the other side of this tumbledown bit of the fence by the time I'd fetched the camera. When he disappears at the end, he's on the outside!
And he knew I was filming him. I was only a few feet away and he was calmly ignoring my instructions to 'come back in here, George!'
Here's my handle, here's my spout.
When I see the teacups hear me shout,
"Tip me up and pour me out!"
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Judy, a rough sleeper, was completely plastered. (See glossary in side bar.) Usually she sleeps but last night she was particularly vocal. She was interrupting every two minutes although, strangely enough, her questions, on the whole, were sensible (-ish).
When Glenn came back he was carrying a bowl of water and some soap. He crossed the room, knelt at Judy's feet and asked if he could wash them for her. He took off her shoes and socks and gently bathed her feet. Judy was over-awed - she began singing 'Jesus loves me this I know.'
She refused to put her dirty socks back on afterwards (and they weren't any spare ones in the store). She'd been washed; her feet were clean; she wasn't going to besmirch them with soiled garments.
Last week Judy died on the streets of Swansea.
Monday, June 02, 2008
I left it on the side with my cod liver oil, evening primrose, glucosamine and gingko. He also ate the evening primrose, cod liver oil and one of the glucosamines. They're okay because Harvey used to have those (he didn't like the glucosamines either).
* * * * * * *
The vet phoned. Probably okay but keep an eye on him for drowsiness. As I am talking on the phone to her, George is climbing over the fence ...