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Saturday, 15th February 2019

i don't DO Valentine's Day. Is it more of an American thing?  i think that among others that we have been given a business focus down the years - it's all buy, buy,buy.  Not my thing, never has been, come to think of it.  i only had one card, sent i strongly suspected by my mother, after a discussion! So that doesn't count.  None of my lovers/boyfriends were that romantically inclined.
Having said all that, i did actually send a You are my Valentine text to my lovely Mark this year!  *He was thrilled, i'm delighted to say* :D

Friday Five's have been varied in content over the years, but are always interesting.

1. Do you make up a dinner plan for the coming week? No, not really. It does depend on what is in the fridge and freezer.

2. Do you make up a grocery shopping list and stick to it when shopping? Pretty much, but i'm always open to what's on sale.

3. What is one thing that you always buy, but never write down on a list? i do a large proportion of my groceries online, so every week etc items are automatically included. Usually milk, bread and eggs (if i haven't any)

4. Is there anything that you always think you are out of and come home with it to discover you already have a year’s supply on hand? No. i'm more likely to underestimate if it's an under-the-sink item or a tinned one. i do have a regular order for toilet rolls with Amazon, so i never run out and the price is very good.  Note to self:  Toilet Duck Cleaner (just finished the last!)

5. Do you get your groceries delivered? Yes, all the time.  It is so much easier when your mobility isn't good. Online access is invaluable if you don't have a car and you pay only one way with their delivery charge, rather than two-way-taxis .  i do have two or three accounts that i don't use much but can easily compare for availability and prices.  i do have a good Co-op just down the road, so excellent.  Their bread & bakery selection is really good.

Like i said, interesting what we think about - right now, i'm starting to think about what is for dinner, and realising i have forgotten lunch again!  Must grab very quick bite, so that's it for now.  Hope you're having a great weekend!
This is called 'You make me smile'

Monday, 11th February 2019

The Great British Weather is at it again.  Almost unseasonally warm last night - i was chucking off the covers a lot - and it's been fine and actually sunny for the last few days, but taking out some rubbish this morning, i was shocked just how cold it was.  Maybe it'll warm up a bit later. i hope so as i must go out and pick up my latest batch of pills.
i'll do the Friday Five while i think on...

1. What size (twin, full, etc.) is your bed? i've had a double bed for so many years, it would seem odd to sleep in anything else now.  You can't avoid those nasty singles in hospital, but i do wish they would stop covering them in plastic - oh i know why, it's just it makes me sweat so much and makes me really uncomfortable.

2. How many pillows do you sleep with? Four.  Might sound excessive but i can't lie flat in any comfort, what with the osteo and all, and need one for my legs too.  Two are duck feathers and the other two are synthetic, the ducks and one synthetic next to my face are head pillows (so feathers don't poke into my face) and the other synthetic gives between-support for my knees.  Sorry that's a bit convoluted. i can't take the weight of my right leg on my left knee, since i had my major accident in '78; not enough flesh there to cushion. And the osteo kicked in and made support on my legs more complicated - it's almost as complicated try to explain it all, so i'll stop!

3. Do you have a weighted blanket? If so, does it help you? What is a 'weighted' blanket?  i have a normal woolen one for winter. i have a sheet and duvet covers but no duvets - yes, i know, odd, but duvets are too hot.  i have various quilts for when it warms up a bit but get down by layer in summer to just a sheet.

4. Do you sleep with any stuffed animals? No, never.  i don't remember having any as a baby and certaiinly none as a child, as i was sick so much.

5. Do you have to have the TV on to go to sleep? No.  No TV in the bedroom, though i wouldn't mind one - nowhere for it to go though.

Not very exciting week to come or the rest of February for that matter but there's the MK Handmade & Vintage Fair at the beginning of March.  i've quite a lot of theatre shows and concerts lined up for most of March, a break for April, then more in May; so lots to look forward to.  Must go, i've a lot of paperwork to plough through before i go out.  Take care.

Sunday, 20th January 2019

Sun! For two days in a row, it has been sunny. Such a nice change from the seemingly endless grey skies.  It had it's good side in a way as it wasn't very cold, but boy, has the weather made up for it over the past two days!  Water on top of the bins has frozen and we had a really thick frost this morning - and it is VERY COLD!  i'm still making do with my little blow-heater (which is warming up the bathroom as we speak)  but i'm seriously considering putting the central heating on to heat the house up for a bit. i never have the heating on in the kitchen or the bedroom as i consider it's not necessary.  i mean, most of the time you are in the kitchen, the cooker is on and i don't sit around in the bedroom for long, going to bed or getting up, so what's the point? The starting radiator is in the hall, so lounge and bathroom are the only ones that need to be on.  The bathroom can be quite nippy in winter and as i want to wash my hair this am, hence the heater.  i think i'll bite the bullet and get the CH on.
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Friday, 11th January 2019

It's a new year... i look forward to writing 2020, 2030 and 2047, when i will be 100!  Will i get a Royal card?? And who would it be from - Charles 3rd or William, what 4th or 5th?
Friday Five, actually on a Friday!  Woo hoo.  i should go out but i don't want to... i'll do this instead

1. Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry? i have several; two turquoise necklaces made by me, various silver rings, zircon earrings and a matching ring.  i bought the ring in Australia and the earrings in Phoenix USA years later.

2. Is there a piece of jewelry that you wear daily? No.  i only wear jewellery when i'm going out.  i do wear earrings occasionally inside to keep the holes in ears open.

3. What is the most costly piece of jewelry you own? It is a 21c pure gold bracelet, Dad had made for my mother in Aden.

4. What piece of jewelry would you secretly (or not so secretly) love to own, but do not? Why don't you? Why secretly? There are several things i'd like but could not afford.  i don't wear all the pieces that i do have, why buy more?  Okay, i'm a sucker for rings!

5. Is there a piece of jewelry you once owned but no longer own? What happened to it? If you class a gold ladies Rolex as jewellery, then it would be that.  Dad bought me a watch to celebrate passing my GCEs. It had a small face and the domed cover was easily scratched and a new one would have to be made specially to fit.  i couldn't afford it and in a poor moment, sold it for the gold value. It wasn't really a day-to-day watch and both my parents were dead by then.

Jewellery is such a personal thing, isn't it? Some like silver or gold, many won't mix them, but i do. Although i do collect solid silver rings, i have the odd gold-plated one or two.
And a joke to finish!

Wednesday, 26th December 2018

And it's Boxing Day.  Bit grey but the forecast was for cloud and internittant sunshine. Looks a bit too set-in for any sunshine at 1.45 pm, not that i care very much, although i want to shake a couple of rugs outside.  i started a clean up on Christmas Eve and suspended any more yesterday, but i really need to get my floors done.  Or i will be knee deep in dust & dirt by the New Year!  You never know how much is on the floor until you go to pick stuff up, don't you?  Consequently, the lounge looks as though a bomb's hit it!
i had a nice Christmas dinner yesterday, with my little Turkey half-Crown, roast spuds, onions & carrots, peas and gravy. Very tasty though i say it myself. The beauty of a little roast is that it takes very little time to cook (hour & ten minutes) and the gas oven was the same temperature 190C needed to cook the little pigs-in-blankets in the last ten minutes. No stuffing; forgot until too late this year!
Not much else to say, except to wish you all the best over this festive season!

Monday, 24th December 2018 - Part 2

okay back for the second Christmas meme

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
i don't remember having egg nog - i do like Advocat though, is that the same? i love hot chocolate - restricted now unfortunately.

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Monday, 24th December 2018

First of all, a very Merry Christmas to everyone!
i agree with KazzyCee about the festive greeting. i'm not, nor have i ever been religious in any particular but i'm fine with the verbal greeting. i've been very slack about posting this year; mostly as i don't have a huge lot to say, apart from the odd moan about something! Not very lighthearted or interesting to anyone but me really, but it's good to have somewhere semi-private to vent.
i'll do the memes - pinched one from KC too!

1. Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas – which one do you use?
Merry Christmas is fine. It doesn't need to be specifically religious, just a festively happy greeting.

2. Do you own an ugly Christmas sweater?
No, but i do have a couple of silly Christmas tunic-dresses. One with Christmas presents and things on it with a navy background, one with little penguins in blue scarves on a red background [i'm wearing it now!] and a black one with red festive stars.

3. Do you celebrate the Winter Solstice?
In spirit only.  i do have some pagan leanings!

4. Now that you are ‘in the know,’ what would you leave out for St. Nick on the 24th?
We never had the Father Christmas myth fed to us and as far as i can remember, most of the cold, snowy type Christmas didn't really register as my early years were spent in hot climates (reindeer & sleighs don't work without snow).

5. Tired of the snow and icky weather yet? For those fortunate folks in the other hemisphere, are you tired of the humidity and hot weather?
i did get tired of the endless heat in Aden and welcomed the rain when we got it - once or twice a year! We haven't had any snow here this year - but coldest months are stil to come. We've had some cold snaps and cold winds, even a touch of frost in some areas. Only the North has seen any snow but not a huge amount. Yet!!
i don't remember seeing snow until i was about seven, when we spent a year back here, then it was back to hot again. Strangely, all the years i spent in New Zealand's North Island, i don't remember seeing snow on the ground there, although there were masses in the South Island.  In the North, not so much.  You had to go the mountains and the same in Australia.  We did get massive rain storms and even hail, but no snow in Sydney.

And onto the second one shortly - i must get on and at least pick up all the stuff on the floors so i can vacuum!

Thursday, 19th December 2018

The end of the year is rapidly approaching; where does it all go?  Maybe i'm more conscious of time slipping away as i get older and realising i'm in the winter of my life. i know time doesn't get faster as you age but it seems to. Mind you, i'm still working on living forever!
i'll do the latest Friday Five first, but must have some lunch before i do that, as it's nearly half two.

1. Do you enjoy receiving books as holiday or birthday gifts?
Not that i get given any nowadays but getting books is always a good thing

2. What book are you reading (or, what is the last book you read)?
i usually read a couple of books at once - one in the bathroom [for those 'extended visits'] and one at night on my Kindle. Bathroom book is quite often one that is bigger/thicker than the norm and at present it's 'Lady Midnight' by Cassandra Clare - a weighty toomb! The other is Jim Butcher's 'Aeronaut's Windlass'.  'Lady Midnight'moves along at a pretty fast clip, but doesn't loose sight of the story of the characters; even though it's basically a convoluted love story, several in fact, and can get a bit bogged down in rather teenage angst. Which is more than i can say for Jim Butcher's tale. It opens with a rather drawn out, boy's-action fight/battle and only just manages to introduce some characters before gettiing back to more fightiing.  i'm struggling to keep interest in it, to be honest, and if it wasn't for some superior cats, i may have given up the struggle - i'll let you know if i manage to finish either!

3. Are you enjoying (or, did you enjoy) that book? Why or why not?
i guess you can say i'm almost enjoying Lady M but having a tough time with the Windlass (see above)

4. About how many books do you read in an average year?
Hard to say. Let's say around 100 a year at a guess.

5. What are some of the books on your to-read pile (or list)?
At present i have two piles of books to work through. The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher), Laurell Hamilton's 'Serpentine', Guy Martin's 'Worms to Catch', David Baldacci's Memory Man,Terance Stmap's The Ocean fell into the Drop (another bit of his autobiography), Kim Harrison's The Turn, More of Ursula Le Guin's Tales from Earthsea & Jo Nesbo's The Thirst - that's the pile on my side table in the lounge. i won't bother listing the pile in the other chair. Let's just say another 6 or 7!

Sunday, 16th December 2018

Well, my birthday and Christmas come so close together, i've always been a little disappointed at the long year without a break.  It matters so little nowadays as there's nobody to share either with and they've become pretty much just ordinary days.  i have friends in America who send me gifts to mark the days, otherwise i'd have nothing.  Don't feel sorry for me, i've been on my own for such a long time now, i'm so used to it.  Still, it's nice to have a little something - and trying to guess what they have sent me this year.  Jan started to 'get religion' over the last few years and one Christmas she sent me a few religious pamphlets - heaven knows why, as i have been so non-religious all my life.  Maybe she thinks she can convert me or some such!  *Don't waste your time, babe!*
Anyway, i noticed a different address on the Christmas gift and had to shoot off an email to alert them that my card and present will have gone to the wrong address.  i don't know how long it was they moved; maybe i missed that, don't know.  i will be damned annoyed if they don't get the present as i sent an 'art tin' this year along with a couple of other little things. The tin was not cheap and i won't be replacing it - mostly because the artist only makes one off items. i can manage another card, except it probably wouldn't get there until after Chtistmas now.  i just have to hope that either they manage to find the package or it is returned to me.  Annoying but more frustrating.
They weren't the only ones with a new address but fortunately, the other person's card arrived in time for me to send another one.  It can be quite the problem if they aren't on Facebook and i can't check.  Oh well, such are the little irritations of life - and i only found out yesterday on my birthday.
Turning 71 made me reflective, as you do!  i still find it hard to believe how old i am. Oh the brain is still the same but the body could do with a really in-depth MOT! i've just got to keep it going as long as i can - still intending to live a VERY long life, if not forever!  Anna's death didn't help the serious mood either.  i'm glad i have some younger friends, and barring accidents or serious illness, they should all outlive me.  Not so good for them but a hell of a better time for me!  i'm luck enough of them send me cards and i have two strings up now. :D
i was happy enough to visit the dentist for a check-up before Christmas and even happier for him to catch a small filling, which he did on the spot.  i'm good until June 2019 now - touch wood!

Monday, 3rd December 2018

Greetings!  i've been a bit off the air recently, mainly due to the weather being cold and uniformly GREY for many days in a row. Quite depressing and i've simply been hibernating as a result.  This kind of winter doesn't usually affect me as much. i guess it's a cumulative effect, what with my friend dying and this November being the 20th anniversary of my mother's death too. It's odd that i rarely mark my father's anniversary in 1989, lot longer that Mum. Maybe because i was in Australia  and maybe his swift heart attack was as clean as amputation.  i hadn't seen him since the beginning of the '80s, so i guess that was a cushioning effect?  For some reason, it made me really angry, as he shouldn't have died so young/early, both his parents being in their late 80s when they died.  Oh well, that's a lot of water under this old bridge.
However, there's nothing to soften the blow of a friend leaving a lonely gap in your life.  It's bad enough when they are some distance away but Anna's was up close and personal.  i've lost a companion for film & theatre going and visits to the Vintage Fairs, etc.  I'm on my own again and i miss her company.  I guess i'll bounce back again - well, not exactly bounce but you know what i mean.
i haven't needed to go out much, but made the effort on Friday last to take some books to the charity shop, post the last of my Christmas cards and send a parcel to a friend to who could do with a boost. i picked up pills etc from the chemist (luckily i can reorder online) and got some more milk and a paper on my way home.  What was nice was the sunshine we had that day - before the Grey set in again!!  The weather is teasing again today with some spasmodic breaks in the clouds, but i'm not fooled!

The Friday Five was late again but it doesn't matter.

1, What is your favourite food?
Curry/Chinese food
2, What is your favourite food preparation method?
Odd question - other than someone else prepare my food??
3, What is your favourite cuisine or style of cooking?
We did this in first question, didn't we?
4, Do you have any dietary restrictions and if so what are they?
Too many as i'm Type 2 diabetic now
5, If you could introduce the whole world to one ingredient to improve their culinary experience, what would that be and why?
Conquering the world with food, eh?  i think this is too sweeping a question for a simple answer, given you can get most everything in the shops nowadays. All right, a really good beef ravioli or a Massiman curry

That's it for now. Have a good week and stay warm