Thursday, February 28, 2008
I'm still a bit croaky after the game on Saturday. In Zac's someone asked me if I had a cold. I said, 'Not really, I'm trying to cultivate a sexy hoarseness. Do I sound sexy?'
'You sound as if you've got a cold.'
George and I are procrastinating. George is pretending not to be by curling up asleep but he is really. I am not pretending; it's the real thing with me. I am desperately trying to think of something vitally important to write about to put off the moment when I have to go back to cleaning ... I've failed. Oh lookity, a well-timed email from my writing buddy. Willl have to read and reply to that NOW!
It was an invitation to try out the latest technology in hearing aids.
Last week I was browsing on the web, finding out about hearing tests. I want to prove that it's not my ears that are at fault but other people mumbling. All I did on this particular site was ask where I could get my hearing tested. Now it's good of them to respond and write to me but they didn't have to pretend they were my friends; they could have used a proper typed envelope. Getting me all excited like that.
I'm not going to go with them anyway: their brochure has a picture of a man crawling in an ear. I don't want a man crawling in my ear.
I looked at the Hoover this morning. It's not something I usually do - look at the hoover. I just hoover with it. But this morning it cried out to me. 'Please don't use me! Retire me! put me out to dust-free pastures where I can spend my final days dreaming of sparkling stairs, rubbish-less rugs, and carpets so clean you could make mad passionate love on them without worrying about getting a bit of stick stuck in your back.'
It looks so pathetic if I were to put it in a jumble sale nobody would buy it.
Aside: do they still have jumble sales? Or have they been supplanted by car boot sales and charity shops? Jumble sales were the lynchpin of many a Save-Our-Steeple campaign so I wonder how small parish churches fund-raise now. There certainly hasn't been one for a long time in the Archers. I remember, as a child, buying lots of posh hats from a jumble sale. I don't know what I intended to do with them - and they probably weren't really posh at all - but I brought each one out to show my mum with great pride.
So anyway, after fixing today's hoover problem, I was happily hoovering the floor, talking to myself about jumble sales and hats, when George snook in behind me - leaving a trail of blood across my clean carpet.
I do love my dog and I wouldn't really swap him for a hamster. Unless it was very cute.
P.S. I washed George's paws and couldn't see any sign of a cut so it can't have been too bad - in case you think I am a very horrid person. And I even did it before I cleaned the blood off the floor!
I am one of the millions who take anti-depressants - in my case, Seroxat (another SSRI like prozac). I've been a 'user' now for a long time.
I'd always been a worrier but over a number of years I became obsessively anxious. Something - usually tiny - would set me off and I'd be unable to concentrate for long on anything except the fear and anxiety I felt. It reached the point at which I was constantly down, miserable with my family and with myself.
I'd seen doctors at various times about this problem and finally one realised the effect that my anxiety was having on me and my family and she prescribed Seroxat. It took a little while for me to get settled with it but since then I haven't looked back. My life was given back to me.
Depression - in my case a by-product of anxiety - is hard to understand if you've never suffered it. 'What have you got to be miserable about?'
Nothing, but that doesn't alter the fact that misery had become my middle name. No, that's not right: it's not misery. It's something else. It's depression. It's not being miserable. It's not something you can control. It's not something you do for fun or attention.
I've tried counselling. The doctor sent me to an NHS counsellor. She gave me a relaxation tape saying that if I practised it, I could learn to relax whenever I felt panicky. I don't think I ever got to the end of the tape: I fell asleep usually about three-quarters of the way through. Relaxing my body has never been my problem! The counsellor gave up on me fairly quickly.
I went privately for arts therapy. Although I learned to understand myself and motivations a bit better, I can't honestly say that it helped to control my anxiety.
And I've been prayed for. Numerous times.
Christians aren't supposed to get depressed. We have the peace of God. If you don't have it we'll pray for you. Being a depressed Christian is bad enough; being a depressed Christian for whom prayer doesn't work is unadmittable. And guilt-inflicting. 'I must be such a bad Christian.'
As the years have gone by it's become okay to admit it but even now, in certain churches, taking pills to deal with depression would be frowned upon. Because it's not a real illness - like any other that would be treated with medication. It's all in the mind. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, get more exercise, join a club, keep busy. Don't consider for one moment that your depression might actually be a result of a chemical imbalance that needs righting.
In the article in the paper, users are being advised not to stop taking their prescribed medication suddenly because of the report. You don't have to worry about me: I have no intention of stopping taking my happy pills. In fact I'll fight anyone who tries to take them off me!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Products used by the cafe are fairtrade or organic or locally-sourced as far as possible. We're also going to be maintaining a small fairtrade stall throughout the year. All sorts of things are now available as certified fairtrade including clothes, children's games, and footballs as well as many food products.
According to the Fairtrade Foundation:
The next obstacle was the ticket itself. Husband and I both peered at it. He had the wrong glasses; I didn't have my glasses at all. We asked a steward where Block UN was. 'There isn't a Block UN,' he said. He looked at our tickets. 'Ah, you want Block C.'
Later on, during the game, the big screen showed Warren Gatland, Wales's coach, drinking from a plastic bottle. I see. So it's one rule for them and one rule for those of us who pay to come in, is it? Really I'd have thought a frustrated rugby coach would have been more likely than I was to throw a plastic bottle.
10 ways to act in bed longer;
15 ways to act Longer in bed;
Why be a tiny cocktail sausage when you can be a mighty weiner?;
9 inches in your pants will make you the world's 8th wonder to women.
Do people really buy this stuff?!
Husband and Elder Son both work in IT in the private sector. Both work hard and very long hours. Husband doesn't get paid for his extra hours; Elder Son gets half-time. I said, 'You mean time and a half?'
'That's scandalous! Where's the union?'
'We're not allowed to join unions.'
Husband is in a senior position and is well-paid; I can sort of understand that with authority comes responsibility. Elder Son is just starting out. To not be paid a fair wage for the work he does is wrong. It's undermining and eroding principles of employment.
And it's not just about pay. Elder Son is young and newly-married. He works in London. He hardly sees his new wife during the week. This can't make for good employees. There've been lots of reports that say that the best workers are those who have time to spend with their families, to recharge, the ones who have the right balance of work and play.
Husband has done well in his career because he's good at it. He could have done better and advanced further if he'd been prepared to move frequently, to take work home with him, and to play golf and go drinking with the boss. I'm glad - and proud of him - that he didn't do any of those.
It's true there was some abuse of the Italians. Some Welsh lads close to us were shouting, 'Tiramisu!' 'Pepperoni!' and, worst of all, 'Cinzano!!' Only the Welsh!
That's not a real Italian supporter in the photo by the way: he's English. Dragged along by his Welsh friend, who, like me, is probably still a little hoarse.
Three games played, three games won. We're on our way!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Don't you just love the way that, if you mistype 'brain' you get 'brian'? Brian is a much better word for what's inside my skull.
Oh, goody, Spellcheck is working again.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Fortunately it was Husband who got this bit of wooden stick in his cake!
And, yes, he did bite it before finding out.
So that set me thinking about being a librarian. I love books and reading. Or a research assistant to someone clever; I like doing research. And I was vaguely thinking, 'Well, I could do something about it now. I could do a course on libraries, or look for a post doing something like that.' But then I thought, 'Hang on a mo: you're 55. You're too old for anyone to employ you.'
Now let me explain: I don't actually want a job. My brain was just meandering as it does when I'm out walking, when it came to this sudden halt as the reality of my age hit me. People younger than me are taking early retirement; Husband is eagerly anticipating his retirement in the next few years. Things should be slowing down but I'M NOT READY! I'm too young to be 55!!!
Most of the time I don't think about it; it's just every now and again that I realise or am forced to recognise that I am 'not as young as I was, dearie.'
Pah, nonsense, I am too. Last night there were only two of us in circuit training: me and a 16-year-old boy. And did I keep up? Of course I did.
And tomorrow, when we go to the rugby - did I tell you Husband and I are off to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to watch Wales play Italy? - I'm going to have a dragon painted on my cheek. Watch this space!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
As well as the usual crowd, two rough sleepers stayed for the Bible study. One, let's call him Tom, had recently lost his brother and was grieving. Sean explained that Tom and his brother had been been inseparable all their lives. Tom was unsteady on his feet.
The other, Harry, was alternating between caring for and abusing Tom.
In different ways they both disrupted the study. Tom seemed to be placing his trust in Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols - because you can't see God but you can see Johnny Rotten. Harry said he believed and that each morning he said a prayer to thank God for a new day. He didn't go to church though; he preferred to go to the Tenby (a pub up the road). He said he didn't wait on street corners for the soup run or the food hand-outs because - no disrespect to the people who do it - 'I've got some dignity.'
I said they were disruptive but I don't mean it as a complaint. I was glad for their input. it helped me to see a little, to understand a bit more. It also made me face an unpleasant fact.
In the church circles in which I move we talk a lot about being Jesus in the community, about being out there, doing what Jesus would do. Jesus would have walked alongside Tom; I couldn't. And do you know why? Because he smelled. I don't know what it was and I tried not to breathe too deeply when he passed but it made me draw away.
I can go so far - as long as it's just inside my comfort zone. Thank God he isn't so picky.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Last week Younger Son couldn't use his car as he had a puncture and he didn't have any money to repair it, so he borrowed Betty to get around in. On Saturday he was paid so he removed his wheel, put it in Betty and took it to the garage for repair. While he was there, the tyre-man suggested that he keep an eye on one of Betty's tyres as that looked a bit dodgy.
Yesterday morning when I was opening the gate to get Betty out, remembering what had been said, I glanced at the tyre and noticed it did look a bit flat. (I am sorry to say that I am rather remiss about checking things like that normally.) Hence my trip to the petrol station and you know the outcome of that.
Now it could have been a serendipitous series of events that caused me to be parked rather than driving on a main road - or worse, trying to pull out across a busy main road - when Betty's ball joint went, or it could have been God.
P.S. Betty's ball joint is now repaired but I still haven't put air in the tyre! (Thanks, Stillers, for the free air information; I'll head there first next time I go out.)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
1. To emphasise the remembrance of those servicemen and women who have given, and continue to give, their lives for Britain
2. To remind people of the importance of protecting our nation and what it stands for;
3. To break that 3 month period between the August Public Holiday and Christmas when there are currently no long weekends.
If you agree to the idea, sign up to the petition http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/remembermonday/
I was due in the community cafe today. Before I went I made a chocolate cake for the cafe and that made me late but I really needed air in one of Betty's tyres. I pulled into the petrol station and drew up alongside the air machine. Then I saw that they wanted to charge 50p for it!
So I'm sitting in the car and trying to decide whether I have time to put air in all four tyres, or whether 50p for one tyre is wasteful, or whether it's against my principles to pay for air at all, when, all of a sudden - whooosh. There's a sort of deflating noise, rather like a hovercraft being lowered and I find myself closer to the ground than I'd been an instant before.
I got out assuming a tyre had burst but all the tyres were intact. However Betty was now leaning. At least I thought she was. You know what it's like: you start to doubt your own sanity. (Or perhaps you don't know what it's like.) Had she really sunk? She looked a little tilted but had she been like that before? I would feel very silly if I called out Rescue and there was nothing wrong.
I got in and started the engine. We edged forward a little. Squeak, screech. No, the tyre was definitely rubbing against the metal bit. I phoned Rescue. 'My car's started to tilt.'
The Rescue-man had to come and take her away on a lorry. I felt like a parent seeing a child into an ambulance. Oh, I went with her, of course; I didn't let her go alone. 'What's the problem?' I asked the Rescue-man.
'It's your big ball joint.'
Apparently it would have been bad news if I'd tried to drive it like that. Phew.
But really it is very disheartening when you're sitting in the car and the bit you're sitting in breaks under you. As if it just couldn't take the strain any longer.
The Indian Cricket Authority wants to ban sledging. Apparently the cricket field, that icon of English village life, is not the idyllic place it appears. Test match cricketers, sportsmen at the pinnacle of their game, representing their countries, like to indulge in sledging or 'Neh, neh, neh neh, neh, my bat's bigger than yours,' abuse of fellow players.
Henry Blofeld, a well-respected commentator, said, 'Where will they go from here? Will they try to stop gentlemen in a rugger scrum talking?'
* * * * * * * * *
On a slightly different note, is John Humphries losing it? On the Today programme he couldn't remember what Alistair Darling was. (Man with strange eyebrows?)
Monday, February 18, 2008
Going anywhere in the Mumbles/Gower direction on a sunny weekend morning is not advised unless you've plenty of time to sit in traffic jams. Even in February. So we just walked down and across the road onto the beach.
I'm not sure what I feel about state apologies. They're a gesture but can we or should we apologise for something we had no hand in, something our forefathers did? At best I suppose they're an acknowledgement, a starting point from which to move on.
Alun and I were talking about it in work last Monday and our discussion quickly moved on from Australia to more local issues.
Alun is from Cardiff. Cardiff is the capital city of Wales; many people think Swansea should have been the capital. There is also a certain resentment about the fact that, whenever money is avilable for big projects, it's usually Cardiff that gets it. Or it's seen that way by Swansea people (and the rest of Wales). So there is some rivalry between Swansea Jacks and Cardiff Taffs.
Take that down a level and you'll find areas of Swansea that look down on or resent other areas; up to country level, and you've only got to read the t-shirts to quickly get the picture. 'I support Wales and whoever England are playing.' (I've seen the same sentiments expressed on Scottish and Irish supporters's chests.)(And you can't expect good grammar on a t-shirt.)
I've written articles and probably posts about this subject before. It continues to mystify me why I, a mild-mannered, middle-aged woman who calls herself a Christian, can feel so antagonistic towards another country.
It's only in rugby you understand. I married an Englishman; I lived happily in Southampton; I have English friends. It's not English people that upset me: it's 'the English'. That strange entity that takes on a monster-like quality and becomes 'the old enemy'.
And it's not intentional on my part. I try, I really do try hard to support England and Husband. But last Sunday I had to leave the room before Husband noticed my involuntary cries of excitement when Italy got the ball in their game against England.
Is it the arrogance, perceived or real, of the English rugby team? Matt Dawson, Austin Healey, Lawrence Dallaglio come to mind. But the Welsh can be pretty arrogant when it comes to rugby!
Or is it centuries of history, of domination by a power outside our control, outside our own land? Is it time for England to apologise? And for Wales, Scotland and Ireland to acknowledge their grudges and be prepared to move forward?
No, I don't think it is. I think that would be a pointless and meaningless gesture that would fool nobody and make no difference. And really it's only during the Six Nations competition; the rest of the year we're fine. We're only joking, after all, when we support England's opponents. Really we're good friends. Just like the neighbours in Kenya who last month shared meals together and this month are killing each other.
When does the joking stop? We've seen all over the world examples of neighbours turning on each other because of tribal tensions. How easy or likely would it be for that to happen here? Impossible?
I tried to find a clip from Not the Nine O'Clock News but couldn't so I'll have to describe it. They did a take-off of a coal commercial, showing lovely hills and valleys, with a male voice choir singing in the background. As far as I can remember - and my memory's not that good! - the advert ended with the logo, 'Come home to real fire', and the image of a cottage burning. It was at the time when the Welsh nationalist extremists were setting fire to second homes.
No, it couldn't happen here.
They always stick and then you have to scrub them but you can't because they're non-stick and you're supposed to treat them gently. Pah, give me a pan that enjoys a bit of rough every time.
I'm a good scrubber. Just give me a dirty pan and a bit of wire wool and watch me work. Oooh, I feel the urge to get my rubber gloves on ...
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I recall Great-Auntie Connie telling us of the time she was walking through town when her knickers fell down. 'I stopped, bent over, picked them up and put them in my handbag. Then I carried on walking,' she said.
They don't make knickers with proper elastic like they used to. The sort that was threaded through a hem. I suppose there must have been warning signs when the elastic was going: slightly looser drawers and not so much ... well, elasticity, but going out in them was always slightly dicing with the death of embarrassment.
When the elastic goes in today's knickers it's much more insidious. You might be less likely to find them around your ankles but they can still make for jolly uncomfortable wearing.
You're out walking when you become aware of your knickers moving - not with you but on their own: they're slowly edging their way down your bottom. You try to pull them back up - surreptitiously naturally, although it's hard to be surreptitious while grasping your own bum. Once they've passed the most sticky-out bit of your rear anatomy you might as well admit defeat. They're on the home run now. Don't try and fight it but resign yourself to getting home as quickly as you can with knickers bunched up on a level with the top of your thighs.
Just be glad you're wearing trousers.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Libraries in some form or another date back more than 2,000 years but the free public lending library that we have today didn’t come into being until the second half of the 19th century when the Public Libraries Act was passed in 1850.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
When a dog growls at him - as most dogs are wont to do when leapt upon by a boisterous puppy - George translates it as 'Will you be my friend and play with me?'
It is hard being a puppy who loves everyone.
This morning he went out to greet the postman. When he left, the postman went out of our gate, across the front and into next-door's drive. That was encouragement enough for George to charge at the wall, leap up on it, and from there, climb over the fence Husband erected, into next-door's garden.
By chance next door's children were just emerging to go out with their grandparents. George was ecstatic! Little children AND the postman: does life get better than this?
By the time I got round there - after retrieving my slippers that he'd stolen earlier - George was standing with his paws on the shoulders of the littlest one. She hasn't been walking that long but she was quite unperturbed.
We need a higher fence.
Okay, it would be an exagerration - if I could spell it - to call them gigs but they're the next best thing.
On the Sunday before Easter I've been invited to visit a church in the valleys in the evening to read some of my monologues for a meditation, and on 5th March I have a slot in a WomenCentreStage event at the Dylan Thomas Centre. There are so many of us taking part that we each only have 10 minutes so I'll have to time a monologue and precis it if necessary. Shall I do my toilets or calendar boys, that's the question. I'd better time them and work it out from there.
Off to walk George now so will 'write' my next post in my head while I'm out.
E for excellent, I shall give to: Mutley who makes me laugh; James who makes think; and MDM who uses bigger words than anyone I know. (All male because I have to nominate women for the next one.)
Wonderful Women, I'll pass on to: Maryb, who writes brilliantly; Maria whose lifestyle is one to emulate; and to Kris, whose blog is one of the most honest you'll come across.
Now for the Nice Matters. This is quite a girly one too. In fact awards are a girly things. So I'll hand this to: Leslie, cos I know we'd get on; jmb who writes wonderfully intelligent and entertaining posts; and Anna, because she's a wonderful cook who shares her creations.
* * * * * * * * *
I'm pleased to say that Younger Son was also unable to open the DVD box. I'm pleased because that means it wasn't stupidity on my part; I'm not pleased because we'll have to break open the box to get at the DVD.
Last night I intended to watch one episode of Grey's Anatomy but it turned out to be a two-parter so obviously I had to watch both parts. It was the one where there's a bomb in the hospital (patient). I never watch hospital dramas as a rule as I'm very squeamish and susceptible to suggestion (after the last episode of Grey's Anatomy I did begin to wonder if I had the flesh-eating disease) but Grey's is so gruesome and so totally implausible, I can cope with it. If you see what I mean.
McDreamy is another reason for watching it. His acting abilities aren't tested; he only has one pose. You know the one? Head tilted a little to the left, the merest hint of a smile on his slightly open lips, liquid-eyes seeing into your soul. You know, just an ordinary everyday look.
P.S. I tried to post a photo but Blogger won't let me.
You're The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!
by C.S. Lewis
You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed
quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it
seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic
struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal
that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you're re-enacting Christian
theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust
in zoo animals.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
It's probably just because I said I liked snow.
Found this quiz over at Jams's blog.
I just did the quiz again keeping my answers the same except for the snow and now I'm Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
After stumbling down the wrong turn in life, you've had your mind opened to a number of strange and curious things. As life grows curiouser and curiouser, you have to ask yourself what's real and what's the picture of illusion. Little is coming to your aid in discerning fantasy from fact, but the line between them is so blurry that it's starting not to matter. Be careful around rabbit holes and those who smile to much, and just avoid hat shops altogether.
Now that's me!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
So for ABC Wednesday I present two Dopey Dogs!
When I worked in the bookshop Husband grumbled that I spent more money there than I earned. While our community cafe is running I do a day a week (voluntary) there. The cafe contains - at my instigation - a secondhand bookstall. Today I came home with four books.
On the top of the pile, staring back at me, is 'The 7 Bad Habits of Highly Ineffective People', with the tag, 'Harness the power of constructive inertia'. Now that's what I need to do. I expect. Although I'm not sure what constructive inertia is.
The problem with this book, like the 'I can make you thin' book that I bought a while ago, is that I won't actually get round to reading it, far less actioning it. Oh, I've just read the back of it! You see, that's another mistake I make: buying books when not wearing my glasses. On the back it says, 'By learning these simple bad habits you will be more mundane, average and less interesting than you've ever been.'
I've got to read it now!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Younger Son's car has a flat tyre. He's broke and can't afford to get it mended so he's driving Betty. That means I have to drive Alfie Porsche. I haven't driven Alfie for months and months and I would have had no idea where reverse was when I was trying to get him out of the garage if it hadn't been for the little picture. If I'd had my glasses on and it hadn't been dark in the garage it would have been even easier.
An American official of some sort, speaking on Today said, '... for a crime of this magnitude ...'
So killing lots of people is worse than killing one? Lots of lives are worth more than one?
Don't get me wrong: I am opposed to the death penalty under any circumstances. That just seemed like strange justification.
And this is a civilised society led by a Christian. (Or should that full stop be a question mark?)
Monday, February 11, 2008
There's not a lot on Dartmoor when you get up out of the wooded hillsides, just peace. But there's always a pub! (See biggest white dot in the picture below.)
Younger Son made this very groovy scarecrow for Daughter for her allotment. They've named him Rocky but fear his smiling face may attract birds rather than scare them.
And I made a cake. Daughter is a big fan of The Good Life - both the television sitcom and living it, so I decided I'd make a cake like the daisy that is part of the title sequence. Of course I didn't check what the daisy looked like before I made it; I didn't have to because I knew what it looked like. It had large white petals and a small middle. Turns out it has medium-sized pink petals and a large middle. Ah well.
We had a lovely weekend. Oh, yes, and Wales beat Scotland.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
I couldn't say before but the reason Daughter was in London on Wednesday was for an award ceremony. She won Freelancer of the Year (Editorial) 2008! I was hoping I'd be able to provide a limk to a web-page about the event but they haven't put it up yet. The awards are sponsored by a freelance organisation and a marketing magazine.
And I've spent the afternoon putting together a birthday cake. You know the way sometimes you get an idea and it seems like a good idea but when you do it, it doesn't turn out quite as impressively as you expected ...
See you Sunday.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Younger Son said, 'I need a long piece of wood. Will you look for one when you're in the woods with George today?'
'This long,' He stretched his arms out wide.
About one third of the way into our walk I found the ideal piece of wood and picked it up, completely ignoring the fact that I would then have to carry it the remaining two thirds, a task not helped by George periodically trying to eat it. The things we do for our children.
Speaking of children, Elder Son works and lives in London; this week he's in Brussels working. Daughter lives and works in Devon; today she's in London for work. Meanwhile Younger Son has made something amazing (but I can't say what yet). It's strange to think of these intelligent, creative and capable young people once having my been my babies.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
That wasn't a carefully-thought-out decision; it was a 'what can I take a photo of that begins with "C"?' decision. But now I feel sort of committed.
I was brought up giving up things for Lent. Chocolate, biting my finger-nails, sugar in my tea - the only one to last - and though it has no significance for me it is a convenient time period. A long time period. A very long time period if you've given up chocolate.
I know people who prefer to use Lent as a time for renewal, rethinking, rebirth. I wonder if I can put a positive spin on giving up chocolate ...
I will use this season not think on what I have given up (chocolate) but to meditate on what is important in my life (chocolate), what I choose to spend my money on (chocolate), and where I want to spend eternity (in chocolate heaven).
Forty-seven days to Easter Sunday. Oh my.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
P.S. Do hitmen wear black suits and fedoras? It has been a long time since I saw one.
Now I thought carefully before writing that sentence. As I said, I write my posts in my head and I was in the shower thinking about this one. Do I sound callous? I can't honestly say I feel anything about my mother's death. (But then I don't do feeling very well.) I've seen other bloggers write with great tenderness and love about deceased parents and envied them - have I? I don't even know if that's true apart from the fact that I would have liked an Enid Blyton childhood.
It's 36 years since my mother died. Although I was 19 at the time, I hardly knew her. She had to go out to work to support us and it was really my grandmother who brought me up. (My mum and I lived with my grandparents.)
Even my memories of her are based on what other people have told me: how lovely she was, what a sense of fun she had. The only things I remember with any clarity are times when she told me off! Now, wouldn't a psychiatrist have fun with that?!
Now this is way too miserable. Let's think about pancakes instead!!!!
Unecessary deaths, wasted lives are always tragic but there's something unbearably poignant about dying at the door of a church.
I'm not blaming the church. (In the paper, church attenders say they've had problems in the past with rough sleepers.) There are plenty of reasons - to do with security, hygiene, health & safety, insurance, litigation - why churches can't be left open any more. And even if the door of this church had been open would it have prevented his death? I doubt it. But if it had been open and there'd been someone there to look after him?
The majority of rough sleepers have addiction and/or mental health problems. They're not easy to deal with. It's not like inviting you or me to spend the night. With the best will in the world you need proper facilities and carers who know what they're doing, not kindly souls who just want to help.
Yet when I was a little girl I remember my mum telling me about a vicar in Swansea, Reverend Leon Atkins, who opened the crypt of his church to the homeless. I don't know exactly how that worked - I've googled and can't find any mention of him (which is unusual as the most unlikely subjects turn up in a google search) - but having less of our 'expertise and knowledge about these things' didn't stop Leon Atkins making a difference. Maybe it even helped as he just did what his God told him.
'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
Leon Atkins' church is just down the road from the church where the man died; it's an Indian restaurant now.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Anyway this letter was reminding readers of a headline from ... another newspaper, from many years ago when Michael Foot was chairing a group, in the EU, fighting to get rid of the nuclear bomb. The headline read, Foot heads arms body.
The headline writer probably never bettered that one.
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Blogger still won't spell-check for me. And MyBlogLog has lost my photo. Or possibly my identity. I am a non-person.
James, in the comments on the previous posts, says he thought he might have offended me with his dig at the Welsh. Well, James, I've read through all your posts and I can't find the dig. Am I particularly dense?
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My friend is waiting for contact lenses. They are her first pair. She currently wears varifocals but these new lenses can cope with that by ... wait for it ... having one lens (in her case the right one) for long distance vision and one lens (left) for short-distance. She tried some out before she ordered them and said it was fine although it helped if she covered the spare eye.
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Also in the paper, the 15 most important UK locations for slime have been identified by researchers.
Why can't Younger Son get a job like that?
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Oh very happy day! I have jigged round the living-room three times; I have hopped and squeaked for my country. I have risen from the depths - as Wales did like a phoenix after half-time - to the heights of euphoria.
It is twenty - that's right, 20 - years, since Wales beat England on their home ground at Twickenham. We were due for victory - but at half-time it didn't look like we were going to get it.
Wales were useless in the first half. It looked like it could only be a matter of time before the score would look dangerously one-sided. But second half saw a revived Wales - who started to play as if they actually wanted to win - and a collapsed England - who seemed to have forgotten why they were there.
I'm just too happy to write more!!! I'll just add that Husband is far more magnanimous in defeat than I am. He says he doesn't mind losing to Wales as 'it makes you so happy.'
Now it's 'Go Pats' for tomorrow!
Saturday, February 02, 2008
If you want to find out what I wrote about Wales' chances against England tomorrow, you can read it here: Six Nations blog
I wrote: He was wading in quite deeply ...
Should that be deep or deeply? Does it describe the way he was wading? No, not really. So it should be deep. Should it?
Why has Blogger stopped spell-checking? Is it me? Or Blogger?
Too many dilemmas for a Friday evening.