Sunday, June 17, 2018

Specific gravity

Now there's a term I've not had cause to use since ... probably 1970. It came to mind this morning when I was thinking about cream.

In Tesco I asked the boy on the till if he had scales and if he could weigh the pot of cream for me. 
'Because I want to know how much it weighs.'
He looked puzzled. 'Why?'
'Because my recipe is in grams and this is in mls.'
'Oh. No.'

I bought three pots just in case.

Back home I emptied one into the basin of the scales. It turned out that 300mls weighed just less than 300g. And that's when it struck me. Well, not exactly struck so much as there was a stirring of the brain cogs.

Something was sending my brain a message. Something from school days. Something about specific gravity. Possibly. Whatever was relaying the message wasn't sure. But the theory goes like this. The specific gravity of something is to do with water. Something like 1 litre of water weighs 1 kilogram. Or maybe that was how they defined measurements in the beginning. So it might have nothing to do with SG.

Cream is only a bit thicker/heavier than water so ... a very rough estimate would have 300ml weighing in at 300g. I'm sure Stu will tell me if I'm wrong. Or Husband. Whoever gets here first. 

All these years and I never knew that. Well, I did know it but hadn't applied my knowledge. I wonder if in a year or so I will realise the value of log tables. What on earth were they about? Do they have anything at all to do with life?

Incidentally when I came to pay for my shopping I realised I had left my purse at home. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Andale! Andale!

Listening to BBC Radio Wales in the car this morning on my around-Swansea hunt for gluten-free wraps. I dislike Owen Money but he plays good music, the music of my generation. It's largely a request show and most of the requests are for birthdays for people who are in their sixties and seventies.
'What a lot of old people,' I was thinking when it occurred to me that I am of that age, that era, one of them.

But I'm not old!

But if someone on the radio says, 'I'd like this played is for my husband, Johnny, who's sixty-five today,' I don't relate to that. It's like a block in my brain. Sixty-five is old. I am sixty-five but I am not old. Everyone else may be but not me.

Incidentally if you see the word underlay do you immediately start saying, 'Underlay, underlay, underlay'?
speedy gonzales

Not that I'm old or anything.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Grave cleaning

Remember I visited my mum's grave some time ago? 
After that visit I arranged for a mason to clean and renovate the gravestone.
I am so pleased with the result.

Bloody Weirdo

The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir
By Lesley Allen

First of all don't read this if you're feeling a bit down. Otherwise do read this!
This story of a young girl, Biddy Weir, whose life is effectively taken from her by bullies, one in particular, who nicknames her Bloody Weirdo is searingly painful to read. 
It takes someone who notices and someone else who is willing to give time, energy and love to this bloody weirdo before Biddy eventually reaches a turning point. It's not all sorted out at the end but the ending is satisfactory and you can feel hope for the future for the real Biddy Weir. But oh dear, it's a hard journey. ****

Happiness for Humans
By PZ Reizin

Jen and Tom are the humans; Aiden and Aisling are the AI machines being taught to be 'human', or to appear human.
Jen's job is to talk to Aiden to improve his conversational skills but when her boyfriend leaves her for another woman Aiden decides it's time for him to find her the perfect mate. Not only that but to bring them together somehow.
And all works wonderfully well with our two humans falling in love. But then the developer of the machines suspects that Aiden and Aisling, who is helping Aiden, have gone rogue - which indeed they have - and sends out another AI named Sinai to track them down and delete them.

It's a love story and a great tale in which I ended up caring not only for the humans but their machines as well. It's also slightly worrying. Machines like Aiden and Sinai are already in existence and the potential threat they pose, should they truly go not only rogue but evil as well, is monumental. And because they're so intelligent they are aware of all the traps and safe-guards put in place by their developers to take effect in the case of rampant misbehaviour (for want of a better description).

In praise of bras

I bought two new bras last week. Expensive bras. But as I argued previously I'm worth it.

Today I wore for the first time the bra that is even more expensive than the expensive bra. It is wonderful. I love it.

It is comfortable, gives me a fabulous shape i.e. makes the most of what I've got, and makes me feel good. I was even tempted to take a photo of myself a-bra-ed but decided that was probably a step too far. So you'll have to take my word for it. 

Women, if you're wearing a saggy or ill-fitting bra - and research shows that far too many women do - go and get measured and splash out. It is so totally worth it.

Have I mentioned my bra is just so wonderful?

This is what it looks like on a model.
Empreinte bra

Anti-ageing is non PC

Over on his blog Nick writes that an American magazine has decided to stop using the phrase anti-ageing as it suggest ageing 'is a condition we need to battle'.

It always surprises me to realise I'm getting old. I am oblivious to it most of the time. It's only when I happen to be wearing my glasses and glance in the mirror that it strikes me afresh. A visit to the hairdresser's, where you are obliged to sit and look at yourself under bright lights, is worst of all. If my face creeps downwards any further it will  - I was going to say 'catch up with my boobs' but I realise they too are on the downward trek and ne'er the twain shall meet.

I confess I would like to be rid of my saggy jowls. But then I think: actually my eyelids are very heavy too; and those little creases in between my eyebrows make me look grumpy; and the bags under my eyes are packing cases. Let's face it, I am sixty-five and I've never paid huge attention to my skin or had a daily facial routine. I've washed - with soap which I discover is skin's enemy - and used Oil of Ulay, and that's it.

I do remember my mother's advice: always pat gently around your eyes and use upward movements when applying cream to your face. I remember the advice; I just never used it. Little wonder then that, although I like to think I look young for my age, my skin tells a different story.

It's the fact that the ageing of my face makes me look grumpy that upsets me most of all. I'm not a miserable person. On the contrary I'm a jolly little bunny. So to have my face telling lies is very annoying. I am trying to get into the habit of keeping a Mona Lisa smile on my face but I fear this just makes me look demented.

Oh well. Husband loves me as I am so all's well with the world.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Me in a bee suit

Just gave the bees a good talking-to. 

Younger Son is on holiday until Saturday evening and the bees are getting ready to swarm. I told them they must not even think about swarming until he is back.

Should they decide to ignore me and swarm anyway I am under instructions to follow them and keep them in my sight. As long as they stay in my view they are still mine (or YS's anyway). I can see me trampling through people's back gardens saying, 'Excuse me, excuse me, I just have to follow the bees.'

I have further instructions. If they stop, in a tree for example, I am to put the spare hive underneath them before banging the tree with a big stick - that should make them fall into the hive. 'Put the bee suit on first,' Younger Son reminded me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Beauty out of ugly things

I was leading the bible study in Zac's last night. Normally I ask one of the men to call everyone to attention but yesterday, in a nod to the suffragettes, I decided, 'I don't need a man! I can do it.' 

And I did! 

Fortunately there weren't that many people in. Enough chatty ones to keep the discussion going though. I only had retake control a couple of times by leaping in when someone stopped to breathe and continuing talking (over and) pretending I didn't hear further attempts to prolong the distraction. Go me!

A really lovely passage (Ephesians 2:1-10) about grace and the love of God. It's liberating to realise there's nothing you have to do, no bar to reach, no ladder to climb, no palms to grease, in order to experience God's love and grace. Not only nothing you have to do but nothing you can do.

'Grace makes beauty out of ugly things.'
Grace by U2

If humans had ringtones

Spent the morning making a cake for Heather for a baby shower. Not for Heather you understand.
I have to say it looks better in the photo than it does in real life. You can't see the cracks and the joins and the sludgey bits in the photo.

But I think it will be added to my list of personal favourite cakes, along with the cake I made for the wedding of two spider lovers
and GrandDaughter1's 3rd birthday cake.
Prior to that I did a lot of lying in the sun, going into prison - a bit of a rumpus in there - before more lying in the sun, preparing to lead bible study in Zac's, childminding GrandDaughter2, and ... I think that's it.

If humans had ringtones mine would be, 'I'm sorry I didn't ... I've been a bit busy.'

Saturday, June 09, 2018

A bad bird and a lost dog

The magpies are treating our garden as a self-service restaurant.

We have two lots of nesting birds but they're both coal tits while the magpies are currently terrorising baby blue tits. We noticed them again this morning hounding and trying to pick off the babies. I remember Uncle Horace telling me years ago that magpies were nasty birds but I've seen it for myself now. Every time I see one now I shoo it away and try to be as frightening as possible but as they stroll off carelessly they just give me, 'Seriously?' looks. I just hope that when 'our' babies make their appearance I have my water pistol to hand.

Walking George in the afternoon I passed a woman with a whippet. A little further on our walk we came across a lone whippet. I deduced - just call me Sherlock - he belonged to the same woman although he was a long way behind her and she hadn't shown any signs of the anxiety that I would be feeling were George so distant.

We - George and me - turned around and headed back with the whippet trotting along with us. Then he decided we weren't going anywhere interesting and turned around again. We followed and I put the lead on him this time. We walked back towards the car park and as soon as Mum came in sight I let him off thinking he'd run straight to her. He ran the opposite direction.

George, who'd been slightly perplexed by me putting his lead on another dog as well as the backwards and forwards walk, said, 'Come on, we've done our bit. I want my walk now,' so we left them to it. I assume she caught him in the end.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Sometimes it takes a while

Something occurred to me this morning: I could have done my administrative job even though I wasn't going to church.

Backtrack. I used to be the administrator of Linden Church. A few years ago I decided I would stop attending church services because* I wanted to concentrate on Zac's. My exact words in my letter to the trustees, my bosses, were, 'I'm taking time out.' It was read as, 'You're leaving.'

Soon after that I was due for my annual review. I turned up innocently not expecting what happened. The trustees I was meeting with said they didn't see how I could continue to work for the church if I wasn't part of the church. They suggested I went away and thought about it.

I was amazed. I told Husband and he said, 'Why are you surprised?'
'Well, because ... I hadn't expected that.'
'They were bound to say that,' he said.

So I thought about it and offered my resignation.

It has taken the years since for me to come to terms with this. I hadn't appreciated how much I had been hurt. I hadn't acknowledged it and therefore couldn't deal with it. But time is a healer and I've made progress - deliberately taking action to repair the damage.

But even so every now and again, for some reason, it stings afresh. Like this morning. I told Husband about my realisation. He said, 'It was the best thing you ever did leaving work there.' Which is a sad reflection but not one that should be seen as mirroring the people in the church as a whole.

*I kept finding excuses not to go on Sunday mornings.

A lovely day that ended badly

After looking after GrandSon4 this morning while Nuora was preparing for their holiday starting tomorrow I worked on my next article for The Bay this afternoon. Then played again with GrandSon4 when they came around to check the bees before holidaying.

So far so good.

Dinner followed by some television. Husband was trying to get BBC iplayer to work when there was a kerfuffle outside and a bird banged into the window. A blue tit was flying around in an agitated fashion so I got up to see what was going on.

A magpie had a baby blue tit in its mouth. I banged the window and the magpie dropped its prey. I rushed outside but I was too late: baby blue tit was dead. I tried massaging its tiny chest but it was still.

I buried it in the garden.

Husband pointed out that I probably deprived a baby magpie of its supper and I know it's the way of nature but I don't care. Nasty birds.