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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

Tuesday, 13th November 2018

It's now 20 years since my Mum died - how time flies.  Sadly, my friend Anna joins her for a November death - sorry for the downbeat start to the post! It's simply coincidental they are so close together but it doesn't make me happier.  i used to think i'd never get used to Mum not being there and in a lot of ways, i never did. It doesn't hurt now, which is a blessing.  It may seem strange that i didn't miss my Dad like that but i was in Australia when he died and i hadn't seen him for about ten years.  The pain wasn't as immediate and sharp although it was bad. i wish i could have seen him again.  Naturally, Anna's death was nowhere near as bad, and i was half expecting it, as i was sure the Hospital had sent her home to die - i never mentioned it to Frankie, her daughter, of course.
On to more cheerful things!
Friday Five, i think

1. What was the first type of cheese you ever ate?
No idea.  Probably some sort of cheddar for toasted cheese

2. What was the type of cheese you ate most recently?
Funnily enough, a cheddar on cauliflower

3. What is the most unusual cheese you ever ate?
A very smelly Munster - Mum's favourite!

4. What is your favorite cheese?
Hard to choose - i love most cheese.  It's a toss up between Camenbert (melted for dipping!) and Brie

5. What is your favorite dish made with cheese?
Cauliflower or maccaroni cheese - but almost anything can be improved with a cheese topping!

Have a good week; it's going to be a busy one for me

Sunday, 21st October 2018

Bit sad today as my friend Anna died a week ago. Her daughter phoned me on Friday to let me know and we'll speak again when she is ready, as i have some books & DVDs to pick up.  Depressing but life moves pitilessly on.
i'm out tonight to see Joanna Lumley (with 2 tickets as Anna was supposed to be with me).  Cheer up, i said to my self, and do the Friday 5.

1. Have you ever bobbed for Apples?
Not that i remember - this is supposed to be a children's thing, yes?
2. Do you like a regular or hard apple cider?
American defiinition, i'm presuming.  i like a sweet cider, as regular or dry is more like beer than an apple drink.  And i don't like beer
3. Do you have a special type of apple that you prefer over others?
i prefer a Fuji apple when i can get it. They are perfection for me, crisp and sweet. i think i'm right in guessing they aren't grown in UK. Usually make do with Royal Gala
4. Have you ever made baked apples?
Haven't made them but have eaten them. Quite delicious with sultana and a touch of cinammon
5. Who is the apple of your eye?
This is usually a family member, like a child, but no children and no close family left, i'm afraid.  i still have some family but they don't exactly fall over themselves to keep in touch with me.  The closest i come to said apple would be some close friends, who i love dearly.

Short and semi-sweet but have a great week

Thursday, 27th September 2018 - #2

Two posts for one day!  i'm spoiling you, ha ha.  Just the Friday Five...

1. Do you have the urge to do a Fall/Spring cleaning as soon as the weather turns?
Not cleaning as such, but do have periodic downsizing on books (ouch!) and DVDs

2.What tells you that the season (a certain smell, a certain taste, that sort of thing) has changed?
Just the temperature really and how the birds are faring

3.What do you look forward to the most with the change of seasons?
The simple fact of having proper changes of seasons really. Having spent so many years in countries that have very little variance, it's a nice change. You may think endless blue skies are wonderful, but believe me, you can get really sick of it.  i LOVE rain and snow; just not crazy about endless grey skies!

4. What is something that you probably should accomplish but won’t this season?
Hmmm, like what, i wonder?  i'm frequently a step behind on my house cleaning and i need to clear out my other armchair, which has disappeared under a mound of stuff!  But need to do a load of sewing/repairs etc first

5. What is the most enjoyable part of the oncoming season for you?
i like the cooler weather and had to stop myself from dancing in the rain after that long dry spell - seriously!

i went to see 'Height of the Storm' at my local theatre, with Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins - enjoyed seeing them a lot - wish i could say the same for the play.  A load of anglasized (from the French) tosh, frankly.  i would not receommed it to anyone, except fans of the pricipals.
i'm off to see a spooky, sci-fi flic on Wednesday, called 'Venom' - i have been warned!  i love special effects, but as i'm not a huge fan of Tom Hardy, i'll let you know.
All for now, toodles!

Thursday, 27th September 2018

It's been a really pretty day, all sun and very little cloud. Temperatures are getting a little cooler, so for me, the best kind of weather.
i didn't see much of it though as i went to our local auction.  i had a fair wait for the items i was interested in - a couple of pictures - and amused myself writing down the unexpected big prices for some items.  Normal line-up of china, pottery, glass, bic-a-brac and jewellery were up first, then the silver before the picture/paintings etc, some 300 lots.  i had a couple of breaks before that and a quick spot of lunch in their cafe.  At last my patience was rewarded and the picture section started.  i really like Peter Nuttall and look forward to one or two turning up.Read more...Collapse )
That's it for now, take care and have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 6th September 2018

Very mixed weather this week, but a lot of cloud and greyness.  Bit of sun late yesterday and some now about 11.20am. Hard to know what to wear and so you think like an onion, lots of layers.  i went and returned some library books yesterday and although the clouds threatened rain, it didn't thankfully.  It's a bit of a trek into town just to do that, even with my scooter, so had a Mcdonald's lunch [fillet of fish & chicken nuggets] and an illicit small icecream, and had a tool around the market [every day].
i was going to the Vintage & Homemade Fair in MK on Saturday but something made me check my buspass - it's run out!  i worked it out, the return ticket to MK is around £13, taxis to & from bus approx £10, lunch maybe £5, so thats around £30 before i even hit the Fair - makes it a no-go this time; maybe the Christmas one?
i spent some time online going through the bus pass renewal application [i had to find a photo of me and chop it down to passport size, which took a while]; i've have no idea how long that will take, but pretty damn sure i won't get another before Saturday.  i always use my bus pass as it's free to lots of places, even out to Oxford.
i have a doctors day today - diabetic clinic at 2.30pm [main office closed] and back at 6.45pm for a flu jab. i need to take my full Sharps box back to them and try and get a new tool that pricks your finger, so you can test your blood sugar. i'm on my second one. Sometimes it doesn't work and is tempremental!  Not sure if it is the spring that is faulty.  i'll see if they have another; depending of if there is someone in the office the second time.
Like the meme KazzyCee did, so i'll do it too.

5 things you’ll find in my laptop bag / or bag:
Gad, where do i start!
My bag has lots of pockets storing lots of stuff - including phone, wallet & coin purse and that just part of the outside ones!  More in the two internal ones too
5 things you’ll find in my room / abode:
which room?  Sitting room had LOTS of books & DVDs, bird feeding supplies, piles of things to do [some sewing, cleaning] including a chair overflowing with STUFF and paintings propped against cupboards & furniture [can't put hangings in the block walls] - so general chaos!
5 things that make me feel happy:
sunshine, going out to eat with friends, getting new books, spending a day at the auctions, keeping in touch with old friends
5 things I’m currently into:
Reading, always
Trying to clean up front Garden [i'm not really fit to do that, so i do little bits at a time or until my back says SIT DOWN!!
5 things on my to-do list:
Having a pre-Winter clear out of clothes etc for charity shops.  Just had a massive old book one - now i can see the bedroom floor!
A sort/clear out of my spice & herb cupboard
Same for some of the other kitchen cupboards, filled with things i no longer use or indeed have only used once.

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Thursday, 30th August 2018

Last day of August tomorrow; time zipping by again.  i chose the icon for this post in honour of the prolific flowering of my two roses.  i've cut back the front garden one as it needs to 'bush out' rather than be tall and weedy.  The one thing you can count on with plants is that they want to grow, so really no matter what you do to them, it they have a decent root system, it's almost impossible to kill them off.  Just as well for some of my plants as i'm such a rotten gardener!
i'm almost done taking my unwanted items to the charity shops.  9 tenths of books gone, thank heavens.  They were mostly the remains of a job lot i bought super cheaply at auction. They included a whole load of Alison Uttley books i didn't have which was really good.  i hadn't realised at the time i could have taken what i wanted and left the rest at the auction house; i know better now!  The auction house will either sell them on, give to a charity or just get rid, which is what i wanted.  i have some picture frames up next and three Chinese scrolls i've 'gone off' and are a bit too large for my purpose.  i asked one shop if they wanted them and they said yes, so i'll take as many of them as i can manage down today and the rest tomorrow.  It'll be so good to get them gone, as they take up too much room.
My friend Anna is home from the hospital, but needs full time care as she is bed-bound and not able to get up yet.  She is much happier at home and all the help she gets isn't costing her anything, so she needn't worry there, thank heavens. We all feel better at home. Age and time catches up with all of us, doesn't it? A very long-time friend who is a year younger than me was catching up to let me know she has just had a pace-maker fitted - casual as you like!  Luckily, it was a very quick procedure and she was home a day or so later.  Rocked her to think of popping her cloggs and those of us not in the country not knowing what had happened to her.  She wanted to contact us and let us know and say how much she appreciated our friendship, the sweetie!  It could take some time before her sons let us know as we may not be top of their list for advising.  Made me think about my situation.  As i have virtually no close friends here and i never see any of my relatives, i could be dead for quite some time before anyone missed me - come to think of it, i'm not sure who would raise the alarm; Doctors surgery? i have type2 diabetes and other bits, so if i didn't order repeat subs they might try contacting me?  Wonder how long that would take.  Postman maybe.  Some years ago when i was still up north, the man living oppostite me died and when the postie couldn't fit any more post in his letterbox, he came across to me and let me know.  i called up the lady who ran the mobile home park and we went to check it out.  He had been dead for maybe a week? Can't remember how long.  He did have family but they lived some distance away.  Odd feeling this - oh don't get me wrong, there are people who love me but they don't live close and some are overseas.  Oh well, i won't be bothered about it, will i!
On that cheerful note, i'll do the Friday Five!

1, What is your favourite food?
Curry, closely followed by Chinese
2, What is your favourite food preparation method?
Odd question - whatever it takes to cook it, be it boil, steam, fry or microwave
3, What is your favourite cuisine or style of cooking?
Didn't we just cover that?  Love a good piece of fish once in a while
4, Do you have any dietary restrictions and if so what are they?
Yes, i'm type2 diabetic so i have to watch what i eat and i'm almost allergic to peppers/capsicum
5, If you could introduce the whole world to one ingredient to improve their culinary experience, what would that be and why?
Can't think of anything really, but most dishes can be improved with garlic & onions - except bacon & eggs!

Love John R Neill's cider pressing rabbits. Have a great day!

Wednesday, 8th August 2018

i admit it, i'm a cantankerous, irritable old bitch...  It's true i've got a lot less tolerant as i get older, but one of the things that really gets up my nose is people being late, especially so-called professionals.  i had my annual eye test this pm and as it was Specsavers, i got in half an hour early, as they have to do all those measuring and air-puff tests to do first.  i waited half an hour for that to happen but no, lump of a girl didn't do anything until about five minutes after the actual test was due (and did the eye-puff thing 6 TIMES EACH).  Not a good start. About 20 minutes later, different lump of girl popps head round the corner and says sorry optician bit late. Y'don't say?  i'm well on time, why aren't you?
Eventually Opt appears and ushers me into the inner sanctum. She took one look at my grumpy face and appologised too.  She was quite nice, even though she had a tendency to gabble a bit and i had to ask her to repeat herself several times.  We get though all the testing and eye comparison stuff and i do need a new distance prescription and really a new reading one too.  i have one of those reversal strength things, seeing better up close, which always amuses me.  i get a different person to guide me through the choosing new frames and checking the fittings etc, nice boy this time.  2 for 1 on the £69s (i chose 2 distance ones as i like having a spare) and a half price reduction on the readers. i always get the refelxtive lenses as i can't be doing with prescription sunglasses. Which is £39 EACH, i think, but i need that.  He does his sums and tots it all up - just over £201.  REALLY? Even on the NHS?  Ah no, he hadn't taken that off - Opt didn't print out the right form apparently.  That brings the total price down to £127 roughly.  Phew! not peanuts but that's more like it - £74 less.  Pick 'em up in a week.
i took myself off for a late lunch bite and boy, has McDonalds changed!  You pass a whole line of card-ordering menu machines and only two tills that take actual money now.  They give all an order number and you have to move over to that side to wait.  Luckily i only had the Fish, so it was quick. i wanted a Millys milkshake but vacant girl said sorry no icecream (grrrrrr!), so i got a Coffee Frapaccino from Starbucks (far too much ice), and filled with lots of really annoying oriental boys (and girls), and drank it on the way home.  Narrowly missed a few glued-to-phones twats but eventually made it home.  A lot of little irritations, leaving me with a strong desire to slap a few heads!
i'm going to see 'The Meg' on Friday, which could slake my bloodthirst nature!  Should be lots of nice special effects.

Tuesday, 31st July 2018

Hail, Friend and well met!  It's sunny with clouds today, not that the wind has died down much, but it feels so much fresher since we had that bit of rain.  SUCH a welcome relief, i had to stop myself from going out and dancing in the rain, like i used to do as a little girl!  Not so cute when you are over 70! Have to say i really couldn't give a monkey's but i don't lay myself open to chills. *grins*
i'm sure the Cambridge Folk Festival organisers are ambivalent about the weather for the weekend but given that the Festival will go ahead whatever the weather, it probably won't worry them too much.  There is bound to be the usual crowd-crush on Saturday & Sunday. The Festival actually starts on Thursday afternoon but normally there isn't much of a crowd, though there is music on Stage 2 in the evening.  Nor will Friday be that busy, though more than Thursday.  You really see a step-up on Saturday, with both stages in full swing from midday-ish.
i wasn't sure if i was going for the full weekend, given the rather disappointing line-up over the last couple of years. Let me say i wasn't the only one who felt that way, judging from the comments on their Facebook page.  Anyway, i weighed up leaving out Thursday & Friday and getting day tickets for the weekend, but i wouldn't have save that much and luckily there is a more interesting line-up this year.  They have started this Guest Co-ordinator? who has been able to invite more international guests and this year, Rhiannon Giddens.  Just had a quick look at the Friday line-up and it looks as though both stages could be open given the amount of people. That gets better.
more later... bacon butty calling me...

Sunday, 22nd July 2018

Greetings, fellow Journalisers!
i've had a look at the Friday Five but frankly none of it is relevant to me, so i won't bother this week.
It stays hot and so dry, the brown grass couldn't get browner.  A lot of places are having fires, which is alarming and a bit distressing.  Even areas you wouldn't think would be prone. i wait daily for the hosepipe bans, not that it will affect me as neither the Council nor i water the garden.  This week i was thinking of what i said to my Mum when i came back to live here, that it was bound to get warmer now that i had returned.  Y'see i LIKE cold weather and had revelled in the thought of cold winters and rain.  She thought that was pretty funny, but she wouldn't laugh now.
There's a lot of things connected to global warming that we need to be aware of now. i was watching HRH Prince Charles talking to Adam Frost on Gardeners World, about hot weather diseases and fungus that are now starting to threaten UK and how vital it was to stop people bringing back plants and seeds from other countries. Nobody knows just how dangerous that is.  There's a great need to protect and look after our native species, or face massive problems in the future.  A grim thought came to me, that in 40 years, i won't give a damn.  The world can go to hell in a wheelbarrow and i won't be here to care. Earth's residents always care too late to avoid serious problems - see all this plastic crap that is killing the wildlife and polluting the seas, and which will eventually kill us all if nothing is done to clean up the microplastic mess.
Sorry to be so gloomy but we can't avoid Earth's problems.
Let me leave you with some pretty/interesting pictures...