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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...

Saturday, 14th July 2018

Time is flying at the moment...  Wish we had some rain...
Friday Five

1) If you could be either a fish or a bird, which would you be, and why?
Oh definately a bird, like an owl or a hawk.  Always wanted to fly

2) Would you rather it be 10 degrees too hot or 10 degrees too cold? (Does your answer change if that’s indoors or outdoors?)
10 degrees too cold for sure; had enough hot to last several lifetimes! And no, it doesn't change as you can always put on another layer

3) What is the best thing that happened to you today?
Had a nice chat with a neighbour, otherwise very quiet all week

4) Is youth wasted on the young? (Follow-up: are you old or young?)
Totally wasted on the young - they don't appreciate it,  i mean, what point of reference do they have?  Kinda wish the body didn't deteriorate as fast.  i guess you could say i'm old at rising 71 but that's in years only.  Brain hasn't changed much since i was forty or so.  A little slower to react and getting some forgetful at times only

5) Pasta salad or potato salad?
l like both but you can do more with a pasta salad

Huge iceberg off the coast of Greenland - village evacuated in case it 'calves' and waves flood the area. This happened recently in another area and some people were killed.  Beautiful though
Have a great weekend and a fabulous week!

Saturday, 7th July 2018

Greetings, from overheated Cambridge!  What's with all this hot weather?  Japan and points East are experiencing extreme wet and flooding, but we have barely a drop; where's the fun in that?  The ground is so hard, i don't think any serious gardening is really an option.  Just have to wait. Seriously, it cannot last forever.

This Friday Five is an oldie that i i think i missed.

1. Where did you grow up and do you miss it?
Well, from tiny to about 17, it was lovely but dangerous Malaya (2 and a bit to around six and a half) and then flea-bitten Aden to until we left  - it wasn't brilliant then but what an unholy mess it is there now.  Yes, Malaya was lovely and mainly a great start to my memory.  Nobody who lived in Aden (except the Forces, who were there in short bursts) could say they liked it.  Oh, there were some good family times but i really did not like Aden and was glad to go.
2. Which are your three favorite words in the dictionary and why?
Peace, love and serenity.  Violent times and places are so disruptive and horrid - we all need love of some description and i value serenity, even if i don't always manage it!
3. What is a vegetarian dish that you really like?
Cauliflour Cheese, Tomato & Basil Soup and Roast Potatoes!
4. What do you do when you have a misunderstanding with your friend?
i rarely fall out with friends and any 'misunderstanding' would be fairly minor, wrong timing or some such.  i have had a couple of very serious falling outs and it took a while to regain the friendships to keep in touch; one with reservations and one long-distance.  But the trust is thin.
5 What do you daydream about?
i rarely daydream; filling my time instead with reading, DVDs and the computer.

We are such complicated things, are we not?  Yet strangely predictable in our narrow, violent and arrogant ways.
Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, 3rd July 2018

Tuesday is rubbish collection day for me, a two-fer on Blue & Green bin days.  i popped out to check all was going well [Blue bin done] and because i was up early today and the Green hadn't been done, i cut some of the rose bush back at the front.  It has flowered well and still has some buds on it to come but it needs a hard prune this year as it is all tall and leggy, so if it is to continue, it needs to bulk up quite a lot.  This rose is a nice sweet-smelling dark red but the one at the back door is pink. It does have a scent though not strong and not my favourite colour either. It has made up for that by flowering profusely this year, just covered in flowers.  i do chop that back a fair bit and need to make sure it is winning the fight with the ceanothus, which would bury it if i took my eye off it!
The back garden grass has just been cut but you'd not know it by the smell. It's so dry out there, it's all pretty much brown. i like the smell of cut grass.  i wish it would rain here, the ground is rock hard and not condusive to gardening, so the front only gets a slash and grab when the mood strikes.  i'm trying to get one of my neighbour's boys to come and clear out the rest [for some cash] but i have a feeling it will come to nothing. Not that i blame them; i wouldn't want to either!
i love DLA days - for a few days, i'm In The Money!  Doesn't last of course but the big bills get paid, so all good.  i also pay chunks off my credit card; such a blessing to have one for the the big stuff.  My Elder care payments went up this year and i guess £66-odd a quarter is good insurance but it's not cheap all the same.  It is compensated by the low rent i pay here, another blessing.  i hate money, or rather the lack of it.  They say money won't buy you happiness - i'd like to find out!  You can be pretty damn miserable without it, that's for sure.  i was never well paid when i was working, which leads me to the latest Friday Five.  *g*

1) Do you enjoy your work?
i did have the occasional job i liked and i liked some of the people i worked with. In Australia, there are so many different people, i didn't really stand out.  But when you have to work, you take what you can get; usually boring office jobs. You couldn't afford to be off for long and remember, you had to work usually a month before any money came in.  That's probably still the same but i don't think money was as tight now as it was then.  No debit or credit cards.  Debit cards came in when i was working in Australia in the later '80's, which meant you could access some cash out of working hours - such a blessing.  i didn't have a credit card for a long time until after i came back to UK, and what an amazing thing that was.

2) Are you overpaid or underpaid for the work you do (or last did)?
i was mostly underpaid, as were most of the office workers. It was an uneven struggle of too much work for the money, and how much more employers could make you do - without a rise or a bonus.  If you did actually get a rise, there was always more work added on.

3) What one thing do you dislike most about your work?
Most?  Having to work.  i would have liked more time to be able to choose work that interested me or gave some scope for stimulation.

4) What one thing would make your work life happier or more satisfying?
Being paid more than the bare minimum would have been good.  i never had much left over after rent, bills and food. Never enough to save any really.

5) Do you try to fit into your workplace’s culture? What does that entail?
That's an odd one - do workplaces have a Culture and what does that mean?  i went out for drinks with my fellow workers occasionally and even a group dinner but that was rare.  Even rarer when i came back to England, i simply didn't fit as i had nothing but the job in common with them - and man, were they clannish!!  'Grew up overseas, did you?  We didn't, so bugger off' - was i too 'posh' for them?  Who the fuck knows and i grew not to care more and more, and to be honest, i didn't like most of them anyway with their insular little minds.

Sunday, 24th June 2018

Another sunshiney day, i think i'm getting used to it!  We do need rain though.  The West gets it all really; not a bad thing if it's bad weather but we're drying out in the East.  Garden's stil growing like crazy even so.
Friday Five...
1. Describe your favorite outfit.
My usual is easy and comfortable, whatever the weather.  Trousers & sweaters in winter in as many layers as need be and my A-line dresses/tunics [with leggings if wanted for going out or cooler evenings] the rest of the time.
2. Describe your personal style.
As above really. Nothing tight or short.  i didn't like that even as a much younger and slimmer girl.
3. Approximately how much do you spend on fashion/personal care annually?
Not huge amounts and i watch the sales closely.  i'm mad for shoes but keep a reign on spending.  i do have moisterisers but noting excessive and my hairdresser calls round to trim my hair when i call her - a massive £15 a pop!!  She would charge me OAP rates which is slightly less but i'm happy to give her a little more; she's worth it.  i don't colour my hair and the blonde is turning white.  The back hair is always darker for some reason, so i get a shading front to back.  i'll wind up with it all white eventually, but for nearly 71, i ain't doing too badly.
4. Do you dress for yourself or for everyone else?
Just me, though i do try to look smarter if i'm dining with friends.
5. Give us your best fashion/personal care advice.
Oh no, i'm not in any way the one to ask that.  Just that it's best to go with how you feel and how comfortable you are.  Avoid really high heels though, they will really ruin your feet.  i usually buy the same base line colours, like dark trousers etc, so that if i get a colourful top, i'll be okay.  Do try to look after your skin.  i'm covered in freckles and the like and skin tags, moles and skin lumps where the sun finds me.  We didn't know about skin problems as kids and teenagers, not like now.  Try thinking ahead to when your skin is no longer the youthful elastic and regenerating organ and wear a hat in the sun.
Have a great week and take care of yourself!

Monday, 19th June 2018

Never mind Texas, we need some rain.  Why Texas?  You're obviously not a Kingston Trio fan. You are probably a bit young for them. :D
i'll do the Friday Five while i remember. Oh, damn crown has come adrift again. Useless emergency dentist!  AND if they charge for everything on the assessment form, i think he's padding his NHS charge... i do hate that.

1. Do you think you have a health lifestyle?
That's 'healthy', mate! And no, not really.  Bad arthritis and too much weight do not a good one make
2. What could you do to improve it?
Do what i'm supposed to, eat lot more 'greens' for my fatty liver and keep the carbs in check for the diabetes!  Can't do long or brisk walks and i'm unable to ride a bicycle. Too many germs in public swimming pools - i had one batch of cellulitis, never again!
3. Are you tempted to eat every time you are hungry or do you wait for the next meal?
i don't really eat a hellova lot but crave strong flavours.  i usually manage breakfast but have been known to skip lunch completely and just have an early dinner.  Can't do without my curry!
4. When are you most tempted to snack?
When i'm watching TV
5. Do you agree with the saying: "Eat your breakfast, share your lunch with a friend and give your dinner to your enemy" or do you think it matters?
That's a saying i've never heard before.  Bit ridiculous really.

Define 'weird' - jam & cheese is about the most extreme i get

You mean apart from smearing ourselves in custard and dancing naked around a wood fire?  Nah...

i like to get about 7 hours, but doesn't always happen

Huh? That would be walls and paint work, i'm presuming, otherwise there would nothing in the house! White or off-white [which is pretty much what i have actually], but have coloured curtains etc.  It wouldn't work if every room was white in a whole house but in my one-bed flat, it does.

Not a lot left to do on that meme.
Have a great week.

Saturday, 16th June 2018

It took a phone call of fourteen and a half minutes and two operators to cancel my Oytstercard - and i had to pay for the call.  Not impressed.  This was a result of a reminder about the Automatic Top-Up on the card but when i went online to check this wouldn't happen [not on the old card they had anyway], i couldn't get it to remove the ATU.  i tried four times on different days but no go.  Maybe because it was still connected to the old debit card?  Wasn't happening, so no other way to sort it but to ring their Customer Service line.  SO not impressed.  At least i found out there had been an ATU on the old card and my Oyster was in credit, just over £23!  i had to repreat my details a couple of times before Ms Thicko got it all down, hence the time.  i guess the refund will pay for the phone call!  i cannot visit London with scooter & use the Oyster, so no use now.  Same with my driver's licence; no car, no parking anyway and although it could be useful to have a car, my use of it would be pretty limited and a licence would be just expensive as simply an ID card.  i can carry the licence for that even out of date for an ID.  *sighs*  Old age continues to remind and bite one on the butt.
Short post today; lots to do
Have a good week

Wednesday, 13th June 2018

The blue pot is to celebrate the lunch i had with Mark today. Any day is a good day when he visits.
Okay, to catch up on questions, memes etc. Friday Five first.

1) Where did you go, and what did you do, on your last vacation trip?
It's been so long since i actually had a holiday. Funnily enough, Mark & i were talking about travelling, amongst other things and i had a hard time remembering the last.  Venice i think - surely not, that was around 2001!  Could be though.  i've had the odd weekend away here but nothing out of the country.

2) How often do you take trips for pleasure?
Whenever i could, for sure

3) How much vacation time do you take each year?
See above

4) Are you satisfied/happy with the amount of time off you can take?
See a theme here?  i'd be restricted by what i could manage and the medication i need to take.

5) What would be your ideal or dream vacation if money and time were no object?
Oooh, that would nice.  Venice again for sure, but a lot more of Italy to see and a good tour of Greece and the Islands before going North to Norway & Sweden, Denmark and so on.  Actually an extended trip around the world certainly - there's enough to keep me happy until i keel over!

Jamie is good but i'd prefer Genaro as he isn't so fixated on chillies like His Nibs!  Michel Rue, John Terode, James Martin maybe...

Not that i remember as i usually take the tags off all the labels at the back of my neck - they irritate me!

i think i did recently actually as the print on a top was pretty much identical inside and out

Washing up [no room for a dishwasher!], most of the cooking and all the weeding that i can't manage any more

Electronic games and gadjets, definitely mobile phones and yes, those stupid 'reality' shows

No interest in dinner... bacon & egg sandwich?
Later, guys!