Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Who will you vote for?

Wishy washy sort of day yesterday. I did manage to write about 800 words of my WIP - which I have learned from Twitter is Work in Progress, which in this case is a sequel to my first novel - and I wrote the first draft of my next article for the Bay magazine and the deadline isn't until 15th June! Also walked George and sat in the sun and read for a while. So actually it wasn't as wishy washy as I thought.

Can you think yourself into a cold? On Sunday night we had the bedroom window open for the first time this year and I kept waking and feeling/imagining my throat getting dry and sore. Feeling more cold sorey this morning though. 

But today I will be dynamic. Last time I said that I was so here goes. Now in a minute.

What a boring post this is. What can I write about to make it more exciting? I know: the European election. The one we shouldn't have candidates in as we should have left the EU by now. The one we shouldn't have had to waste loads of money on as the plan is still that we will have left before the newly-elected MEPs have to take their seats.

Who to vote for that is the question? The Liberal Democrat party is the only one that is standing on a Remain platform. So a vote for them will send a clear message that I want to stay in Europe. However in Wales we also have Plaid Cymru, the national party. They say that they want a second referendum.

Various 'clever' people have worked out the best options for Remainers in Wales in order to have the most effect: some say vote Lib Dem; some say vote Plaid. Torn. 

However I can assure you I will not be voting Conservative (never, never, never) nor Labour (let down too badly by Jeremy Corbyn).

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Hello, hello, hello

'I think we should institute a new practice.'
Husband groaned.
'What's the matter?' I said.
'That usually means work for me to do.'
'Not in this case - unless you count bringing me a cup of tea work. I suggest that we name this new practice Sunday morning lie-in.'

He not only brought me another cup of tea but breakfast in bed as well. I think this should become a tradition.

Because I'm worth it.

But you'll be pleased to hear I have done some work today: I cleared a bit around the raspberry bushes. We have a problem with convolvulus wrapping itself around stems. It's almost impossible to get rid of it but at least by clearing in between the bushes it may be harder for it to hide.

And this is the prettiest corner of the garden at the moment. The yellow climbing rose - which smells delicious - is laden with blooms.

I forgot to mention that yesterday I spent some time behind bars.
Glamorgan constabulary Police reenactment group

The police sergeant wanted me to push my hands right into the hand-cuffs but I declined. 

Pink cadillacs and Moggies

We went out on Friday evening and didn't get home until 11 o'clock! Way past our bedtime.

It was a pub quiz in aid of the grandchildren's school so we invited a couple of friends to come along and make up a team. We didn't win - but we didn't come last either. Last but one actually. But we were the oldest team there. Most of the others were young parents so they knew all about this new-fangled pop music and the latest films. 

In one of the sections you had to identify famous people from photos of them when young. I came into my own here. Take this photo for example:
My first thought was Jodie Foster. I looked at it again a bit harder and said, 'No, it's Macaulay Culkin.' And as no-one had any other suggestions they believed me.

Do you know who it is?

* * * * * * * *
I have a new dream car ...
A bit different from my first car (which was like this but maroon):
I even remember the number plate: EGF 347J.

At the old car show yesterday we were fortunate enough to see the Penydarren replica steam locomotive chug up and down the tracks. The original locomotive made the first recorded journey by steam on rails. (But proved to be too heavy for the tracks.)

Penydarren replica
* * * * * * 
Did you guess from the photo that the famous person was Adele?

Friday, May 17, 2019

Vive La Republique

Yesterday we took a lovely walk along the riverside and for once I made the right choice. I was carrying my bag, which in addition to my usual junk had both my tablet and my camera in it, as well as GrandSon4's lunchbox and drink. With that as an excuse I opted to meander slowly with George while Husband took care of GrandSon4 on his balance bike. Good choice, Granny!
The river we walked near is the Tawe and this morning, out of curiosity, Husband looked up a bit of its history. What he told me left me feeling the Queen of Hearts: 'Off with their heads!' 'Bring on the revolution!'

river Tawe
Apparently in 17th century Charles II gave ownership of the river bed to the Duke of Beaufort. Ignoring the question of how it can be okay for an English king to give bits of Welsh land to an Englishman you might ask, 'So what? That was then. What's it got to with us in the twenty-first century?' I'll tell you.

In 2008 with the development of a new shopping centre near the brand-new football/rugby stadium on the edge of the city the council wanted to build a footpath for pedestrian access. Before they could go ahead they had to get permission from the current duke. Not only that but they had to pay him over £280,000 for the right to build.

I don't know how I missed this at the time - although it didn't come to public attention until a year later when a councillor using the Freedom of Information Act managed to find out - but I am scandalised!

There is so much wrong with this! It's not just because the Duke of Beaufort is one of the richest land-owners in the country - England - but more importantly to do with the principle of a riverbed being owned by an individual because of long gone history. 

Hir yn byw'r weriniaeth!
Long live the republic!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Real life Peaky Blinders

In the Comments when I write 'Thanks' I nearly always mistype it as THanks. And every time Spellchecker's first suggestion is T Hanks. It's a puzzlement.

Anyway, that aside, yesterday evening I had a long chat with a real life Peaky Blinder. Not strictly a Peaky Blinder because a) he wasn't from Birmingham; and b) he didn't have a razor blade in the peak of his cap; but he was an ex-member of a large family gang that dominated parts of one of our largest cities. 

He showed me some of his scars from axe, knife, bullet, and machete wounds. He shouldn't really be alive. But he is and got out of organised crime about thirteen years ago. He has a strong faith and he's been clean of drugs since January in spite of some of those around him trying to drag him back. 

He is an encouragement.

P.S. Peaky Blinders is a BBC series about gang warfare in the Midlands from just after the end of the first world war. Highly recommended.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The path less travelled

There's nothing like a stroll by a stream on a sunny day with birds singing to help you remember how good life is.

And there were loads of butterflies. I spent about twenty minutes walking up and down a bit of path trying to get a photo of a peacock butterfly. I thought I was about to get it when I realised I'd been creeping up on a feather.

Walking along the path we came to a fallen tree blocking it. George looked at the tree, looked at me, and then looked again at the tree.
'It's okay, George,' I said. 'We'll turn around now. You don't have to struggle to get over it.'

Days were when he would have jumped over with no problem.

Now I'm going to write a bit of the sequel. Can anyone tell me how I can forget what I'm saying in the middle of a sentence but, when I'm trying to get to sleep, I can write (in my head) whole paragraphs and lie there for another thirty minutes revising them? 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Bites, bees and books

It's a beautiful day so I'm sitting indoors playing on the computer. 

No, I'm trying to be sensible and avoid the heat of the midday sun, and while I'm here I thought I might as well try to do something useful, in this case, work out how to post to Instagram.

Thank goodness for google. I think I have it now although if I don't keep doing it I will soon forget. (As I quickly forgot my mobile number - having made a great effort to learn it - when no-one asked me for it.) So I shall probably have to post all sorts of rubbish until it becomes second nature to me. 

It's intended to boost my online presence as a writer although I'm not entirely sure how that's supposed to happen. Still, mine not to wonder why, mine simply to do.

Yesterday I had a message from the library that the book I'd requested months ago was in. When I asked for it I was told there were hundreds on the waiting list before me so I had forgotten about it. I'm already a third of the way through the book, Becoming by Michelle Obama, and I'm very much enjoying it. 

I don't usually read autobiographies but I heard a clip of Ms Obama reading it on the radio, and it is very readable.

In other news, George was bitten on the ear by a grumpy greyhound yesterday.
golden retriever
Sympathy and snacks always welcome.

In more other news, no sooner has Younger Son moved his beehives to their new location closer to where he lives than a colony of bumble bees moves in, making a nest in our garage gutter.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

And the winner isn't common sense

I do not have a competitive nature ... usually. I am too used to making a mess of things and failing to have any hopes of winning.

Yesterday in gentle exercise - did I mention that I now go to an over-60s group? - I was placed in a set with two men, both older than me. (We work in threes to go around the circuit.) The trainer put me with them saying to them, 'Your challenge is to keep up with her.'

Well, what could I do after that but try my very hardest? Fine in most things and then we came to the running. Up and down the gym. The first two turns of the circuit I was well ahead of my fellows; the third time I was tired - and I think they suddenly ganged together and decided to make a race of it - and they were just ahead of me much of the time.

With the trainer shouting, 'Come on, faster,' and my friend, Janet, yelling, 'Come on, Liz, you can do it,' I stretched out my legs and finally managed to finish just an inch ahead of the two men. But ... at what price?

Fortunately it was cool down after that but I honestly thought, 'I'm going to have to go and sit down before I either fall down or throw up.' I felt soooo bad.

And the too-much-information bit: little drops of wee kept leaking out - which, of course, also slowed me down. I didn't want to make a puddle on the floor. Men don't have that problem you see.