Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I hid my camera behind my back. 'Me? Taking photos? No, I'm just walking the dog.' It wasn't a time for ' you show me yours and I'll show you mine.'
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I started a jigsaw on Sunday for the first time for at least a year and probably two; I had forgotten how addictive they are. 'Just one more piece ... then I'll come to bed ... in a minute ...'
Sunday, June 28, 2009
If I had to choose a favourite I think it would have to be O. It's so perfect in sound and shape. They're both soft letters, which I tend to prefer, and T is just so very useful for so many things. Rather like N, S or R, our words would be dull without it. It can blend or add emphasis; soothe over the moment or create a tension. And its shape, whether a capital or small case, is pleasing.
I'm indifferent about N, tend to dislike S - but appreciate its qualities - and am ambivalent about R. (To err is human; to arrr is pirate.)
I also like K, which, although hard, has attitude, character, the old kicking C of learning the alphabet.
I have put a lot of thought into this you can tell.
What's your favourite letter?
Husband was on a boys' day out canoeing and, as the rugby's only on Sky, it meant I either had to go to the pub on my own or not watch it. I dithered for a bit but finally chose to do some gardening accompanied by the radio.
The neighbours must have wondered what was going on with the alternating 'Yay!'s, 'Oh no!'s, and 'Oh crap!'
But I'm not going to talk about it 'cept to say the Welsh had a great game. I've never liked Ronan O'Gara anyway.
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We were having trouble with t'internet on Friday, coincidentally after the thunder and lightning (very very frightening - except I slept through it) so Husband called out BT. Their little man called Saturday morning at 8.20 and after doing some tests concluded he needed a cherry-picker. 'And cherry-pickers don't work on Saturdays.'
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Sort of related but different, we bought new phones for the house this afternoon, and they're magic! You can call upstairs - or downstairs if you're up - and transfer calls. It'll be dead good when Younger Son is back as he's always hiding the phone in his room.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
My home page is set to BT Yahoo and it comes up with headlines - I hesitate to call them news - the latest of which include these:
Stoned wallabies make crop circles;
Big Mac 'healthier than salad';
Mucky pup saved in dramatic toilet rescue;
Monkey urinates on Zambian president.
No, you're right: it's probably me.
There is something black and hairy under Younger Son's desk.
It is possibly a mitten but having seen some of the other things in his room I need an energy boost before I go there.
So I'm stopping for lunch.
We have to walk through a field to get to the river or the tip and it's just been mowed. I imagine the people Alun was talking about would look at it and say, 'About time too.' I look at it and say, 'Yay, piles of cut grass for me to kick!'
If Husband had taken me for a surprise picnic on the cliffs I'd have been so excited I'd have been in danger of falling off the cliffs. But that, as I said, is what marriage is about: tolerance. (Could you hear me saying that through gritted teeth?)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
As long as he wasn't distracted with treats.
Walking back along the river yesterday we met a couple and a spaniel. The man asked me if it were very muddy further along. 'Not at all, 'I replied. 'It's fine.'
I walked a bit further then glanced back and noticed they were both wearing open-toed sandals.
Now not at all muddy and very muddy are comparatives, subjectives even. If you're used to sinking to your ankles in mud or getting water over the top of your wellies then it wasn't at all muddy ...
I saw the man again today. He was wearing sensible shoes.
We sin, and when we sin it's because we make the wrong choice. We were created with free will. The abuser chooses to harm the child; it's his decision. He is to blame, no-one else.
Why doesn't God step in? But at what point in the many wrongs in this world should God step in? When the abuser approaches the child? When the finger is on the nuclear button? When I am about to call someone a nasty name?
I'm not belittling child abuse, heaven forbid, but surely if we are to have a God then he must be consistent. And step in each time a bad choice is about to be made - and we would be robots - or not step in.
Sean mentioned a response that he'd read to the question "What's wrong with this world?"
But I suppose the answer that comes closest to satisfying me is that there are things I just don't understand.
I don't understand why God allows child abuse any more than I understand why he allowed his son to be abused and killed for me.
I can't even begin to describe it; you had to be there. On Facebook Sean said, '... getting more convinced that Zac's Place is a 'fruit and nut' bar ...'
We're looking at David and there was a really good message in last night's reading about the grace of God but I wondered how many people had taken it in because of the distractions.
Just as I was leaving, Keith came over and chatted to me. We talked about one of those distractions: a man who wanted to know why God didn't step in when a child was being raped. There are all sorts of Christian explanations, reasons and 'answers' to that question, including the ideas of free will, sin in the world, and so on but most of us would admit that we can't comprehend it. It's evil and as the questioner said, 'If God can step in and part the Red Sea, why doesn't he step in there?' I don't know.
For me, where I am, where I've made the decision to follow Jesus, I have to say that I continue to trust God, and hang on to that. By the finger-tips maybe. Knowing that if a child of mine was raped I'd want to kill the offender.
But I didn't mean to go into that question. What I was going to say was that the questioner was one of those who didn't really want an answer. He had his view and though he asked the question he didn't listen to the answers. the most frustrating sort of questioner.
So Keith and I were discussing this and Keith said, 'Even if I don't understand what the Bible's about or learn from that, I learn about God just by seeing the patience Sean has. In answering the question he was so patient; I was learning from that.'
So my doubts about the benefits of the study were dealt with very effectively. This is what Christianity is about. Not about the Bible - though it provides a manual for life - but about living that life, and showing God to others through it.
I have such a lot to learn.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I love your eyes
I love your ears
I love your back,
Your bones in a sack;
I love your cheeks
And all your teeths,
Your nose and toes and tongue and such -
But you say, "Stop! How much? How Much?"
More than you will ever know, Baby.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Hay-on-Wye or the town of books. Yay!
Hay is a small market town of about 1,500 people, and it's renowned for its secondhand and antiquarian bookshops - currently about 30 of them along the couple of main streets. Everywhere you look there are bookshops, some in unusual places, like the castle and the old cinema.
Richard Booth came up with the idea of a town of books, opening his first secondhand bookshop in the old fire station in 1961. By the late 70s Hay was recognised as the first town of books and now there are more than 60 all over the world.
The Hay Literary Festival, which attracts speakers of the highest calibre including Margaret Attwood, Ian McKewan and Stephen Fry, takes place for a week over the May Bank holiday every year.
But I just love Hay for its bookshops.
a) I'd forgotten to dry the mattress cover;
b) what I thought was a spare one was for a single bed.
'Never mind,' I said. 'We'll sleep in a spare bedroom.'
With no children around, being in a different bed and with a television in the room, it was just like being in a hotel!
Husband, who works away a lot, is used to hotels and didn't find this as exciting as I did. However, he did get something in bed this morning that he doesn't get a hotel ...
warm croissants and milky coffee.
P.S. Meanwhile, in a nod at decadence, I, on my diet, had sliced banana with my Special K.
P.P.S. Why is it that you put the duvet cover, sheet and pillowcases separately into the washing machine yet they they always come out with everything inside the duvet cover? How do they do that?
Happy Father's Day!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
8 oz self-raising flour
a pinch of salt
1 level teaspoon baking powder
1½ oz margarine
¼ pint milk
1½ tablespoons caster sugar
Beaten egg or milk to glaze
Preheat the oven to 220oC, gas mark 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Sieve the salt, baking powder and flour into a bowl and rub in the margarine until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar and add enough milk to give a soft dough.
To take part in Saturday Photohunt, visit tnchick.
Younger Son had got the scales out to weigh his luggage and he'd left them on the landing. Feeling slim and good about myself I jumped on.
And I weighed more than when I started!!! How can that be? Those flipping scales are lying to me!! I hate them! I hate everybody and everything!
It's enough to drive a girl to chocolate.
Blooming scales. Mutter, mutter, mutter. Blinking ryvita. Pah!!!
He'll be all right. I know he will. It's only for three months.
But I'm a mum. I've got to worry a bit.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Like Toby, our old cat.
'Don't go near it, mum!'
'It's all right, George; it's only fungi.'
'Yeah, like it was 'only a meteor storm' in London. We've all read Day of the Triffids.'
It is very hard for George being a dog of a sensitive nature and with a vivid imagination.
P.S. Okay, I've tried saving the photo and uploading again and it looks fine before publishing but then half of it disappears. It's a mystery.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
'You haven't really got the hang of this flying malarkey, have you? You're supposed to fly on no legs.'
'That shows how much you know. If I flew no legs, I'd fall down!'
She lived in a small cottage - the type known as a Fisherman's cottage although not necessarily because a fisherman ever lived there - with an outside lav. To get to it you had to go from the kitchen round the back of house.
I used to love going to the toilet when I visited her as it was just like the one in the photo, more of a comfy chair and ideal for reading.
Ours was outside the back door too but it was an ordinary toilet so not at all exciting. I don't know if Auntie Vi kept a candle in there: I only ever went in in daylight.
And I don't recall if it had a flush but I think it did.
Auntie Vi's house was on the side of a hill and there were a couple of steps to get to the lavatory; my great-gran on my grandfather's side also lived on a hill but to get to her lavatory you had to go outside down a steep set of steps. It must have been hazardous in the winter. Did she have a wooden toilet too? She might have done. She had an old proper fire range cooker and made the best rice pudding.
A bit later on he walked across to Steve who was leading it and asked if he could read something before he went. This was in the middle of the study but Steve said, 'yeah, okay, go on.'
'My name is M***** P*** and I've just come out of jail. I'm going to Victory Outreach. I found out in jail that no matter what you do God loves you.'
Then he read the 23rd psalm, the Lord is my shepherd.
He was unsteady on his feet and looking rough, and I'm guessing that he'd come out of jail, met up with old friends and used again. Victory Outreach is a sort of Christian rehab organisation with homes across the country with very strict rules. M has a very long and hard battle ahead of him if he's going to come out clean and reborn (in the widest sense). I pray that God gives him the strength and determination to stick with it, and protects him from the wrong influences.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
to this ...
As if simply being in our garden domesticated it. The smell isn't quite as sweet either.
I hope he didn't notice.
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After the disastrous red mullet on Saturday the waitress came round to take dessert orders.
'And what will you have, madam?'
The words 'sticky toffee pudding' were dancing on my tongue but suddenly I heard Devonshire Dumpling saying, 'Puddings make you fat!' I savoured the thought of the sticky toffee for a moment longer before I said, 'Just a pot of tea for me, please.'
Which was a wise decision as it turned out. Husband had the sticky toffee and he let me have a spoonful (he must have been feeling full as we're both normally very protective of our food - getting a chip off his plate is like breaking into Colditz) and it wasn't very nice at all. So my virtue was rewarded.
They didn't have any.
So I had to buy local sea bass, which is probably my favourite fish, although I'm very fond of hake too. I was a little late getting there so they'd already started putting away the cockles, crabs and lavabread but I thought you might like to see some of the fish on display. Other local fish included Dover sole, slip sole, skate, plaice and trout.
This open-fronted shop has been a fishmonger's as long as I can remember, certainly back to my childhood, when it was run by Mrs Garner, whose husband named his trawler Katie Ann after her. Later her son, Bobby, took over the running of the shop - and it was a source of great excitement in the village when Bobby was seen on television in the crowd dancing on Top of the Pops. No, not TOTP, the ITV variation, um, what was it called?
A few years ago it was being run by a man who didn't seem to know much about fish and his produce was of dubious quality but it's been taken over by a Swansea market fishmonger and now the fish is always delicious.
And here's an otter print from Google.Well, if it's not an otter it's ... something else.
Have you ever seen such a sad face?
Monday, June 15, 2009
The weekend started badly on Friday night with a church meeting about finance. The trouble with church meetings is that they're full of Christians. I was so angry I couldn't trust myself to speak.
But we had good news today: Younger Son has got a job for the next three months ... in Ibiza. I was so pleased that he'd been successful that I haven't yet started to worry about the fact that he's going to be spending three months in Ibiza, drink and drug party centre of the Mediterranean.
We - YS, Husband and I - were sitting outside eating lunch, talking about this, when I nudged Husband and said, 'You ought to talk to your son.'
'You know, condoms.'
Husband and YS burst out laughing.
Friday, June 12, 2009
To take part in Saturday Photohunters, visit tnchick.
I'm posting early this week as I'm going away and so won't be able to visit until Sunday evening.
I was driving to Mumbles lunchtime following a red van, registration mark KJ03ZRN. Suddenly a coke can was thrown out of the passenger window. A few seconds later a plastic bottle was given the same treatment.
I honestly didn't think people did that any more.
I'm writing to the local paper next!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
1) I can be a little bit twp on occasion;
2) I have been longing to be a granny.
Now before I tell you this story, which combines both these elements, I should say something in my defence.
Daughter had a sewing machine for her birthday; she's also a very good cook, and she'd said, 'be warned: everyone is getting home-made presents this year.'
So come Mother's Day weekend in March, Daughter and son-in-law came to stay, bringing me a lovely bunch of flowers. Later, when we were all sitting down, Daughter said, 'We do have another Mother's Day present for you but it won't be ready until November.'
Instantly Husband leapt up, very emotional, and began hugging them and saying, 'Wonderful news, well done.'
And I'm still sitting there thinking, 'Have I missed something?'
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
While eating lunch in the garden I was idly watching a bee doing backstroke in the pool. It wasn't until its little limbs stopped flailing around that I began to wonder if it were normal for a bee to swim, let alone do backstroke.
I leapt into action. With my knife.
Have you ever tried to fish a bee out of a pool using only a knife?
I finally got him out and onto the table where I left him to dry off. I was a little concerned that I might have to do mouth to mouth resuscitation as I don't know which end of a bee is the stingy bit but, at last, one of its legs waved and I sat back satisfied that I'd done my duty.
I'm hoping that he'll remember and, when a swarm of bees is about to attack me, he'll push his way to the front and say, 'No! Stop! She saved my life; we must spare her.' You know, like that lion who had a nail in his paw.