Sunday, January 20, 2019

When might one need a finger dressing?

We are in the process of cleaning out Uncle's flat in the hope that we can begin letting it soon. Younger Son and Nuora have been living there but they've bought their own house now so it's empty.

'What have you broken?' Husband asks.
'A champagne glass.'
Of course. A champagne glass is so very Uncle.

Among the things I brought home was an old first aid kit. I saved the plasters and was about to discard the rest when I noticed a Finger Dressing. 'Hm, that might be useful; I'd better keep that.'

Quickly followed by: actually I've lived sixty-six years without needing recourse to a Finger Dressing; I can probably get along with it now.

Do you think I'm getting the hang of this decluttering malarkey?

* * * * * * * *
Thinking about fingers reminded me of an incident in the car recently.

A driver first pulled in straight across my lane in front of me to get to the inner lane and then pulled out again equally abruptly straight in front of me. I was so annoyed I made a rude gesture at him.

I didn't really. Well, only half-heartedly. I was drumming my fingers on the steering wheel to the music and I sort of let them stick up of their own accord so all four fingers were up and it's probably only rude in some remote corner of deepest Ukraine.

Friday, January 18, 2019

You can call TIM and he's Scottish

Can one still phone TIM I wonder?

Discussing time with friend, Vivien, over our hazelnut ice cream baskets in Verdi's earlier today we decided a computer timepiece could be reliable or not depending on its programming.

Every clock in our house is different. If it were only two or three minutes it would be okay but the variation is more like twenty minutes, which really isn't okay if I have to be somewhere. hence the question about TIM.

For non-Brit readers TIM was the talking clock: at the third stroke the time will be ...

Yes, you can! And today's TIM has a lovely Scottish accent. And it turns out that both the computer clock and my watch are right, although admittedly my watch was definitely five minutes slow when I arrived at school to pick up GrandDaughter2 the other day. (Fortunately I'm always to pick her up so I wasn't that late.)

Stockpiling priorities

Just had a thought following Debra's comments on the post about George in which she said, 'We all have our priorities.' So, should I be stockpiling Maltesers? Just in case?

Perhaps more to the point, where could I keep them to stop me eating them?

I shall have to give this some serious thought.

Pinning, tweeting and FaceBooking

I am spending every free moment working on 'growing my online presence'. The quote marks are mine as it's very much an in phrase. At least it is in the world of social media. In which I am living at the moment.

So I'm trawling FaceBook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts to find those with similar interests, and while there are plenty of readers, reviewers, even writers, hardly any of them are out of their twenties, while I am, well, quite a long way out of my twenties.

Following a link Debra gave me I have joined the Insecure Writers' Support Group but maybe I should search for an Older Female Writer Support Group. Or start one myself. (No, I've got too much to do already.)

I am confused often. I frequently have no idea what is being talked about. I don't even understand the language - especially acronyms - that many use. I sometimes don't know whether I'm on FaceBook or Twitter. So I grumble a lot.

This morning I said to Husband, 'Am I just wasting my time?'
'No,' he said. 'You have a new purpose, something to aim for. And you're enjoying it, aren't you?'
'Yes, I am.'
'So that's fine then.'

I do love Husband.

George, Brexit and stockpiling

George and I were listening to an item on the radio about Brexit. I say 'we' but George had his eyes closed and wasn't really paying attention until someone said something about stockpiling. He lifted his head up and looked at me, 'What's stockpiling? And why are people stockpiling vital supplies?'
'It's buying and storing extra things, like food and medicine, in case it runs out.'
'Runs out?' He was sitting up and paying attention now.
'There is some concern that if we leave the EU without a deal there could be some shortages.'
'Are you stockpiling my food?'
'Why not? What if I run out?'
'In that unlikely event you'll eat meat from the butcher.'
'Like you eat you mean?'
'Probably cheaper cuts but yes.'

He settled down only to sit up again a few moments later. 'What about my treats?'
'No, I'm not stockpiling treats.'
'What if I run out?'
I shrugged.
'You'll have to give me people biscuits,' he nodded hopefully.
'No way. They're much too sweet for dogs.'
'What will I get then if I'm good?'
'An extra big pat and a word of commendation.'
His eyebrows would have flown off his forehead if he'd had eyebrows. 

We finally agreed that, if it looks as if the worst is going to happen, I'll buy extra treats. We're still in negotiation about when, how close to 29th March, I'll be doing that. George thinks I should get them now just to be sure; I'm thinking of sending him to talk to Teresa May. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Brexit schmexit

That's what George says as he goes outside for his daily 8.30 am poo. He's not going to let a load of stupid politicians upset his routine.

Maybe we should all take his advice. It seems to me there is very little we can do to affect the outcome now. It's out of our hands. So we should bunker down, get in supplies, plant vegetables, and 'hope for the best'. 

As parents if our child comes to us wanting to do something we will find out the cost, and the likelihood of harm or long-term adverse effects; we will take expert advice if necessary. If it turns out that it is going to cost too much or cause them harm either now or for their future, then as responsible parents we would say, 'No.' 

They might kick and scream and lock themselves in their rooms but they'd come down for breakfast. Yes, they may still not be speaking to us but they'd get over it eventually.

It seems to me that the over-riding majority of experts from finance, business, the arts or science communities, have the same thoughts about leaving Europe: it's not a good thing. If only the government would listen and take their advice.
Excuse language!

Monday, January 14, 2019

B-Day approaches

Tomorrow is a big day. Parliament will be voting on the deal Mrs May has arrived at with the EU. From what I understand she's likely to lose the vote as the deal pleases almost no-one.

As a remainer I would be pleased if the government would just turn around and say, 'We've carefully considered all the options and we've presented the best deal to you. What we intend to do now is what we consider best for the country: revoke Article 50 and stay in the EU.'

That's not likely to happen.

Indeed, if it were to, there would be trouble. Brexiteers are already threatening violence and riots. That's the problem you see. We Remainers show our anger by signing online petitions, writing to our MP and, if we're really cross, to The Times. The other side, well, I don't want to stereotype but ...

In happier news I had seven forms of heart-attack while walking alongside Swansea canal with GrandSon4 this morning. His insistence that, 'Ardo* do it,' was pretty determined even when it meant leaning over the muddy edge of the bank to throw in a stick. (*His name is Leonardo.) As was his insistence that I pick up an old Doritos packet that was flying around and, 'put in bin.' He's going to be a ferocious eco warrior when he grows up.
Read carefully.

Also I can't help but compare his hair with mine. I have to pay loads of money to have highlights like his put in.
natural highlights in hair
Meanwhile over on notanotherwannabewriter I continue to struggle to get to grips with connecting with people on social media, a small detail that is essential if I am to 'increase my audience.' 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

I don't need a man any more

Elder Son has pointed out to me that the reason for my sudden increase in views recently could have been, not the mention of Miele as I suggested, but the title of my post, 'I need a man.'

Makes more sense I suppose. And therein lies the key to increased traffic ...

Anyway, I went to hang out washing this morning and ended up doing some gardening. I couldn't find a shears or secateurs so I pruned my hellebores with a scissors.
It's probably the wrong time of year to prune but, hey, those big leaves were just lying about doing nothing.  

I'd like to point out that I was responsible for planting the hellebores - after becoming enamoured of them on Rosalie's site - and they are one of the few plants that has survived my attentions. Husband does most of the gardening as I am infamously bad at nurturing plants. I'm only good at clearing gardens. So I am rather pleased with my success. They have flourished year by year in spite of - or maybe because of - my inattention. I hope the pruning doesn't upset them.

And what I wonder is the collective noun for long-tailed tits. There must be one as they always travel in gangs.
You can only see two in this picture but there must have been about seven of them altogether. they are the cutest little things.

P.S. The RSPB simply calls them a flock; other alternatives put forward include volery (most popular) and zephyr.
P.P.S. Who comes up with collective noun words for birds anyway? Who decided it should be a murder of crows or an asylum of cuckoos? 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Breech baby, breech baby, give me your hand

Many years ago, about thirty-seven in fact, when I was pregnant with Elder Son - middle child - it was discovered that he was upside down in the womb. The doctor had a go at turning him round but she didn't seem to try awfully hard and he stayed the same wrong way up for birth.

In those days, back in the dark ages, c-sections weren't automatically offered/encouraged for breech babies as they are today, so it was just a normal labour and birth. Normal-ish.

It must have been a quiet night in the labour ward as there were three midwives in the delivery room. Because baby was breech he had to be delivered with forceps by a doctor. In this case a trainee doctor. (Four people.) Who had to be accompanied by an experienced consultant. (Five people.) In case of emergencies an anaesthetist had to be present. (Six people.) And I am convinced there were two of those too. (Seven people plus Husband and me, making nine of us.)

Party time!

'We'll just fix your legs up in these stirrups.' 
'And get the forceps ready.'
'Now, let's go.'

To be honest I don't remember it being any worse than my other labours and all was well when he came out. 

I've heard a breech baby described as someone who will look at life differently. Elder Son tells me that in work his cheerfulness/contentment/niceness is regularly commented on. He's certainly very laid back and happy with life.

Maybe coming out bum first means that rather than saying, 'Oh no, is this the world? It looks a bit scary,' you're saying, 'This is me! Ready for an adventure!' 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Do you know your Pinterest from your Instagram?

Trying to be more business-like about my writing and self-promoting I am following hints from 'experts' You know the sort of thing. Fifty top tips to increase your followers. Writing a headline that grabs. Pinterest pins for maximum pinning. 

All begin with the words, 'It's simple to ...'

They lie. They don't tell you you need a first class honours degree in Geekness and a PhD in Nerdiness in order to understand their language.

As an ex civil servant when I see SEO I instantly think of Senior Executive Officer. Apparently in today's world it means something to do with search engines. Which in turn are something to do with making your blog/website more popular. Don't ask me to be more specific.

online presence
I am currently tackling Pinterest. Tomorrow I take on Instagram. The next day the world will be mine.

P.S. You can find me - or rather the other me, the, ahem, professional me - on Pinterest here.
P.P.S. I'm also on it as the real me but don't ask me where that is.

More Miele

Washing-machine repair man came day before yesterday and he fixed it! Yay! Happy bunny dance.

I couldn't test it until yesterday evening - too busy - but I'm pleased to report the wash cycle that should take 37 minutes took just that.

Apparently the water heater had gone. Does that mean I've been washing my clothes in cold water all this time? 

Repair man wasn't very communicative but he did his job so that's fine.

Vampires, solitaire and chocolate fingers

Nearly choked on a chocolate finger. It would have been a very appropriate way to go.

Sitting down earlier I was overcome with a weepiness, a feeling of wanting to cry fro absolutely no reason. I didn't: I very rarely actually cry. I decided I could either continue to sit there and mope or I could pull myself together and do something.

I chose the latter.

I'm one of the fortunate ones: my depression very rarely causes complete inertia. A physical task, like changing the bed in this case, usually distracts enough to take my mind off my misery. Followed by a walk with George and I'm ready to sit down again but be more productive this time. 

Rather than playing solitaire and hating myself for wasting time but seemingly unable to stop, I am, well, multi-tasking at the moment.

Conversing on FaceBook with one friend, writing this post and thinking about re-vamping another blog all at vaguely the same time. Really of course I'm only doing one thing at any one moment so can it be said to be multi-tasking? Probably not. But I'm re-energised so I'm fine.

* * * * * * * *
I read an interesting article this week about emotional vampires and while I am regularly haunted by one, another came at me out of the blue this morning. I was, for me, quite unsympathetic, offered my advice and made my apologies, saying I had to go.

I know this vampire would have gone on and on, not really listening, arguing with any of my suggestions, just waiting until I said what she wanted to hear. (Although in this case I'm not entirely sure what it was.)

Children, grown-ups and me

Nuora used to say that children were attracted to me, mainly because, at library rhyme times, toddlers would regularly become transfixed by me, no doubt for all sorts of reasons.

Yesterday I took GrandSon4 to a new playgroup for the first time. At the end, one child, with whom I'd had no interaction, came and kissed me goodbye; another little boy who was clearing things up brought them to me; and a little girl just sat and stared at me - ditto all sorts of reasons.

I think it must be because I relate better to children. They're more on my level. I can do imaginary adventures much better than small talk.

Speaking of adventures, while looking for treasure in Harry's Park in Alltwen, I found this rock.
NPT Rocks

It's the first decorated rock I've found for a long time, and I've brought it home and will re-hide it in Mumbles.