Monday, February 28, 2011

Not my problem, guv

Last week in work we had the boiler serviced; this week it stopped working.

It was only a temporary glitch but one that is recurring and intermittent - the worst sort. The plumber says it's an electrical problem; the electrician says it's down to the plumber.

It seems more likely to be an electrical fault as something is tripping the fuse so I'm going to have to call the electrician. I say 'have to' because I really don't want to. He is one of those people who make my eyes glaze over within 20 seconds of being in his company. I know he will try and explain things to me and, quite frankly, I'm not interested in an explanation: I just want him to fix it. Not only am I not interested, I don't understand a word he says after 'you know the ...'

I smile and say, 'no, not really.'
But he doesn't take the hint and tries to explain it to me anyway.

I wonder why he doesn't notice that my eyes are glazed but then I suspect that he has the same effect on everyone so it's probably normal for him to be faced with glazed eyes. He probably hasn't seen anyone with unglazed eyes since he was five.


I discovered that I haven't read the latest Janet Evanovich book that I had for Christmas - or even my birthday. Yippee!

Stephanie Plum is always a fun read.


How can you fail to feel good when you're greeted by a handsome young man with the words, 'Hello, gorgeous. You're looking lovely as always'?

Admittedly he was organising last night's music event that I was reading at and I was late and he was probably just relieved to see me turn up but still.

It went okay. My bit I mean. I'm still not sure if I made the right choice of reading matter. A couple of people told me afterwards that they'd enjoyed it but more people said they loved my cookies. And when you're as used to rejection as I am unless a hundred people tell you you're wonderful, you don't believe it.

The music was good though. And Ffion read her poems - after many threats to back out - and she did very well.

Onwards and upwards.

Folding glasses

I started this post an hour or so ago but was so tired I didn't have the energy to do it. But now I'm back!

I called in to see my uncle today and he gave me two jewellery boxes that belonged to his late wife. 'She's been dead 17 years now,' he said, 'so I thought it was time to do something with them.'

A lot of the jewellery isn't my style but it did include this pretty little ring and these posh lady glasses. (I don't know what you'd call them really but they made me think of Lady Magnolia taking them out to peer at and inspect her grandson's choice of girlfriend.) And they magically fold up! In fact I didn't realise they were glasses until Husband pointed it out.

I know what my uncle means though about getting rid of stuff.

With the arrival of our new bed I've had a grand clear-out of bed linen but amongst the sheets and quilt covers I found a load of lacy doilies and runners that went under the ornaments on my gran's sideboard. I'm never going to use them but I couldn't throw them out. So they're back in a drawer under the bed.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Life is a circus

I saw this card in an Oxfam shop and it really spoke to me.

On Wednesday we drive to Devon. Have I mentioned that GrandDaughter is giving proper kisses now? Or that it's a real battle not to eat her?

On Friday morning we drive from Devon to Derby to see Mother-in-law. On Friday evening we drive from Derby to London to stay with Elder Son, Daughter-in-law and Bump until we drive home on Sunday.

And we slept in our new super kingsize bed for the first time last night! It is SO big. It's wonderful. I can stretch out in all directions and not touch the edge.

And who says you can't get a double bed in a Porsche?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What shall I read?

I'm reading at unplugged tomorrow evening. (Unplugged is the monthly live music event at Red Cafe in Mumbles.) Trouble is I don't know what to read.

I'm not a poet; most of my stuff is long and not suitable for reading aloud. I have plenty of monologues but they're either too long or too Christian. The funny ones are certainly too long. And pieces I like wouldn't necessarily be right for the audience, who will be mostly in their twenties.

I'll read a couple of John Hegley poems again because they're funny and I like them but as for my own stuff ...

I've narrowed it down to a choice of three:
the Bathsheba monologues - the audience will all be over 18 but is it appropriate?
the Rosenbergs story - but will it work read aloud and will they get it?
Angel Baby - but it's sad and a bit girly.

It's no good trying them out on Husband because he's not very receptive to reading aloud and doesn't like emotional stuff.

I've just read all three again and I'm no closer to making a decision. Phooey. I'll have to try reading them aloud to myself.

Whatever floats your boat

Some people have roaring tigers, soaring eagles or fire-breathing dragons;
Younger Son has a floating jellyfish for his latest tattoo.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The grannies on the bus

Because it's half-term lots of the mums who are usually at singing in the library in Tiverton weren't there so it was four grannies, one mum and assorted toddlers who made up the group.

One of the songs we sing is The Wheels on the Bus and some of the grannies - one in particular - get rather strident when it comes to the line, 'The grannies on the bus go knit, knit, knit,' so this week it was agreed that we'd change it to, 'The grannies on the bus go text, text, text'.

I don't do either.

Body language

Graeme Dodds, a Scottish Baptist minister on a sabbatical, took the bible study in Zac's last Tuesday. He looked at the story of the adulterous woman and there were three things in particular that struck me about his telling.

He began by talking about body language and how we all learn it early in life, and how it often tells us more about someone than the words they use. In the story of the adulterous woman, the pharisees bring her to Jesus and ask him to judge her. In response Jesus stoops down and doodles in the sand. Graeme suggested that this was indicative of God's body posture, his body language. That he's willing to get down into the mud, the crap and the shit (Graeme's words) of our lives. He began life on earth in a filthy stable and continues to be willing to get down there with us.

Secondly, Jesus puts mercy above the law. Yes, the woman was guilty and by law should have been stoned but Jesus showed mercy. As he continues to do with us.

Finally, Graeme remarked that, from their body language, you can tell if someone is paying you the attention you deserve. The attention you deserve? I sat up at that point. No-one deserves attention surely? Not just like that. Not if you've not done something or are someone important. But, yes, he said, the attention we each deserve simply because we're human beings and worthy.

Not your average Baptist minister I suspect.
From left: Gareth, Graeme, Sean and Baz.

Party time

We were celebrating a trio of birthdays in Zac's on Tuesday and two of the celebrants were actually there! Una was in work unfortunately but her husband took some cake home for her. At least, Martin took some with him; whether it reached her is another thing.By the way, the cake shows Zaccheus falling out of his tree. (After Jesus had invited himself to tea.) Which is the story behind the name of Zac's Place. (Zaccheus up a tree not falling out of it.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm going to be a granddad!

Daughter-in-law had her 20-week scan last Tuesday. The nurse/technician/person who does the scan said, 'It's a boy.'
Elder Son said, 'How can you tell?'

He has inherited his mother's talent for saying what he means but in the wrong way.

We are thrilled. (We would have been thrilled whatever!)

What's next?

Sometimes it's very hard to convince people they are wrong.

For some time I have been in disagreement with Husband - and, it seems, most of the world - about the use of the word 'next'.

If I want to talk about the weekend of 26/27 February I say 'next weekend'; on Friday I would call it 'this weekend'.

Husband - and the rest of the world - insist on saying 'next weekend' when, in fact, they mean the weekend after next (5/6 March). Some times. Some times they mean this weekend.

Are you with me?

According to Chambers' Dictionary, next is 'the nearest following; on the first occasion that follows'. Therefore there is no way 5/6 March can be next weekend.

I'm quite happy to acknowledge that 26/27 February can be both next and this weekend, but use of the word 'next' has to be specific otherwise it leads to confusion.

But will anyone believe me?

It's hard being the only person who's right.

Sleeping in different beds

I'm going to be sleeping in 4 beds this week.

Sunday's was our last night in our old bed. Yesterday Husband dismantled it and we slept in the spare bed.

This morning our new bed has been delivered and Husband is ... mantling (?) it now. Unfortunately I haven't got round to buying new bed linen to fit out super kingsize so we won't be sleeping in it until Friday or maybe Saturday.

In the meantime we'll be in our Devon bed tomorrow night.

Four beds in less than 7 days. No wonder I never know where I am.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

What are you doing this weekend?

It's going to be a complicated weekend.

Tomorrow morning Husband and I drive to Bristol Parkway station to meet Daughter who will be getting off the train from Exeter. She will give me her return ticket and I will get on the next train to Exeter.

In Devon I will be on hand to look after GrandDaughter should Son-in-law, who's on call, be needed in work and, meanwhile, Daughter and Husband will go to Derby to see Mother-in-law. Then Husband and Daughter will drive back to Devon and we will stay there the night and come home on Sunday.

Elder Son is also driving up to Derby from London for a visit to his ailing grandmother.

So you see what I mean about a complicated weekend? If we all end up in the right place at the right time it will be no thanks to me.

It made me laugh

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The perfect wiggle

It's amazing what a slow slow quick quick slow foxtrot with the polisher around the hall can do to lift one's spirits. With Rod Stewart belting out Beyond the sea the floor has never been so polished. I tell you, Wise and Rippon had nothing on me and the polisher (the polisher playing the Angela Rippon part of course). We sashayed and we swooped till I was completely wrapped up in cord and had to stop. But such drama, such flourish!

I may not be an award-winning - or even successful - writer but I have the perfect wiggle (our dance teacher told me so).

It's not me losing the plot; it's Amazon

You're telling me that was the smallest box suitable for a slim paperback?

Open the box or take the money?

Also, with my rejection, the postman brought an order from Amazon. Thing is, I ordered a children's book and the box is the size of - I don't know - a dvd player. Do you think it's a bomb?

Or am I ordering things in my sleep and forgetting I've done so?

I'm sitting here staring at the box. I suppose I should open it.

But I'm depressed.

I'm reading a book currently from the publisher that I approached and it's not particularly good. I've skipped over large chunks of it. I'm sure mine is better!

Ah, well, onwards and upwards. Back to novel number 2, which is more authentically my style i.e. lots of misery, madness and death.

Shall I open the box? Or take the money?

Another rejection

I shouldn't have asked.

I emailed the publisher to ask if they'd received my manuscript; yes, they had and I should get a reply soon. Today I had a rejection letter. A very nice rejection letter but nevertheless.

While I didn't know the answer I could hope.

I know how many times JK Rowling and many other authors were rejected . But it still hurts.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sex and sensuality

So, today, a crowd of us were in Zac's sorting through bags of donated clothes. Most of the clothes are unsuitable because of size, style or tattiness for the people who pass through Zac's - even rough sleepers are fussy about what they wear - so bags and bags needed to be sorted into keep or recycle (there's a company that pays for clothes by weight).

Then over lunch the conversation got round to my problem in writing sex scenes. Ric reminded me - and everyone else - about my Bathsheba.

In my life I have made plenty of mistakes; near the top of the list must be reading my Bathsheba, harlot or innocent, monologues to the gathering at Zac's. For weeks afterwards every time Martin saw me he sniggered. But, as I was thinking after lunch and after the opportunity to rebuff the rude remarks had passed, that was sensuality rather than sex. There is a difference.

Anyway, that wasn't what I was going to say. When Ric had mentioned Bathsheba I chipped in, 'She was David's bit of stuff.'
Ric looked at me disapprovingly, 'I wasn't going to be patronising and say that.'

Again, after the opportunity had passed, I thought what I should have said was, 'I just wanted to make it clear which Bathsheba from the bible we were talking about.'

It wasn't until I was lying in the bath this evening pondering these imponderables that it struck me: the other Bathsheba I was thinking about wasn't in the bible. She was in a novel, the title of which escapes me, by Thomas Hardy. The one with a very young Terence Stamp as Sergeant Troy. It can't have been Tess of the D'Urbervilles (unless it was subtitled The Story of Bathsheba) and I'm sure it was nothing to with the charge of the light brigade, which is where my mind took me next.

I shall have to google it. Tomorrow. My brain has had far too much exercise already.

P.S. Far From the Madding Crowd. It came to me in the middle of the night as these things are wont to do.

It's not all fame, fortune and bright lights for travelling evangelists

What shouldn't you do with a bag containing your clothes if you're entering a room full of bags of clothes to be sorted and thrown out?
'What about this one?' I held up a t-shirt for Lara's opinion. 'What do you think? Keep or throw?'
'That looks like my t-shirt,' a voice behind me boomed.
I laughed. 'It's yours if you want it.'
'No, I mean that looks like my t-shirt,' Gareth walked over and inspected it more closely. 'It is my t-shirt!'
'You mean the one from the carrier bag with our spare clothes in?' Lara asked.
'Er, where are my trousers then?'

We looked at the piles of bags of clothes. 'In one of those?' I said.
She took it very well on the whole. A little put out maybe that her trousers had been thrown rather than kept but that was no reflection on her trousers; they just weren't suitable for the clientele at Zac's.

A puddle with a secret

Walking along the riverbank today I carefully walked around the edge of a muddy puddle. Husband, who was following me, stepped up on to a higher patch of land to avoid it. 'Aha,' I said, 'you noticed too.'
'Noticed what?'
'The look that puddle had. The look of a puddle with a secret. The look of a puddle whose middle bit conceals a bottomless hole, which, if you step in it, will drag you down to the centre of the earth. That's why you didn't walk through it.'
'I didn't walk through the puddle because I have a hole in my boots.'

Some people just have no imagination.

P.S. If you say 'puddle' over and over again, it begins to sound funny. Actually, puddle is quite a funny word. Puddle. Puddle. Puddle

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

She grabbed him by the doodahs

The heroine in my novel gets to go to bed with the man in the next chapter. I was going to shut the door on them ... but then decided I should take the bull by the horns or the hero by the doodahs. So I'm sitting in the study, by myself, writing away and I'm blushing.

Husband is less than encouraging when he reminds me that there is an annual award for the Worst Sex Scene but as Younger Son points out, 'All publicity is good publicity.'

But what constitutes a bad sex scene? YS suggests I buy some top shelf magazines and read the stories in those; I feel literary erotica would be more helpful. I wonder if the librarian could recommend a good example.

Or maybe, you, loyal readers, could suggest some titles?

But bear in mind that I blush easily.

Yay, me!

After weeks of hovering nearly there, I finally got my Two Stone certificate today. I don't want to lose any more and I won't worry if I put a bit back on - just a little bit! - but it's nice to have got there.

I celebrated with half a Toffee Crisp. And, when I've been out to buy some orange juice, I'll be making date flapjacks for Zac's tonight - and I LOVE those.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Two important lessons that I have learned today

Two things struck me this afternoon. One, that I should follow my first instinct, and two, that I shouldn't be fooled by appearances.

I was about to clean the hob when I thought, 'There's no point cleaning it now as I'll be using it later.' I argued with myself saying if I followed that to its logical conclusion I'd never clean the hob again. So I scrubbed it till it shone.

Then, when browning a joint of beef, I tipped both meat and oil all over the hob.

The recipe this afternoon - pot roast the Italian way from Sainsburys magazine - called for finely chopped parsley and sage. Now I'm always impressed with the way chefs, with just an ordinary knife, go choppity, choppity, chippity, chop with herbs, and, if you recall, we were given a very fancy case of knives for Christmas. In best Jamie Oliver fashion I tossed the herbs on the chopping board, selected a knife from our newly acquired magnetic knife rack, and set about chip-chopping.

I might as well have been using a banana.

I went back to my bought-for-£1-to-slice-cheese-when-we-were-in-Kefalonia knife and finished the job.

I haven't cleaned the hob again yet though.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

No bananas here

I love bananas but I've always disliked smoothies because they contain banana but then Daughter introduced me to this one.

Kiwi, apple and lime smoothie is delicious - if you can get past the swamp juice appearance. And that's the polite description.

After a couple of weeks with GrandDaughter having a runny nose and cough I can assure you that there are much more apt ways to describe its colour.

Rugby fantasising

With my team last week including 3 players who weren't even playing it's obvious that I'm no good at fantasy rugby ... unless you mean the sort that involves players taking off their shirts.
Italy might have been beaten by England but at least in Mirco Bergamasco they had the best-looking player on their side ...
until Johnny came on.
Now it's nearly time for kick-off in the Wales Scotland game. I'd like to say I'm confident of a Welsh victory but the unfathomable Welsh eternal optimism seems to have deserted me.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Keeping dogs in

You know the way 'relevant' adverts appear on Blogger when you do a new post? Well, after my last post, adverts to keep cats off your garden appeared, including one for gels, crystals and ultrasonics.

Crystals? Maybe not but ultrasound, hmmm. An invisible barrier of high-pitched sound around the garden. Might stop the foxes pooping on our lawn too.


Linda, our friend across the road, just turned up at our door. She had George in the car having found him in the adventure playground.

We have no idea how he got out of the garden.

He must have used 8 of his lives by now. Oh, wait, that's cats ...

I wonder if you can tag dogs in such a way that they get an electric shock if they venture more than 5 metres from the gate.

Who is Bruce Bogtrotter?

Bruce Bogtrotter is a little boy who steals a piece of chocolate cake and is made to eat a whole cake as punishment by Miss Trunchbull, the evil headmistress in Roald Dahl's Matilda.

The recipe was devised by Gary Rhodes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Monday's Odd Shot (belatedly)

Birthday tea

Roasted vegetable pie for Daughter's birthday tea.
Followed by Bruce Bogtrotter's chocolate cake, which would look better if I'd left the icing to cool more before tipping it over the cake ...

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Off to Devon soon

Didn't go to slimming class this morning as I was getting ready as we're off to Devon this afternoon. It's Daughter's birthday tomorrow and Son-in-law is taking her out to dinner tonight and then out for the day tomorrow so we're needed early.

My new 'effective life plan' has been put into action. That is, I've bought a diary and am treating it as my spare hard drive, downloading all the Things I Must Remember thus freeing up my brain to ... do other stuff. Well, that's the plan.

Everything is ticked off my list now so, as long as I didn't forget to write anything on it, I should be okay.

And as long as I remember to take my spare brain everywhere with me ...

The secret of successful weight loss

Out of curiosity, when I got home from circuits last night, I weighed; I weighed again this morning and I'd lost two and a half pounds.

'How can that happen?' I asked Husband. 'All I did was watch one episode of House and go to bed. I didn't - excuse me - evacuate my bowels, in fact I had dinner after I'd weighed. So how can I lose that much overnight?'
Without hesitating Husband replied, 'You were breathing.'
'I find it helps to keep me alive.'
'You take in oxygen but breathe out carbon dioxide. Carbon is very heavy.'

Husband bases this theory on A-level chemistry, O-level biology (failed) and a lifetime of making stuff up. I believe him.

There was me thinking I had to eat less to lose weight when all I need to do is sleep and breathe more.

So if you notice me heavy breathing don't think I have lung disease: I'm just slimming.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Sunday dinner

Home-made tomato and garlic bread and leek and potato soup. Yummy.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Bring back hat-raising

I was walking down the Devon lanes last Thursday when an elderly gentleman raised his hat to me.

I was so delighted! It made my day. I smiled through the rest of the walk. (Even more than usual.) Then I spotted a glimpse of purple in the hedgerow. Surely not a violet? No, but a very pretty cyclamen.
The hat raising is a small gesture and sadly very outdated but such lovely manners make a woman feel ... womanly. It's not sexism or anything to do with class: I expect politeness from both sexes and I don't intend to tug my forelock to my betters. It's just that manners add a little bit extra that make the world the nicer place.

George is a little mugger

George is inherently lazy. He quickly gets bored/tired chasing sticks. Holly doesn't stop chasing sticks from the moment she's off the lead. George doesn't like Holly having a stick but he can't be bothered to chase it so he waits until she has it then he takes it off her. And she lets him. Occasionally she growls and he backs off because he's also a coward as most bullies are.

He won't let me have the stick, he won't let Holly have it but he doesn't really want it himself. So he carries it for a while and then tries to lose it. But if I attempt to pick it up he's onto it like a flash.

In other words all the praise that I heap on him for walking properly on the lead now goes to Holly. 'Why can't you be more like Holly, George?'

And he really let himself down when we were walking back through the adventure playground and he began humping another dog.

The funniest moment though was when he slipped off the riverbank. He climbed out of the water and shook himself giving me a 'I meant to do that' look before strutting off. Course you did, George.

The Catcher in the Rye

Well, I know where the title comes from now but that's about all I can say about this book. I don't know what it's about. No, that's not strictly true; I know what happened in it but can't help thinking I must be missing a deeper point.

Oh, and the nights described in the story are incredibly long - or appear to go on for ever. I found I couldn't grasp the time and distance elements of the story and that made it harder.

It's often called a classic, and reading some of the reviews on the Amazon website now makes me think I've definitely missed something. I kept waiting for something to happen - and it did in that he got ill - but it didn't look as if his underlying sickness had been identified.

Or maybe it's simply teenage angst.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

39 years ago today

Let's not talk about the rugby, is it?

Not even our lovely new television helped Wales to beat the old enemy. But I could see Johnny Wilkinson's new hair style very well. Makes him look less squeaky clean. But still delicious.

* * * * * * * * * *

I went to Mumbles this afternoon to look for birthday presents for Daughter. I didn't find anything but did buy some lovely cheese, olives and nuts.

Mumbles is going very up-market. Some of the 'top shops' are very posh with designer clothes and expensive mirrors framed with driftwood. The shoppers have changed too since I were a girl.

In the deli one very young child was pointing out to her mother, 'Those are my most favourite sort of olives,' and in the candle shop another little girl commented that, 'This candle smells like lemon grass.'

We didn't have lemon grass in my day. And the only olives were those that posh people on tv had on sticks in their Martinis.

* * * * * * * * *

It's 39 years ago today that my mother died. I say this only because it's fact, not because I feel anything. She's been dead twice as long as she was a part of my life.

Now I shall go and see how many points France have run in over Scotland.

Whose pouffe is it anyway?

It's bad enough having to fight off one dog for my pouffe; it's a bit much when there are two of them in contention.
Daughter and family are spending the weekend in London with Elder son and Daughter-in-law so we brought HollyDog back with us. She's very good except when it comes to walking on the lead. Her excitement overcomes her and she pulls like mad. It's not often we get the chance to say, 'Why don't you copy George? He's being a good boy.'
Tomorrow Husband and Younger Son are going up to Derby to see Mother-in-law so I'm going to have walk both dogs together on my own. I anticipate coming back with one arm longer than the other.

Save petrol

If they want to solve the energy crisis they should ban me from parallel parking.

I had to drive around the - sizeable - block three times before a space big enough for me to drive into appeared. I did make one attempt at reversing into a space but a car came and I panicked and gave up.

And this was in the mini.

I was going to say that I am such a girl but some girls can probably park.

Always skip and eat your peas

I was wakened this morning by Husband bringing me breakfast in bed. Warm croissants, butter and jam, with a lovely cup of tea. And flowers. Then he gave me a card. And presents.

You know what it's like when you've just woken up: you're not quite sure what's going on. Imagine that feeling multiplied 10 times over. Is it Valentine's Day? My birthday? Our anniversary? I didn't think it was any of those.

Then Husband said, 'Would you like to go out for a meal tonight? Or shall I cook for you? Or would you prefer to go to the cinema?'
'Okay, enough. Who are you and what have you done with my husband?'

My sensible unromantic husband had declared it official 'I love my wife day'. He said of the card that the thing that made him buy it was the little sentiment written on the back: always skip and eat your peas. That's what I do, you see, when we're out walking: I skip and hop and dance.

I love my husband.

Friday, February 04, 2011

My precious baby

I love my children; I love my husband. ('Huh hmm.' 'Yes, George, I love you too.') I'm not a stranger to love. So how to explain the overwhelming power of the love that I feel for GrandDaughter?

With Husband, it's a lived-in love. One that has gone through many stages, experiences, both together and separately. It's comfortable and safe. That sounds boring but solid is a better word. A foundation, a safety net. It's not always exactly how I want it to be but it's secure.

With the children it's an unconditional love. They are part of me and I of them. I love them for their individuality and their ways and in spite of their imperfections. As they were growing it was a love that was constant but not always strong enough to protect or heal them. Sometimes I took my love for granted because I was too tired to do anything else.

Now with GrandDaughter I look at her and see only perfection. I want to kiss her and eat her and protect her and love her and watch her. Every thing she does is magic. I see the change in her each week and the way she's developing and no child has ever been like this before.

It's not that I love my husband and children less; it's that my capacity for love has grown. And it surprises me. And it will continue to grow with each wonderful and perfect grandchild that is born. I am so so blessed.

I adore my precious baby.

'Yeah, yeah, granny, but do I have to wear this hat?'
Watching Zingzillas on Granddad's laptop.

A phone call from Paypal

I had a phone call from PayPal this afternoon!

Once I'd picked myself up off the floor and answered it I found myself talking to a lady with an Irish accent. How can you be cross with an Irish accent?

She told me all the same things they'd said in their emails - you have to do this and this - but I only want to close the account - you still have to do this and this before you can close it.

I took a deep breath ... and said, 'Okay, I'll do as you say.'

I don't believe for one moment it will work. I will soon encounter the problems that have been tripping me up all the way through the last 5 months but at least I will be able to say I did all they told me.

That's before I go to the Daily Mail and say how rubbish Paypal is and how they've got £222.72 belonging to an home for AIDs orphans. No, actually, thinking about it, the Daily Mail would probably support anyone who didn't give money to AIDs orphans. It had better be the Guardian.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

I was feeling grumpy because:

a) I'd put on weight;
b) I'd made vegetable curry for diner and Husband and Younger Son grumbled all the way through about the fact that there was no meat;
c) I'm struggling with my writing.

The last is the most serious. I'm frightened; I'm afraid that what sounds so good in my head won't be when it appears on the page. I have the story planned; I know what's going to happen but every time I sit at the computer I start to play Free Cell or I check Facebook five times or I visit blogs.

What I needed last night was a good dose of Zac's followed by two days with GrandDaughter.

See you soon!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

It's batty

Emmanuel School for boarders, especially the children of missionaries, was closed down a long time ago and was up for sale. There were reports that it had been sold to the superstore Asda - but, thankfully, planning permission wasn't granted - and then to other developers.
It's finally been demolished and the workmen have moved in to build a small housing estate but even before the school was knocked down a small hut was specially built on a bottom corner - just below that little red star on the photo.
It's a special bat house to accommodate those displaced by the demolishing.
I find it both depressing and heart-warming. Depressing that people who can't pay their mortgages are evicted while special measures are taken to protect small mammals; heart-warming that our country can still pass laws that benefit creatures without votes.

I blame my granny ... and Ric

I'd put on a pound and half this week.

Although, last week when I didn't go to class because of my cold, I weighed at home and I'd lost one pound, so really that means I've put on two and a half pounds in one week. Which is an awful lot.

I blame the bread.

I've had two large helpings of home-made pizza as well as soup and bread twice. And when the bread's nice I can't just eat one slice. So that's what it will be.

George looks at me and coughs.
'What?' I say.
'What about the cheese, cake and chocolate?'
'I wasn't going to mention that.'

He is unkind to me. I've been poorly y'know. Like my granny said, I had to feed a cold.

Cherie in class is much kinder. 'Are you taking anything?'
'Only Lemsip.'
'There's a ridiculous number of calories in Lemsip. Something like 150. That'll be it.'

I much prefer that explanation. However I've googled it - as it doesn't give the calories on the packaging - but can't check the accuracy of that statistic. But Cherie said it so I'm happy to believe her.

The chair in the hall

Today the chair in the hall was moved up to the box room/nursery.

That's only 18 days we've been walking around it. Pretty impressive for us.