Monday, November 18, 2019

Make blogging great again

I saw this on Debra's blog and decided to go with it. Debra got the image from ... now I can't remember her name! How bad is that? I only just came back from visiting. I do have the link though. (It's June!)


I'm off for a walk soon so I'll finish this post later! (Reminder to me: Green Book, Japanese maths, Home Alone - but not that one - in fact, now I think of it, it's probably Home Free.)

Later
Lovely walk on Caswell - I knew I should have worn my wellies. 



Back now and time for a little blogging with a cup of tea before i do some 'stuff'.

We watched Green Book on Saturday and very much enjoyed it. A lovely film although it is chilling to remember that racial discrimination was legal in America in my lifetime. Let us never go back to times like that.

On a lighter note I found it hard to believe that the man playing Tony Lip was my heart-throb from Lord of the Rings.




The Housekeeper and the Professor
by Yoko Ogawa
A book that has a lot about maths and baseball in it doesn't sound like my sort of book but this one was. Translated from the Japanese it's the story of a man who, following a car crash in 1975, is left with an eighty-minute memory. Before that he was a professor of maths and it's maths that keeps him alive.

The housekeeper, a single mum, is employed by the professor's sister-in-law to cook and clean for the man who each morning has to be reminded who she is. His suit is covered with notes to remind him of important stuff. When he discovers the housekeeper has a ten-year-old son the professor insists he join his mother at the house after school and an amazing friendship develops between them all but especially the boy and the older man.

It is a book that got me excited about maths.If you know me you'll be aware how unlikely that sounds but when I tell you that 28 is a perfect number maybe you'll understand ...

I didn't understand a lot of it, either the maths or baseball, but I'm still giving this 4*.

* * * * *
In her post about getting back to blogging, June commented on the number of people who used to blog but who gave up for one reason or another. Some prefer social media such as FaceBook or Twitter. Personally I do it all but couldn't manage without my blog as a container for all those thoughts that would cause my head to burst if not dumped somewhere.

June closed her post with a video of Meghan Trainor singing All About the Bass, which reminded me of this cappella version by Home Free.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Pig in a pond

Driving home through town this afternoon at about quarter past four I was puzzled by the crowds.
What are all these people doing in town at this time? Oh, some people on a platform. Is it a demonstration? Should I be protesting? Wait, some of those people look like elves. No, it can't be the Christmas parade. That's not until 17th. It's not the 17th, is it?

For literally weeks there have been signs all over the place saying, 'Christmas parade, 17/11, roads closed 4-6, think ahead.'

Perfectly clear. Unless you are convinced the parade is on a Thursday.

I was lucky that they must have been running a bit late and hadn't yet closed the road. I had a sudden image of me being stuck watching a parade for the next four hours. As it was I was able to drive along the road lined with crowds. I was very tempted to do my Queenly wave. But resisted.

* * * * * * 
Yesterday we went out to the Butcher's arms in Alltwen for lunch with Younger Son, Nuora and her parents. (And the babies of course.)
Husband had Pig in a Pond (belly pork in a fishy sauce) and I had Parmesan-crusted cod loin.

All very yummy and I am proud to say that I resisted dessert. (But not a creamy garlicky mushroom starter.)

* * * * * *
And as promised, though I don't think you'll be able to see the sparkle properly, here are my new trainers.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Sparkles and swans

I walked into the shoe shop, browsed through a shelf of shoes, chose some, and asked the assistant if I could try them on. He brought them to me, I put one on, said, 'That's fine. I'll take them.'
'That's the quickest sale I've had today!'

Now I've left my new gym shoes at Younger Son's house but later I'll post a photo so you can see my sparkly - yes, sparkly - new trainers.

My old ones were so worn they had no grip so I found myself slipping in several varieties of exercise in both classes hence the trip to the shoe shop. I hate buying shoes.

But while there I did develop Doc Marten envy. I have a pair of sparkly DMs but I saw these in the shop ...
In the afternoon Nuora's mother and I took GrandSon4 and GrandDaughter3 to the park.


Remains of Gnoll House


By the time we'd persuaded Grandson4 that we had to go home the sun was setting - and it was getting a bit cold.

And this is Grandson4 (3 last August) cycling along with Granny trying to keep up while filming him.


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Finding my feet

After about forty minutes I finally managed to get the theme tune from Peaky Blinders loaded onto my new phone as my ringtone!

I am quite impressed with myself. I am still finding my way around it although I did resolve the unexplained beeping - by turning off the sound.

The main reason I wanted a new phone was for the camera, something smaller and less fragile to carry than my proper camera. I am sure it could do a whole lot more clever things if I asked it - which reminds me: I met my friend, Vivien, today and she has the same phone and has a step counter app that I plan to install.

Vivien very generously bought me my ice cream - and my toasted teacake later when we were still sitting there chatting about this, that and everything else, except Brexit. Needless to say my diet has gone a bit shipshapeless this week but you only get a birthday once a year.

Speaking of birthdays, here's my birthday dinner, Husband's speciality, shepherd's pie.


And, yes, we had it on trays in front of the television like proper old people. To complete the image we watched a film, Finding Your Feet, about older people. Full of classy British actors and very entertaining.


Incidentally in exercise class, Jim, the teacher, said, 'Are you really 67?' He thought I was in my late fifties.

I don't care if he's lying. That'll do for me.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Birthday part 2

Cards from some of the grandchildren, going in age from left to right. Age of the child that is.
Card(s) from Husband.
And a bookmark knitted for me by GrandDaughter1, the first thing she's ever knitted on her own.
My birthday present from Husband was a new phone. I can't use it yet not because of my ineptness - that will come later - but because it needs a nano sim. But it has turbo power, a snapdragon, and a fingerprint reader! 

What a (birth)day!

With weather looking doubtful I decided against going too far, and with a strong and cold onshore wind, a walk on the beach wasn't really tempting. So we went ten pin bowling. 

It was the first time for years and first surprise was that special shoes weren't compulsory. Husband, however, being a bit of a pro, insisted on them. He has cups for bowling, mostly from his misspent youth, but like riding a bicycle you never forget how to bowl.

The lady at the counter persuaded us to book for three games on the logic that after two the score might be one all. Once I stopped laughing at that idea I said, 'Go on then.' (It was really cheap, just £7 for the two of us to play three games!)

First game went as expected.
Second game, I started listening to Husband's advice and - you're not going to believe this because I still don't - I won! And Husband promised me he hadn't let me win. 
It was close but I won! Excuse all the exclamation marks but I'm still in shock.

And here I am in action. You see? We didn't even have the rails up at the sides.
Third game I had passed my peak and I was soundly beaten again. But after that I had to celebrate with ice cream. We tried a new (to us) ice cream parlour in the Marina. Homemade Italian ice cream. It was fine but a bit grainy for my taste.

Husband enjoyed his rather fancy black forest cake too.


Monday, November 11, 2019

Twirling alarms

In exercise class this morning the teacher suggested I try the hula hoop.
First twirl and I knock the fire extinguisher off the wall. 
'Perhaps you might prefer the step?'

It's given me an idea for my next article for The Bay though.

Just passing time until I go to my weekly weigh-in. Hasn't been a good week eating-wise i.e. a very good week eating-wise but not dieting-wise. But we shall see. 

In other news I've done a bit of cleaning, a lot of washing, a bit of ironing, ad a bit of writing so all in all a successful few days. Tomorrow however is my birthday!

P.S. I wanted to go to the outdoors museum, St Fagan's, tomorrow but now the weather forecast isn't brilliant. 'That's okay,' I think, 'we'll do my second choice, Tredegar House.' 
Turns out it's closed until the end of November!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A funny thing happened on the way

Usually I get between one hundred and two hundred visitors a day to my blog. I am pretty happy with that and get excited if it goes into the three hundreds. Imagine then my surprise when checking this week to find on Thursday my numbers had gone up to 1,386! (I should have taken a screen shot to prove it to myself.)

I hadn't even written a new post. 

Now don't tell me they're robots or spam or freaks. Just let me revel in a brief moment of 'wow, I'm amazing!'ness.

Incidentally it went back to normal the next day and today, unsurprisingly I'm currently on seventy-two. 

Hey ho, here's a bit of autumnal colour.

Just for now

Starting to feel a bit more like myself today. I plan a 'doing' day today and actually doing stuff instead of sitting and moping usually helps as well. That said, I will begin!

And add to this post later.


Later
I had a lovely early birthday tea party yesterday. I tried very hard to be good and not eat too much of the 'bad' stuff. I did eat birthday cake (pavlova) made by Daughter though. 
The candles reflect not my age (0110 - 6 apparently in binary) but the assumption that Granny would have candles in her house.

I have such a talented family. Here are my early birthday gifts, all handmade by Daughter and Nuora: hankies, pinafore, and a candle.

As I said, today I'm having a 'doing' day. I decided to sort out a kitchen drawer this morning and found this:
The pack of cards is included so you have an idea of the size of the thing. Any suggestions what it could be?

Then, as it's a lovely day, we took George for a walk in the autumn sunshine. The snow and wintery weather foretold by one of the trashier papers has failed to materialise, here at least, and it's a mild and pleasant day.