Thursday, 21 June 2018

Senior moments.

I have had two senior moments today - both highly embarrassing and cringe-making.

The first occurred when I went back to my car after being to the hairdresser and then doing a few bits of shopping.   As I drove off from the Car Park there was a warning signal in my car.  It was not the usual 'ping' I get when one of the doors is open or when I haven't fastened the seat belt.   Frankly it sounded rather like a shortened version of the ice cream bell!   By the time I got to the Petrol Station half a mile away it had sounded several times and I resolved to read the handbook when I got home.

I pulled up at the pump and instead of bring my handbag out of the car I left it on the front seat while I filled the car.   As it was in a vulnerable position I locked the car door. (you know what's coming don't you?)   When I tried to open my petrol cap it wouldn't open and finally, after struggling with it for a minute or two, I went in and asked the man at the till if he could come out and open it for me.   He tried it once, looked at me
and asked if I had locked the car?!   Of course if you lock the car you also lock the petrol cap!!!

I drove home.   Still the warning signal was going every few minutes.   I went into the house, taking the instruction book with me to see if I could find out what it meant. Eventually I rang the garage and the chap said I would have to take the car in because my description didn't make sense to him!
Friend W (always the voice of reason) suggested I call at the local garage first which I did.  After listening to my description of the sound he pressed a button on the dashboard and asked if that was the sound.   Eureka!   Yes it was.   Until he told me what it was.  It was a message on my mobile!!!

Oh the shame!   Idiot that I am.   Mind you I got it all in proportion on my drive home when an ambulance passed me at speed and there had been an accident in the Market Place - Police Cars, an Ambulance and the car involved - and worst of all a lady lying in the road.   I drove on thinking how trivial were my two events of the morning compared with that.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018


I have friends coming from The Netherlands at the week -end, so my cleaning lady said she would come today and clean through for me.   That will cut down my work load I thought.   Then this afternoon it is our lovely Poetry afternoon, so I could sit in a leisurely morning and choose what I was going to read.

The best laid plans and all that.   Hot on the heels of my cleaning lady came the plumber to fix me an outside tap from the bathroom so that I can water my garden without carrying canfuls of water.   This meant the bathroom was not only out of commission for her to clean but would also be very messy when the plumber had gone.

Too right!   I have just spent an hour and a half cleaning the bathroom (it would have taken her a quarter of an hour at the most, but then she doesn't have difficulty getting down to the floor and even more difficulty getting up again.)

Anyway, the job is done, the rest of the house is clean and tidy and I have just caught up with the bathroom, so all is more or less back to normal.

During the course of the morning I have done bits of jobs.   But this morning has reinforced for me just what opportunists our canine friends are.   One of the cupboards in my kitchen is the dog cupboard.   In it I keep dog tins, poo bags, dry food and (most importantly) 'treat' biscuits in a polythene bag.   The cupboard also houses the stop cock.

I suddenly realised that Tess was missing.   Fearing she had got out as all the doors were open for the plumber I walked around the house looking for her.   I found her IN the dog cupboard calmly eating her treat biscuits from the bag!!   If only I had thought to take a photograph before shooing her out.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Good neighbours.

I am so lucky living here in my bungalow.   The neighbours in the road are so kind.    Here are just three examples today.

It is our refuse collection tomorrow.   My drive is quite steep and I do not find it all that easy to take my refuse down to the roadside.   It is recycling and 'green bin' week this week. There was a ring on my door bell and it was a neighbour from further down the road to say  she was passing and she hoped I didn't mind but she had put my green bin out for me.

Shortly afterwards my next door neighbour came round (and came in for a cup of tea) - I had ordered some sandals on line and they had come this morning and she had taken them in for me and was bringing them round.

As I went out with Tess this evening another neighbour stopped her car to say if I didn't feel like walking with Tess she would willingly get out of her car and leave it at my bungalow while she took Tess for her walk.

I just realise how lucky I am to have moved into an area where the people are so very friendly.   Do you live in a neighbourly place?

Monday, 18 June 2018

Self indulgence.

Nothing I ate today seemed to satisfy me but as the day wore on I began to fancy fish and chips.   It is at least a year since I had them and not something I usually enjoy.    But at half past four Tess and I jumped into the car and drove the mile into the town centre, parked and I bought myself fish, chips and mushy peas - we went back home and ate them - Tess having half a dozen chips and quite a large piece of my cod, but without the batter.    They were not the best I had ever tasted but they satisfied a need, and sometimes - when one lives alone - it is necessary to do just that.

Now I intend to watch Michael Portillo crossing America by train  and that is followed by a new farming series, so I shall watch that too.   Some days I miss the farmer more than others - or let's say I think about him more, and today is one of those days.   How I wish he were here but he isn't and I can't change how things are.   Now our sympathies must go out to Sue in Suffolk who is doing her very best to come to terms with losing her beloved Col.

What a good place Blogland is when one makes these 'friendships' - there is a whole network of support out there and it is good to be able to call on it.

Sunday, 17 June 2018


A friend called with her husband and her electric lawnmower this morning and cut the grass in front of my bungalow.   It was so good of her and now it looks neat and tidy like everyone else's front lawn.   So thank you S and N for your help - much appreciated.

I went out with two other friends for lunch as usual.   The fourth member of the team, W, was ninety seven earlier in the week and is being feted by her family all day today in celebration.   So we were a friend short.    The three of us had our usual salmon with vegetables (delicious with or without the 'florentine' (spinach') which two of us have) then it was one ice cream, one Eton mess and I had a chocolate extravaganza.    Then we sat for an hour and a half in the bar drinking tea, putting the world to rights and having a good laugh.   When one lives alone I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday.

Now it is half past five, I have taken Tess for her walk and I am in for the evening.   At the risk of offending anyone (sorry Rachel) is it really necessary to have football and/or tennis on the TV to the exclusion of almost anything else for the next month?   Thank goodness for iplayer I say. 
Dark-looking rain clouds amass here but very little rain forecast.   Plants certainly look better for yesterday's deluge.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Neighbour pressure

Having read the comments on my post yesterday I feel I have to write and disagree with what most of you said.

First of all a friend, who reads my blog sometimes, sent me an e mail to say she is coming in the morning to cut my lawn for me.   She is not a young lady, she has an electric mower and I am quite overcome by the fact that she has offered to do this for me.   The kindness of friends and neighbours never ceases to amaze me.

Now to those who feel that neighbourhood pressure should be ignored and that one should 'do one's own thing'.   I am sorry but I disagree.   Almost everyone on this estate keeps their house and garden in an attractive state.   It is a pretty estate where the houses and bungalows are planned in such a way that it is rather like a village - areas for children to play, areas of grass regularly cut by the council, trees planted in strategic places, everywhere neat and tidy and almost all gardens neat, tidy and colourful.   It is a pleasure to walk/drive around.   Why should I take it upon myself to be the exception, to make my garden an eyesore which spoils the look of the place?   My back garden had not been done and was a mess but at least it could only be seen by the occupants of my bungalow.   My front garden (all lawn) is seen by everyone who walks or drives past.   Luckily - because I enjoy seeing people - there are always folk about and they stop and chat and our dogs
 'chat' too.   So yes, I don't on the whole agree with those of you who say it doesn't matter.   To me it does matter in this instance to conform to the standard that has been set.   But thanks for making your presence felt in your comments.   That is what I love so much about blogging.

See you later in the day now that I have got this off my chest!

Friday, 15 June 2018


I was going to put a heading of Disaster, but in the giant scheme of things this is really not a disaster when one thinks of all the 'real' disasters.   But it certainly is a bit of a calamity and I am going to sleep on it before thinking what I can do to remedy the situation because at the moment I have absolutely no idea.

This is a lovely neat and tidy estate and everyone keeps their gardens and in particular their lawns in pristine condition this time of the year.   Any lawn which does not keep up with this standard is really an eyesore. 

I have no lawn mower, mainly because I really do no longer have the strength to push one, even if it is an electric one.   My gardener is very good and comes each week to do an hour in the back garden (which is beginning to take shape nicely marestail notwithstanding)  and an hour mowing and strimming my lawn.   He has not been this week and  as it is prime growing season it is no exaggeration to say that my lawn looks like a wild flower meadow - pretty with trefoil, clover and buttercups it might be but it is no lawn.

This evening I rang my gardener, expecting him to be out with his mates on a Friday night.   He answered the phone - he has 'done his back in' to use his words, is flat out on the settee and can hardly move.   So my dilemma is what do I do  about my grass?   I am sure every gardener in the area has a full time table at present so how am I going to find anyone?   Watch this space.

I have spent the afternoon in the garden doing various jobs to the best of my ability.    I have had a lovely display of pansies in tubs over the last four or five months - they have been under my kitchen and sitting room windows in the front of the house.   But we have had a huge gale this week and it finally put paid to them, almost blowing them out of their tubs.    So this morning I bought geraniums and violas and this afternoon I changed the soil and planted the new bedding out.    Hard work, but now it is done I feel much happier.   So all is not lost - now I just have to find someone with a mower and an hour to spare.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

An afternoon of pleasure.

First of all there is the drive through Wensleydale on a sunny afternoon - strong gale blowing and not very warm, but one doesn't notice that shut in a car.   Then, on arrival, there is an hour and a half of playing ukuleles for the elderly and/or dementia sufferers at the Care Home we were bound for - just friend W and I - the two of us.

All the old songs - how the residents sing and enjoy the afternoon.   They look through the books, call out a number they would like to sing and together we all sing it.   There is a lovely old gentleman who knows the verse to 'When I'm cleaning windows' and sings it before everyone joins in on the chorus. 

Towards the end of the session a lady I hadn't seen before said could we play 'The Old Rugged Cross' - we couldn't.   It's not really suitable for ukulele anyway, but we asked her if she could sing it and she sang the first verse in a beautiful, clear voice - then we all joined in on the chorus.

Coming home through the lovely dale we realised just how very tiring it is to play and sing non-stop - we were exhausted.  But what a grand time we had all had.


Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Batten down the hatches.

Or so the weather girl said this morning.   So battening down the hatches is the order of the day.
Friend S called to take a completely recovered Tess on her walk - and did she enjoy it - flopped down and was asleep in seconds on her return.

S planted another patty pan for me in a gro bag and we put it behind the dustbins in as safe a place as we could find.   The other courgette plants in their gro bags have been moved behind a wall.   Winds of fifty miles an hour are forecast for overnight and heavy rain (which we badly need) for tomorrow.   This seems to be the pattern most years - just get the gardens planted for Summer then along comes a gale to create havoc.

Poor Tom - and Cro too - are suffering from despondency about the situation in the world.   I suspect it was ever thus - and in any case we - as mere mortals -can do little about it.   Our only tool is our vote and, frankly, there is little to choose there.   I also suspect that once the World Cup
(football just in case you haven't heard about it!!!!!) arrives on Thursday the news will be full of hooliganism, groans about unfair decisions and most likely the ignominy of England returning home with their tails between their legs.   Things can only get worse.   In fact, now that the Royal Wedding is over it is all doom and gloom for the foreseeable future.   So please, let's all cheer up.

If you want to end the day on a cheerful and  happy note do go to DOING IT FOR OURSELVES IN WALES on my sidebar and read the lovely, cheery story about Little Compost.  It has made my day and might take your minds off the present state of things.   Survival is the order of the day for the little chap.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018


The sky is full of black threatening clouds and the air is sultry.   But I am pretty sure it is not going to rain - it just doesn't feel like it.  Tess and I have just mooched round the estate after lunch and now I am having a job to keep awake.

Coffee with the  girls this morning and a bit of shopping - paying the week's papers that are not on my Times subscription then coming home to wipe out the kitchen cupboards before I put my food away, so a satisfying job done.   But now there is an overwhelming desire to close my eyes.   I shall resist it!

I have always been 'easy meat' for the whole of the bug brigade in early Summer and as I sit here typing this I begin to realise that the nibbling brigade must be out in force today as I resist scratching various itchy places on my back.   It is destined to turn cooler tomorrow for a few days - perhaps this will ease things a little.

By the way, Tess is definitely improved this morning.   She has had her pain killer syringe this morning and has eaten a 'soft' breakfast without biscuits but with the addition of a little of the ham I usually don't let her eat but which is tempting her so much at the moment.   So far, so good.
Out to lunch with friend D tomorrow - I'll see you afterwards and report on what we eat!!