Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Honest Scrap

Marcy here very kindly awarded this to me the other day, with the exhortation that I should tell 10 Honest Things about myself. Well I have to tell you I don't think I can find anything to hold you spellbound all the way from 1 to 10 but I'll have a go. In a minute. I am supposed to invite 7 others to do the same, whose blogs I read and find brilliant in content and / or design. Well I can't choose 7 because I think all the blogs I read are brilliant so I throw down the gauntlet to anyone who wants to to tell us 10 Honest Things about themselves and scoop up the award for your own sidebar. You then have to link back to me and pass it on to 7 people, telling them how it works at the same time

Right, let's get started:-

I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta and am mostly in a wheelchair now (that's sort of me at the top.). I won't bore you with the details now. Suffice to say it involves breaking bones with very little provocation. Something I learnt in life: breaking bones hurts and you don't ever get used to it and if anybody tries to tell you different they should try it!

2. I adore dogs. Big, little, old, young, well-behaved or naughty - I love them all. To me there are no bad dogs, only bad owners.

3. I always wanted to learn the piano. Still do, but I don't think the neighbours would be very happy to hear me thumping away. The violin would have done. I did play the guitar but then, so did everyone who grew up on the 60's. It was de rigeur.

4. I could not imagine that I would not be famous, though what I thought I would be famous for I don't know.

5. When I was 13 I wrote a novel. My English teacher urged me to try and get it published but I thought he was just being kind to me so I tore it up and burnt it! With the wisdom of hindsight he was probably being sarky.

6. I love thunderstorms. Aren't I odd? You know, when the sky is a weird greenish colour and trees and houses stand out against it so starkly? Then when the first tentative flash of lightening comes and the first distant rumble of thunder? I love it. My Grandma used to run around taking out everyone's hair pins, hiding all the cutlery, turning off the electric and there I would be standing in the window! Well, you've got to watch something if she's put the telly off.

7. I'm struggling now! Oh yes, here's one. Now don't spread this around: I once stole three jelly babies from the Pick 'n' Mix at Woolworths. That was my one and only brush with the criminal underworld . I think I would be about 9 at the time and I was so convinced that the whole town could tell what I'd been up to! I blushed every time I saw a policeman for ages afterwards. I stopped going to cycling proficiency because it was a PC who used to come to school to take us out and I thought he would know.

8. I'm deaf. It's all linked to #1. I wear 2 hearing aids without which I could not hold a conversation. Deafness does have it's good points: I am not woken up by noise of any sort. When I was in hospital nursing a broken thigh, a night nurse came and shook me awake. They thought I must have died or something because they were hammering away fastening a big metal traction frame to the next bed for an old lady who had just come in. Everyone else in the ward was wide awake but I slept peacefully on, blissfully unaware.

I am really casting about now. I don't think I can think of any more so I hope Marcy will let me off the last 2

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

A Blog Friend in Need

This wasn't what I was going to write about. In fact I really wish there was no need for me to write it but there is.

Lura at really needs you to visit her blog and leave your vote. She has been flying around a lot recently on internal flights with US Airlines on family business and this last one - flying home - she was scalded by a jug of hot water falling from the beverage trolley on the plane. Also, her suitcase was damaged beyond further use. You can read about it and see Lura's photos on her blog.

She really needs our support so please go on over there. Meanwhile, if I have chance I will be back later on.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Delia Day

Wow, I do really think we should call 13th June "Delia Day". Delia Smith has been awarded a DBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. That makes her Dame Delia Smith, and not before time too!

For international friends who don't know how this goes, 'Dame' is the female equivalent of being 'Sir' somebody. Dame Delia has been showing peple 'How to Cook' ever since she herself was a young woman and there's many a decent home cook who owes her skill to Delia. Her books are for everyone, at every level, and the great thing is her recipes WORK. Yes they do! If Delia says leave somethng to stand in the fridge then do it because it'll be important for sure. Follow any recipe of hers to the letter and you just cannot go wrong.

We had a lovely day out yesterday, in Grantham which is in the south of Lincolnshire, our home county. It's only about 70 miles away but it was such a lovely day and there was a Farmers' Market on and an ordinary market and a Salvation Army Band visiting from Northrn Ireland. The band had a parade to the Guildhall, where they were received by the Mayor and Mayoress for a 'Welcome' reception. Afterwards they congegated on the green in front of the Guildhall and played a short concert. It was all so very very English, I can't tell you - my dear friend in Germany would move mountains to see that. The main object of our tripwas to visit the museum which was next to the Guildhall and just as a bonus admission to that was free.
And look what we got! A full day out, with entertainment included, and all it cost us was two cups of petrol (gas) and a pub lunch.

Guess what? I didn't take any photos because I forgot the camera! WOOPS! The birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton and Margaret Thatcher and I didn't take the camera.

I could show you where we went this afternoon though and it was ony 5 minutes away! Just around the corner, we went to the park.

It was the Steelworks Children's Gala across the other side but we didn't go there becase we were enjoyng the peace and quiet. That's what they call it now, Steelworks Children's Gala, because there's only one steelworks now. Practically everyone's dad will have worked there at some time or other because in its heyday we had 3 steelworks. Sadly the very existence of the remaining one is on the line now, with all the financial shenanigans going on in England.
It was on the day of one of the galas (we always pronounced it 'gayla'), June 1st 1974, that the worst tragedy ever to befall this area took place. The Nypro chemical works exploded, killing 29 people, causing the destruction of almost an entire village , wreaking havoc for miles around and prompting the mass exodus of families with small children who were too traumatised to stay.

At the time we lived in the bungalow I've been telling you about recently where we were accident prone, though we never saw it at the time. It was a very hot day, Keith was changing the front windows of the house. One was done and another has half in- half not and Keith was chatting to his brother, who lived next door at the time. I was hoovering when suddenly I felt - or thought I did - a little bit giddy, as if the floor had moved. I called out for Keith and he came running in shouting about a ball of fire at Nypro. They could see it clearly because our house was in the very flat Trent Valley, as was Nypro. What we had felt - all of us - was the massive air movement of the explosion across the plain. It was the worst peacetime disaster ever to have happened here.

As years went by it became the yardstick by which people recalled things: "well, it was before Nypro" or "Mrs Jones was a widow so it must have been after Nypro" - you know? It's rarely mentioned nowadays except in history books but everyone who was alive at the time can remember where they were and what they were doing on 'the day Nypro went up'.

Well, I never started out to tell you that but, as I have and it was such a tragedy, I can hardly go showing you my park pictures now can I? Next time eh?


Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Slimming World

The little picture above is what I have come to now. There are dishes of fruit all over the house; I've become a 'five a day' fiend.

People have asked me how I'm managing to lose weight. Well I'm going to Slimming World on a Thursday
, hence the fruit all over the place. If you get to be Slimmer of the Week a basket of fruit is your reward. Do it twice and you get ANOTHER basket of fruit and it's all donated by the other people in the class. Each person is supposed to hand in a piece of fruit along with their £4.50 fee each week. This is fine so long as you like Apples - correction, you would have to be crazy about them!

I like the occasional apple but generally I prefer soft fruits and citrus. For me apples = apple CAKE or PIE or TURNOVER - are you with me so far? The apple part is fine, it's the rest of it I cant have! In fact Slimming World want you to count it as a treat ('syn', as they call it) if you cook your apple. As you might imagine 'syns' are strictly limited and each food has its number; well, I would rather syn with chocolate or not at all thank you very much.

This 'to cook or not to cook' is an ongoing bugbear with me because nobody at Slimming World has come up with a reasonable sounding answer to my question 'Why?' . The closest was "Well, it's so easy to cook a batch of apples (or plums, whatever) and not realise how much of it you're eating". True, but if you only microwaved one apple then sweetened it with sweetener, what's wrong with that? You're not putting anything in that wasn't there before, nor taking anything out.

But do you know the daf
test thing? I daren't QUITE try it - cooking fruit - just in case somebody really knows the answer!

Tell you what really is nice though: Slimming World Syn free Chips. I suppose I can't give the recipe here because it'll be copyright I should think. Suffice to say it involves the parboiling of your chipped potatoes then spraying the dried chips with Fry Light and crisping them up in a very hot oven. We had egg and chips for lunch today - even Keith liked them and he doesn't usually like his chips messed about with.

Right, now, having got the picture at the top in the middle of the row, I find I cant move my usual signature down. I should probably have done that first!



A friend whom I don't see very often sent this to me today. I've seen it before and I should think many of you will have too, but I wanted to share it with you because I'm a bit busy today and might not get time to write to you 'properly'. Just to say I'm thinking of you anyway!

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?''

"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."

The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?", the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?

''Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.''

"How about my friend here?' the traveler gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

They went through the gate and, sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is Heaven," he answered.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said, "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.''

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."

Soooo...Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word. Maybe this will explain...

When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do? You forward jokes.

When you have nothing to say, but still want to keep contact, you forward jokes.

When you have something to say, but don't know what, and don't know how, you forward jokes.

Also to let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for,guess what you get? A forwarded joke.

So, next time if you get a joke, don't think that you've been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile.

You are all welcome at my water bowl anytime!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Tiny Peeps

I wondered why there hadn't been even the littlest peep from anyone on the Juggy Singh post. I never published the flipping thing did I! What am I like.

All I wanted to say just now is that the post will be dated 4th June (when it was saved) but I actually published it today, 9th I think though I haven't looked at the newspaper yet!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Juggy Singh and the Milkgirl

SLIMMER OF THE WEEK for the second week in a row!! I can't believe it. It just shows that if dieting usually works for you. then it doesn't matter too much if, like me, you can't go to the gym or go jogging or walking. I've lost 11½lbs since I started 6 weeks ago.

I made a big mistake ditching my contact lenses just before Christmas in favour of varifocal glasses. A big mistake - and I've set things going to get them back soon as possible. I used disposable contacts for about 25 years with no problems so I just hope I can have them again. And anyway, glasses don't go with my new slimmer image!

Do you remember me telling you how we were considerably-more-than-somewhat disaster prone in our first home together in the 70's? Well, it occurs to me that mlk delivery people played a not inconsiderable role too. We had a German Shepherd called Juggy Singh.

He had been owned by a Sikh bloke called Mr Singh who worked with Keith at the time and drove the van they went to work in, accompaned every day by the dog. Keith made the mistake of saying what a wonderful dog this was and one fine sunny evening Mr. Singh turned up at our door with Juggy, his kennel and a green slimey water bucket. "You like dog? Dog yours," he said, and dumped the whole lot in our back yard. Mr. and Mrs. Singh had about a million kids and poor Juggy lived chained up outside of the two up-two down terrace where Mr. Singh's parents and brothers also lived.

Juggy was a darling, such a handsome dog. I would have trusted my life to him and for sure no-one would dare to threaten me! He took his orders only from Keith but he protected me and our home.

One hot sunny day came a knock on the front door. In good weather we always left the back door open so Juggy could trot in and out of our dog-proof back garden and that's where he was when I opened the front door. But I hadn't closed the inside doors properly so the through-draught caused them to open and the dog came through - JUST as the milkgirl was putting her money away and bent down to pick up the empty bottles from the doorstep! Well, they were our empty bottles and Juggy didn't like people messing about with our things so he took a run at the milk girl. I grabbed his collar as he came through, saying to the milkgirl "Leave the bottles, get back in your van.". She thought I was having a laugh. I wasn't, and I couldn't hold on to Juggy any more so he chased her off our property. The second she hopped over the fence into next door's garden he came back. He didn't care about next door's, they were outside his remit! Unfortunately he gave a final "and stay out" shove to her shoulder and tore a little L-shaped piece of her overall. He never bit her, just caught his paw in her overall.

Two hours later came a posse from the dairy accompanied by two policemen and the milkgirl. A policeman knocked, explained why they'd come and said "The dog must be identified madam". Yes, of course, I said, There's only one, shouldn't be too difficult, do come in. "Oh no madam. you must bring the dog, on his lead, into the living room and we will look through the window..". Well how would ANY dog react to having half a dozen noses almost pressed to the glass? Paws on the window ledge and woof woof woof, that's how.

And THAT is how I gained my one and only experience of the magistrates' court. The summons was so worded that there was no choice but to plead guilty to 'keeping a dangerous dog not under proper control'. No mitigating circumstances or anything. The magisrate said that an order would be made for the dog to be kept under control in future.

And that was it, - out. We spent 2 months befrehand wondering what was going to happen to us and/or the dog, I spent 2 hours in a corridor full of rogues and vagabonds, and all for an order which took about 2 minutes and for which I never even got a confirming letter

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Crafty Saturday

Wednesday already and I haven't shown you anything of the craft and food fair we went to last Saturday up at Newby Hall near Ripon in North Yorkshire. It's not too far, only about 1½ hours drive , and a good opportunity for Keith to try out his new toy, the GPS. Actually a blindfolded homing pigeon could have found it but there you go.....boys and their toys!

Just look at that sky! The weather was sunny and warm apart from a fairly brisk east wind so it tended to be a bit chilly in the shade.

We made a beeline for the food tent of course. Cupcakes galore. We used to call them fairy cakes, didn't we, and they were mostly for children's parties and Saturday tea. Now they're all grown up and wearing their best hats!

I liked the look of these cherry and coconut squares and date squares.

This gingerbread looked lovely too

There are some clever people about. Keith thought we ought to look at something other than food! These mouse panels - you can see how small they are - were ridiculously expensive, but very pretty.

I just happened to spy these cookbooks. That brown one in the middle is a slow cooker book, just what I ..........aaaagh I've been cruelly dragged away..............................

These mirrors were made to order and, again, cost the earth. That green one at the top would look lovely in our hallway.

Isn't it cute? The tree is made of wood (of course) and hung with all these red velvet hearts. Makes me wish I was a handy needlewoman.

Mimuther loves candles, the smellier and gaudier the better. I don't, I was looking at that nest of tables, which I liked, but each piece was separately priced. The largest one was £149 - go figure! I liked the blue pots next to it too, but what we bought for a keepsake was these 2 little chaps.........

They live in the kitchen window and keep me informed what the neighbours are doing (heh heh).

Luckily pets corner had a canvas gazebo over it or these poor chickens and bunnies would have suffered.

This bunny was absolutely HUGE! I've never seen one like it before. It was about three times the size of the others.
I have a feeling something is going to go haywire here with the computer. It keeps telling me autosave failed so I better quit while i'm ahead!
Til next time