Saturday, May 31, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
'Yes,' the lady in the bed said. 'She could be gone some time.'
I hope she's back by this afternoon.
I'd changed and had just picked up my car keys to go to see Auntie Maud when the phone rang. It was Gina, Auntie Maud's daughter, saying she'd been moved to a different hospital. Her scan results came back this morning and they confirmed that she has lung cancer and that it's spread to her liver. The doctor said they will do what they can to make her comfortable.
The question is: when did it drop? Did I get up one morning and it just decided enough was enough and it couldn't be bothered with the effort any more? I don't remember a sudden 'flop' as it collapsed wearily in the direction of my knees. Maybe it was never pert.
My tummy's always been lazy; I'm aware of that. Maybe I just never paid attention to my bottom. Maybe it's always dragged along behind me like extra baggage. Maybe the answer is to permanently clench.
The bags under my eyes are especially grey this morning too. When Husband is away - which he is every week - I stay up late and read until even later. This morning George decided he wanted to poop at 6.30. It was a beautiful morning and it was tempting to stay up (yeah, right) - but I made myself go back to bed. Like I told George, 'It's all right for you. You can sleep all morning. I have to get up and blog.'
I can't even blame next door's alarm: they got home at about 9 last night. I think their holiday must have been rained off.
Can you tell I feel very old today? Don't worry: it'll pass.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I was hoping to get through till autumn without buying new wellies. It's nearly June, for heaven's sake.
* * * * * * * * *
Younger Son was asking me about the people who go to Zac's on a Tuesday evening. I told him and he said, 'They're the sort of people, if you see them on the street, you try to avoid looking in the eye. Don't you get scared?'
'Good grief, no. I feel perfectly safe.'
I told him I was probably one of the most normal people there. He looked me up and down and said, 'That's bad news.'
You know what it's like when you're talking to someone and you think, 'This person seems fairly stable,' and then, as you continue the conversation, little signs start flashing in your brain and you think, 'hang on a mo ...' When my gran was in hospital many years ago there was a lady in there with whom I would exchange smiles and hellos. It wasn't until I saw her pouring an imaginary cup of tea and talking to an imaginary friend that I realised there was anything unusual about her.
* * * * * * * * *
And that bleeping alarm is still going. I need a sharp shooter.
Undoubtedly God moves and heals and does wondrous things; equally undoubtedly in my mind, at some large meetings there can be hype and hysteria built up. We need to be open to God but aware of human interference.
You're not the fastest, nor the most nimble, but you're cute and you have style. You're not intensely competitive, but when you pass by, everyone turns to look.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
God loves me just as I am and not as I should be.
He loves me beyond worthiness and unworthiness.
He loves me beyond my fidelity and infidelity.
He loves me in the morning sun and the evening rain
Without caution, regret, limit or breaking point.
No matter what I do, He will not stop loving me.
And this is grace.
Members of Prison Fellowship attend the first service. They do prison visits and befriending and tend to be older and from the more conservative end of the church family. While we were waiting to be taken over to the chapel one of them was holding forth about the preaching that is done in many churches these days: "It's not based on the word of God. It's far too liberal." Maureen, the RC chaplaincy representative, tried to discuss this with him but he said, "You can argue with me until eternity and I won't change my view one jot." Hmm, right. And I was about to speak, suggesting a more sympathetic view of Judas. A totally unbiblically-based view.
Anyway, apart from a mildly-stuttering Doris Day the first service was fine. Oh, and apart from the fact that the singers on the recordings Alun had downloaded all sang at a slightly slower pace then the prisoners were used to so we all got a bit out of sync. But as Maureen said, "No-one understood what was said on the day of Pentecost either."
At the end Mr Critic shook my hand. I don't know if it were a sign of approval or an 'I'll pray for you, sister,' handshake but I didn't care. One of the young lads, as he left, said, 'Thanks, Miss, that was a great sermon.' Way-hay! That was far more valuable.
The second service of the morning is a RC mass. I asked if I could stay in for it and I was amazed at the silence and the respect with which the young men behaved for what was a simple spoken service. There are things I don't agree with in the RC faith but I was happy to go up at the end for a blessing. I couldn't take the host (bread) not believing that it had become the flesh of Christ but there's no such thing as too many blessings!
Then it was time for the third service and Mo and me again. I'd asked Maureen to read some Bible verses first time round; one of the prison officers asked if he could read some in the third service - that was a first! Also during the mass Maureen had some written prayers that she asked for volunteers to read. I thought this was such a good idea that we included it in the third service too. This time Doris got a serious case of the judders: ad-ad-ad-ad-ad-ad-ad-ad-ad-admiration, but by that stage nothing could bother me. I think I had a mild case of hysteria.
So all in all it was good morning although I dread to think what the chaplain will say about these women running amok and messing up his neat services as soon as his back is turned ...
Oh, yes, and Maureen asked me if I regularly led services at my own church. I laughed and said, 'No'; I didn't add what I was thinking: 'They wouldn't trust me!'
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
'For a mammogram.'
'It's when they put your boobies between two metal plates then squish them together until your eyes pop out.'
'Oh. It's not like a strippergram then?'
My mum was in the WAAF during the second world war. She spent some time in Egypt and was a staff sergeant (possibly - my memory is a little wibbly wobbly).
I don't know who the man is in the second photo but he appears in a number of photos in her old album. I'm guessing he is the man with whom she was in love but who was killed. I only know this much because my uncle told me about him. I was just 19 when my mother died and, as she'd had to go out to work to keep me, I was mostly raised by my grandmother. My mum left for work early in the morning and wasn't home until the evening. I hardly knew her.
Today isn't a special day for precious memories: I have very few. It's just a day when I happened to notice the date.
Twenty-second of May, 2001
My mother would have been eighty today.
I only realise this sitting listening to a reading.
The poet, a tiny American professor, is speaking
of her mother’s seventieth birthday.
I don’t recall the words.
Earlier the same day my son calls.
His sister has told him to, he says.
She’s worried because I’m sad.
Tangled threads, twisted together.
Meaning and reason
hidden in a knot.
A time to be born, a time to
make sense, in its own season.
I was nineteen, you were fifty one
when you died. I might have been
one for all I remember of you.
After the bubble burst, and blood flowed thick and red
through the crevasses of your mind,
flooding your memories,
you said to me, ‘You’re not Peter, are you?’
But I didn’t know you
long before you forgot my name.
What was your favourite colour? Or flower?
Did you still dream of could-have-beens or
glimpse happiness from the upstairs windows of buses?
You loved to garden, I remember that,
to nurture, to tend. And to party.
Eighty is worth a party. Tonight
we would have celebrated and I’d have
watched you gathering my children around you,
your eyes full of pride and love.
No suggestion of shame or guilt.
Your store of that was spent on me.
If I choose to tread overgrown paths,
or return to blacked-out rooms
will I find out who you were or why I am?
I don’t know,
But for now I’ll do as the professor says.
‘Do something with it,’ she says, ‘you must.’
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I looked at him and laughed. 'Like I'm going to know!'
'Okay,' he said. 'Do you have any little red flashing lights?'
'Naah, mine are multi-coloured.'
He gave up then.
* * * * * * * * *
Does anyone else like undressing their Maltesers?
A week ago there'd been some discussion about Judas, and the various ideas expressed helped me to write a Judas monologue that I read at the beginning of last night's meeting. As I was about to start, Terry, who was very drunk and standing just outside the open door, began talking. Sean suggested he come in, sit down and listen, which he did. And he sat quiet as a chapel-goer throughout my reading. At the end he shook me by the hand and said, 'Respect.' (He also said other things that I couldn't decipher.) But then what for me had been a pleasing moment threatened to turn into something much less pleasant.
Now Terry has usually had a drink when he comes and is normally disruptive but amiable. Last night he was very disruptive, not allowing Sean to speak, and aggressive in his language. His behaviour upset several people, some of whom were verging on aggression themselves. The atmosphere was very heavy when Sean stood up, walked over, took Terry by the arm and led him outside for a chat. When Sean came back in, Bas went out to continue chatting to Terry, threatening as he went to 'kick your backside.' (I don't think he did. No, I know he didn't. )
After that the study continued and there were some good exchanges and interesting thoughts put forward, and all was well.
The ethos of Zac's is that everyone is welcome no matter what state they're in, and everyone is treated with the same respect. But along with that goes the unspoken obligation to treat others with the same respect. And that means listening to them, allowing them to speak, and allowing them to listen. It's a very difficult balance to maintain. Last night it got wobbly.
No doubt next week Terry will be back to his usual amiable drunken state and will tell us we're all sinners and that he's been there, done that and got the t-shirt. And Jesus will love us all.
Sean added: By the end of the night Terry and one of those getting rather narked ended up sorting out some work together and then I took them both home in the same vehicle: one to his bedsit, one to his bush. Marvellous!!
That added to all the extra mesh Husband put up at the weekend has turned our garden into a Colditz. For the time being at least. Until George eats another piece of fence or digs his way out under one.
So, I've been feeling quite confident that George is safe in the garden and wasn't leaping up every 2 minutes to check that he was still there. You know what's coming next, don't you?
Some idiot left the gate open.
I wandered down our bit of road looking and shouting to no avail. He'd probably been out for some time so I was getting a little anxious when I noticed workmen at the back of the terrier's house (I think the terrier and his owners are only there at weekends). I waved the lead at them to indicate I was looking for a dog (there was a lot of noise going on) and they signalled me that he was there.
'He's been here for ages,' they said. 'He's fine, just sitting out here with us. He's eaten Martin's yogurt; he's having a good time.'
They thought George was with the electrician, who was working inside; they thought he'd let him out of his car for some fresh air. 'He can stay here,' they said. 'He's quite happy.'
It was tempting ... but I dragged him back home - or to prison, as he calls it.
To take part in ABC Wednesday, visit Mrs Nesbitts Place.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I should have taken that as a sign and made my excuses and left. Instead we spent my visit reminiscing about all the members of our extended family that have died over the last forty years.
At one point, talking about the lady who'd been in the next bed, Auntie Maud said, 'She's gone to a higher ward.'
'Oh dear,' I said, thinking that, as this was a one storey building, it was a euphemism meaning she'd died.
'Yes, up to Ward 1 as she's going home soon.'
Course that could still mean ...
On my way there the car started slowing down. The harder I pressed the pedal, the slower it went until it stopped completely. My motto in these cases is 'Don't panic! Just because you're potentially stuck in the middle of the road in a car that won't go, is no reason to panic. Switch off and try starting again.'
Which I did and it did. And then I realised I'd had my foot on the brake instead of the accelerator.
Now me and him are going for a walk in the woods where I plan to practise screaming.
Monday, May 19, 2008
3. "Husky" girls, those who are a little on the heavy side, are more even-tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.
6. Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so that she will keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. ... women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but lack initiative in finding work for themselves.
8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.
9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive ... Never ridicule a woman -it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.
11. Get enough size variety in operators' uniforms. This point can't be stressed too much in keeping women happy.
As I said, when I answered my first question, I am convinced I was chosen simply for comic value.
Afterwards one of the young men from church said to me, 'I can't believe they chose you as a wise one!' He did have a huge grin on his face so I think he was joking. Partly. But then I said the same thing to someone else - I mean I said, 'I don't believe they chose me as a wise one,' - and that someone else said, 'They probably didn't know anyone else's name.'
Eight hours later I thought, 'Hang on, that was a bit cheeky!' It's all very well me saying I'm stupid but I don't expect others to agree with me!
That is the logic of woman. This woman anyway.
To prove my wisdom I'll tell you the first question and my abbreviated answer.
'Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?'
'No, I don't think they did. They were not of woman born so wouldn't have done. However, if you mean, did the first people have belly buttons, and you're looking at it from an evolutionary viewpoint, then, yes, they would have had belly buttons as they were mammals. Although,' I added, 'I couldn't find a belly button on my dog yesterday. But then I'm not convinced he's entirely normal. So my answer to the question, did Adam and Eve have belly buttons, is no ... or yes.'
Now you understand why they chose me for the panel, don't you?
Friday, May 16, 2008
Really he was just fed up of getting beaten.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
George eats my laundry baskets (plastic and cane); he eats lager cans, yogurt pots and horse poo. I don't call the vet.
George eats margarine; I call the vet.
Their poison department calls me back. They've checked the ingredients and there's nothing poisonous there. Well, that's good to know. Though actually it was the quantity rather than the quality that concerned me. Heaven knows, I like a nice thick layer of fresh butter on crusty bread but I don't dip my finger in and eat it raw, for goodness' sake.
We've just walked in the woods. I was hoping some would be evacuated but only a little appeared as far as I saw.
I did see something almost amazing though. I said to George, 'Look! A little tiny holly branch growing out of this tree. Isn't that amazing?'
George looked. 'No.'
'Yes, it is. It's as if nature grafted it on.'
'It's a holly tree, stoopid!'
'Oh. Well, you're a fine one to call me stupid. I'm not the one who ate a tub of margarine.'
'Nothing stupid about that!'
'Are you going to tell them about the 'monster' in the woods?' George asked.
'The monster who turned out to be a man with an umbrella! Ha ha ha.'
'Oh shut up!'
Outsmarted by the dog. Again.
P.S. I just polished it so I think those marks in the middle must be on the camera.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
As a devotee of Trinny and Suzannah, I swear by their maxim - and occasionally by George - that a woman's most important possession is her bra. (Did they say that? Or did I make it up? If the latter, put it down to dramatic licence.)
It's a well-known fact that many women are still wearing the wrong size bra, with the most common fault being having a size too big and a cup too small. And, let me tell you, I was that woman - until I saw the light, sister (Can you hear me proclaiming in a loud American voice?) Mah cup did truly runneth over. (Okay, cut the American evangelist.)
Being properly fitted can change your life so go get fitted. Think of it as being like a cervical examination: embarrassing but vital. You can always talk about the weather.
Admittedly if you're on the larger size, most modern fashion isn't designed for you, and men will occasionally talk to your cleavage but that's their problem.
Take pleasure in your body! It's the only one you've got; you might as well make the most of it. As Leslie said in her comment to a previous post: if you've got it, flaunt it!
To take part in ABC Wednesday, visit mrs nesbitts place
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I've trained him well.
Fortunately he has both.
Especially as I have a new bra too! Yes, I plucked up my courage to visit Madame Foner (my only slightly dramatised account of bra-buying is to be found here); it was a less than usually hands-on affair, and I ended up buying a bathing costume as well ...
And I happened to notice that the lady in the next cubicle was being handed bras size 46G, so that made my 34F seem dainty. Okay, perhaps voluptuous is a better description. Eat your heart out, Jordan. Mine are all natural.
Of course, then, when I'm sitting in the hairdressers I read Vogue and discover that the best thing to do, fashion-wise, when you have large breasts is to 'minimise them'. Apparently M&S sell a very good minimiser bra. And M&S can keep it.
Monday, May 12, 2008
* * * * * * * * * *
Younger Son called in for a shower this afternoon. We haven't seen much of him over the last two weeks as he's been lizard-sitting. He has to turn their lights on and off. He's also spider and fish-sitting but that's less of a commitment.
My boss is there. She is involved in fisticuffs with mobile phone operators. When she finishes she is going through the numbers on her phone and discovers she has two Lizes. 'Which one is you?'
'I don't know.'
'Well, what's your mobile number?'
'I don't know.'
We have a little think. Jan says, 'Phone me then I'll have your number.' We have her number because it's written on the wall so I ring that. Nothing happens. We realise neither of us has a signal.
If I get very close to the window I can get a weak signal. Jan says, 'Phone the office and I'll do 1471 to get your number,' but before I can do that, my signal disappears.
We go out into the car park and wander round trying to get a signal. I get one under the tree and dial the office. We rush back upstairs before anyone else can phone and ruin all our good work. By the time we get up there, both of our phones have a signal. We come to the conclusion it must have been a passing aeroplane diverting the waves.
Now the only number I don't have is mine.
Betty had a flat tyre. Husband pumped it up and I was dispatched to the tyre repair shop this morning. As I'm driving there I start to feel her rolling as she did when I first noticed the tyre was flat. I carry on driving but realise that I am leaning away from the poorly tyre - as if to compensate and relieve the load on it. See what I mean about being blonde?
Anyway first tyre shop doesn't have the right size; in the second tyre shop they say can do it in 30 minutes or so. So I leave Betty there and go to the Post Office to have my passport renewal form checked. I am rejected because my fringe is too long; Husband is rejected because his eyebrows are too high.
I go back to the tyre shop. They haven't started so I settle down to read a trashy mag. Tyre man comes in and say, 'Do you have the bolt?'
He can tell from my face that despite my red-brown hair I am really blonde. 'Come and see,' he says.
The wheel should be held on by 4 bolts; there are only 3 in place. He will not change the wheel because if he sent me out with 3 bolts and I had an accident I could sue him. 'Can you replace the bolt?' I ask already knowing the answer.
'No. You'll need to get one from a VW supplier. But once you've got that it will be a quick job as it's the valve not the tyre that's gone,' he says. 'Listen,' and he wiggles the valve. 'Hear it?'
'Yes,' I lie.
I give up, go home and will leave Betty's repair until next weekend when Husband will be home to sort it out.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I put that down to my peculiarity and didn't think to check but this morning I discovered that George had eaten part of my left sandal strap. My best sandals. Okay, my only comfy sandals that I've had three years and wear all summer, but that's not the point.
Excuse me a minute. 'What?'
George says he thinks he should have his own blog so he can tell his side of the story but I tell him, 'There isn't a "your side of the story"; you're just naughty.'
'I'm a puppy! What do you expect? If you leave your sandals where I can get them, I'll chew on them. But really you should be aware that I'm only doing it because they smell of you and I love you.'
'It's no good looking at me all soppy-eyed and gorgeous! It won't work. No, really, stop it!'
Friday, May 09, 2008
Swansea Central Library has recently moved into its new home in the newly-named Civic Centre (it was County Hall when we had that county council thing briefly before they decided that it was a level of government too much) and amongst the new and exciting events they have organised is a monthly Singles Night.
When you get there you just tell the librarian that you're there to pull and she'll give you a little pink badge to make you easily identifiable to other singles.
It sounds ideal to me. The advantages of a library over a nightclub are:
a) you can see who is there;
b) you can see, without the rose-coloured glasses of alcohol, who is there;
c) you can be assured that they're the sort of people who prefer a cup of cocoa and a night in with a good book to a night on the town;
d) you can narrow it down even more by staying within your own favourite aisles;
e) you can hear and be heard.
And being able to see and hear is a definite plus in my book. (Geddit? My book? Oh well.)
Thursday, May 08, 2008
For lunch I made myself a BLT only without the L. And the T was actually sauce so I guess I had a BTS. It was okay but not as nice as the strawberries.
(Interesting. The spellchecker recognises BLT, but not, obviously, BTS.)
(Am I the only person who notices these little quirks? Or, more to the point, mentions them? Maybe I should get a life. Or at least think about it. Thought. Nah, too much bother.)
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
So much for my plan of eating before and in front of him in order to establish myself as alpha dog. Delta dog is more like.
And, what's more, the bread I'm eating is Kingsmill's new seed bread. Husband likes it but I feel like a parrot!
Glenn and Ros came over from Australia a few years ago. They came to Britain without really knowing why, except that they believed it was the place they were meant to be. When they arrived they heard about Zac's, and they've been here ever since, providing much-needed support for Sean. They're a lovely couple: Ros is open and chatty while Glenn's quieter (on the surface).
Well, last night we were continuing with the study of John's gospel and we'd reached chapter 13. Judy, a rough sleeper, was completely plastered. (See glossary in side bar.) Usually she sleeps but last night she was particularly vocal. She was interrupting every two minutes although, strangely enough, her questions, on the whole, were sensible (-ish). Terry was also there. He's another rough sleeper, who knows a lot about local history (or he knows one bit and tells us often) and current affairs, and likes to share his opinions, including the fact that 'we're all sinners, see.' Fair enough.
One or the other, and Sean can usually cope and we can progress through the study; last night Judy and Terry inadvertently worked together to cause total mayhem. Things weren't helped by Ruby who was sitting next to Judy and alternated between shushing her and having the giggles.
Judy, Terry and Ruby also took it in turns to go outside. It was a very warm evening so some people were saying 'leave the door open' and others wanted it closed. When it was open, the noise of the talking outside added to the disturbance; when it was closed, it only stayed closed until someone came in again.
Like April who came in to walk through the room to go to the toilet. Followed by Joe who went through to the corridor to rummage amongst the secondhand clothes bag for items that would fit him.
None of this bothers me - it just makes me smile - but there are some more fragile souls in the room who can't handle the disruption and get edgy, and Sean is aware of this.
So I think it was just after April had been to the toilet that Glenn got up and headed for the kitchen. Sean carried on trying to answer Judy's question about what humility means.
When Glenn came back he was carrying a bowl of water and some soap. He crossed the room, knelt at Judy's feet and asked if he could wash them for her. He took off her shoes and socks and gently bathed her feet.
Sean didn't have to say anything else about the story of Jesus bathing his disciples' feet that we'd been trying to look at. He just prayed.
Afterwards Glenn said he'd done it partly because he could see that Sean was struggling and that he thought it might shut her up. She was certainly over-awed - but she began singing 'Jesus loves me this I know.'
Judy refused to put her dirty socks back on afterwards (and they weren't any spare ones in the store). She'd been washed; her feet were clean; she wasn't going to besmirch them with soiled garments.
I asked Glenn later if it had been horrid. 'Oh yes,' he shuddered.
I heard someone say, 'Well we didn't get far tonight, did we?' I just smiled. I wanted say, 'Not far? Didn't you see? We got to heaven.'
A little investigation showed this to be down to an eaten-off plug. This raises several questions:
a) How did George get behind the sofa? It's up against the wall and he's quite large now.
b) How did he get behind the sofa without us noticing? He's not allowed in there on his own - unless he went there when younger Son was in charge.
c) Why? This question and George go together like rain and Wales.
d) Most importantly, how did he manage to avoid being electrocuted? The plug was in the socket and, unlike the phone charger, switched on.
At least it answers the question, 'What's this plug from?'
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
The story is set in Nazi Germany, and the book thief of the title is a small girl. The story revolves around her, her foster Mama and Papa, a Jew, her best friend and the Mayor's wife.
It's strange - and totally stupid I know - but I'd never thought of German people having to go into air raid shelters or being bombed and killed, and forced into things they couldn't avoid.
Of course there are some characters in the book who support Hitler but most are just trying to survive.
It's a sad and lovely story. Apart from Death himself my favourite character is the best friend, Rudy, 'a boy with hair the colour of lemons'. He's cheeky and daring, brave and devoted, faithful and loving.
I'd recommend this book.
One-shoe-ed I followed him down the road to the house of the two Scottie dogs. Their mum was in the garden, and it was she who imparted to me the news that made my day.
She said, 'Yesterday he (pointing to the black Scottie) stole a chicken from the next door neighbour's house.' Yay! Someone stole a chicken and it wasn't George!! I'm under no illusions that he wouldn't have, given the opportunity, but in this instance it wasn't him. Hallelujah!
She also said that she frequently has to go out in the mornings, clad in pyjamas and rubber gloves, to clear up the rubbish her dogs have raided from other people's bags. It was music to my ears. I'm not revelling in someone else's misfortune but I did have a smile on my face as I went for a walk.
But the training process has begun. My copy of It's Me or the Dog has arrived and will be, now that I've finished The Book Thief, essential bedtime reading.
I've already flicked through bits. Namely the bit that says, "Get your dog 'done'". The author says that, rather than thinking you're being cruel to your dog, think how much crueler it would be to allow hormonal rushes and urges to assail him when he's allowed no relief. It convinced me.
So George will be going for the snip. But Daughter and Holly Dog will be down in a fortnight and that will mean lots of leaping and bounding for George so probably best not to have stitches then. I'll have to book him in for after that.
When we did get out, we were in the middle of the woods when I went all wibbly wobbly. I put it down to the fact that it was dinnertime and I'd only had fruit for lunch. Trouble was the only edible things I had on me were George's milky biscuits. They began to look more and more tempting.
But then I was distracted imagining there was someone following me. I kept doing that 'spinning round quickly to try and spot them before they hide behind a tree' trick. It's a good job they don't have CCTV in the woods. They would have me marked down as Local Loony and no mistake.
He said, 'We recommend that you change foods gradually, so that, for about 5 days, you mix what he's having now with our food so that he gets used to it. Occasionally a change of food will affect the dog's stomach.'
I said, 'He's sitting in front of me eating one of those scritchy things that you use in the shower. On the floor are the remains of the lager can he ate. Across the room I can see the remaining half of the chair, the bit he hasn't eaten.'
'So you're saying you don't think a change of food will upset him unduly?'
'What do you think?'
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Auntie Maud is in a convalescent hospital now. She is better than she was but the consultant is concerned because her cough isn't going. He fears the pneumonia shadows may be concealing something nasty and wants her to have ... um ... one of those things when you go in a tube. (It's 10.30 and past my bedtime.) She doesn't want to.
Anyway she can't go to the toilet on her own so has to rely on the nurse to bring her a bedpan. On Saturday she asked the nurse at 10.50 am for one. The nurse said, 'hang on, I'll be back now.'
At 1.20pm, Auntie Maud called her again. The nurse snapped, 'I only have one pair of hands.'
Auntie Maud isn't one to be snapped at so she told the nurse what she thought but by then it was too late and she'd wet herself.
To be fair to the nurse there were only two of them on duty, looking after about 18 elderly ladies, but that doesn't excuse rudeness.
Auntie Maud is 88. She deserves respect and, even more importantly, to be allowed to retain her dignity.
As I said, nothing compared to the treatment meted out to Calum's wife, but it is symptomatic of an understaffed institution.
Two letters I received:
a) An invitation to test drive an Audi A3 coupe. What makes anyone think I am the sort of person who buys a new fancy car is beyond me. But I must be on someone's list. in the past I've been invited to test drive a Land Rover and a Jaguar (now that was tempting but I figured they'd take one look at me, realise I wasn't the sort of person that bought brand-new Jaguars, and send me away hurriedly before I gave their forecourt a bad reputation).
b) An invitation to a mammogram. Oh goodie.
Oh, yes, and this new post-dated posting thing that Blogger is so proud of. I always change the time so that it's the BST time I'm posting it. If I do that now, then Blogger tries to save it until it's that time where Blogger is (wherever that may be). If you see what I mean. So all my posts will have the wrong time on them. Which may not matter to you but it matters to me in my obsessive way. Has anyone else discovered this quirk?
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Gary Thuerk, an employee of a now-defunct computer company, invited 400 people, living on the west coast of America, to a presentation about new addictions to the company's range.
However, it wasn't until April, 1994, when two immigration lawyers, Canter and Siegel, sent a commercial spam message to more than 6,000 discussion groups, that the floodgates were opened.
Today 80%-85% of all e-mail is spam and more than 100 billion spam messages are sent every day.
P.S. It was 1993 when unsolicited commercial e-mail was given the name of spam by Joel Furr, who allegedly got the name from the famous Monty Python sketch.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Q. What were you doing 10 years ago?
A. I’m 55. I can’t remember what I did 10 minutes ago let alone 10 years..
Q. Name 5 snacks you enjoy.
A. Chocolate, grapes, bananas, chocolate, frosties.
Q. Things I would do if I were a billionaire
A. Husband could retire and spend all his time working in the garden. I’d have a new paint job on Betty. Buying houses for children goes without saying.
Q. Five jobs that I have had
A. Waitress, computer programmer, pole dancer, administrator, shop assistant.
Q. Three bad habits
A. Biting my nails, procrastinating, laziness.
Q. Five places I have lived
A. Mumbles, Morriston, Shirley, Sketty. That’s all, sorry, and that’s only because I’ve used little place names instead of Swansea and Southampton!
Q. Five people I want to know more about:
A. I think most people have already done this meme but if you haven’t and you feel so inclined, then please do.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
* * * * * * * * * * * *
I used to keep God in a box. Well, actually it was a tin, a Golden Virginia tobacco tin that my grandfather gave me. I kept the tin on the bookshelf in my bedroom next to Five Get Lost at Sea. Every night before I went to sleep, I’d take down the tin, open it and talk to God.
Then one day, a few weeks ago, I was in a meeting, and listening to someone speaking. Actually I was half listening because I was looking around at the same time. At the other side of the room I could see a man with a beard. He was making coffee for someone who’d just arrived late. Standing next to him was a man with a shaved head and lots of tattoos; I’d seen him deal gently with a drunk. Sitting at one side was a woman. You can see from her face that her life hasn’t been easy but her eyes were shining. Near her was another woman. Her eyes were closed but her skin that only months ago had been furrowed was smooth. Across from them were two lads who, despite having their own troubles, help others in charity shops. And then there was the man whose wife is seriously ill. And the girl whose intelligence and thoughtfulness can stay hidden unless it’s looked for. And the woman who doesn’t often speak but when she does, you want to listen. And the man and his dog who share everything. And the woman who’s come into the warm to sleep. Then I caught the eye of the speaker and he’s grinning as he talks over the snoring.
And suddenly I realised. I’d been looking so hard I couldn’t see.
God was in church, just as real-ly as he is out on the cliffs. And maybe he does smell of coconut or tobacco or mints - or alcohol.
While she's at Zac's for breakfast every day she'd only just started coming to the Bible study so I knew she might not be there. She wasn't.
Sean said not to worry as it was Ruby's birthday that day and, if she came, it could be her cake. She didn't come.
We ate the cake anyway.
And it was interesting. I overheard two comments.
Steve said it was the first time he'd had fresh cream since the night before his bypass operation. Hm, slightly worrying.
And someone else said they only had fresh cream at Christmas. Just a tiny thing but I think it demonstrates the enormous gulf there could be between some of us. But I don't think there is; I hope there's not.