Thursday, January 31, 2013

Eating daffodils

Travelling back from Sainsburys  I kept the daffodils with the health & safety gone mad label on my lap. Husband laughed, 'Don't you trust me to pack them in the boot with rest of the shopping?'

We got home, he opened the back door of the car and the carton of one dozen eggs fell out onto the floor.

With 4 of the 8 broken eggs I decided to make a custard tart - but I didn't have the right fat so the pastry's not very good and, as you can see, the texture isn't right either. I think I put the eggs into the milk while it was still too warm. Ah well, you can't make a custard without breaking eggs - or something like that.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's Husband's fault

We're going to the Italy Wales rugby international when we're in Rome in February and I asked Husband if he thought there would be face painters there. (When we go to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff for an international I always have a dragon painted - well, daubed - on my cheek.) He said, 'Why don't you get a daffodil hat?'

This week I said to him, 'I must remember to get my daffodil before we go to Italy,' and he said, 'You're not seriously going to get one, are you?'
'Well, d'oh, yes.'

Monday, January 28, 2013

Don't read this book!

I hate giving up on a book but a few years ago I decided that life was too short to waste it on books I didn't enjoy. I also stopped choosing books simply because I thought I should read it or because it was worthy. On the whole nowadays I choose books that look as if they will be fun.

I used to get a writing tips newsletter from an author called Andrea something and she often mentioned her partner who was also an author. She's fun and frothy so when I saw his book, The Radleys, in the library I thought I'd give it a go. I don't know if you can read the writing at the top of the book cover but it says: 'Great fun' (Vogue), 'Addictive' (Daily Mail) and 'Highly recommended' (The observer).

Yes, it's a book about vampires but abstaining vampires who live in a pleasant English suburb. Sounds like fun? That's what I thought. It's not.

It's the most depressing book I have read for ages. I have got halfway through it and I'm giving up. I persevered this long because yes, it is addictive, I want to know what happens, but I can't take any more; I'm not prepared to be disheartened by the sheerness unpleasantness of it all any more.

It's well-written and clever and I suppose it could be called life-affirming, which seems to be a popular positive attribute these days, but only in so far as it encourages being who you are, not trying to be what you're not.

But it's bleak and there isn't a single character with a redeeming feature to make you like him or her. It's just not nice. It's yucky and horrible and disturbing. And not a single laugh.

But don't be put off by my review! Out of 107 reviews on Amazon it's been given 4 out of 5 stars. If you love vampires you might like this. Or not. 

I'm moving on to my other library choice, The Good Plain Cook. Set in 1936 in rural Sussex, according to The Times it's 'Gorgeously written, full of teasing observations about love, class and cookery'

Sounds much more my cup of tea - in spite of poor reviews on Amazon. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What to buy for the man who has everything

We've been in Egham this weekend with Elder Son, Daughter-in-Law and GrandSon1 and we've had a lovely time. It was a beautiful day today and we went for a walk in Windsor Great Park, though it was cold in the wind as we passed Obelisk Lake.
What fascinated me though was the hospital in Windsor that had a large poster outside advertising 'MRI scans from £450.'
I know it's a wealthy part of the world but is that seriously what you buy for the man who has everything?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thinking gay thoughts

Right, I need to get this out of my head before I settle to writing my novel. (That sounds so much more impressive than it is!)

After my post on Tuesday about confidence knockers - there's something very Carry On about that sentence - it was apt that in the bible study we looked at a section from John's letter where he is assuring believers they can have confidence. (In Christ and their eternal future rather than in their own abilities in this case obviously.)

One of the reasons for John's letter was the inaccuracies and untruths being put about by the newly-rising sect, the Gnostics who had some interesting beliefs. For example they believed that all spirit was good and all flesh evil and therefore it didn't matter what you did with your physical body as it was evil and destined for hell anyway, thus giving approval to all types of immoral behaviour.

But they also denied the deity of Jesus and John seeks to reassure followers of Christ that he was there, he saw it happen and that they can believe the truth of what he and the other apostles are teaching. Those that believe in the name of the Son of God can know that they have eternal life. 

Which brought a sudden clarity to my mind about another issue that has been troubling me. Not troubling exactly but concerning.

I've been following and occasionally joining in a debate, mainly on Facebook, about gays in the church.

If you read the bible passages that particularly refer to homosexuality there's no doubt it's considered a sin. And, naturally, it's to these passages that the anti-gays refer. When I say anti-gays I don't mean that they are anti the people involved but that they insist it's a sin and needs to be dealt with. I hope in their dealings with gays they are compassionate and I'm certain that one person in particular, JT, the one I know best, is. He taught me a lot when I first became a Christian and I'm happy to acknowledge that.

But when John quotes the references and puts forward his very accurate and carefully-researched evidence all I can think is, what would Jesus say?

What did Jesus say? Oh, yes, nothing. Nothing that is recorded in the bible anyway. But we can know what he would have thought about homosexuality, JT says, because he grew up learning from the old testament and as the bible tells us he knew it thoroughly and was able to debate with senior teachers and leaders when he was only a 12-year-old. And they were impressed. 

But it's not just the fact that he said nothing that makes me wonder. It's his unfortunate habit of inclusion that upset the pharisees and leaders of the day - and also that we try to emulate at Zac's. Everyone that was considered an outcast from prostitute to tax collector to thief on the cross to leper to bleeding woman, Jesus made straight for and brought into his circle.

Ah but, JT says, he tells the sinners to go and sin no more. Yes, he does, which doesn't bode well for me, a practising sinner. And now I could go into the repentance and wanting forgiveness bit but that will all get a bit complicated. So instead I'll go back to whether homosexuality is a sin. 

If it is, it is not for me to judge my neighbour. When we become Christians we should change. God working in our lives brings to our attention things we do that perhaps we shouldn't. And we want to change. And sometimes we try. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail but the point is that it is God who nudges us, if you like, and says, 'Hm, dodgy maybe? Someone's going to get hurt by your action?'

And that's another thing: promiscuous homosexual behaviour is bad as is heterosexual promiscuity. But two people in a stable relationship loving each other? How can that be bad?

All sin is sin in God's eyes but the church seems to overlook that and focus on specifics, such as what it sees as human immorality.

Gosh, I'm rabbiting on here and not in scholarly researched way. I'm not wise; my arguments could be torn to shreds by ...  most anybody really.

But to get back to Tuesday and the sudden seeing of the light. John the apostle at the end of his first letter says, 'I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know you have eternal life.' Suddenly so simple. No addendum that says unless you're gay.

God works on us in his time. We are growing into the people he made us to be and he will sort us out; whatever he thinks needs correcting in our lives he'll let us know. Gently, lovingly, patiently.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Almost snow

An almost snow day today. We had more than last week but still less than everyone else in Swansea. A pleasant walk over the tip though.

So, anyway, Zac's was great last night. Sean was leading and it was quite a difficult passage with lots of questions arising. A very good session and I dished up my 'cake' in bowls with warm custard and it went down well so all was fine and dandy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

oh crumbs!

Tried a new recipe today for Zac's: apple and currant (or in my case, sultana) slice from the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days cookbook.
They taste lovely but when you bite into them:

 they crumble into a hundred pieces. Okay if you've got a plate; not so good if you don't i.e. at Zac's. Ho hum, I usually hoover afterwards anyway ...

Library workshopping

Going to the library the same day you've had a rejection isn't a good idea. It's full of PUBLISHED authors, some of whom are brilliant and a few of whom are poor. Equally depressing for different reasons.

However I have booked to go on a workshop in the library - on cupcake decorating. What else?

What I learned in the dentist's

Started the day with an email from an American publisher (friend of Furtheron) who would like to see some of my novel (yay!); came home from slimming class to an email from a British agent who wouldn't (boo!)

Guess which one has had the greater effect on my frame of mind.

In the dentist yesterday I was speed-reading a magazine article about how women, in particular but possibly men too, are much better at praising their friends and not seeing their deficiencies than they are with themselves. For example, a woman trying on a new outfit will see all the negative points. I know I do that: look at the size of my nose (obviously relevant when choosing a new skirt); it emphasises my hips; clings in all the wrong places; my hair is so grey (ditto relevance comment); and so on. If a friend was with me she'd no doubt say, 'You look great. Shows off your curves, clings in all the right places.'

As the article said, we're not lying to our friends but we genuinely don't see the little imperfections that we see in ourselves. We take in the bigger picture and like what we see. Of course the article was saying we should be nicer to ourselves Sometimes easier said than done but I think it does get easier as you get older and finally begin to accept that, though you might be imperfect, you're all right really.

But I still need time to pull myself together again after the rejection. Probably also need chocolate.

Monday, January 21, 2013

How to make welshcakes

Lots of people - okay, two - on Facebook asked for the recipe for welshcakes so here's how I make them.
Sieve 1lb plain flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder and half a teaspoon cinnamon (or mixed spice) into a large bowl. Rub in 10 oz fat - I use margarine but you can use butter if you're feeling lavish. When you've got it to a breadcrumb consistency stir in 8 oz caster sugar and 6 oz mixed fruit (I usually use mostly sultanas with some raisins).
Bind with 1 egg beaten with about 2 tablespoons milk to make a soft dough. Roll out to about that thickness - can you see my fingers? hang on, I'll get a ruler - just over 1 cm roughly - and cut into circles and cook on a greased griddle or bakestone on a medium heat for - well, until cooked - turning once. Or twice. AS soon as you can pick one up they're ready to eat. You can sprinkle icing sugar on them if you wish.

I've just realised I used 12 oz sultanas yesterday. That'll teach me to wear my glasses when reading my tatty old recipe collection.

One of the requestees was my newly-discovered Australian cousin, Cassie. Strictly speaking she's not newly-discovered as I've always known I had relatives in Australia but my uncle stayed with Cassie when he went down under a couple of years ago. Then, last year, he sent her a copy of my book, which she's now read and contacted me to say she'd enjoyed it. So I'm now in touch with her on Facebook, and with her mum, Angela. 

I grew up knowing that I had an Auntie Winnie who lived on the other side of the world and that she had a daughter Angela, but apart from the occasional photos we'd see of this attractive blonde child  I knew nothing else. Let me see, Winnie, who's still alive, would have been my mum's and my uncle's first cousin but I've no idea what relation that makes Cassie to me.

Isn't the internet a wonderful thing?

Random jottings

I can't think in 3D. When faced with one of those whirly topiary creations I cannot visualise how you would cut it. That sort of thing.

* * * * * * * * * * * 
Driving home from work today a driver coming from the other direction flashed his lights at me. Ah-ha, I thought, I know what that means: police speed thingy up ahead.
Sheep in the road.

* * * * * * * * * * *
At home I was about to pour milk into my mug when Husband snatched the bottle - how uncouth, not in a milk jug - from me and poured the contents down the sink, leaving me gaping.
'There was a maggot in it earlier when I poured some in my coffee,' he explained.
'Oh, that's okay then. Oh no, wait, that's the bottle I used for my cereal this morning!'

* * * * * * * * * * 
Dental check-up this afternoon. I momentarily forgot my long-ago-instilled terror of dentists when I found out I didn't have to pay for my check-up (because of my extreme old age.)

All fine, so that's my eyes, hearing and teeth that have been checked this year so far and all passed with flying colours. With the obvious if unspoken addendum, 'for your age'.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Can you tell what it is yet?

I was sitting in the study chatting to Husband who was sitting in the chair next to the window when I suddenly realised I was being watched. Can you see the face?
Husband could - eventually - when I explained it out to him

 But he couldn't see the llama.
 Screw your eyes up, okay? It's there, honest. (The eyes aren't as big as I've drawn them. I've just done that for positioning. The real thing is much more Rembrandt that I've made out.)

Heaven on a plate

All the way round on our walk today - except when George was poohing out a plastic carrier bag - I was dreaming about welshcakes warm from the griddle. The closest thing to heaven in a mouthful.

Friday, January 18, 2013

My next job will be as a fire alarm

Part of my job is to test the fire alarm in work. When I set it off I cringe and mentally prepare myself for the eeeeaaa-aaaawww eeeeeaaa-aaaaaaaww that will follow. But today it didn't. 

I was there doing that 'any minute now' shrinking back bit and nothing happened. 'Oh.' 'Oh dear.' 'Oh my, what do I do now?' 'I know!'

I ran through the hall shouting, 'Fire! Fire!'

Just as effective I think. Sadly quilters weren't in this morning - put off by the snow - to be impressed by my performance.

P.S. According to the control box the alarm was disabled but I was totally unable to enable it again even with the aid of a thirteen-page manual.

My cunning plan backfires

When Sean gave me the rota for leading bible study in Zac's I checked for when I was on holiday in February but didn't think to look at this week. So it was a bit of a surprise when, in the middle of Tuesday afternoon, I looked at it and saw that down for leading that evening were 'Martin/Liz?'
'Oh plop!'

I hurriedly did some preparation but decided that, as Martin has a habit of landing me in it, I'd play the innocent and when he asked me if I'd prepared I'd say, 'No, you're leading it, aren't you?'

Backfire 1
At tea-time Ric told me that Martin wouldn't be in Zac's that evening. Triple plop! I couldn't wind him up.

Backfire 2
Martin was there but told me he'd have to leave early and when he gave me the reason - totally justified - I felt bad.

Backfire 3
I'd prepared the wrong section ...

I've come to the conclusion that if you want to cunningly plan successfully you have to be both evil and very smart.

What made it worse was that we'd already done the bit I'd prepared ...
I blame it on the fact that John is a bit repetitive in his first letter, or, as one of the Zac's regulars said, 'Boring as hell.' 

Still it was a good night. Some good stuff covered and discussions entered into. We've a few people who are struggling to let go of stuff and, no matter what you say or assurances you give them, they don't hear. They can't hear until they're ready.

Rowland, our wise elder, commented on the bit in the passage that mentioned faith and belief and talked about the difference between them. You can believe in something e.g. that this bus is going to town, but unless that causes you to do something, such as get on the bus, it's not yet faith. (I haven't explained that as well as he did.) 
You can believe but be independent; when you have faith you are dependent. You can believe there's a god but until you have faith you live your life independently of him. 

Anyway, Martin was very good. He's very reluctant to lead the study - hence his frequent excuses - but when forced into it is more than able. He has loads of knowledge and did a great job. 

Snow time! Or not ...

Getting up this morning I glanced out of the window that looks onto the back of our house. 'Whooppee! Snow!'

I went downstairs and let George out of the front door - where it was raining ...

Janet then phoned to say that it was blizzard like where she lives - close to, but slightly higher than, Linden where I work - and she suggested not going into work too early - if at all.


Husband drove me to work a little later than usual and it was absolutely fine. There'd been some snow but it was slushy and inconsequential. Then Facebook was full of photos of snow and reports of schools closed and dire warnings. 

I worried if my Sainsburys delivery would come: it did - and a little earlier than expected!

The weather is very confusing.

How organised am I?

On Tuesday I did an on-line shop at Sainsburys to be delivered today after work, meaning I could come home from work and relax instead of battling with rush hour traffic.

Which would have been more impressive if I hadn't managed to order 3 packets of bacon and a solitary banana.

Then, with my spare time this afternoon, as the pantry was looking ready to tip its contents on to the floor - even without today's food order - I decided to sort it out.

I tend to be a bit disorganised when going shopping. (You? Surely not?) And I don't look in the pantry before going but get to the shop and think, 'I'm sure we've got plenty of that,' or 'I'd better get that in case we're out.'

So if there's a world shortage of dessicated coconut in the next few weeks and you're in dire need, you know where to come.

In the meantime, what can I make that involves lots of bacon and coconut?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Our favourite dog

And the urge I couldn't resist

We had a lovely weekend with Younger Son and Nuora who came to stay. On Saturday we had lunch in Verdi's.  I honestly really and truly intended to just have ice cream but everyone else wanted sandwiches so, after checking to make sure they were planning on having ice cream after, I had soup and foccacia. Followed by apple crumble and honeycomb ice creams with a flake and cream. Then they wanted to go for a buffet lunch on Sunday so we invited ourselves along to that too.

Buffet lunches are ideal for someone like me who can never decide what to have and then quite often regrets it: I wish I'd had what he had, I think about Husband's meal. Or the stranger's on  the next table. So buffets, where you can wander around at leisure and take a little bit of this and a little bit of that, suit me perfectly.

After several plates of starters and a stir fry I had a plate of chips. I excused myself thus:
I don't have chips very often;
these are nice chips;
I'm 60 and I don't have to worry what anyone thinks!

I redeemed myself afterwards with a plate of melon, pineapple and water melon. Followed by banana fritter, profiteroles and ice cream ...

When I got home I rolled onto the sofa and watched television I'd recorded over Christmas for the rest of the afternoon. A pretty good way to spend a weekend I feel.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Builders' bum in church

So you're in a Sunday service and you stand to sing the first hymn. Over the top of the hymn-book you spot this:
Can you resist the urge to grab him by the sweatpants and pull them up?

In prison one should always fight one's urges. Especially when the man in front of you is well-built, muscular even, and may not appreciate your mam-like tendency.

Fortunately his underpants did fill the gap. Unlike the boy next to him who treated us to proper builders' bum when he bent over.

P.S. I've had an email from the man who was leading the service in prison yesterday. He said, 'Read your blog. Now I know why you had that funny smile on your face.'

Friday, January 11, 2013

How to be happy


I wasn't very happy this morning. As you know I've been feeling proper sorry for myself this week with a long-lasting sore throat. Well, I had to go to work this morning and, to make it worse, I had to be there for 8 am to receive the bedding for the night shelter tonight. (The night shelter provides accommodation for rough sleepers in the coldest months of the year. Seven churches take it in turns to open one night a week and the beds and bedding are passed from church to church.)

Because I've been tired and sleeping late I was anxious about being able to wake up early with the result that I woke every hour from about 3 am. So it was a pretty grumpy Lizzie that finally arrived in work this morning in time to receive the bedding. Not much to be happy about so far. (Except the obvious things like having a warm safe bed to have to get out of.)

The sun was already up - I wasn't that early - but as it continued to rise it shone in through my office window. I glanced around at the source of the light and it was heavenly. A glorious creamy-white light with just a hint of pinks intermingling, surrounding the blinding molten white ball.

I didn't have my camera so you'll have to make do with an old photo of an early morning sun to get an idea of what made me happy today.
How to be happy is a new meme started by Jay at the Depp Effect

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Me, a film-maker!

My first attempt at a promotional video!

Try our slideshow maker at Animoto.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Hoodie alert!

My own little gnome hard at work in the kitchen.

Tea and cake

We should be in Devon now. But my throat is so sore I didn't want to risk passing it on to anyone and I wouldn't have been to avoid hugging and kissing and cuddling the grandbabies so it was better to stay away.

But it was a glorious day today and, to cheer me up, Husband suggested we drive out to Rhossilli and have tea and cakes. I hesitated replying long enough to have a hot Lemsip and then we went. Husband denied that he had suggested having cake insisting he'd only offered tea and that I'd heard what I wanted to hear. But I know him better than that. He wouldn't go somewhere and just have tea. Very nice cake it was too.

The sun was already low in the sky by the time we got there giving the hills this red hue.

"I've got my eye on you. Just because I'm eating doesn't mean I'm not watching you."

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Deathly dilemmas

2,217 words done on novel 3 today. Coolio.

But is Jon going to have an affair? It's looking like it at the moment but is that the right way forward? Should Sybil die? If she does it means Maggi can go to Australia but Angela will lose her cake-baker. 

So many dilemmas. 


Seem to be getting quite a few spam comments these last few weeks. They're not really troublesome - just annoying when I go to look at the comment and find it trash. They mostly seem to be for Ugg boots and nothing rude so, for the time being, I won't worry too much, just delete as I get them. I don't want to reintroduce word verifiers because I know how I struggle to do them on others' sites.

Back to Zac's tonight. Yay!

Although I'm feeling a bit ropey with a very sore throat. I've just taken a Lemsip; that got me through today so I'm hoping it will work its magic again as I've really missed the Tuesday nights. but looking outside into the wet dark night it's very tempting to stay home. I'll see ...

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Get on board the rejection train

Having started my new year with a football game I feel I must continue the adventure by getting back on the rejection train. Yes, I've just submitted novel number 2 to a literary agent.

It's the first time I've submitted it to an agent; I went direct to a Welsh publisher with it originally but the editor there - a man - rejected it. I say that with feeling as previously when I'd approached this publisher, before I'd completed the work, it was a female editor and she'd liked it and asked to see more.

But I'm feeling strong now and ready to receive the 'thank you but no's that are sure to come my way. (I say that now: ask me how I'm feeling after the first 5 rejections.)

So we shall see. And in the meantime I'll carry on with novel 3. Except first I have to read it as I can't remember what's happened so far ...

Who ate all the pies?

Been to my first football match. Won't be going again in a hurry.

I know I didn't want to be sitting in the 'hooligan' section but the bit we were sitting in was dead. There was no atmosphere or engagement with the play; we could have been at a vicar's tea party. (The Arsenal end was much noisier and livelier.)

Not that the game engendered much excitement. It was just a crowd of men kicking a ball around, mostly backwards.

And, to make matters worse, I was under the impression it was virtually compulsory to eat pie at football matches and I'd gone along, ready to forgo my diet for the cause - and they'd sold out! And we were there early!

So I've been and I'm glad I went but give me rugby every time.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

A soft touch

Sainsburys were selling notepads at half price. I don't need a new notepad but I am, like the notepad, a soft touch when it comes to stationery. And you can't really have too many notepads, can you?

This one looked so nice but turned out to be slightly disappointing when unveiled. Still, even at full price it was quite cheap so I shouldn't have expected better.

Meanwhile I've worked out why my brand-new and very expensive salt mill isn't working as well as I hoped. The clue is in the picture.

Husband said, 'Well, I didn't notice when I was filling them. And you'd expect them to be the same mill, wouldn't you?'

I realised because I tried to adjust the setting as I was wearing my glasses to read the recipe for tonight's dinner. I decided I'd try something new: low-fat lamb and squash curry. Does it ever happen to you? You start preparing a meal full of enthusiasm and by the time it's in the oven you've gone off the idea altogether?  To be fair, I think it's probably the low-fat tag that is making me doubt this one. I shall report back later.

On the plus side, I did find a grill pan down behind a sofa cushion.

Friday, January 04, 2013

How rude!

I love Zac's. I think you may have gathered that by now. I love most things about it but especially I love the fact that I'm trusted, that I'm thought of as someone worthwhile. A bit of a twit but nonetheless of value.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that, while Sean takes some time off this year, I'm one of the team of three who will be stepping into his - very big - shoes. That makes me smile in amazement as well as in delight.

I was talking to one of the leaders of Linden recently, who mentioned that he'd been talking to Sean and that Sean had told him about my new role.
'Yes,' I said, sitting a little taller in my seat.
He laughed.

And that about sums it up.

I had a little accident today

A 10' tall Christmas tree fell on me.
It was my own fault. I stood in the corner and tried to get a bauble off it by pulling it. That's when it fell on me. I'm still picking needles out of my cleavage.

But I did it! I got the Linden tree undressed and dragged it outside - all by myself! The worst bit was perching precariously up a ladder trying to cut the string that held it in place, stopped it falling forward. Try do that in a middle-aged mini-skirt and boots.

All in a day's work for a church administrator.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Springsteen, Venice and daffodils

Okay so I haven't managed to stick to my New Year resolutions today ... but I have booked tickets to go and see Bruce Springsteen in Cardiff in July! Whooppee doopee doo!

And Husband has booked our hotel in Venice - did I mention we're going to Italy in February? We're spending a few days in Rome before the Italy Wales rugby international followed by a train ride to Venice for another couple of days.

I was planning on taking my inflatable daffodil to the rugby but Husband thinks I should get one of these:
(The daffodil hat not attractive young man.)


We had some smoked salmon left over from Christmas so Husband did a search and came up with a recipe for smoked salmon soufflés. 'You could make those,' he said encouragingly.

After the first cooking I had to take them out of the dishes and blob some crème fraiche on top before returning to the oven. They looked more impressive before but ended up looking quite pretty on the plate.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Tomorrow ...

my New Year will begin.

I've finished my Maltesers so have no excuse. Tomorrow:
I'll start back on the sensible, thinking-about-what-I'm-eating diet;
I'll attempt to skip every day;
I'll go back to writing my NaNoWriMo novel (I've not touched it since the end of November and if I can write a bit every day in November there's no reason why I can't keep that up);
I'll grab life by the lapels and shake it till it laughs.

A couple of years ago extravagantly was my word. I resolved to live life extravagantly. I don't know if I entirely succeeded but it gave me something to be challenged about. My word this year is adventure. Let life be an adventure.

But right now I'll do some more shouting at stupid angry birds and smirking pigs. That's quite adventurous enough for a Wednesday evening.

What a difference a day - or five - makes

A murky day in Pwll Du. 
I should have known better. 'You can do it,' she said, as she leapt athletically across the fast-flowing torrent. 'Come on.'

She is an energetic 20-year-old; I am a, well, 60-year-old. 

I almost did it. I only got one foot wet. Pretty impressive really. But must listen to sensible voice in head next time rather than flattered and ego-boosted 'Yeah, you can do it,' stupid voice in head.


I can't think of Arsenal without remembering Eric Morecambe and his famous catchphrase (Arsenal) so I must try hard not to copy it when I attend my very first professional football match on Sunday. Swansea play Arsenal in Liberty Stadium in the FA cup and, on the spur of the moment, I thought I'd like to go and watch the game.

I imagined it would be impossible to get tickets but I visited the website today and bought them without any hassle at all. I keep checking the email to make sure I have actually bought the right tickets for the right game as it seemed far too easy.

So I'm off to my first footie game and I am a trifle anxious as football fans aren't the same as rugby fans. For a start no alcohol is allowed to be sold in the stadium during football games - because some football fans are notoriously prone to violence - whereas it's an essential part of a rugby fixture. In a rugby match you're quite likely to find yourself sitting next to a supporter of the opposing team with whom there will be general good-humoured banter; in football I believe opposition fans are herded into separate sections of the ground. So this will be a new experience for me, my first of 2013.

I'll get to see the famous Michu - note: must find out how to pronounce his name so as not to appear complete novice. Ooh, just googled his name. He's rather nice, isn't he?

And, as Husband as pointed out, Arsenal fans can't possibly be as threatening as team parents when we used to watch our boys play.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year from George

George with his belated Christmas present from Younger Son and Nuora.
He has been walking around with it in his mouth all day today. I think he is willing it to become edible.

The New Year ...

began brilliantly. We had a lovely meal in good company at Janet's house and discovered Scots people don't sing 'for the sake of' in auld lang syne. Allegedly. 

Home by about 12.45 and I was in the bathroom getting ready for bed when the phone rang. Husband answered it in the bedroom and I wandered in thinking it must be one of the children (although nobody planned on staying up for New Year as far as we knew). Husband's face was very serious and I could hear a male voice on the other end of the phone and it sounded a little like Elder Son. 

I went cold. Something must have happened to GrandSon. Something terrible obviously. My body started to disappear away from me and then Husband smiled and said, 'Well, we can't do anything till morning. Thanks for letting us know.'

Letting us know? Of course they'd let us know if GrandSon's in hospital. Or worse. And why couldn't we do anything until morning? We'd go now if  we had to. And how could he smile?!

'That was Andrew,' Husband said. 'Somebody drove into their car and they think ours may have been damaged too so I'd better go and look.'

'The car? That's all?'

A minor inconvenience compared to my imaginings. Do parents/grandparents ever stop imagining the worst?

It turned out that while we'd been parked at our friends' house, in a quiet avenue, someone had crashed into the back of the car of more friends and as it was damaged on the front and had been parked behind us it must have been shunted into ours. Theirs was a write-off and they had to get a taxi home. They imagined they'd not have much hope of finding out who did it

We'd left before them and driven home oblivious but we've discovered that the back is dented and will need new doors and bumper etc.

Fortunately today a furious father took his 18-year-old son around to apologise to our friends and to exchange insurance details. That's one young lad who's going to remember this New Year's eve.

I'm just grateful it was only a bit of metal.