Friday, October 20, 2017

New moon, new nightmare

Irish jig
New moon again. My weird and vivid dreams definitely tie in with the new moon. I can say that based on my careful calculations and recordings - all three readings.

Anyway, last night I dreamed I went to stay with one of my favourite American bloggers. When I was there another one turned up with her family and do you know what? They all ignored me! And then I got lost, in New York I think.

I'm still upset when I think about it. Which I know is stupid. Insecurity complex running wild again.

* * * * * * * *
When your 7-year-old grand-daughter says, 'You need to go to the hairdresser's, Granny,' you know you can't put it off any longer.

So I've spent three hours there today. Read lots of my book but what make it perfect would be if you could lie down and go to sleep while they just did their stuff to your hair. That way you wouldn't have to talk to people and you'd catch up on much-needed rest. Although I'm not sure why I'm tired as I get a lot of sleep. Oh, yes, I remember: I was getting lost in New York last night.

* * * * * * *
I was looking for an image to use and I discover that the new moon is time to 'set your intentions for the coming month,' and to 'dig into the moist earth of your spirit and plant your seeds.' Oo-er, Missus. It might also entail dancing in a circle wearing a short skirt and wafting your arms around. No, wait, that's an Irish jig.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

You looking at me?

The optician has written to me. He hasn't seen for two years so thinks it's time we got together again. I think he could be right: I've been getting headachy after writing on the computer a lot.

I have three pairs of glasses: upstairs, downstairs, and outside.

I use the upstairs glasses for reading. They're two years old and were supposed to replace my downstairs glasses but I can't use them on the computer.
The downstairs glasses I use for computer work. They're four years old.
My outside glasses are also two years old but I've only recently started wearing them for driving, when I remember. And also for watching television sometimes.

Is it any wonder I get confused?

Forgetful? Who's forgetful?

This morning I left the house setting off to pick up Dawn to go to bible study. Helen was leading the study and Lily was cooking lunch. I was free of responsibility! I was very relaxed!

I was so relaxed it wasn't until I'd gone two miles in the wrong direction that it hit me. 'Crappity, crappity, crappity, crap! I've forgotten to get Dawn!'

forehead slap forgetfulI was already in town by this time. I panicked. I couldn't decide what to do. So I stopped at the side of the road to think. I tried to phone Dawn but no success. I could go straight back and get Dawn but if I did then everyone would be left waiting outside as I have the keys. So I went and picked up Lily, unlocked Zac's and then drove back to pick up Dawn. 

Just a minor hiccup.

On a more positive note: I bought my birthday present from Husband today. I have given it to him to hide until my birthday next month. On today's experience I will have forgotten what it is by the time I get it. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

God, the prat and the banana cakes

(I am cheating today and putting the same post up on this blog and my slimming blog. Or rather my 'attempt to slim' blog.)

banana cakes
I made banana cakes for Zac's last night. Banana cakes have two things going for them:
a) they use up over-ripe bananas;
b) I hate them so won't be tempted to eat them.

I haven't made anything with bananas for thirty-two years. That's a very precise time I hear you saying. Well, yes, because I have good - or perhaps bad - reason to remember it clearly.

Younger Son was a tiny baby and I had made some banana flapjacks. I ate one even though I wasn't keen on anything flavoured with banana - even though I adore bananas in themselves, as long as they're only just ripe. It was ... alright but I didn't eat any more of them.

Then, that very same day, I was struck down by a bout of vertigo; for a week I was in bed with a spinning head. But before the spinning started I was sick and all I could taste as I vomited was banana cake. Oh yucky.

Hence my refusal to eat cooked bananas again.

It seems other people don't have my horror though as they went down very well and, indeed, people said they were yummy.

Zac's bible study went well too. I had prepared very thoroughly, people joined in the discussions and all in all it was a peaceful gathering. We've had a number of these now where our more, um, disruptive guests have been absent. I can't help feeling we must be due for an eruption.

I was praying about the study on my way to Zac's. I was chatting away nicely to God when suddenly I said, 'Oh, you prat!' I had to quickly explain to God that it wasn't him I was addressing in that rude manner but the driver of the big car coming towards me taking up three-quarters of the narrow road. He didn't seem to mind. (God not the driver who was oblivious.)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mysterious happenings in the woods

Somebody - not me this time - has been having fun.

But this one puzzled me.
Fortunately I had an instant answer from a passing student. He is doing his dissertation on how birds feed, from which angles they approach their food, and he was leaving these tasty bites up even when he wasn't there to get the birds used to the target.

And as for me, well, I wanted to prove how hard it is to catch a falling leaf ...

Music: Lucky Day by RogerThat

Saturday, October 14, 2017

First annual Libraries Week

Flu jab this morning though it seems like it happened days ago. Last year I was invited in error and we had to think up an excuse so they could still do it - I was classed as a carer for looking after my grandchildren - but this year, as it's the year in which I will be sixty-five, I really am entitled to it. Surprisingly sharp needle.

Followed by a flying visit to Homebase to pick up some paint charts: we are about to redecorate our bedroom. Two things to note regarding that sentence: I say 'we' but I mean Husband although I make the important decisions like what colour; and the fact that having a colour chart doesn't necessarily mean the bedroom will get painted in the next few weeks or even this year. It's been on the autumn to-do list for a few years now.

From there to Sainsburys and to the - best bit - library. Today is the last day of Libraries Week and spotting a frame just begging to be used - even though it was partly hidden on a window sill behind a table - I took the opportunity.
first libraries week
I do love libraries. 

Home for lunch - yet more carrot and leek soup. Good news: there's only one bowlful left. Then off to Caswell to join Daughter and family on the beach. The tide was in so there wasn't much beach and what there was was highly populated both with people and jellyfish. 

Much discussion over what was what. I am fairly certain this isn't a Portuguese man o'war.

This on the other hand probably is although it's a lot smaller than I expected.

And this was a beautiful stone I found ... that GrandDaughter1 then buried never to be seen again. Stone not granddaughter.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Better than me?

Grammar nerd
My last post leads me nicely into this one as I included the phrase '.... my children are all smarter than I am ...'

I was writing that post in my head when walking George and I began an argument with myself - with George originally but he lost interest very quickly - over whether it should be 'smarter than me' or 'smarter than I'. In my post I got round the problem by writing 'smarter than I am' but
I think smarter than me sounds better. But does it matter? 

There was only one thing to do: I consulted Mr Fowler and his handy guide to English usage. (I wouldn't trust the internet on an important topic like this.)

According to Mr Fowler it depends whether you're using 'than' as a conjunction or a preposition. If as a conjunction then it's I as you are 'implying the ellipsis of am after I'.
To wit, if you write 'smarter than I' you're pretending 'am' is there.

If than is being used as a preposition then it's 'smarter than me'. Mr Fowler agrees this is less formal but perfectly acceptable. 

Mr Fowler goes on to say you can avoid the problem by using a reflexive pronoun, in this case, 'smarter than myself', and I'm sure you'll agree with me and the good gentleman when we say this is 'less than satisfactory.'

In answer to the question I posed earlier - does it matter? - by now you've probably come to the conclusion you don't care whether it does or not. But being a college-educated woman I am happy.

They'll learn much more than I'll ever know

Listening to Louis Armstrong on the radio the other day set me thinking.

"I hear babies cry, I watch then grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know"

Will they?

I'm not sure. Yes, there is more to know these days. More has been discovered, invented, learned; teaching methods have changed and hopefully improved; and the internet is a wonderful resource for research. But some things will stay the same: the maths I learned at school still applies today.

But what I think is different is the way children are living. Today's children don't have the freedom we had to play outside - not that they'd want to when they can play on their tablets. (Or so the media tells me.) So it's possible that children could miss out on a lot, most importantly, the development of an enquiring mind.

We take our grandchildren to the woods and the beaches. We encourage them to jump in puddles, climb on trees, pick up things, both living and non-, we ask questions, we answer questions, we definitely favour getting dirty and trying. 

Schools do a wonderful job but one teacher shared between twenty to thirty children can't possibly devote as much time to a rather boring piece of stick that a grandparent can. 'It's not a stick! It's a conductor's baton: listen to the music! It's a magic wand - I can make you disappear! It's a .. light sabre? Okay.'

So I wonder if they will know more than we do. They'll have the chance and the resources to find out and learn more but will they have the curiosity, the enquiring mind, the inventor's creativity?

Having said that I know my children are all smarter than I am but I like to think that's because we gave them a good start. And Husband's brains.

Death cleaning

Uncle downsized first from a large house in Nottingham to a cottage in Mumbles and then to an apartment so he had already disposed of a lot of life's clutter before he died. I had comparatively little to sort and throw but it did make me aware of all the junk in my own home. So since then I've tried to begin de-cluttering or death cleaning as the Swedes prefer to think of it. 

Broken irreparable Fitbit
I'd taken a short break but today I began again with a vengeance. I began with my Fitbit. Broken, apparently irreparable and useless - my Fitbit not me - I was still reluctant to throw it out. But I did. 

And I followed it with my cow. It's been on my bookshelf in pieces since two Christmases ago when a grandchild dropped it. I was living with the hope that, one day, Husband would turn up with the superglue and all would be well in bovine world once more. Looking at it today I realised it's in an awful lot of pieces. I think it would take a master potter to mend this broken cow.

I also discovered evidence of my slimming history.

Apparently I joined Weightwatchers in 1998. I say 'apparently' because it has my name on it but I have no memory of it. It didn't last long: I weighed 9st 12lbs on joining and 9st 11 and a half lbs on leaving five weeks later.

I tried again more successfully in 2011, this time with Rosemary Conley.

It's fascinating what you forget.

Mindless drivel

Lunch today: carrot and leek soup (again - the benefit/disadvantage of making a big panful), cucumber, melon and two hard-boiled eggs (I really needed something substantial). Odd but at least I'm sated. Bored but replete.

* * * * * *

I've noticed that the only time I am really tempted to say, 'Oh for f's sake!' is in bible study. Not sure what this says about me.

* * * * * *

I shouldn't be sitting here writing drivel. It would be much more beneficial to my surroundings and thus to me if I got up and did ... something.

I'll do it now in a minute.

Trying to be a politically correct granny

Fisher Price dolls houseGrandDaughter2 came to play on Wednesday morning. We keep a selection of toys under the table in the lounge with easy access for such occasions. the toys are either from charity shops or from my own children's growing-up. Some last better than others obviously but Fisher Price is a reliable favourite.

The dolls' house may be a bit tatty but all the grandchildren love it and have played with it. The people have got a bit mixed up: we seem to have a construction worker and the circus ring leader living with the family now but that's okay; we're very in favour of communal housing.

So, anyway, we were playing with the people. I set the chairs and table out for dinner and GrandDaughter2 added the people so we ended up with this arrangement.

'There's Mummy coming home from the shops with food to get dinner for Daddy and Baby,' I said. And then I checked myself. 'No, I mean, there's Mummy coming home from work ready to sit down to dinner that Daddy's cooked for her.'

It's difficult. I was a stay-at-home mother and my grandchildren all benefit from the same with their mums so the thing they, indeed we are most used to is the idea of mummy shopping and cooking and daddy going out to work and I reflect that in my words.

But I realise I must be careful not to set any constraints on my grandchildren, not to make them assume that's the norm and what they should be expected to do, especially the girls I suppose.

Fortunately both my sons are keen cooks and do a lot of the cooking in the home and Elder Son cooks with his boys. (I'm sure Younger Son will too but at 13 months GrandSon4 is bit little to be let loose in the kitchen yet. Although considering his great enthusiasm for food I think they might have a job keeping him out of there when he's a bit older.)

So I shall try. I suspect that GrandDaughter1 may be the one to keep me in line anyway. She is a very independent and original thinker and at seven is already refusing to be like everyone else.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I passed!

With flying colours! Even though they asked me lots of questions.

My ECG showed my heart was fine, my blood pressure was perfect and all my answers were excellent. And a chat with the anaesthetist reassured me, after Husband had scared me by suggesting that if they did keyhole surgery I wouldn't be unconscious. 'I shall have to warn them,' I'd told him, 'that I may be conscious at the start of the operation but very soon I won't be.' After all, I've fainted in blood tests, the optician's and even hospital visiting. And I've been banned from giving blood. I applied to join the International Fainting Goat Association but they turned me down on the grounds that I'm not a goat.

Fainting Goat Association

Now I just have to wait for a date, which could be in two weeks or two months. I thought about asking if I could wait until after Christmas as a) I've joined Slimming World and paid up front; and b) I have an exercise class until Christmas. But I guess it's better to get it over and done with. And it may not happen for months anyway.

No pics please

I'm at hospital this afternoon for a pre-op assessment. I've never had one before so I don't know what it involves.

I hope they won't look me up and down and say, 'Oh, no, I don't think so.'

Or that it's not like an interview where they ask me lots of questions. I've never been successful at interviews.

Well, I'll find out soon and don't worry: I'll be sure to update you later! I know you can't wait ...

P.S. Just looked on google for a suitable image. Only succeeded in terrifying myself.