Tuesday, 27 September 2022

A Timely Haircut

Well today has been the day.   A "bitter" day to quote my carer I must say I have an unlikely thickness of layers on for September - added a fleece to yesterday - but at nine this morning my gardener walked past my window in his shirt sleeves with his hedge-cutter aloft.   And by lunch time all my hedges had been cut, their tops had been aligned and the whole place was neat and tidy for the winter.   I have to keep going to look out of the window to make sure how good it looks.

Next a giant thank- you to Debby for continuing to write to me having assured me that she will continue to do so although she understands that I no longer feel able to write back.   Debby I love receiving your lovely long newsy letters - I read them over and over again but being realistic at my age writing my blog almost every day is about as much as I can manage.   But your letters are truly appreciated.

I have to say I too 'enjoyed' HM the Queen's funeral.   I watched it all day and I do agree that as a nation we do those sort of things well.   I also loved your story abour Mandela - if it was in our TV version I missed it.

On the subject of gifts(I probably put this on my blog at the time) but when my six year old great grand daughter came a few weeks ago I wrapped up six little gifts and hid them in the sitting room.    She had to find all six and then she could open them - the pleasure it gave her to search and find them and the pleasure  it gave me watching her open them made the whole thing more than worthwhile.  I am speaking inexpensive gifts - a ballet tutu; a pencil case; a set of .from 3H through to 3B pencils; a packet of crayons and a sketch book all inexpensive from Amazon,  I added a small pack of sweets and that was it.  I shall certainly  do it again.

Just to end by saying our thoughts are with Canada and the terrible storm.  I will be back tomorrow - I am having my ears 'serviced' in the morning.

Monday, 26 September 2022

Not chilly - let's be honest - cold!

 Very sharp wind blowing down from the Arctic and really no other way to describe the day than a cold one. H, my friend and neighbour, is ninety  today - this is where she has six weeks or so on me -I am ninety on Hallowe'en.   Priscilla and I went round early with a pretty card and a small present.   The small present I have ordered has not come - just a letter to say it is out of stock and they will send it as soon as new stock arrives in.

Friend W called in this morning and we had a pleasant morning chatting about this and that.   Our friend D, who is gay, has got the star letter in Saga magazine this month and we speculated what he might do with the £100 star letter prize!

Friend H has just arrived.   We said we would have a tea cake toasted this afternoon so I shall close down and come back when she has gone.   It is now six o'clock and she has returned home so here I am again but with nothing much to add.    We have chatted all afternoon so her birthday has passed pleasantly enough.   Now that the sun has gone down it really is chilly.   I have a feeling that British summertime ends anytime soon.   I can't be bothered to go and look at the calendar but once 'proper' time kicks in and it gets dark early then it really is Autumn.

See you on the morrow.

Sunday, 25 September 2022

This and that........

 as I think of it!

Yes - I shall watch Strictly - I enjoyed it, there were some really good dancers on the programme and it passes a Saturday evening nicely.   I had a nice long chat with my God-daughter after the programme ended - we can always find plenty to chat about  - especially when Strictly is on.

The weather has turned very cold here and although I vowed not to switch the heating on until the middle of October I  have changed my mind - at my age it is important that I keep warm.

Friends S and T have just been and we had a cup of tea and a chat.   S and I chatted about the teaching of French in schools.   We both were taught French early  in our secondary school lives in the same way:

French teacher:  Bonjour mes enfants.

Class:   Bonjour Mademoiselle.

French teacher:  Comment appellez vous?

Me:   Je m'appelle Collete  (my stage name).

We both agreed we have a reasonable vocab but as for stringing words together  - forget it.

Hopefully French is no longer taught in this way these days.   I do remember being asked a question in a written exam about what I might find in a sideboard.   The only thing I could think of was a bottle of White Horse whisky!  We were a non-drinking family too.

Many years later, sitting chatting on a bench in Paris I wanted to know the time.   I asked a passing Frenchman -

"Quelle  heure est il, si vous plait?"The Frenchman looked totally nonplussed.   Another Englishman sitting on the bench held the Frenchman' s arm : "Avez vous l'heure?" - we got the time immediately.

The reason we were speaking about the teaching of French is because my Great Grand daughter - she is almost six  - has recently started school and is being taught French as well as English.   Teaching to  receptive young minds - brilliant.

As I have been sitting here typing the sky has gone very black and the heating has come back on - Autumn has come in with a bang.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, 24 September 2022

Almost back to normal.

But not quite.   Do be warned if you have not yet had your Covid jab.   In a lot of cases it is not nice.   I had mine on Wednesday afternoon at theChemists in Hawes.    And I was warned.     As he gave me the jab (totally painless) the chemist warned me that the after effects might be unpleasant and he was right.  For the next two days I have slept heavily  for most of the   day waking up now and again.   Bed has been early and I have slept like a log   all night too.. 

Many of the folk I blog with had the same side effects too,   But life has gone on just the same.   I more or less slept through the Equinox and now we are truly into Autumn.

Are you a 'Strictly Come Dancing' fan?   Each year I say I won't watch it again because I don't know any of the 'so called' celebrities.   It started again last evening - put off a week beca use  of the death  of H M the Queen and again - apart from the girl with Olympic medals for swimming I knew no-one.  So I shall give it a go this evening - what's the betting I get hooked. I find it odd who is a 'celebrity' these days - I never seem to know any of them.

So I really will make an effort tomorrow - that's a solemn promise.   Have a good evening.

Thursday, 22 September 2022


Actually my day yesterday was my top up covid jab in Hawes - a journey through lovely countryside in sunshine and a more or less painless 'jab' but today I am so very tired I can hardly put one foot in front of the other, so this is just an apology - hopefully I will be back to normal tomorrow - in the meantime - have a good day.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022


Beautifully sunny day - perfect for the drive through Wensleydale for my Covid top up jab.   .My taxi driver contacted my carer yesterday to say that his taxi had broken down and to ask if I could manage to get into his minibus.   The answer to that is no - there is no way I can climb steps that deep so he is 'borrowing' his wife's car.   I hope the sun stays out because it is such a lovely journey to Hawes.

It is pleasing to see from The Times this morning that King Charles and the Queen Consort are already in Balmoral where they intend to spend a week in Private Mourning before taking up any royal duties. 

"Mourning" is such a strange thing isn't it - Matthew Paris discusses it in his weekly comment column in today's newspaper and I largely agree with him.    Certainly as far as our late Queen is concerned - the   death was by no means unexpected.  The signs of seriously deteriorating health have been there for some time in fact for a less determined character it would have meant total retirement from public life at a much earler date.  The fact that she 'invited' our new Prime Minister to form a Government only a couple of days before she died shewed the sort of person she was.   But although we can all feel sadness at her passing I am not sure any of us can 'mourn' in that sense - rather feel a sense of profound admiration that she kept on to the bitter end.   And so up there in Balmoral I hope the King and his Consort get out on the moors they so love and walk and just relax with their dogs (do they have dogs - if not then I am sure there are plenty around that they can 'borrow').

To those of you who suggested I turn the heating up a notch - thank you - I have done so.   I have no intention of being cold - it just seems so early to turn the heating up.   My carer who is a  what my dear old dad would have called a 'dab hand' on Facebook has found a shawl which fastens cleverly (I have several. all wool and very warm but all suffering from the same fault - they have no fastening other than tieing round the shoulders) with a buckle and she has sent for one for me (I will report back with details if it is as good as it looks).

In the meantime breeze is increasing and some rather big black clouds are appearing.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, 20 September 2022


 Autumn is here in NorthYorkshire with a vengeance and I had forgotten just how much I feel the cold th   ese days.   I set the heating to come on at eighteen yesterday and it never came on once but I was cold all day.   I have layers as though it was mid winter and have just ordered a fleecy body-warmer to see if that helps.   I shall have to break the news to my carer in the morning.   She thinks I have enough warm clothes to clothe the whole road.   Fortuitously an organisation came round with bags asking for clean, wearable clothes and we have been able to fill it read to put out early in the morning.  (with clothes which no longer fit).

Well its all over, everyone is on their way home and the Royal Family are now having a week of private mourning.   The King looks absolutely exhausted - what a job to take on at his age.   I hope he and his Consort spend a few days this week at Highgrove, which they love.  Do they have dogs?   I wonder what will happen to all the dogs.   I heard that Her Majesty has had seventy corgis in her lifetime and that Prince Andrew is taking over some of the ones living now.

Its funny how we all like different breeds isn't it?   The estate where I live is awash with dogs - almost all are pedigrees - lots of shid-zues, lots of Labradors/ Retrievers, a fair number of Spaniels and three or four Pugs.   One Red Setter I always notice when he goes past -a beautiful dog and a breed my father always loved (my mother hated dogs and refused to have one).   A large number are Cocker Poos or Labradoodles or some such.   There are also a fair number of retired Greyhounds which, apparently need little exercise and two or three Whippets.   And - I have to say - very little dog poo around - most people are exceedingly good at picking it up and putting it in the appropriate  containers for collection.

My garden is  providing me with a new crop of Autumn blooms - antirrhinums  in assorted colours continue to spring up everywhere as do osteospermums and michaelmas daisies.  crocosmias are continuing to flower.   I must say that rain now and again has continued to keep us damp too, unlike poor Derek who has suffered greatly until the past fortnight.

Well friends - plenty to look at on TV this evening which is nothing connected with the Royal Family - let them have the rest they deserve.   I think the BBC's anchorman -I'm not good on names but think it might have been Huw Edwards (I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong)- deserves some kind of award for his stalwart coverage don't you?

See you tomorrow.   Covid jab for me.

Monday, 19 September 2022


 I must say that I have been glued to the television screen all day today to watch Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.   And I have to say that the organisation, the spectacle, the way the BBC have presented it - all have been excellent in my opinion.   Hardly a hiccup and then only a small one here and there..   And one tiny touch I  found so pleasing - the new Prince of Wales had his son, Prince George who I think is nine, standing next to him during the service.   Surely at that age a very awe-inspiring and slightly scary experience.  At one point during the service he looked up at his father and the Prince of Wales put his hand down, took hold of his small son's hand and gave it a squeeze. What a loving gesture I thought.

I think all the family - and especially His Majesty King Charles III- look exhausted and drained - please let them have a few days break  now to grieve.

Meanwhile life has gone on. Now her late majesty has I believe been laid to rest by her beloved husband and I can get round to thinking about what to write to you about each day.

A free easy day tomorrow and then on Wednesday a trip twenty miles or so to have my next Covid jab.Thursday is my hair day and then everything back to normal.

My Covid jab means a journey through Wensleydale to the little market town of Hawes - about twenty miles through lovely scenery - the road follows the River Ure the whole way.   The last time I was there was  in the Spring with plenty of lambs frolicking - this time the leaves will be beginning  to turn.   How quickly the seasons pass.   See you tomorrow.

Saturday, 17 September 2022

And still they come.

The queues get slightly longer  - last time I looked it was fourteen hours - I do wonder how they are going to control it.   Still luckily it is not my worry and as it all seems so very well organised I am sure 'they' have that worked out too.

It has been so warm in the sun again today and the wind has been a little less strong.   But now that dark has fallen again it is very cold - but set to turn a little warmer next week.

I will try to get my son to take some photographs of my garden and post them for me.   I can no longer take photographs because I have this annoying Benign Essential Tremor which means 'camera shake'.

Yes it was indeed moving to see Her Majesty's  Grandchildren standing vigil.   I do think it has made us all see her in a different light.   After seeing that lovely Paddington Bear sketch where she keeps her marmalade sandwich in her handbag she really does come across as having a much lighter side - lovely to see her like that as well as serious regarding 'affairs of state'.   Her children and grandchildren all seem so very fond of her.

Now before I go to bed I am going on to Amazon - I fancy a heated blanket or a hot water bottle (hopefully the former) and some lavender bags to deter clothes moth. My carer has now also cleaned out my trouser and winter coat wardrobe (she did my jumper one last week.   One new pair of trousers will suffice for now I think.   One very best pair which I rarely wear (because I rarely go out now and will go out even less in the coming months) and four everyday ones which I will for now increase to five.   As for jumpers - I definitely have not room for a single jumper more in my wardrobe.

See you tomorrow.....


Friday, 16 September 2022


Golly, how Autumn has suddenly set in with a North wind blowing today at about forty miles an hour.   Yes it is sunny and clear.   My gardeners arrived with a view to cutting my hedges but it is too breezy and hedge cuttings would blow everywhere.   So instead they are top-dressing for Autumn so at least my plants will all have warm feet.

I have ordered my Tesco order for tomorrow evening between six and seven - as good a time as any I suppose.   Usually if I only want one or two things I add them to my son's order but this week I needed more, so I have had an order of my own.

More activities today for the Royal family.   King Charles has been in Wales and had to travel there by helicopter because he has to stand vigil with his siblings this evening and would not have time to get back by road,   How exhausted they all must be. 

The queue to pass the Queen's coffin at her lying in State now stretches back so far with a wait of twenty four hours.   That is such a very long wait and the weather is unseasonably cold - I fear many of the queuers (is there such a word or have I just coined it?) will return home with chest colds.

I do so wish I could post photographs of my garden for you to see - now my gardeners have top dressed (if you don't do this do consider this it makes such a difference).

I shall now work out a way of keeping warm without switching the heating on.  I tried to order a hot water bottle on my Tesco order but no luck - I shall have to pop over to Amazon I fear.

Until tomorrow blog friends....