Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Before I get sidetracked, as I usually do, let me just share a little gem of information with you:  MILWAUKEE is in WISCONSIN!  All these years I had Fonzie living in Idaho.

I feel totally horrid today, so horrid infact that at quarter to two in the afternoon I still am not dressed. Back hurts, chest hurts , I spent last night barking like a dog.   In fact while we're on with dog analogies May I just say I feel ruff!  More paracetamols, that's what I need.


Tuesday, 25 January 2011


I've been banished to the bedroom!  Funny that since it was only a couple of hours ago that I was urged to get up.  There are strange bangings and clatterings going on in the living room.  Well I'M not looking!  Today's the day our new fireplace is being fitted (not by Keith) and I have dreadful visions of the chimney - a big tall one at the end of the roof - crashing to the ground and the chimney breast in the living room caving in.  I've got such a disaster movie going on in my head.

A cup of tea has just been set on my desk.  Did I detect Keith hopping from one foot to the other?  Don't be daft Ang, the old fireplace is out already.  That was a bit quick.  Has he done it properly?  The disaster movie has now cut to panning around the 2" layer of soot covering our living room.  I can smell soot, I'm sure I can.

Keith just came back in here. leaving the door open.  That must mean there's bad news and I should watch what I say in case the fitter hears me.  "Fitting will cost a little bit more because he has  to cut out a couple of inches all round to make the hole the right size AND remove a back boiler."  A BACK BOILER???  I didn't know there was one of them.  Did you know that?   Just how old is that fire, I'm wondering.  Maybe we should have put it on Antiques Roadshow.

I can hear drilling or something.  No, it'll be a brick saw....and I picture another few months of getting rid of brick dust from everywhere.  Whatever happened to using a bolster and lump hammer to carefully remove brickwork not needed?

That amaryllis I mentioned last time is blooming beautiful!  It has 3 trumpets fully out and a fourth on the way.  My sis started hers growing at the same time and the stem is still only an inch long.  She says she's chucking it out
but I think it'll go if she lets it.   Just look at MINE (she said smugly):

Remember that lovely Kelloggs brekky basket I won in Marie's giveaway last year?  Red. shiney teapot?  This is that teapot today:
I loved that teapot.   Poured beautifully, never dripped.  And now look at it.  It's all Keith's fault.  I can never use it for tea again.  I wonder if I could grow herbs in it.  What does bergamot look like?  That's what gives Earl Grey its distinctive flavour isn't it?  Might look nice growing in it and out of the spout (as was).

They've gone.  Obviously there's still work to be done BUT The new fire looks lovely.

'Scuse me while I take advantage............

Saturday, 22 January 2011

A few odds and ends

Well now, doesn't time fly!  My 60th Birthday arrived on 7th January, marking another milestone (or millstone, depending how you look at it) in my life.  So now I have a choice:  I can become a grumpy old woman or a sweet  little ray of sunshine.  The latter sounds nice, and perhaps something I should aspire to, but being a Grumpy sounds FUN.  You don't think?  Think of it:  I am now allowed to call all pop music "that dreadful row", I can get my eyes tested for free, Ditto for prescriptions - I can  be a drug crazed maniac for absolutely nothing.  I qualify for Sheltered Housing.  If I could only get on a bus I could go all over the place.  It is apparently possible, in theory, to travel the length and breadth of the country for not one penny piece.  Should I happen to get taken to hospital, I am likely to be put in the geriatric ward until they find out what's wrong with me.  I can start to quote Maxine.   Great!

And yet somewhere along the line I've been a bit disappointed.   Being so little I used to always be mistaken for a half-fare on the bus or train.  When did that stop happening?  When did I stop being "girl" and start being "lady"?  When did policemen stop being grey haired old codgers and start being rosy-cheeked youths with bum-fluff on their chins?  Even the senior ones!  I suppose youth must be that brief time between little plastic pants and big ones!

Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes;  I had a lovely weekend of celebrations but I'll have to show you some photos next time as, not only has my computer lost touch with the printer, it's not on speaking terms with the camera either!

Mimuther gave me an amaryllis last September and it has just decided to give me a flower.  It has spent the past 2 - 3 weeks growing longer......and longer......and longer and is now almost blooming on the bedroom windowsill.  It's going to be a lovely deep red..

All my sugarcraft equipment is gone.  I was sad to see the end of it but there was no point in keeping it when my silly right arm won't let me do the fiddly bits any more and my rotten balance won't let me stand up, as you need to.  So now I need a new hobby that I can do with my left hand;  something which doesn't require hundreds of pounds-worth of equipment.  I thought about creative writing.  I can do beginnings and endings but it's the bit in the middle that has me stumped.

Speaking of writing - There's a danger that I shall be banned from reading in bed.  This always happens after Christmas when people give me books.  The real danger item at the moment is called "The Wrinklies' Bedside Companion" by Mike Haskins and Clive Whichelow.  Having just become a Wrinklie myself I regard it as educational.  It is really a work-out manual for all the muscles you use to laugh with!  A word of advice:   keep a paper bag handy in case you meet yourself coming back in the laughing stakes and start hyperventilating!!!

Another chuckle-worthy tome, given me by a bloggy-pal, is "The Stanley Holloway Monologues".  I love Stanley Holloway (well, if he was alive I would).  If you're not a middle aged (or more) Brit you probably won't know them but I remember them specially on Children's Favourites on the radio in the 1950's.   You have to read them with a north-west of England accent.  But - hey - I can do all that and believe me I have the most toned-up laughing gear in the world.....who needs jogging?

Talk to you soon - sooner - soonest!!!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Santa takes a quick breather...

HO-HO-HO and all that sort of thing.  I should really get some practice in at that or your dear old Santa will be more like a damp squib than a live wire!!

Eh?  What am I doing here?  Why aren't I in Lapland up to the eyes in wish lists?  I thought you might ask that.  I said to Angie when she asked me to guest her blog "Angie," I said, "Have you any idea...?"
"Yes, yes, never mind all that," she said, plonking her laptop in my lap (where else).  Ha ha - a LAPtop in my LAPland "It could be a real coup getting you to guest write.   And I have SO much to be getting on with."

So here I am (I bet you think this is me in the picture).  To be honest I seem to be a bit in the way in Lapland at the moment.  The elves who help me have it all under control - and believe me there's more to do than yo would think.  I mean, somebody has to spruce (ha ha - this gets worse - SPRUCE) - er, spruce up the reindeer.  Rudolph of course has to have his nose sparkled up ready for the big trip on Christmas Eve.  All the others have to be just so so that they stand out from the electric looky likeys on houses . Not that anyone ever sees them of course.  That's part of the magic, part of their charm.   

A little tip though:  please don't leave bags of carrots or, worse still, sprouts, out for them.  It's not that we're ungrateful, it's just that...well you don't have to ride behind themNuff said!  Goodies for me is fine of course.  In fact I'll share a little secret with you now:  Mrs. Christmas doesn't cook any dinner on Christmas Eve so your tasty morsels are much appreciated.  Oh my, yes, I should say so.....

Oh, and kids,  a tip for you too:  don't even think about staying awake to see me.  You can't.  You might hear my sleighbells but you will never see me leaving your presents.  So get off to sleep.  That's the deal.

A question I often get asked is "At what age should you stop believing in Santa Claus?" .  The answer is NEVER.  Always believe because if you don't believe in Santa Claus there's not a lot TO believe in.  I know, I know, a lot of people say "Jesus is the reason for the Season" and He is, the little guy sleeping rough in the cowshed.  But He was given gifts - birthday gifts I suppose in His case - and, being the chap He was, there was need for the whole world to celebrate His birthday so they put the gift delivery out to tender.  It had to be somebody who could get round the whole world very very fast - so you got me because Richard Branson wasn't born yet.  There now, I bet you wondered why he called his airline Virgin Airways!  They had to let him fly the Kings instead.  Shepherds travel Ryanair or go on the bus.

The letters I get - by the way, I hope you've all got your letters posted off to me by now.  Cutting it fine if you haven't .    It's all very well asking for a Kindle but Muggins here has to go cap in hand to Amazon if I need 2 million extra next week.  Times have changed as well.  We don't get many requests for soft toys or dollies or Meccano sets these days.  It's computers or Wii's or Nintendos.  Books, of course, never go out of fashion, even for those not big enough to read.  I'm glad of that;   even if no-one ever reads to you, just the look and feel and smell of books can be enough to spark a lifetime's passion for the written word.

Gosh, is that the time.  Mrs C will have done lunch for the workshop by now so I'd better take some fish and chips in.  Oh yes, ha ha, very funny.  No there won't be a lucky fish shop able to claim Santa Claus as a customer;  nobody will know it's me - I'm in mufti so I look just the same as any other elf........ah ah AH - what did I tell you?  BELIEVE!

Love from Santa,

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Keith has been dreaming up names to call me.

Because he has arthritis or rheumatiz or something in his shoulders and can't raise his arms to do his coat collar, he gets Heineken (me) to do it because I can "Reach the parts others cannot".

Paddy O'Dors is another one he has dreamed up because I yell it out every time he lets the dog out for a wee walk.  Don't get it?  Just say it!

I had to get the gas engineer to come out and fix the central heating today.  It conked out yesterday morning so there was 24 hours with no heating  and no hot water.  It happens every year that just when the weather is at its coldest it all goes off.  This year was even worse than last;  the temperature in the house dropped to 12°C.   I have never known it below 17° and I don't mind telling you I was a little afraid in case any pipes burst.  But they didn't, and the guy turned up, and all's well that ends well........

Bit difficult getting the Christmas shopping done.  I can't ride my chair up to town because of the ice - it slides all over the place.  I thought I would be clever and order stuff online EXCEPT we haven't had any post for more than a week because the Post Office won't let postmen deliver it in case they should break their bones.  And sue, maybe?  Keith went to post me a couple of snail mails yesterday and said the post box was stuffed full - no collections either!

Today he went to the Post Office to send something by Recorded Delivery and it cost him £5.50.  Full marks to the counter clerk who, when Keith said  "By gum, that's expensive", came straight back, right off the top of his head, with "Well not really.  You could have posted it to next door and it would still have cost £5.50."


Saturday, 4 December 2010

Shame innit?

I Just had to say a quick word.  All those poor people stuck in Spain by some 'wildcat strike making it impossible for them to get back home to dear old (snowy old) Blighty.  The word???


Saturday, 27 November 2010

How thick can you get?

Well, no wonder I couldn't find you a picture of  Keith's first wooden masterpiece..  It was actually in my phone. not the computer!  But do I know how to take them off the phone?  Do I heck!  So I needed to take some more - with the camera this time - but the battery had gone flat.  Have I a spare battery?  Have I heck!  So I charged up the battery and took these pictures:

Not bad for a first attempt eh?    Small but perfectly formed..