Wednesday, October 31, 2007
A woman was telling us that her father was seriously ill and that she was very worried. I offered to pray for her. She was a leading light in the local Anglican church so I wasn't stepping much out of my comfort zone to do this, you understand. She said she'd be pleased if I would. So I said, 'Okay, let's do it then.' At which point she realised I meant there and then, burst into tears and ran away.
It's a knack I have.
I thought she was a gypsy - one regularly used to call on me and I have a collection of lace doilies to prove it - and I feared I was going to end up with yet another one. But she was a Jehovah's Witness. On her own. They always travel in pairs; that's what fooled me.
Now if I'd been a good Christian I'd have invited her in, given her a cup of tea and explained the error of her ways. But I didn't. But at least I didn't take up her kind offer of a free copy of The Watchtower. So that's an improvement on the past!
* * * * * * * * * *
Door-knocking is a horrible job. As a householder I hate the intrusion on my privacy, but as a sucker (see earlier post) I can't just shut the door on them.
Younger Son works for a company involved in encouraging council tenants to buy their own homes. Normally he's in the office but today and yesterday he's been out knocking on doors. Some of his calls yesterday evening took place in the dark and some of the houses had doors at the side, down unlit passages. He said, 'I knocked at one door, a woman answered it, saw me and screamed.'
Now, have you seen Younger Son? He is a big and hairy lad. I can understand how he frightened people! But he's very sweet really.
Apparently one person mistook him for rugby player, Colin Charvis, who is at least 10 years older - and black.
Still if he plays his cards right tonight, he might pick up a few treats.
Although he did qualify his agreement. He said he'd been grumbling to God about the state of the American church and God had reminded him that 'She may be a whore but she's still my wife.'
Anyway, Pastor Bob was/is committed to be on the edge - wherever the edge is. He spends most of his time with musicians - black metal, goth, vampire - and he says, 'I work with people just like me.' He's played and worked with plenty of successful bands and he's been a pastor for 32 years. 'At times I've had death threats and had to have bodyguards against Christians who've labelled me satanic.'
On this All Hallow's Eve, I'll finish by telling you about the church Pastor Bob has been involved with in London: the Church of the Glorious Undead.
P.S. Not that this is intended solely for jmb but for anyone who enjoys a good read. It's just that jmb sprang to mind. And I think Welshcakes has heard me mention Persephone before. And ... I'll stop now before I dig a deeper hole.xx
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Myself replied, 'Who are you kidding?'
I might be stupid but at least I'm honest.
P.S. Should that be 'Whom are you kidding?'? I think it should in theory but it would sound really silly. Should I have two question marks? Is anybody still reading?
P.P.S. I think I'll make welshcakes.
While in Sainsburys I remembered I was on the rota to make a cake for the community cafe for Wednesday. 'That's okay,' I said to myself. 'I can think about what sort of cake to make and get the ingredients next time I'm out.' (Have you spotted the flaw in this plan yet?)
I arrived home and started unloading the shopping when I realised: it's Wednesday tomorrow. 'Oh, bungee jumping!'
I blame it on Sainsburys. Time stands still in there.
And do you know what? You can get your flu vaccination there too. 'I'm off to Sainsburys to get some potatoes and a flu jab; I could be gone some time.' Certainly if I react to an injection the way I react to needles - or more specifically blood - I could be there a very long time.
Monday, October 29, 2007
And now in these days of Big Brother, I can only assume that my file that circulates virtuality has 'Sucker' stamped on the front in big black print.
In the last three days I've received two packs of Christmas cards, one from the foot and mouth people and one from someone else whose name escapes me. The return envelope included is only large enough for a donation - not to return the cards. I refuse to be coerced into buying cards I don't want and I don't see why I should go out of my way to find an envelope and pay postage to return them.
On the other hand I would feel too guilty if I used them so they are destined to go into my 'card box' until I die. And I'll still feel guilty.
But not that much.
P.S. I do buy charity Christmas cards but they're ones of my choosing, and I know the foot and mouth artists are very clever but I just don't like their cards. And now I feel bad about that. Which is stupid and disablist.
Apart from the fact that that is an awful lot, doesn't it give you a clearer image than saying 32,000 cubic metres (or whatever it was)?
Friday, October 26, 2007
I followed the instructions on the machine and stuck my cheque in. The machine spat it out. I tried again, very carefully making sure I had everything the right way up and round; the machine spat it out again. I muttered to myself and went and asked a little helper. 'Of course, I'll come and help you. Now, tell me, what do you want to do? Pay in a cheque is it? Right now just touch the screen, just there. Well done, that's right, and do you want a receipt?' And so on; she very patiently talked me through everything I'd already done, then she put the cheque in and - it worked.
In the car park afterwards I went to pay. Now there is always a problem in the car park as there are three machines and two invariably have hand-written notices stuck on them saying they don't accept notes. And the only one that does is at the opposite end of the car park. I went there, queued, then fed my note in. It spat it out.
I banged my head on the side of the machine then I took out my ticket, picked up all my carrier bags, stuffed my purse under my arm and stumbled to the attendant's office where the attendant was sitting with his feet up. I asked him for change for the machine. 'No,' he said, 'that machine will give you change.'
'No, it won't. I've tried it. It spat my money out.'
Reluctantly he left his comfy seat and we went back to the machine. We queued again then he put in my £10 note. It worked straightaway.
I'm just glad I didn't need to be resuscitated using one of those shabom!-machines. The day I'd had with machines I'd probably have blown its fuse.
I don't have a problem with Dumbledore being gay. At least I don't think I do. Do I? No, I'm sure I don't because it doesn't matter. Now, I know gay people will say that, of course, sexuality matters, and I agree that it does. And JK will say that it does matter for the character, but it can't matter that much or it would have been integral to the story. And it wasn't; it's cropped up some months later as an 'oh yes and by the way'. I think that's what has annoyed me. It seems somehow dishonest. She's said there were clues in the book but I don't think I'm the only one who's failed to pick up on them.
Over the last few years I've read Atonement (Ian McEwan) and Diary of an Ordinary Woman (Margaret Forster), and though both books were good and I enjoyed reading them - although the lead character in Diary was most unlikeable - when I finished, I felt cheated. I won't explain in case you haven't read the books, but I don't like books that leave me feeling like that. And this is a similar sort of feeling.
If it's important then it should be in the book and be relevant to the plot and be obvious. You know, have Dumbledore mincing down the corridor and calling everyone luvvie. (Some people can't tell when I'm joking: that is a joke.) If it's not, say nothing.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
My thought is that now that she's finished writing the HP series, JK was worried that her source of income might dry up and so has decided to tap into the gay community. Her next book will be Hogwarts: The Prequel, in which it's revealed that the real reason Snape hates James Potter and Sirius Black is that, after leading him on and having their way with him, they threw him out of their love triangle. That will be followed by the pre-prequel, Dumbledore: The Fruiting.
Pah! Next they'll be telling me that when Five Have Plenty of Fun, it's an entirely different sort of fun from that I imagined Dick, George, Julian and Anne having when Aunt Fanny wasn't looking.
And now, you see, I was so busy thinking about Dumbledore, I can't remember if I put any deodorant on. If I start smelling in the hairdressers, it'll be JK Rowling's fault.
Postscript: Daughter found this quote on the BBC news report.
And a spokesman for gay rights group Stonewall added: "It's great that JK has said this. It shows that there's no limit to what gay and lesbian people can do, even being a wizard headmaster."
"... many church communities tend to be like a boiled egg or a fried egg on toast, where the edges are clearly defined - there's a yellow bit, a white bit - you can see the line that separates them and another edge onto the toast. It's safe, presentable and neat. Zac's however is most definitely more like scrambled egg on toast. There's yellow bits and white bits all mashed in together, it's cooked, it tastes good and it nourishes, but the edge of anything, even the toast and plate is almost impossible to find."
At Zac's last night, and afterwards, there was an idea fizzing round my head but I couldn't quite grab it to put substance to it. I'm not sure even now if it's properly formulated but I think the egg analogy is helping.
We're studying the gospel of John and last night we read the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. Jews hated Samaritans and would have nothing to do with them yet Jesus went out of his way to meet one. He shocked her because he asked her for a drink of water. Now for a Jew to drink from the same cup as a Samaritan would have rendered him unclean and the woman knew that and said as much. The conversation goes on until the woman realises that this is someone special. She goes and tells other Samaritans who ask Jesus to stay with them and teach them. Which he does.
'What's the point of this story?' Sean asked.
'To show that it's for everyone, that no-one's better than anyone else.' The speaker, a young lad of about 22 maybe, hasn't been to Zac's before. I talk to him later and he says he only really came for the tea and food but that he's tried to read the Bible before and he couldn't understand it. Yet it seems to me that he's understood it better than some so-called religious people who discriminate on grounds that someone or something doesn't fit in with their theology.
* * * * * * * * *
And now I can't decide whether I should write this next bit or not. Ho hum. Oh well. You can only think the worse of me for it.
This young lad said he'd like a Bible he could understand. Someone showed him a copy of The Street Bible. He looked at it and then at the price and said he couldn't afford £9.99. I privately resolved to buy one and take it for him next week (if he's there). Later he said he wanted to phone one of the prison chaplains (he's only just released) but he didn't have the money or know the number. I suggested he talk to Sean who'd be able to put him in touch with the right people.
And now there's this bit of me that thinks he didn't really want a Bible but was hoping a soft-touch would give him some money. Or the money for a phone call plus a little extra. (I was tempted but that's not the way at Zac's.)
But there's another bit of me that thinks even if that were the case - and I don't know if it were - there was still the hope that something was stirring his soul, some connection was being made that was real and powerful. That he was being splashed by the living water.
I hope it will turn out better than the last soup I made at home, the vile taste of which was not improved by the presence of bits of glass.
In 2001 an Indian census estimated that 40% of rural homes don’t have a separate kitchen. As the main fuel used is biomass, such as cow-dung, and there is little ventilation, the resulting smoke with its dangerous gases and chemicals fills the house and is a serious risk to health, especially for women who spend most time in the kitchen. The WHO reports that indoor air pollution is claiming 500,000 lives (mostly women and children) in India every year.
The WHO also says that because indoor air pollution isn't sexy enough, people aren't willing to donate money to combat the problem. And it's not just lack of finance.
"Women are constantly exposed to chulha smoke in India due to several cultural mindsets. The men in villages would complain that the taste of food lacks their favourite burnt flavour if there was no smoke. They also don't want to create ventilation as they think it would compromise with their privacy. Some villagers think smoke would keep mosquitoes and snakes away," Hildebrand said.
Uma Rajarathnam from The Energy and Resources Institute said one person dies every 20 seconds from fuel-induced illness. According to the World Health Report 2002, indoor air pollution is responsible for 2.7% of the global burden of disease.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
And, what's more ...
I had a phone call from the community cafe this morning asking how I made the carrot and coriander (aka stand-up-on-its-own) soup on Monday. They've had lots of compliments and wanted to recreate it. How did I make it? Um, well, this and a bit of that and ...
It's been a good Wednesday so far. (It is Wednesday, isn't it?)
In 1931 the recovery of a twelve year old boy who had slipped off the edge of the docks was his first ‘proper’ rescue but it was the second rescue, that of a swimmer in difficulties between two piers, that brought Jack his first taste of fame. The event was reported in the local newspaper and the council organised a collection and rewarded Jack with a silver collar.
Following another rescue a few months later, Jack was made an honorary member of the national Tail Waggers Club, whose motto was ‘I help my pals’. The Tail Waggers featured Jack in their magazine and he received a silver medallion ‘For Bravery’.
Over the next few years Swansea Jack saved many more people from drowning including sailors, fishermen and swimmers. Many of these were reported in the local and national press and Jack’s fame spread.
Jack’s uncanny ability to spot trouble wasn't restricted to humans: a cocker spaniel stuck in the mud had reason to be grateful to Jack as did a sackful of unwanted puppies who survived thanks to Jack and the care his master gave them.
By September 1935, Jack’s total for human rescues was twenty one and he was invited to a special ceremony at Swansea Guildhall where he was presented with a shield from the PDSA and a bronze medal from the National Canine Defence League.
In November of the same year, Jack took part in an exhibition of ‘Brave Dogs’ organised by the Daily Mirror. He was one of very few dogs to receive the Daily Mirror collar for bravery and was included on the Daily Mirror Roll of Honour.
In September 1936 when he was chosen by the national newspaper to be ‘The Star Bravest Dog of the Year’ but just one year after this triumph, and aged seven, Swansea Jack became ill and died, seemingly as a result of eating rat poison.
William Thomas buried Jack in a quiet spot at the end of his garden but three weeks after his death, due to public demand, Jack was buried again on the seafront. A fund to pay for a memorial stone was started and money came in from all over the world. One year later, in a service attended by the Mayor and other local dignitaries, the memorial was unveiled.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Today I opened Betty's passenger door and found a card down the side of the seat. 'Goody,' I said. 'Andy's card.' But I turned it over and found it was addressed to Deni.
It was Deni's birthday in September, and I didn't even know I'd lost her card.
There is very little hope I fear.
* * * * * * * * *
I do sometimes wonder if I am speaking a different language from others.
The email conversation (in brief) went like this.
Me: Please do this.
Me (some weeks later): Have you done this yet?
Her: When are you going to do this for me?
I used to work with an ex-public-schoolboy with Boris Johnson hair before Boris had it. He was fond of saying, as he ran his fingers through his floppy fringe, 'I despair!' I know what he means.
* * * * * * * * * *
In circuits last night, by chance, one of the songs playing was Can you feel it? by The Jacksons (I think). Jane Fonda used the same song on her workout record many years ago. To this day I can't hear it without clenching my bottom. Going for the burn.
Speaking of bottoms and circuits, when I box, my bottom wobbles.
* * * * * * * * *
I did the What movie? quiz again, with more questions and altering some of my answers: I still got Apocalypse Now. Alun says it is very significant. Until I find, and deal with, my shadow I can never be truly happy.
My arts therapist says much the same thing.
I think I'm happy now. But happy with myself? That's another story.
What Classic Movie Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com
* * * * * * * * * *
You can buy your own wind turbine at B&Q! Doesn't that sound great? A little windmill in your own garden.
* * * * * * * * * *
I must try and conquer this phobia I have of odd numbers. When I set the post time, it has to be an even number. Unless it's 5, 15 or 25. 21's not bad either. But 22:07? No chance.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I don't mind: it's the sort of gardening I do best, killing things.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
'Be quiet! Get out! Can't you see I'm listening the Archers!'
No longer will that scenario take place in our house. No longer will I have to plan meals around the sacred time of 7.00 pm. Not now I can sign up for the Archers podcast and it will be sent to me daily!
I've signed up. I think. I seem to have lost it already. But it must be there somewhere.
So, Welshcakes, you need never miss an episode again. Or any other number of programmes. It's so exciting. Almost as exciting as watching Dave last night.
Husband was channel-hopping when he came across QI. We settled down to watch it and after a while I said, 'Why has it got Dave written in the corner of the screen?' Husband didn't know.
Today I mentioned it to both sons, both of whom knew. It's a new channel. Called Dave.
Of course it is.
He said efforts to promote exercise and healthy eating had to go "further and faster" ... (Online Telegraph)
Is it me? But what exactly can the government do that's not already being or been done to make people aware of obesity, health and a good diet?
Trans fats (hydrogenated fats) are used in fast foods and are believed to be implicated in causing heart attacks. The Health Minister is set to ban them. Okay, so there is something the government can do.
But anyone living in this country must be aware of the dangers of being fat, the need for a healthy diet and exercise, the harm that too much fast food can do. I don't believe anyone could possibly be unaware. Yet we're still turning into a nation of fatties.
I have a healthy diet and I exercise yet I'm over-weight. I know it and I try - on a daily basis - to change that. And most days I fail because I'm greedy, lazy or depressed. But that's my fault. All the food labelling or regulation in the world isn't going to alter that.
But, yes, the government should be making sure that food is as healthy - or less unhealthy - as it can be. And that advertising and how shops stock and sell their ware is done thoughtfully for the sake of the consumer rather than the shopkeeper. Other than that it's up to the individual, isn't it? I'm not blaming the government for trying; I'm just wondering why they're bothering.
But then again maybe there is something they can do...
They could urge the BBC to rewrite Eastenders. They could have Dot could giving Jim a nice bowl of All Bran for breakfast. Phil Mitchell could be seen eating a banana as he walks down the street. Ian Beale could convert the chip shop into a salad and baguette bar. Peggy Mitchell could don her sweat pants and jog round the square before dropping into the cafe for a freshly squeezed orange juice or smoothie. I think it could be a winner.
I can't claim all the credit for this of course. It was done years ago in The Archers (a radio soap based in the countryside). Part of its mission statement was to be a source of education and information for the general public and the farming community in particular.
And on that point I have some fantastic news for Welshcakes - but I'll start that in a new post.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Daughter introduced me to this book a few years ago and since then I've bought it for every new baby - or at least those whose parents I knew wouldn't object.
It's about a little mole who wakes up one morning to find a pile of poo on his head. He sets off to find out who was responsible. He asks the seagull if it were him; the seagull says, 'No, this is how I do it,' and proceeds to demonstrate. And so on. All the animals Little Mole encounters show him exactly how they do it.
It's great fun - children love anything to do with poo or bottoms - as well as being educational!
Another of his posts looks at comparative food prices where he is and where we are. One of the foods he enquires about is the simple egg. Except it's anything but simple when I go to buy them in Sainsburys.
The egg shelf is the one place that is guaranteed to get me standing there muttering to myself. 'For goodness' sake.'
All I want is 6 large free-range eggs. I'm offered: woodland, organic woodland, barn, organic barn, eggs rich in omega-something, golden-yolked, rare breeds' eggs, brown, Old Cotswold, Prince-Charles-hand-picked-these-eggs.
I start to hyperventilate, grab anything that says 6 and large, and move on. (I'll worry later about what I'm going to do with a pack of condoms.) And don't get me started about bread ...
The first is an invitation from the doctor to have a flu vaccination. It is recommended for those over 65 or with certain chronic conditions. I am neither. And that will be on my records at the surgery, so why have they invited me? Unless they know something I don't know ...
I'm pretty sure I don't have a chronic condition - I think I would have noticed - so the only reason that looks possible from the list in the letter is 'absence of spleen'. They must have read my blog and, seeing an absence of spleen, drawn their own conclusions.
I had better vent my spleen more often.
The other letter was also an invitation, this time to a workshop, to 'discover the secrets of making money through property investment'.
Now they must think I have money to invest. Presumably they've done some financial research to give them that idea - but if they've done financial research they'll have found out that I'm a part-time church administrator that even the tax-man feels sorry for. They need better researchers. Gissa job!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
It's the same principle that makes me wear knickers under my nightie when Husband is away - no, wait let me explain. If I had to confront a burglar I would feel so terribly vulnerable without my knickers. Although the sight of me in the middle of the night in my nightie would probably scare the burglar so much he'd fall down the stairs, break a leg and sue me.
A man came to work on Friday to quote for putting safety film on the windows. He said he does a lot of work in schools and for the police and if, for example, a schoolboy, in a fit of pique punched a window, broke it and cut his hand, he could sue the school for not having safety glass. How ridiculous is that?
The game between England and France is about to begin ...
Saturday, October 13, 2007
You'd think that finding sticks in a wood would be easy. It's not. It was ever thus. I remember Harvey getting impatient, standing round barking ('That's not going to help me find a stick, is it?!') as I kept him waiting to chase. He was oblivious to the fact that if he hadn't eaten the previous stick he wouldn't have had to wait.
Now I come to think of it, in 15 years of stick-eating, Harvey probably managed to munch his way through most of the woods. No wonder there are no sticks left.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
She is the pantiest dog I've ever met. She rarely wees, not needing to as most of the fluid drips off her tongue. She's very sweet though.
She carries her stick all the time when we're out. I say, 'Let me carry it for you; I won't throw it.' But she doesn't trust me. She says, 'I'm not giving it to you; you'll throw it again.' Or rather she says, 'Iuumm nurhn, girbbing i t uuu etc' because she has a stick in her mouth.
Her paw is all right now but her mouth is bleeding. But what can you expect when you chew sticks? It's a good job Linda is back on Sunday. Cleo'd be a wreck if she had to stay with me any longer. (She's a bit of a pampered pooch at home.)
* * * * * * * * * *
I'm about to start researching Asian cookery for a website. If you have any tried and tested favourites you'd be willing to share, I'd love to include them. Lee gave me a recipe for a cake that you'll find here.
A few months ago, Chris, one of our church leaders, caused a furore in a meeting when he said something very similar to Sean, along the lines of 'I can't be doing with this born again malarkey.'
What they both meant was not that they disagreed with Jesus but that the term has become so associated with negative things about Christianity that they wanted to be disassociated from it. When people say, 'are you a born again christian?' you can almost hear them thinking, 'Oh, no, not one of those.' In many people's eyes the term has come to be associated with the happy clappy, greedy, hypocritical, televangelist type of person - usually, I'm afraid, American. And what some of these preachers say is enough to make Jesus get down from the cross.
I've read a few blog posts of late that are critical or unbelieving of Christianity. I would suggest that most bloggers' views of Christianity are based on their experience or what they perceive it to be through what they see. I would also suggest that that perception is an infinity away from what God intended.
God is passionate. About his creation, about his created beings. Evil rouses him to fury; suffering makes him weep. He isn't wishy washy; he isn't apathetic. He is strong; he's gentle; he is all-knowing; he waits to be told; he listens; he hears; and most of all he loves humanity to a depth and a height and a width that we can't understand.
God didn't send his son into this world to condemn it - or us.
Now I've forgotten where I started, how I got here and what I wanted to say. You see, this is why I don't try and write clever posts. So I'll conclude with Sean's answer to the title question. 'I'm one who tries to follow Jesus.'
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
There’s a lot to be said for being a Catholic. You only have to look at their gravestones. Every one a mausoleum, with angels and harps and pedestals. And why shouldn’t you have grandeur in death? Especially if you were deprived of it in life. Glory and beauty.
I think they’re wonderful. Works of art. They’re my favourite pieces in the cemetery. I come here most days. Tom thinks I’m mad. He says I talk to the angels but I don’t. I just sit and think. He doesn’t understand. This is my place. I always sit in this exact spot with my back against this headstone. ‘Treasured memories of Richard Daniel Evans, dearly loved husband of Mary. And of the above Mary Jane Evans. Sleeping where no shadows fall.’
Sleeping where no shadows fall, I like that. No shadows, no darkness, just sleep. I like to sleep. Sometimes I fall asleep with my head on the grass. Or sometimes I think about Richard and Mary and wonder what their lives were like, wonder if they would like me, wonder if they mind me sitting with my back to them. I don’t think they would mind me resting on their stone. The stone seems to welcome me in.
Story continued here.
The idea that won was to resolve the prison over-crowding problem by making prisoners build their own cells from Lego. A short-term inmate would be given big Lego bricks; a lifer would get small. They could design their own cell, and privileges as rewards for good behaviour would include Lego televisions or Lego trees.
I can see its value but the runner-up was my personal favourite. He - and strangely, all the potential geniuses were male - suggested that instead of using hectare, square miles, acres etc to measure area, we should have units to which people can relate. Such as pinheads, thumb nails, up to football pitches, up to Wales and eventually Australia. So the United States, for instance, would be 2.25 Australias.
We'd have to retain actual measurements for accuracy but doesn't saying America is 2.25 Australias present you with a more realistic image of its size than saying that it's whatever million acres?
It could even be personalised to suit different countries or different groups of people. So car enthusiasts could use toy car to mini to Rolls Royce to articulated truck. I am really taken with this idea, and am thinking of launching a campaign to have it introduced. Are you with me?
You don't even have to bend down. Just lean over slightly and the hand grasps the ball. Then it's a tiny flick of the wrist and the ball goes off into infinity. Or at least further than it does with my girly throw i.e. more than 2'.
Our short walk turned out to be a bit longer than I'd intended as I don't do standing and throwing very well. We have to keep moving. But I'm fearful I might be making Cleo walk further than she is accustomed to: her front paw is bleeding and we've already broken her ball.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
We went out for a walk in the woods just as the dawn was breaking. We heard a bird I'd never heard before. Obviously one of those that catches the worm but apart from that I don't have any idea what sort it was. Its cry was a high-pitched 'e-whoop' (long e, short whoop). Any suggestions?
Cleo is a water lover too and unlike Holly (but like Harvey), she stands next to you to shake.
Comparative skills (out of 10 with 10 being best)
Watching which direction the stick is going in
Sniffing out the stick when it's lost
Eating the stick afterwards
Cleo (already known as HollCleo) did come back to look for me when I was slow as I struggled over muddy bits on the riverside. It was probably to laugh at me but at least I wasn't alone. When we were out there I was reminded of one incident many years ago.
At one point along the river walk there is a very muddy bit closely followed by a high steep-sided mudbank. Only about mid-thigh height but try kicking your leg up on that when it's wet. Harvey had skipped up it quite happily and was wandering on. I think a piece must have been washed away as we often walked by the river and didn't usually have the trouble I had that day.
I tried once to get my leg up: failure. I tried again. Again I failed. I looked around. There was an ivy creeper hanging down from an over-hanging branch. I grabbed it and jumped up onto the bank. I was still saying, 'Yay!!!' when my feet slowly started to slip back down. Slowly as in slow motion slowly when you know it's happening but there's nothing you can do about it. I was hanging backwards and my feet were were leaving me. Clonk. Back where I started. There was only one thing left. I took a run at it, leapt across the mud and flung myself at a thick tree trunk, hugging it for all I was worth. Then I gradually edged my way round from the mud side to the slightly solider ground side. And while all this was going on, Harvey was somewhere in the distance smelling the flowers.
I'm not very good at looking after other people's dogs. I mean, I can take care of them, but I worry about them being sad. It's obvious they're going to miss their families but I hate to see sad eyes staring at me. It makes me feel guilty. Cleo has been sticking close to whoever is in the house, staying in the same room and getting up and following around. I go in the kitchen to get a drink of water and she follows me. I try to explain that I'm coming straight back but she insists on getting up. I end up going without my drink of water because I feel so bad about it. Is it me?
Monday, October 08, 2007
Welshcakes, Shirl and I, three women who've met through the internet, will be meeting in real life. Shirl and I have met before. Our friendship goes back a number of years but started on a website. Neither of us has met Welshcakes yet.
Techy Shirl has set up a blog specifically for us to record this momentous event: http://happinessfindingwelshcakes.blogspot.com/
Wouldn't you like to be with us?!
It's from the monologue narrated by Mam. Barry, the son of the family, plays rugby and the local clubhouse is falling down. One night Barry tells his mother and father, Gwyn, that the club's going to do some fund-raising but that they don't have many ideas for it yet. Mam has recently watched the DVD of Calendar Girls.
"That’s when I remembered the VD. I said, 'Hey, you know what you should do: make a calendar.' Gwyn looked up from the telly again, 'What of? Pretty pictures of all the local slag heaps and pit faces, is it?'
'Don’t be daft,' I said. 'I mean the boys.'
'That don’t sound very exciting,' Barry said.
'It would be,' I said, 'if they posed in the nude. With artistically arranged balls.' Well that made them sit up."