Friday, 20 March 2009


HEY EVERYBODY - whizz on over to Marie at A Year at Oak Cottage and read today's entry. She's giving away all sorts of goodies and even talking of hosting a tea party. I should think that might be when it's a bit warmer then we can all troop up her garden path and enjoy the goodies.

Afternoon tea in England is like nothing you ever had before but one thing de rigeur is cakes and biscuits. And tea of course. And all served in pretty china. Oooh I can hardly wait!

And her Givaway.......well just go an read it

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Sad Sunday

A sad day for me today. These are pictures of my dear friend Linda - remember I asked your prayers the other day? Only 61 years old, she passed peacefully away in her husband's arms at the hospice yesterday afternoon. The pictures were taken in her back garden a little less than three years ago in 2006. We were using her caravan as a kitchen while her hubby, John, was working in the house kitchen.

It was a scorching hot day in May and we were lounging around wallowing in the total lethargy of a race who thinks 80° is 'scorching' and knows to take full advantage in case it rains tomorrow - which it did. Linda didn't know she had bowel cancer, not for sure. She didn't know it would all kick off in September with an operation to chop out the bad bit nor that treatment would continue for, literally, the rest of her life. She didn't know how far advanced her cancer was, even before she knew about it, nor that it had already spread to her lungs and was on its way to her brain, where it would kill her.

I visited her last Monday. Linda was in bed that day, John was there, two mutual cake decorating friends, her brother, me and Keith - a lot of people for a small room - and we spent all afternoon reminiscing and telling silly anecdotes, never thinking that in a little more than 24 hours she would lapse into a coma and, to all intents and purposes, be lost to us.

When Keith handed me the phone yesterday and said "It's John..." I knew why he was ringing. All day my friend kept popping into my mind and I was getting a bit frantic - because I couldn't recall her face, nor how tall she was nor the colour of her hair (when she had some!). My mind wouldn't stay in one place for long enough so I could find these pictures on the computer. I'll sort them all out one day. But after Keith went to bed, after I had put the telly off, after I had sat there thinking of my friend yet again, I was overtaken by a very real peace and quiet and I felt rather than heard "I'm OK now" and I knew that my own prayer for her was answered.

Now I know there will be those who will dismiss this as hysterical bunkum. Please don't - the peace is still there today and so is Linda, in my heart and, complete with picture, in my mind's eye.

Finally, here's just a little reminder of Spring in our Garden. Linda never liked cut flowers indoors but she did like them growing.

Camellia has been in bud for weeks; now it's starting to bloom

There's a little bee in here, can you see it?
I thought daffs would colonise great swathes of garden? These haven't - same as last year!

AND FINALLY, Keithism for today...........
The tulips are silk ones Keith nicked out of the conservatry and poked in among the daffs for a laugh. Quite effective actually.......

Friday, 13 March 2009

Friday 13th

When I went to "check my emails" (Angie-speak for not doing the washing up) this morning, I saw to my horror the unaddressed envelope with my neice's birthday card in it. And yes, sure enough, it is indeed 13 March today and she is 30. OH NO!! I'll text her. No I won't, I don't have her new number. So this is what she got instead:

happy birthday

Guess who forgot to post your birthday card?

I know that's more the kind of lame excuse you give when you really mean "I forgot your birthday" or even worse "I forgot you existed for a minute there" or even worse than that "Ruth who???".

Truly though, I'm sitting here looking at it now. It shows 2 bats hanging upside down and one says to the other

"Know what REALLY scares me about getting older?"

"What's that?"


Tee-hee-hee - chuckle
think about it!

Have a lovely day anyway

love and best wishes
Auntie A & Uncle K

chunter, chunter - damn thing only wanted an address writing on it. Been in the house 2 flippin weeks. It's Keef's fault........

What's your mobile phone number btw?

So there you have it: My Friday 13th bit of bad luck...........well, not mine exactly!


Thursday, 12 March 2009

Daytime Telly Revisited

Oooh, I feel as if I've done something naughty! I take back some of the horrid things I said about daytime telly.

Now and then there is a show about 9am called (I think) "Dom's on the Case" where Dominic Littlewood shows people how to make shopkeepers knock money off their bill. This afternoon we went to buy a rug for the new floor in the hallway: "That'll be £182.65 madam" said the shop man. And I looked him STRAIGHT in the eye and said "Oh surely you mean £180?" And he started to repeat his first figure but did a quick about-face and said that of course he could do that madam! WOW - RESULT! I know it was only £2-something but I have never in my life dared to do such a thing. I floated out of the shop on Cloud 9 I can tell you.
I should have gone for £175.
Just thought I would share this minor triumph with you - a small thing but it made my day!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Daytime Telly

The head-scratching stage

You know, my twice-a-week posting resolution at the new year just is not happening is it? But Keith's latest project, designed so I can get out of the house on my own, though it may help my The conservatory floor is raised

posting rate, will certainly throw the family into a flat spin! I daren't go in the shower after about 8.30am in case somebody phones and thinks I'm on the floor because I don't answer - we don't have a phone in the bathroom but I couldn't hear it if we had because you can't use hearing aids in the showerThe patio is raised with wooden decking

. What a mess!

Me being able to pop out to the shops in my chair might just spark an international incident!

Did I ever tell you about my adopted Gran, Helen, starting an international incident? She was an old lady well into her 70's when she lived in this town and had gone out shopping early one morning leaving her little Jack Russell Schatze home alone. Well the dog wasn't keen on being left but managed to get into the living room where she wasn't supposed to be so that made up for it a bit. Anyway, one of Helen's many friends in Germany happened to phone. Schatze, being a bit cross because the phone woke her up, knocked the receiver off its base and lay growling into it! Poor Gerd on the other end thought it was Helen being murdered or something! He didn't know how to contact our local police so he contacted his own, who contacted Interpol, no less, who contacted Scotland Yard, who contacted the local police, who came rushing to the house, lights flashing and sirens blaring!!! There they were, trying to see what was what, when who should come toddling up the street? Yes, that's right. It made the front page of the local paper and Helen dined out on that one for months!

I do like daytime TV (generally speaking) but just take it for what it is - a bit of entertainment. On the BBC there are quite a few property shows. You know the kind of thing: where they send in their 'experts' to see why your house isn't selling. I wonder if these sellers of the houses actually believe the bunkum they get told? For goodness sake:

Don't have your children's toys laying around

How do you persuade kids to hide all their toys away until after the house is sold? How do you make them keep their rooms impeccably clean and tidy? How do you tell the son and heir he can't be taken out for some sun and air because his pram can't be kept in the hall in case it offends someone?

If your bathroom is downstairs - forget it

There is no-one in the world who wants a downstairs bathroom. Remember that.

Bungalows are for old people

Really? Oh, right. Well I wish someone had told me before we came here.

Wooden kitchens are out of date; only white will do.

Beg to differ here. Where we lived in the late 80's we had a white kitchen installed. It was right old fashioned then and the fitter said as much. He was quite disgusted that we were not having a wood one. "Nice bit of oak," he said "That's what you want. Makes a place feel lived-in". "It'll come back in fashion sometime." I said - and it did. Now I've got an oak kitchen, which is right out of fashion. I don't care though because I like it. It's warm looking, as if someone lives in it and cooks in it. And in a few years it'll be bang up to the minute.

There are a few leaves on the drive. That's going to put buyers off.

Rubbish! The show was filmed in autumn and that's what trees do in autumn - shed their leaves. Knee-deep might be a bit off putting but you'd have to be a bit of a stickler to even notice a couple of dozen!

Don't have any personal odds and ends about.

What? They're talking about things like photos of your family, books you read, pictures on the walls or nick-nacks that are important in your life. Hard luck if you play a musical instrument. It has to go for the duration - unless it's a grand piano of course, that's OK. But these people always get busy taking down their pictures from the walls, and some of them have quite a few. But I ask myself this: what happened to all the picture hooks and the holes where they were fastened? You can never see them when someone is being shown round but in reality they make a dreadful mess.

Time for Corrie so I'm orf. See you soon


Thursday, 5 March 2009

Just an ordinary Thursday

Here I am, idling away a couple of hours again. Actually I 'idle' quite a lot but at this time of the afternoon my idling is usually accompanied by earth shattering, chimney tottering, timbers shivering rumbles. And that's just the dog!

We had a lovely 'clear the fridge' supper yesterday. A couple of skinless chicken breasts (that Keith brought home from the factory where he works) went into a dish with half an onion (sliced), half a red pepper (chopped up), a few mushrooms that wouldn't have survived the night and a bit of frozen sweetcorn from the freezer. You know, the last little bit in the bag and hardly worth saving? A tin of leek and potato soup - whoever invented that should get a Nobel Prize or something - was mixed with a tin of Weightwatchers bacon and lentil soup and the whole lot poured on, covered with foil and thrown in the oven for 50 minutes on Gas Mark 5. A few new potatoes for Keith - et voila fast food fit for a king! There isn't a picture of course because I didn't know it would be that good so my camera wasn't to hand.

The Great Flooring Project is done!

The living room

And again

The hall from the vantage point of the loo. There are 2 surplus boxes of tongue-and-groove he didn't need waiting to go back to the shop for refund. I bet they're still there in a fortnight!

A close-up of that door at the end of the hall showing what a brilliant painter Keith isn't! He slops it everywhere and then you have to scrape it off the glass.
Anyway, it's home again the the dog no longer thinks she's in imminent danger of being thrown out with the rubbish!
Now the next project has taken root in his head. He's raising the level of the floor in the conservatory so it's just about on a level with the doors into it and out of it. Then he will raise the level of the outside patio by the strategic and extremely attactive use of decking, the whole idea being that me and my wheelchair can get in and out of the house at will. That will be so nice. At the moment I have to be 'taken' out and I hate that, having to go when and where someone else thinks you should.
I have a dear friend called Linda who was finally diagnosed a couple of years ago with bowel cancer for which surgery and chemo followed but tumours were found in her lungs. So further chemo and now she has a tumour on her brain for which she has suffered a week of radiotherapy and is now in our local hospice, mainly as a little respite for her husband while he gathers himself up and takes stock of the situation before she comes home again. Please will you remember Linda and John in prayer? They just don't deserve all this.
The kennels where our Sally goes when we're away is advertising Doggie Day Care! Whatever next. The idea is you buy however many days you want to and then call them off as required. Sounds like a good idea to me. I've never heard of it before, have you?
I'm tinkering away here on the keyboard waiting for the gas man to call. The heating works perfectly but yesterday afternoon the hot water packed up. We don't have a water tank - it's a combi boiler so the water heats up when you turn on the tap. Embarrassingly the hot water started working again this morning (well it would!) but I didn't cancel the call-out as something must have caused the outage in the first place.
Well, the freezing fog took some time to shift this morning but the sun won the fight and it's a lovely bright sunny day. From in here you would think it was summer. The turf that Keith laid over what was his little veggie patch has suddenly started sprouting crocuses! How on earth they got there your guess is as good as mine, but he never planted them. They're pretty though. Prettier than taters!