Friday, August 31, 2012

How I proved beyond doubt that the world revolves around me

I've been having a very philosophical day today.

It began in work when an argument with my computer over the presence or otherwise of a line led me to question the very idea of existence. It seems greater minds than mine have spent hours - nay years - pondering this topic and it suddenly occurs to me, 'If I pinch myself do I not yelp?' Thus proving beyond doubt my existence. So maybe they are not greater minds than mine. Maybe they just need to stick pins in themselves.  Or maybe I'm missing the point.

So that was this morning. Then while cleaning the bath just now I asked myself, 'Does an atheist believe he doesn't have a soul?' (Inspired by Dr Stu's comment on an earlier post.) I came to the conclusion that just because he doesn't believe it doesn't mean he doesn't. Or if I believe it, he does. Thus proving the world revolves around me.

Long ago, when I first began this blog I recall writing something along the lines of, 'How does one get a job as a philosopher? I could enjoy sitting and thinking all day.' I am beginning to think I definitely missed my vocation in life. My name could be up there with Descartes and, um, other famous philosophers.

Speaking of Descartes, it appears what he actually said was, 'Dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum.' But probably not in Latin or in so few words.

I think I should stop thinking.

P.S. Interesting: Spellchecker picked up cogito but not dubito, which must prove something.

Flame? What flame?

Is it just me or does the paralympian 'flame' look pathetic to you too? In fact I couldn't actually see a flame. I just assume there is one in the miner's lamp the lad in blue* is holding. Yes, I see the significance of having a miner's lamp in Wales but couldn't they have lashed out on a bigger model at least?

*Jack Thomas, paralympian swimmer, hoping to represent Wales in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

To infinity and back

Walking down the Devon lanes with Grandchildren and dogs yesterday we made the mistake of giving GrandDaughter a blackberry (the fruity sort).

The rest of our walk was accompanied by a steady chant of 'More num-nums, more num-nums!' So it was unfortunate that they were few and far between. She should have been with George and me on our walk over the tip this afternoon: there were plump, sweet and juicy blackberries in abundance. 

I don't usually walk George on a Friday, which is my work day, but Husband has gone up to Derby to see his dad again. Father-in-law has been getting steadily worse since he chose to stop eating in order to quicken his death. It is very sad for his family but he is ready to die so I suppose there must be some comfort in that.  He is a fervent atheist, vigorous in his anti-religion views. There've been times when I've had to leave the room when he's been on one of his rants but when he's not he's a jolly old soul.

So Husband drove 360 miles on Tuesday, 145 (to Devon) on Wednesday, 145 (and home again) on Thursday and 360 miles today. He'll be driving in his sleep.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A born liar

How do you feel about a narrator who lies?

I sometimes think I'm too trusting. I believe anything anyone tells me; I don't expect people to lie. I am learning, in some instances, to be a little more discerning but it doesn't come naturally to me. I mean, for all I know you could all have alter egos, the real yous being kept well hidden. Particularly those who never show photographs of themselves. then again, maybe the ones who do put on a show are the ones to really doubt because they're trying hard to be someone different.

Nick could be a right-wing fundamentalist Tory; Jams might really be Bonaparte O'Coonassa; Cherrypie could be a tap-dancing devotee who has never travelled outside of her home village. Who knows?

But I'm going off the point. I've just finished reading One Day in May by Catherine Alliott. I've read quite a few of her books and they've all been light, fairly frothy well-written chick-lit; One Day in May has moved on from that. The story has more depth than her previous books and I'm not sure that's for the best. I enjoyed it though except ... the narrator lies to her audience.

We don't find out until nearly the end at which point I feel well and truly cheated. If you can't trust the narrator (and heroine) of the story then whom can you? 

Does that happen in Atonement? I have a vague idea it does but I don't recall clearly nor can I remember the title of the book written by a good novelist whose name escapes me. Not Margaret Atwood , not Susan Howatch - oh, what is it? Anyway she wrote a novel in diary format based on the letters/diary of a real person. But at the end revealed a big lie. 

I don't like being lied to by the narrator; how do you feel about it? 

P.S. I just searched diary on Amazon and the book I am thinking of may not have had that word in the title but you would be amazed at how many diaries there are, from red stilettos to fat bitch, seducers to ladettes, rapists to provincial lesbians. You know what will happen, don't you? I'll wake up in the middle of the night, remember the author and then forget by morning.

Que causa vol dire?

First of all it was perque meaning both why? and because. Now it's a double negative: non o niente - I don't have nothing = I have nothing.

Those who say English is a complicated language to learn must not never have tried learning Italian.

Husband and I can usually say what is required on our teach-yourself-Italian course - between us and if we're allowed 3 minutes per sentence. But it will be irrelevant anyway as we won't be able to understand what's being said to us. 

Yesterday the man on the cd said, 'Now you're going to hear a conversation that will be conducted at what is more like normal speed for Italians.' Ha ha ha ha ha. I couldn't follow at less-than-normal speed.
Que causa vol dire? What does that mean? We learned that yesterday and could be saying it a lot. That and 'non capisco' (I don't understand) and 'parla troppo velocimente, per favore' (speak more slowly please).

And we're on lesson 29 and still no mention of ice cream. We can, in theory, tell you how many miles to Venice, ask you to put petrol in the car, and find out where the toilet is; we could even follow simple directions or ask for the bill; but gelato hasn't figured anywhere and there are only 30 lessons in part 1 of the course.

We watched Montalbano on television on Saturday. Italian with English subtitles. I understood maybe three words ...

In case you'd forgotten ...

I'm planning a new push on my book come autumn. Or after the wedding at any rate. I'll try and find some women's groups I can speak to - and sell books to - and find other and unique ways of publicising it. Maybe.

I've had some lovely reviews - and not all from friends! I did wonder if people were just being nice to me but when people I don't know read it and still enjoy it, it must be okay, mustn't it?

I was recalling the critique I had when I joined the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA). I've written about it before: on joining the association you're entitled to one free critique. The woman - it was anonymous but I'm sure it was a woman - hated just about everything about my novel. I think the most positive thing she said was that it was mildly amusing in a couple of places.

It was so bad a review I couldn't take it seriously! If I had done I would have given up writing for ever and ever. As it was, I put it down to experience. One of the comments that convinced me the reviewer was on a different planet was when she said that if a woman really wanted to lose weight, she would. (My heroine goes on a diet several times during the year only to weaken or find excuses within a day of starting.) Anyone who's ever tried to diet will know the absurdity of that sentence. The reviewer also said no-one would forget to order a turkey for Christmas. I did.

But even when you don't take something totally seriously, it impacts your morale, and that's why it's been so lovely to have nice reviews with people saying how much they laughed or could identify with. 

If only I could convince the publishers what they've missed.

P.S. I didn't renew my membership to the RNA after the first year.

Knobbly knees?

This image came up in the Facebook ads on my page. Something to do with replacement knees.
I thought, 'Yes, I must need a replacement: that's what my knobbly old knee looks like - the one on the left - as you look at it.' But then I thought, 'Actually the one on the right looks swollen and worse.'

Which suggests to me that the makers of this advert should rethink their image. I still don't know which one is supposed to be the perfect one. (And mine, though knobbly, are healthy joints.)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

So that's where I put it!

I've been looking for my fly swatter for 3 days. This evening I found it.
In the fridge.

One of those weeks

I did it again.

I sat in the office in work for a good 5 minutes wondering why on earth whoever owned the car with the alarm going off wasn't stopping it. Then I wondered: could it be the building alarm?
Of course it was. 

I went downstairs to switch it off and spent another 5 minutes getting ever closer to smashing the control panel into a hundred little pieces because it wouldn't stop before I realised I was trying to switch off the fire alarm instead of the building alarm.

I had one of my funny kaleidoscopic eye turns this morning, followed by a headache. I lay the blame squarely there.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A slight mishap in M&S

It's nothing to do with me. I'm sure it's not. Things just keep breaking in my hands this week.

First it was the door in Zac's that came apart. That wasn't too bad as I was amongst people who knew me. Today I was in Marks & Spencers.

I wanted to try on a necklace for the wedding so I took it off its cardboard and undid the clasp. A sound like heavy rain echoed throughout the shop as the beads tumbled, one by one, onto the floor.

I quickly put down the ... well, clasp and bit of wire that was left in my hand, kicked a few beads under the display and feigned innocence.

I didn't want that one anyway.

On a plus note, Husband now has a new suit, shirt and tie so we're both ready for the wedding.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I don't do

One thing I do
I take an orange out of the fruit bowl. It isn't in perfect condition. I ate a similar one the night before and didn't enjoy it. So I put it down next to the fruit bowl and take another fresher orange instead.
Then I leave the slightly less than perfect orange by the fruit bowl. And leave it and leave it. Until it's so dry and wrinkly I can justify putting it in recycling.

One thing I don't do
Scream. Or even shout. It's just not something I do. I was aware of it last night when trying to make myself heard over the various conversations going on in Zac's - and, yes, I know, I should be projecting not shouting but I can't do that either.
And I realise that I never shout. I call George but that's not the same, and neither is it that loud. When I think I'm speaking loudly others don't hear me so perhaps I'm on Mute. 
Shouting must be very liberating and one day, when I'm alone in the woods, I might just give it a try. If I can.

Be careful what you pray for

Last week Zac's was a bit quiet. I feared I might have driven even more away this week so I prayed that we'd get a good crowd.

I really should be careful what I ask for: we ran out of chairs.

It was a good evening. Noisy with often several discussions going on at once, so much so that a couple of the rough sleepers kept telling me to 'tell them to shut up.' It is distracting for some when that happens but at least the conversations were on the subject being considered - for the most part apart from a brief but loud argument over whether we're born innocent or sinners - so in a way that was encouraging ...

At the end, when I was offering cake around, Rowland, the elderly wise man of the west, said, 'Well done, Liz. You have the mantle upon you.'

I was so unbelievably chuffed by that comment that I floated around for the rest of the evening and I didn't even panic when the door came off in my hand.

(Will still be glad when Sean gets back though.)

Hypochondriac? Me?

On the way home I had to call into the chemist's for Husband's prescription. I'd been yawning all afternoon and my eyes were a little watery so I couldn't see properly. However I did manage to read the poster on the wall in the shop.
'Do you have any of these symptoms of diabetes? Blurry eyes (tick), excessive fatigue (tick).'

Blimey, I only went in to pick up a prescription; I come out a diabetic.

I am a proper grown-up lady!

I have a hat box!
With a hat in it!

I went shopping this morning for my wedding accessories. Have I mentioned that shoe shopping is one of my least favourite things in the world? Being blessed with an extra toe means all shoes look horrid on me and it's difficult to get them to fit. I found some but, strangely enough, when I put them on at home the right shoe is tighter than the left, which is the wrong way around.

Then I had my hair cut and coloured so I can 'grow into it' before the wedding. So it's all falling into place. Including my boobs into my new wedding bra. (And matching pants. Plus new exercise bra and matching pants. I sang to myself as she was telling me the total cost so I wouldn't have to know.)

My hat's not as big as that box might suggest, by the way. But it's my first ever hat - excluding fluffy ones with bobbles on - and I had to ask someone how to put it on. Princesses Bea and Eugenie will have nothing on me ...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Spot the sheep

Can you see the sheep in this photo? Black and white special effects courtesy of Husband - 'Oh, yes, I changed the camera setting to black and white for those pages I wanted to copy.'
'And you didn't think to change it back?'

Anyway Gower shone in full colour like the star it is today for the visit of my Canadian blogging friend, Leslie ( which for years I read as Leslie in a caravan) and her friends Cathy (also from Vancouver) and Jane (from Newport, Wales).

Those aren't smiles on our faces so much as grimaces as we're perched on pointy stones outside the Worm's Head Hotel where we had lunch overlooking the bay. It was the wife of the man who offered to take our group photo who noticed that it was in black and white. I blame the sunshine; I couldn't see the screen properly.
Fortunately for those times when I changed it to its scenery setting it was in colour so you can get a bit of the glory that is Rhossili.

The Man Inside

Graham Hunt aka Furtheron has been a long-time reader of my blog - for which I am grateful - and is one of those I now consider a friend. He's a recovering alcoholic and he's written honestly about his alcoholism on his blog where he also shares stories of  life with his wonderful and supportive family.

He is also geeky about guitars!  - as well as being a guitarist, singer and song-writer. 

Graham made the decision a while ago to concentrate on his music and step out into the scary world of public performance and to make his songs available to a wider audience on cd, his second one of which he's not long released. The songs on The Man Inside are "... in part the tale of my life, capturing my route through alcoholism and my on-going recovery. ... In short they are instrumental in me finding The Man Inside."

I bought a copy of The Man Inside shortly after its release but it's taken me ages to make the time to listen to it properly rather than just put it on as background music. I'm not a reviewer - I struggle to describe why I like books (um, I just enjoyed it) - so I won't be able to do this cd justice but I can say that it does what it says on the box: it tells a story of the journey through pain into hope. 

I think my favourite track is Daydreams, maybe because it has a slightly 60s' feel to it that appeals to a child of the 60s! Solo 12, one of the two instrumentals on the cd has a Spanish feel that is attractive and All At Once is a good old-fashioned love song that sounds to me like a tribute to the wife who stood by him.

To bring out a cd is a brave action on the part of anyone; when it tells such a personal story the courage deserves even greater reward. I hope many people buy The Man Inside and are touched and helped by it.

You can buy The Man Inside here as a download or on cd.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"One drop of rain on the window pane"

Last weekend you'd have thought that God had taken a power washer to the world the rain was coming down so ferociously and, unusually, the wind was blowing it against our bedroom window. The words of the 1972 song Storm in a Teacup came unbidden to my head, as did the image it always, also unbidden, conjures up.

I am walking down a hospital corridor. I stop and pop my head inside a door on the right. My cousin is singing, 'One drop of rain on the window pane doesn't mean to say there's a thunderstorm coming ...' to his girlfriend in the bed. I smile and say hello but don't want to intrude so carry on a little further and go into a door on the left. My mother's in here. 

She is awake but unknowing. I stay with her a while remembering.

A few nights earlier she'd been talking. She'd told me I smelled nice and then said, 'You look like someone. Is it Peter?' My cousin's girlfriend, Anne, standing next to me, had squeezed my hand sympathising with the pain of not being recognised by your own mother. And then it was time to go.

Anne had offered to drive us - me, my gran and my great-aunt, to the hospital to visit my mum who'd had a serious stroke.  My gran took the front seat and I got in behind the driver. 'No,' my gran said, 'sit the other side. Let Auntie Gay sit there to balance the car.' (My gran and her sister were both large ladies so it made sense in my gran's head to even the load.) I got out and let Auntie Gay sit behind Anne. We set off for home,  in the dark evening, Auntie Gay doing her best to be positive and distract me. 'All the lights look pretty on the works over there, don't they?' she said. I remember shrugging irritably, impatient with her. Then the unthinkable happened.

As Anne pulled out from the junction a lorry smashed into us on the driver's side.

Auntie Gay died almost instantly but, as luck would have it, a doctor coming from the hospital was in a following car and he revived her. But her injuries were horrific. My gran broke her leg, Anne would lose her right eye, and me, I walked away with a few scratches on my forehead.

A day or two after that the surgeon decided to operate again on my mum to try and clear some of the blood from her brain. She had another stroke while in the operating theatre and didn't speak again after that. 

My uncle comes into the room. He says he is going to stay the night and do I want to as well. I nod. We spend the night sitting on hard wooden benches, my uncle popping down to the ward every now and again. It is early morning when he comes back and says, 'She's gone.'

He drives us home and I say, 'I'd prayed that if one of them had to go it would be Auntie Gay.'

A few days later Auntie Gay dies.

One drop of rain on the window pane doesn't mean to say there's a thunderstorm coming.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back to prostitution now

Guess what we had for dinner last night? Macaroni cheese ... with bacon!

And these are raspberry and dark chocolate blondies that went to Zac's.

Bible study went ... okay. Quite a quiet crowd, none of the usual disruptions, plenty of discussion and generally okay. I fear it may have been a bit confusing as there was a lot of story with strange names and customs being talked about but I found it interesting personally, and it challenges me to think more about motives and reasons, and just to read bits of the bible I've never studied before. So even if nobody else got anything out of it I did!

But I hope others did too. Some were very supportive and encouraging but then they would be. I'll need to digest and reflect before I prepare for next week's study. Back to prostitution. Jesus had some ancestors to be proud of!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weigh-hey day

Last week Husband and I set targets to lose 5 and 4 pounds respectively before we go to Italy in September for the wedding.

This morning's weigh-in showed me to be on target losing 1 pound; Husband lost 3.4 pounds. (I told him he has more to lose than I do.) He has raised his target to 7 pounds. 

At slimming class the scales claimed I'd only lost .5 pound. 

I hate pretty much everyone this morning.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Spilling the seed

You know the way a good idea can sometimes turn around and bite you on the bum? I have a feeling I'm heading for a sore bottom.

I suggested to Sean that our next study could be looking at the four women who crop up in Christ's lineage so I'm leading Zac's bible study tomorrow on the subject of Tamar. Now one of Tamar's many husbands, rather than father a child by her, 'spilled his seed upon the ground.' 

I should have read this before I made the suggestion/volunteered. Remember last time? Circumcision? Yep, try explaining this one away.

If anyone in the Swansea area should notice a sudden rise in temperature tomorrow evening about 8.30, don't worry, it's not a sign of global warming. It's just me blushing.

Old men's trouble

Husband has a problem.

No, that's not strictly true: I have a problem. Husband is oblivious.

He has of late developed a tendency to leave open drawers and cupboard doors. He will walk out of the bedroom in the morning and leave open the wardrobe plus two drawers. Last time he did it I called him back and said, 'Ahem,' pointedly. He realised what he'd done and closed the wardrobe. Then completely ignored the open drawers that he had to walk past. 

He didn't used to do this. Do other ageing men have this affliction? Or is it just husband? And what can I do to cure him?

Perche, perche, perche

It turns out that when ... oh, no, it's not! My post is a complete nonsense because my memory lied to me. I could hear Doris Day (and it's only because I had to google her name that I've just realised I'm wrong) singing, 'Because, because, because,' so I was going to say that the correct title of the song, when properly translated from Italian, was 'Why? Because. Why?'

(Yes, I know it wasn't written in Italian to begin with but I was trying to make a joke, which has, has usual, backfired.) 
But because (or perche as they spell it in Italian or perkay as I spell it) she actually sang, 'perhaps, perhaps, perhaps,' my post is, as I said rubbish. 
Please ignore. 

But don't you love it that the Italian word for why is the same as the word for because? 

Now I'm going to lie down now with a wet towel on my forehead.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

You are unique

I finally managed to find the piece of writing to which I referred in The princess and the pauper and here it is:

I hope you can read it. And here's the link to the blog of the man who wrote it, Pip Wilson.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood

Buns and brains

Reading the latest Sainsburys' magazine after lunch my attention was drawn to a 'savoury chelsea bun' by Nigel Slater and I decided to make it to have with our barbecue dinner (slimming was going well until then) (if you don't include the cornetto ice cream).
It didn't really live up to its promise. The crust was very hard and the filling sloppy. But it smelled nice! A bit like pizza without the cheese.

Is it just me or does anyone else struggle to work out which way to roll something when it says to roll it lengthways? Husband says it's all to do with spatial awareness and me, being a woman, not having any. I have to ask him when I'm trying to work out if quantity A will fit in vessel B, for example.

But if that makes me a typical woman my inability to multi-task redresses the balance. No, not redress the balance. What is the phrase I'm looking for? 

In the woods today I was telling Husband how he'd miss me if a tree suddenly fell on top of me, 'And,' I added, 'you'd also regret not having your horse poo collecting duffel bag with you in which to scoop up my splattered brains.'
'That's true,' he said. 'I could put them on ebay - brains for sale, almost unused.'

But probably not if they'd been mixed with horse poo. 

Thursday, August 09, 2012


Swimmers at a beach in west Wales were told to clear the sea after a shark was spotted. According to the BBC and one report it was yesterday and a harmless basking shark but according to the Sun it was today and an 8' dangerous blue shark.

Hm, which to believe?

There was a man with white spindly legs in the woods playing the Blue Danube on a mouth organ.

I would have taken a photo if I'd got close enough but on George's approach he panicked. Unfortunately 'Stay away from me! Go away! Stay away!' sounds much like, 'Do you want a treat?' to a dog like George.

It reminds me of the family we bumped into the other day. The mother threw herself in between George and her son, arms outstretched, as if to protect her child from a fierce monster. They should have seen him grazing on a grass or running away from a squirrel; he might not have looked so terrifying then.

I realise that some people have had bad experiences with dogs but it saddens me when parents instil a fear of dogs into their children. Granddaughter, on the other hand, could do with a bit of instilled fear. She will hug any dog. 

And for grannies

I wore comfy clothes to travel to Devon in on Sunday morning and then changed when I got there into my frock. When I came downstairs Granddaughter looked me up and down and said, 'Pretty.'

Grandmothers will understand how precious that compliment was.

In response to requests for George stories

There's very rarely anybody in the woods so it was just bad luck that a family with 4 children appeared just as George was chasing a squirrel.

Now you and I know George isn't going to tear the squirrel apart but the family don't and they give me dirty looks. I am beginning to worry as George is closer than I have ever seen him to a squirrel, literally inches, when suddenly ... he stops ...
turns around and wanders back to me, whistling a happy little tune. (A trick I taught him from The King and I.)

* * * * * * * * * *
In Devon on Sunday Husband had foolishly left the bag of George's food in an accessible place. In the blink of an eye two days' food was gone. 'Well, that's it,' we said, 'no food for you tomorrow.'

Husband weakened when we returned home late Monday evening and gave him a little bowlful. It obviously wasn't enough as George got his revenge the following morning waking Husband up at the crack of dawn. Thinking he desperately needed to go out Husband dragged himself from bed and went down only to find it wasn't a wee George wanted but breakfast.

Husband told him in no uncertain terms to go back to bed.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The princess and the pauper

It's not every church that can boast a congregant stinking of urine. But then it's not every church.

If there's one thing worse than leading bible study at Zac's when Sean's away it's leading the study when Sean's there. So it was a good job I wasn't leading a study but introducing the new series. We finally finished the gospel of Mark after about 8 months or maybe a year, no-one was sure, so we had a bit of feedback and then it was over to me.

I'd suggested that we do a short series looking at each of the women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus so I introduced it talking about lineage and ancestors, mentioning that even though I am descended from Lady Godiva ('that figures,' somebody - I couldn't find out who - said) and Boadicea I am neither a warrior princess nor do I ride around naked. Our ancestors may affect the situation or country into which we are born but they don't make us who we are. 

I finished it by talking about fingerprints and reading a piece of prose - or maybe a poem - that I'd refound during my recent clear-out. It was written years ago by a man called Pip Wilson. I just googled the name and I think this is probably his blog. The point I wanted to make was that although I think it's important to read about and discuss Christ's forebears - and our own if we want - we're still unique individuals, 100% loved by God, and the poem says that. 

I asked people to close their eyes while I read it and said there were plenty of copies if anyone wanted one after. One or two people asked for a copy and I thought that was that but when I looked at the end of the evening every copy had gone. Which is why I can't write it out here!

And most amazing of all, one man, an older man who's spent his lifetime in Christian work, an incredibly humble man of huge intellect, took a copy and said he'd like to use it the same way I'd done!

But that aside it was a strange mix of an evening with emotions running high. One woman will be seeing her partner buried tomorrow. In a pauper's grave. When Sean said that I was shocked. I didn't realise there was still such a thing. I suppose I imagined that everyone has someone who'd bury them. A stupid thing to think of course but then I hadn't really thought.

The word is almost more offensive word than the thing itself. Maybe that today we still have paupers is what is truly offensive. And, yes, for most they've come to it through choices they've made. One bad decision after another and a trap from which it's hard to escape. And my worst nightmare becomes their reality.

I've told you about Avril before. If anyone deserves some good fortune it's her but for whatever reason it's not coming her way, and she is struggling, fighting an enormous battle. When I was walking George today I was thanking God for the fantastically blessed life I have and asking that he could send a little of that blessing Avril's way. It wouldn't take much; just a miracle.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Dressed in red, white and blue ...

Have I mentioned that our slimming and exercise class teacher, Cherie, is nuts? Last week she did the first of the Olympic themed classes, which includes kick boxing, archery, kung foo and swimming. The difference between the real Olympic swimming and us - apart from lack of water obviously - is that we have a shark in the pool. Oh and doggy paddle has become an Olympic event.

Kung foo requires a scream of attack and the victory lap needs flags, hence my outfit for this morning. I thought I'd be the only one with flags but I was underestimating the glorious insanity of the rest of the class: there were flags, pom poms and red, white and blue wrist cuffs galore.

But what this photo says to me most is: I really must go and buy myself a new exercise bra ...

P.S. Lest you think I've abandoned my Welshness for the sake of these games, my t-shirt reads, '100% Welsh. Need I say more?

Not an average Hen Do

Fiancée's bridesmaids are Italian, Norwegian, French and Turkish and are scattered all over the place so it was a select Hen Do that we had on Sunday. Daughter-in-law should have been coming from Surrey but Elder Son's work commitments meant they couldn't make it so in the end it was Daughter and me helping Fiancée to prepare for her wedding. 

We gathered in Devon and the afternoon began with lunch at Jack in the Green - and lunch ended with bitter chocolate torte and raspberry sorbet for the girls and lemon meringue for me.

 Fiancée and I had roast beef for the main course - we decided we'd go for pudding instead of starters! -while Daughter had salt and pepper tofu with oriental coleslaw - the smallest main course I think I have ever seen! (Although she said it tasted yummy.)
Then it was back home for an afternoon crafting.

 The finished product.

What's missing, of course, is a photo of me sewing: it's not something you'll often see! But I did my bit! The material we used has shells, seaweed and starfish on it to fit in with the marine theme of the wedding.

While sewing we enjoyed afternoon cakes, made by Daughter, with some help from Granddaughter - or at least help licking the bowl clean. Including a toast of elderflower presse and some lovely words from Daughter.
Then we rounded off the day with the dvd of We Bought a Zoo, very apt as Fiancée works in Paignton Zoo.

So not your average Hen Do but very enjoyable - at least I enjoyed it and I think Fiancée did too.

I bet Nigella doesn't have this problem

I'd planned to do ratatouille and pasta for dinner but my aubergine had gone soggy (and we all know there's nothing worse than a soggy aubergine) so I offered Husband a choice from butternut squash soup, macaroni cheese and beans on toast. He grumbled that it wasn't proper food.
'It is. It's yummy,' I said.
'It's all stuff you like,' he said.
'It's all stuff I have the ingredients for.'
'Yes, it's all stuff you like.'

What he means, of course, is that it doesn't contain meat.