Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Zac's parable

Okay, I was tired and a bit down when I wrote about Zac's last night but it was okay. No, really it was.

You see Sean had this brilliant idea that, as we'd been looking at parables, we could write a Zac's parable. Then he went on holiday leaving me to facilitate this. To be fair I thought it was a brilliant idea: we'd written a Zac's psalm and beatitudes so how hard could it be to write a parable?

It turned out to be very hard. Nigh on impossible.

I was well-prepared; I knew what we needed and I'd planned it out. All that was left was to get the crowd to co-operate, fill in the gaps almost. In a nice orderly fashion. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

'So the first thing we need is the meaning, the moral of the parable, something that will be relevant to us at Zac's.'
So the first thing we get is ... a title. And it went downhill from there really.

Much later when the flipchart was covered with words like vicars, monkeys, atheists and Blaenymaes, someone said, 'We're working the wrong way round really. What you should have done is begin with the meaning.'

I ground my teeth silently. 'Yes, yes, if you remember ... no, you don't remember. Never mind. I'll take it home and ... think. Let's have a cup of tea.'

The Gerry decided to mutter about hypocrisy. 'Call yourself a church and you tell us Sean's on holiday when really he's in hospital.'
'Is he?'
'I'm not lying! Why would his mother-in-law lie to me?'

I scowled at the God Squadders, who were all very quiet, assuming they knew but it was supposed to be a secret for some reason but I found out later that not only didn't they know but they didn't think it was true.

If only I'd looked at my mobile before I went to Zac's I'd have read the text from Sean explaining it all: he was having a relaxing time and he's not in hospital.

I've started sighing again.

Whisper it softly

I've just been to a Mills & Boon workshop.

It was only for an hour and a half but the speaker, a M&B author, crammed in a lot of information. She, Liz Fielding, has written 60 titles at the rate of 2 or 3 a year, so she knows what they like. (Apparently sheiks, princes and millionaires generally are popular.)

The reason for the workshop is the Mills & Boon New Voices competition that launches on September 13th. For a month aspiring authors have the chance to upload the first chapter of a romance. At the end of it the editors choose 20 to go on to the next stage where they're given a mentor and so on until one or more people are finally accepted as M&B authors.

Last year about 800 people from the UK, Australia, South Africa, Canada and America entered the first competition and 10 were chosen to progress. Three were finally given contracts and the first of their books is out in December.

Will I enter the competition? I think so. If I can find time to write about 4,000 words. Do I want to be a M&B author? If they pay me to write novels that will be published and that people will read, then yes.

At the end of the workshop we came away with a goody bag of 4 titles and a free pink pen. I'd better read her books now to find out how it's done.

ABC Wednesday - G

This week it's G for Gower or Gwyr. The Gower peninsula is in the south of Wales - and I live at the very edge of it. It's about 70 sq miles in area and was the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to be designated in the UK in 1956.

First the mudflats of the north Gower shore and estuary.

Then the cliffs of the south Gower coastline.

Only last month an archaeologist in a Gower cave came across a scratched painting, which is believed could be the oldest example of rock art - more than 14,000 years old - in Britain. Another reason to come and visit our beautiful Gower!

To see other entries and take part ABC Wednesday go here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The parable of the baaa-aaad black sheep

'Nothing says Tony like a rusty transit van,' Ric said, when I asked him what I should put on Tony's birthday cake.
Zac's tonight was ... difficult. I shall be glad when Sean is back. I'm tired so will write more tomorrow; I'll just leave you with a taster of the evening. It included accusations of hypocrisy, alien invasion, human sacrifice and Rory Thudgutter who spoke with a stutter. Not to mention Sean and the sheep. Big sigh.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday's Odd Shots

Six years this was the first photo I published in my blog, in my third blog post. It was a shot I took from a west Wales clifftop of a rather comfortable raft. By the way it's sheer coincidence that this post comes just after the Mumbles raft race post; the raft in this photo was parked all on its own in a tiny little cove off a desolate part of Wales.For Katney's Odd Shots.

My 4,000th post!

Admittedly most have been inane ramblings, often the result of spending the day cleaning, but still ...

And it will be six years ago at the end of September that I began blogging.

I was looking back over some early posts and came to the conclusion that I was more insane then; one reader commented that I could be sectioned on the grounds of my blog. However I think the insanity has moved from my virtual blogging life into my real lived life.

I'm a lot more confident than I was then in all sorts of ways and with that confidence has come a greater acceptance of who I am, and a desire to make the most of this life. And if that means hopping and skipping down the road to the embarrassment of Husband and George, then so be it.

(Actually in church yesterday morning we were standing to sing and in a quiet moment I had the sudden urge to hop so I did. And then looked around to see if anyone had spotted me but I think they were all too busy worshipping God to notice. But anyway I look on my hop as my own worship.)

In six years my blogging world has lost three bloggers that I considered friends: Winston, Mutley and Dumpling. Another couple have disappeared from the scene: Elsie, who still pops up very occasionally, and Hippymama. On the more cheerful side I've met up with Shirl and Suburbia from Bristol, Welshcakes from Sicily, jmb and Leslie from Canada, and Katney from the U.S. of A., and I feel that I have very real friendships with many more, some of whom I may meet in the future.

So I'll carry on blogging and to each one of you who reads my ramblings I offer a sincere thank you. Although I may say that blogging is really an outlet for me, an opportunity to empty my head - which it is - it's so much more fun knowing someone somewhere is reading and, I hope, enjoying what I'm scribbling.

Oh, the disappointment!

I love Victoria plums. And they're one of the few fruits that are still seasonal so when I'd cleared a patch of garden we bought a Victoria plum tree.

I planted it with my own fair hands. Dug the hole, put it in and watered it, and have watched it devotedly over the last two years as it's settled in, grown and, finally, this summer produced three plums.

Earlier this month I published a photo of the first harvested plum. At the time I mentioned that it wasn't a totally authentically Victoria plum colour or taste; I now believe that's because it's not a Victoria plum.

The revelation occurred in Mumbles when the local greengrocer had two trays of plums on display side by side. One was Victoria, the other Marjorie Seedling. 'Look!' I grabbed Husband's arm. 'That's what we've got! Not Victoria after all!'

Unless you have suffered this kind of crushing disappointment you will be unable to comprehend how this has upset me. Excuse me now, I'm going to cry in a corner.

Why does my computer hate me?

It must do. I can't think of any other reason why it would behave for the 'expert' but not for me.

The computer in work that is. I've been having problems embedding material in the Linden website. After trying everything suggested on the various help forums, I consulted our webman (who is difficult to get hold of hence my reticence in trying).

He talked me through a remedy; it didn't work. I sent him the information, he did exactly the same as he'd told me to do - and I'd done - and it worked.

Today I attempted another bit of embedding using webman's method; once again it didn't work for me.

I am beginning to take this personally.

In other totally unrelated bits of internet stuff, I googled 'rusty transit van' images and up came a picture of Brad Pitt. While I have no objection to unsolicited images of Brad Pitt gracing my screen it does make me wonder how Google works.

I said to Ric this morning that google was a word before Google appeared; later on I began to doubt the accuracy of that statement and checked it with Mr Chambers' good book. I was right: googly is a noun (an off-breaking ball with an apparent leg-break action on the part of a right-arm bowler to a right-handed batsman or conversely for a left-arm bowler) and to google is to bowl or behave in such a manner. So there. You've often googled, haven't you?

And of course, a googol is 1 followed by 100 zeros. As we discovered to our cost in the quiz we attended last week. (Don't ask how we fared.)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

And they're off!

The annual Mumbles Raft race took place this evening. It's held every year in aid of the RNLI (you can see the Mumbles lifeboat in the centre of this picture) and attracts huge crowds of onlookers as well as large numbers of rafts.The promenade is deep in people for one of the highlights of the village year.Some take it deadly seriously and come from far away to compete; others are happy to make it to the end.

Some need a helping hand to get that far.
Others need a bit more than a hand; they need a tow.
And some just do it for the opportunity to be pretty in pink.
By the way they may look all girly and softy but this raft was still being carried along the foreshore to the starting place long after everyone else had set off, and yet they still managed to beat the two stragglers above.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Unlucky in water

Fiancée mentioned yesterday evening that it is, apparently, considered bad luck to toast another with a glass of water. It's the only drink I ever toast anyone with so I must be very unlucky, as I said to Husband, 'Just think: if I hadn't been teetotal I could have been married to George Clooney now.'

He just smiled.

A heart attack or possibly indigestion

I thought I was having a heart attack in work this morning.

I had a terrible pain in my side, I couldn't sit upright and I couldn't breathe deeply either. I was talking to Younger Son on MSN at the time so I warned him that should I go silent he should send help.

It passed. Obviously or I wouldn't be sitting here now. I told Husband about it. He said it wasn't a heart attack; it was a collapsed lung. He said he knew because he often had it.

So that's all right then.

Of course it might have been connected with the chips I ate last night.

Take a chip-deprived woman to a restaurant that serves the best chips in Swansea - and probably the world - place a bowl of chips for four on the table in front of her and watch her stroke the dish. Before eating more chips than the combined efforts of the other three.

Oooh, they were good. As were my fish soup, garlic bread and sea bass cooked in rock salt.

Younger Son and Fiancée came home Wednesday night hence our visit to La Brasserie for a celebratory engagement meal. It was lovely but my tummy must have shrunk. Time was when I wouldn't have left the table while there was a chip remaining in the dish.

Earlier I'd been to Sainsburys and there were samples of Mexicana (hot) cheese on offer. Being a little peckish I picked up two chunks and popped them in my mouth. Did I mention they were hot? I did the rest of my shopping with my mouth open to allow it to cool down.

Now I think of it, it was probably the cheese that gave me a heart attack/collapsed lung not the chips at all.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Devonshire Dumpling

I've just heard that Devonshire Dumpling died back in July.

It's strange as I was thinking of her only this morning as she was one of those people who seemed like more than just a blogging acquaintance but who suddenly disappeared from the scene.

I thought I must have done something to upset her when I found I wasn't allowed into her blog - she could be a touchy lady - but Sally tells me that she cut off most of her blog friends when she became ill.

It is very sad news: although she could have a sharp tongue and a biting wit, she was entertaining and we talked of meeting up especially when it was rumoured that there was to be a ferry across the Bristol Channel that would enable us to practically pop next door to visit each other.

Yvonne loved her animals and found comfort in them. She was disabled by her deafness so may be she found it easier to communicate with her beloved dog than with people. She did have a loneliness about her that seemed to go deep although she joked about it.

I'm sorry we never met and about her decision to go it alone at the end, without her blogging friends. The blog world may be a virtual one but the people are very real.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Watching me leave for work

ABC Wednesday - F

Ffald-y-brenin is a Christian retreat set on the side of a hilltop in the wilds of west Wales. You can just see it in the very left of this photo. Ffald-y-brenin means sheepfold of the king and you can maybe see the sheep on the hillside too.
At one end of the accommodation building is the beehive chapel.It is built around bedrock that was impossible to move and which has become a feature of the simple chapel.
At the end of the hilltop a cross has been placed from which spot you get the view of the valley I tried to capture in the first photo.

To take part in ABC Wednesday, go here.

In which I am mistaken for a lady of the night

Sean's on holiday these two weeks so he asked me - well in advance this time! - if I could do something. As we've been looking at parables I said we'd do the prodigal son last night. By the way, I only found out yesterday, after Husband had asked and I had to admit I'd have to look it up, that prodigal means waster or spendthrift.

So I had plenty of time to prepare, to think and to plan. And to worry. Last time I took the study I was casual and not very well-prepared - and it wasn't very good - but not anxious. This time I was a nervous wreck.

And I really threw a wobbly when Rowland walked in. Rowland is a very wise old Christian. He's been to Zac's only once before (to my knowledge) and he sat quietly and listened. He's a very lovely gentle man but so much better equipped than I in all fields bible-study-related.

Ric slapped me around the face (he didn't really, at least not physically) and said, 'Don't do it then! We'll have an open evening.'
'No, I must do it. I can't let Sean down.' I took a deep breath. 'I can do this; I can do this.'

So we finally got started, once all the smokers had been rounded up from outside and everyone had their coffee and there was something like an expectant hush. No, who am I fooling? It was nothing like a hush, expectant or otherwise; it was a hive of noise.
'Um, um, hello, um, good evening, um.'
'SHUT UP!' That was Baz I think.

So finally we started.

I did the welcome bit and the introduction and had just asked for volunteers to read when Ric, who was sitting at the bar near me, whispered out of the corner of his mouth, 'Prayer.'
'Prayer? OH, YES! I've forgotten the opening prayer!'

Which wouldn't have mattered so much if I hadn't made a point of asking Ric beforehand if he'd do it. Brain like a sieve.

From there all went smoothly. If you can call practically coming to blows over whether Ozzy Osbourne is or is not a Christian going smoothly. An animated discussion may be a better description. Several animated discussions in the course of the evening in fact.

At one point Baz told us about an ex-prostitute who now leads a church and who wears fishnets and a miniskirt when giving a sermon and I thought, 'I have those! I could wear them next week!'

But lots of people participated and there was serious discussion and a number of questions that warrant a more in-depth answer than it was possible to give in that context. And it went on longer than usual. Or, more to the point, I couldn't make myself heard in order to suggest drawing to a close so it went on and on.

And after it was all over Rowland came up to me smiling and said, 'Well done, Liz.' I think my head must have swelled noticeably.

And what's more I got 'appraised' on my way back to the car afterwards. A car driven by a youngish man slowed down and he looked me up and down. Then drove off quickly ...

I told Husband about it. He said, 'You know what sort of women men cruising in cars late at night are looking for?'
'Yes, but I'm still chuffed that he thought I could be one.'
Husband looked at me.
'Okay,' I said, 'maybe I didn't think that through properly.'

Maybe I won't wear the fishnets and miniskirt next week.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Did God invent the apostrophe?

Driving home from the dentist today I noticed a large board outside a church and it read, 'Why not make this church your spiritual home'.

Now quite apart from the obvious reasons - like the 'whatever happened to relationship-based evangelism?' and the use of Christian jargon - would anyone seriously consider attending a church that fails the punctuation test?

Imagine what they'd do with apostrophes!

By the way when I said that to Husband he replied, 'God's not interested in apostrophes but in apostles.'

Which everyone knows is nonsense. Why would he have invented the apostrophe if he didn't care about its use?

Fossilised bear foot

Take my word for it: it looked more convincing in situ. Admittedly it didn't convince Husband even then but he has no imagination.

First fruits

The outdoor lime is about 3cm and the greenhouse melon is about 15 cm.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Don't pick a fight with a poet* ... and other random ramblings

When I saw a copy of Case Histories in a second-hand bookshop I remembered Suburbia's advice that the book was better than the television series and bought it. I finished it today and it is very good. A little confusing but I think that might be because I was trying to remember the series and fit it together - and it didn't exactly. Very enjoyable though.

As are The Fethering Mysteries, a series by Simon Brett, creator of After Henry television and radio series. I've read and enjoyed his Charles Parris and Mrs Pargeter murder stories but have only recently discovered this newer series set in a West Sussex seaside town and featuring two amateur sleuths. A very light read and not the sort of thing to give you nightmares.

Unlike The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I came late to this book; for some reason I thought it was some sort of philosophy book. (Yes, I know: I don't know where that idea came from either.) It's a thriller and it's translated from the original Swedish and is exceptionally well-written. There are some very gruesome bits in it - which make me disinclined to see the film - but it is an excellent story with wonderful characters. I've just borrowed the second book in the series: it's great when you find a new author - or series - that you enjoy and can read lots more of his/her work. It was the same when I first read Barbara Pym many years ago. Not so good to find out that she was, like the author of The Girl books, dead and that once I'd got through all her books in the library, there wouldn't be any more to which to look forward.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I went with Daughter for her appointment with the midwife last week. She's 15 weeks and we were able to listen to Baby's heartbeat. Thumpity thumpity thumpity thump. Very rapid and clear.

How can anyone pretend or claim that it isn't a baby at that stage when evidence of its very real and individual life is so obvious?

* * * * * * * * * * *

Wales had a good win over Argentina yesterday. Not the most thrilling of rugby games but, as everyone kept saying, it's winning that is important for confidence-building before next month's world cup. And there were some hopeful-looking prospects.

I don't expect Wales to win the world cup but I hope they put on a more credible performance than they have done on occasion in the past.

* * * * * * * * * *

*Don't pick a fight with a poet is the title of a song on the new CD by Madeline Peyroux.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What an evening!

It started when I arrived at Zac's to find two policemen outside the door interviewing two of our 'congregation'; it finished with a lady telling me she used to lure men down alleyways with the promise of sex and when there would pull down their trousers, steal their wallets and run.

And there was everything in between.

It was chaos and God was there in amongst it up to his armpits in mud.


ABC Wednesday - E

This week I've struggled to find an E with a Welsh link that I have a photo of! One of my topics was obvious though odd but first may I present to you an example of an eglwys.
This little church (eglwys) is right on the beach at Aberdaron on the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales and many pilgrims would have stopped there to pray before they crossed the water to Bardsey Island, which has been a place of Celtic pilgrimage since the very early days of Christianity.

My second choice for E is England. Yes, I know, bear with me, and I'll explain.

A few years ago the BBC used this advert, featuring the Stereophonics, prior to what I think was then the Five Nations rugby tournament, the five nations being Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and England. One thing the first four had in common was their desire to beat England. Of course each side wanted to beat everyone else and win the tournament but the game that really mattered was against the English.
I think it was partly to do with the arrogance of the English team at the time but there was, and is, a deep-seated truth about the words. Maybe it has its roots in history. A nation invaded, defeated and long ruled by its stronger and more powerful neighbour.

I'm Welsh through and through and I can't explain it but this is fact: as long as we beat the English that's okay. Some would say it's racist and it would be hard to argue where a joke ends and racism begins especially in light of the spate of burning of second homes owned by English people in Wales in the seventies. But I'm married to an Englishman; I have no problem with individuals. I don't even worry about Wales being beaten by England in football.

But rugby ... rugby is the sport of Wales, the red jerseys are the life blood of our nation. Which is why it was especially pleasing that Wales beat England at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff last Saturday!

A fruity post

Our first plum! It doesn't look like a traditional Victoria plum - too purple - but the other two on the tree look right. It's not quite ripe but there was a gang of waspy hornets hanging around and, in fact, they'd already taken a little nibble, so I wasn't taking any chances. I shall report back on flavour when ripe and ready.And for Zac's tonight I took advantage of our large crop of raspberries to make raspberry and chocolate muffins with a mix of white and milk chocolate. I would have made chocolatey muffins if I hadn't discovered until too late that I didn't have any cocoa.
I'm like GrandDaughter when picking soft fruit: one for the bowl, two for me, one for the bowl - whoops, it fell into my mouth by mistake ...

Italian wedding update

Younger Son tells us that the reception will have about 12 courses and we'll be eating from noon till 6 pm. Fiancée assures us that we won't feel too full because it's slow and relaxed eating.

Oh my!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A good day at the office

I had quite a good day in work today. In spite of spending it working on the church website, a task that normally sends me home grumpy and frustrated.

I've been trying to set up a new online donation system having refused to have anything else to do with PayPal after the last fiasco. It sounded very simple when the girl explained it to me over the phone; it wasn't quite so easy when it came to the actual doing. Mainly because the documentation was created for people who understand.

Rather like the documentation that is available for Joomla, the free website creation software that we use. Developed by geeks for geeks. With manuals to match.

But I have now managed to get the donation button onto the Linden website! Ta dah! Of course it doesn't actually take you anywhere ...

But I'll get there. One day. Maybe.

It smells green

'There is a lovely green smell about today,' I commented to Husband as we walked in the woods yesterday.
'I'm not sure green has a smell,' he said.
'Yes it does. It smells like this. Like the woods.'
'But the woods are brown and sludgy.'
'But mostly green.'

I think his lack of appreciation was partly due to his poor sense of smell and partly to the fact that his trainers were leaking, two wet dogs kept pushing past and he was getting muddy.

But it did smell very fresh and green and lovely.

Then I remembered Shane

'That's a very good drawing, Shane,' I said, smiling at him.
He looked at me then tore up his drawing. 'Nah, it's not; it's rubbish.'

* * * * * * * * * * *
Like the majority of the people in this country I've been horrified by the actions of the rioters and looters. I heard a 15-year-old girl being interviewed on the radio. 'It's great fun,' she said, swigging from a bottle of stolen wine. Then realising that she might sound a little shallow she added, 'It's the Conservatives' fault. And the rich people who own businesses.'

Then a woman, a mother was interviewed. 'Well, they haven't got anything in life, have they? They've got to take it.'

I found myself yelling at the radio, 'You stupid idiots! etc etc etc'

Then I remembered Shane.

Shane and his older brother Kevin used to come to Earthquakers, a youth club I helped run in Linden nearly 20 years ago. Shane and Kevin were bad boys, troublemakers, regularly threatened with a ban, but with a well concealed vulnerability. When Shane tore up his drawing I realised how used he must have been to being told everything he did was rubbish and by extension that he was.

I am in no way a Conservative supporter but I don't think you can't blame them directly for the riots, although Maggie Thatcher set the scene with her Me Society. I'm not even sure you can blame government - although I am politically naive - for the mood in the country. Rather I think it's society itself that is to blame.

A society that judges people by the cars they drive, the clothes they wear and the money they have in the bank. When designer labels are the mark of a person's value we have reached a sad state.

The phone hacking scandal was shocking and, yes, the newspapermen and women who authorised it deserve to be punished but they did it because society, the public, we can't get enough gossip and scandal. We can all be righteous in retrospect but how many times have I ignored articles about starving Africans in favour of what the Beckhams did next?

There is no justification for what the rioters and looters did but it suggest that we need to look carefully at our society and how we treat each other, how we ensure individuals know they have worth for who they are.

The last time I saw Shane he was in prison.

I'm not a politician and I don't have very clear thinking; I don't know what the answers are but I do think it begins with us as individuals.

More very good news!

I am finally able to tell you that Younger Son and Girlfriend got engaged a couple of weeks ago!
While on holiday in Italy they went diving and Younger Son proposed underwater. A great deal of planning had to go into the proposal including how to ask permission from the non-English-speaking father. He got the message as did Girlfriend after a little confusion: she thought he'd found the ring in the sand! (Not the real ring, you understand, which he had safely back on shore.)

We love Girlfriend and we're very pleased that now we have a wedding in Italy in September 2012 to look forward to!

Monday's Odd Shots

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

ABC Wednesday - D

For ABC Wednesday Wales this week we look at the letter D for dragon, David and daffodil.

You'll see the dragon on the Welsh flag that decorates the top left-hand corner of my blog. The dragon and the daffodil are both recognised symbols of Wales and daffodils are traditionally worn on March 1st when we celebrate the day of our national saint, David or Dewi Sant.

David lived in the sixth century. He was a monk and later Archbishop of Wales and was canonised in 1120. He travelled as a missionary through Wales - where he established several churches - as well as further afield. He is said to have been buried on the site of his sixth century monastery, where St. David's cathedral now stands in the city of the same name, the smallest city in Britain.

In Wales, St. David's Day is celebrated in schools, usually with an eisteddfod (musical and spoken word competitions), and children wear the traditional costume, which today for boys - and some girls - means a red rugby jersey. When I was in school we had the afternoon off but that is one tradition that has, sadly, died out.

This photo of me with blow-up daffodil (and George) was taken a few years ago. My t-shirt reads: '100% Welsh. Need I say more?'
And some real daffs in full bloom on the sea front.
On his deathbed David is said to have told his followers to, 'Do the little things' ('Gwnewch y pethau bychain'), advice we can still follow today.

Oh, I nearly forgot Delilah! The song has become a second national anthem always sung at rugby games, and here it is performed by the boy from the Welsh valleys, Tom, himself.

To take part in ABC Wednesday go here. As usual I'm posting early but won't be able to comment until late because we're away each Wednesday and Thursday.

Awww, pleeeaase.

George on my left
and Holly on my right.
'We're sitting here looking so appealing and you still don't give us any scraps. How can you be so heartless and cruel to us?'

Monday, August 08, 2011

Monday's Odd Shots

A scuba diving scarecrow in the kitchen garden at Knighthayes Court in Devon.For Katney's Odd Shots.

The trouble with barbecues ...

is the left-over food.

Not that there was much but Husband still managed to have cream sponge for breakfast, scone and jam and cream for mid-morning snack and scones and cream and raspberries for lunch.

And he wonders why he has indigestion.

He said he's not going to eat any more scones or cream today; I think by this evening he'll have forgotten that resolve.

Me, of course, I'm a model of restraint. I only just had my first cream scone and it's late afternoon.

Well, my theory is that they've got to be eaten and once they've gone they've gone and I'll stop thinking about them.

But you'd have been proud of me yesterday.

I made trifles on Saturday and there were some three left-over sponge fingers still lying about on Sunday morning. I tried to persuade Husband to eat them but he said, 'Nah, I don't like them.'
'Neither do I really but they're looking at me and I can't throw the box away until it's empty.'

So I compromised: I ate one and threw away two. Ooo, but it went against the grain throwing away food that was edible.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Somebody up there likes us!

The sun shone!
And then the thunder came! But not until much later.

Friday, August 05, 2011

I'm not worried

We're having a crowd of people round for a barbecue on Sunday. Last night the weatherman forecast hailstones and a maximum temperature of 16 degrees for Sunday.

The forecast has improved today: now it's heavy rain showers and 17 degrees.

And tomorrow Wales visits Twickenham to play England in a rugby World Cup warm-up game.

Nope, I'm not worried at all.

a prayer

As I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
if I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Words that take on an unbelievable poignancy when recited by a 49-year-old homeless alcoholic.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

ABC Wednesday - C

This week for our look at Cymru, we're travelling to the north and coming a bit closer to home. But to set us off on our way what about a bowl of cawl?
Cawl's a traditional Welsh stew made with root vegetables and most importantly, lamb - Welsh lamb is the best in the world - and leeks.

Caernarfon castle stands proudly next to the Menai Straits. Edward 1 of England initiated its building in 1283 as a definitive part of his plan to control Wales. The first English Prince of Wales was born in the castle in 1284 and in 1969 the investiture of Charles as Prince of Wales took place there. It's a magnificent building and a recognised World Heritage Site.
Closer to home, one of George's favourite walks is in Clyne Woods.
To take part in ABC Wednesday, go here.

Monday, August 01, 2011

What's so funny?

I mentioned in a previous post that I'd been one of three people interviewed in church on Sunday morning. What I didn't say was that Ben as he called us up made a point of saying that he'd saved the difficult questions for the brains of Linden, and, when I was going up, he said about me, 'and I've saved the best brain till last.'

Which I thought was quite apt. So I couldn't understand why everyone was laughing so much ...


I think I must be a magician.

Every night I have a glass of water on a mat on my bedside table. This morning I woke up to find the mat on the floor and the glass still standing on the table. True some water had been spilled but I have absolutely no recollection of drinking any in the night, let alone spilling it.

When I mentioned it to Husband he said, 'I did hear a thump in the night from your side but you seemed to be asleep.'


Good news!

I've just realised I haven't told you my good news: Daughter is pregnant again!


Grandchild number 3 is due in February.

Have I mentioned how good my life is?

Mr Sainsbury is worried about me

I'm trying to see how long we can last without me going to Sainsburys.

Younger Son and Girlfriend are in Italy for a month so it's just Husband and me. And we're both on diets. The fridge is - or was - full of leftover bits and pieces and we have a greenhouse full of tomatoes so we're having to be creative. Unfortunately you can't make Weightwatchers caramel bars (which are nicer than they sound and make a good evening treat) from tomatoes and we're down to our last one.

I was thinking of making my cookies for Zac's today but if I do that I'll not be able to resist them and it's weigh-day tomorrow.

I will be strong; I will be strong; I will be strong.