Saturday 30 December 2017


Almost the end of the old year, a year which has not been kind to me in any shape or form.   I shall not be sorry to say good-bye to it.   And for the first time for many years I shall not stay up to see the old year out and the new year in.   There was a time when I gave a New Year party for forty plus, but those days have gone.   Now = if I am here alone - I would find it impossible to stay awake.   So it will be treated as any other night.

We had several inches of snow yesterday and I dare not take Tess out as it was slippery.   Luckily friends called and took her for me, so she had a good walk on what should have been a PetPals day (the lady was unable to come). 

Today friend W and I decided to go out for lunch, just to get us out of the house really.  On W's advice I took Tess with us (the first time she has been with us into a pub) and she was as good a gold, watching everything that was going on but not making a fuss.  W had barbecued spare ribs (her favourite) and I had beef casserole with dumplings (herby) and mash.  Both were delicious.   Did we need it?   No, but it did us good to get out of the house and eat something we hadn't prepared ourselves.

After almost going yesterday evening the snow had returned this morning and there was quite a covering again.   But it was not freezing and now, at a quarter to four in the afternoon, it has almost gone again.   There is quite a sharp wind blowing but Tess and I have been for a walk - it did us both good in the fresh air.

I shall now go an sit down and digest all your conflicting advice on the i pad.   I am still not convinced and shall spend an hour or two 'playing' with friend W's and see how I get on.

Last evening my dear sister-in-law passed on.   She was ninety five and has been on end of life care for the past fortnight after many years in care, most of them happy and fruitful.  I am sad at her passing; we were always very close.   But her time had come.   So goodbye Deen, you have left me with so many happy memories.   You have been a large part of my life since you married my brother Jack in 1941.

Friday 29 December 2017

A present for New Year.

A friend, who is also a widow, told me the other day that she always buys herself a present at Christmas from her deceased husband.  Well I think this is a rather good idea and have been thinking about what I should buy.    Several friends have suggested that my life would be enhanced by purchasing an i pad.  I am not so sure, so today's post is to ask what you think.

I have a great nephew who works for a computer company and I chatted to him last evening on the phone and he listed the fors and againsts as far as I  was concerned and they more or less match what my friends say.

So can I ask a question of you all.   Do any of you use an i pad to write your posts?  (I know you do John as you say so sometimes ) and if so in what way do you think it is better than a laptop?  I sometimes write quite a long post - would I find it
a chore using my finger to touch the screen rather than using a keyboard (I am a touch typist)?

I really would appreciate any help and advice you can give me before I make my final decision.

Thursday 28 December 2017


Well that is Christmas over.   Today I took the few decorations down (I had had no desire to decorate and only did minimally for the sake of my great grandchildren).  I also sat down and read through the large number of cards I had received - that gave me pleasure to renew many contacts with friends far and wide.

This afternoon a friend invited three of us to tea and we had a lovely afternoon of laughter together.  That is what friends are for. 

The weather here is North Yorkshire is glorious.   The sun has shone throughout the day after a sharp frost this morning, and by the time we came home there was a sharp frost again and the moon was already in the sky.   There is no snow and I understand that the forecast is for it to get a little bit warmer towards the week-end, so hopefully we have missed the snow here again.

For the first time for many years I have decided that I shall no longer see in the New Year - sad but really I need to  cast off some memories and this is one of them. But as it draws near I wish all of my blogging friends a very happy 2018.

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is almost over, my guests have gone home and it is time for bed.   On the whole things have gone well.   The first Christmas is hard as anyone who has lost a loved one will tell you.   But with the help of good friends and good family it has gone well and I have had lots of hugs which have helped.

Tonight it has turned cold - some of my guests had to scrape ice of their windscreens before setting off.

Tomorrow shops re-open luckily as I am almost out of dog food (Tess would be delighted to dine on turkey but she has had plenty of that today - she can smell it at fifty paces).

Saturday 23 December 2017

Christmas greetings

As we get nearer to Christmas I shall stop blogging for a few days.   So this is to wish all my dear friends in Blogland sincere good wishes for Christmas and the New Year.   May 2018 be a happy year for us all.

Friday 22 December 2017

God knew what he was doing!

I have friends who have said this and I will reiterate it - God definitely knew what he was doing when he decreed that you have to be young to have children.   My great grand daughter (aged 1) has been for the afternoon with her mum and dad.    She is a darling and it is so fascinating to watch the language and learning processes going on all the time as she wanders about exploring things.   But how very tiring for her mum and dad.  I suppose it was the same in my day but it is so long ago that the memory has faded into obscurity.

Now they have gone and I have loaded the dishwasher and written a post of sorts, I shall go and put my feet up and read the paper.   See you tomorrow.

Thursday 21 December 2017

Thanks and our little town.

First of all thanks.   I had an e mail from Gayle (Square Dogs) asking for my address and as a result, today, just as I was preparing lunch, a van drew up outside my house and out stepped a man with a vase of red, Christmas flowers with love from Gayle and her delightful Scottie pup Winston (or Mandibles as she calls him because he is a chewer!)   Such a surprise and what a delightful one.   You can imagine - I am not really looking forward to it this year - but keep cheerful because, even amongst my blogging friends I can think of two or three who will also be pleased when Christmas is over.   But this is just to say Gayle that they have brightened my day and also my sitting  room.   Thank you most sincerely.

Now for our little town.   Each year there is a window dressing competition and most of the shops take part.   One in particular really goes to town and several people have asked to see this year's.   They are not good photographs.  The buildings opposite are reflected in the window and there were so many people about that I couldn't stand far enough back to get in the whole picture - but here is a taste at least.

Wednesday 20 December 2017


Tomorrow is the shortest day and for some odd reason I don't seem to have noticed it so much this year.   My only explanation could be that my living room window faces due South and it is a large picture window, so perhaps I do get maximum light for as long as possible.

After a very cold spell it is now mild and set to remain so for the next few days.   I'm pleased about this as I am still missing my Aga and my wood burner (although not the cleaning out of the latter). 

Life is very busy at the moment.   The last remnants of the sale of the farm are going through and there seem to be mountains of papers to read through and sign.   This means going into town most days, parking, walking to the solicitor's office - all things which, with my poor mobility, are tiring.   Small jobs still have to be done in the bungalow.   Yesterday one of the bulbs which is let into the ceiling in the hall went so I also had to walk down to the electrical shop and get some replacements. 

Four of us friends are spending Christmas Day together and I look forward to that very much.   On Boxing Day I am hosting a buffet lunch here for my family and am busy cooking things which can be done in advance, writing menus etc.   I have done this for many years but somehow this year, without the farmer, in a new bungalow, with an unfamiliar oven - guaranteed to put a spanner in the works. 

I shall now type out menus and shopping lists.

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Santa Claus.

What do you call Santa's Little Helpers?
Subordinate clauses!  (boom, boom)   A friend told me this earlier today - sorry but had to pass it on.

Another friend told of the little boy who asked his friend about the devil.   Was there really a devil?
'No', he replied.  'He's like Santa Claus - he's your Dad!'

It was our Strugglers meeting this morning, when a group  of us - nine this morning - meet for an hour and a half to talk quietly about anything which may be  worrying us, or anything we feel might be of interest to the group.

This morning we got talking about the amount of money which is spent on some children while there are other children around who have virtually nothing (desperate children who are refugees or live in countries torn apart by war for example).   The discussion eventually turned to talk about believing in Santa Claus.   We all had memories of believing but no-one could actually remember the time when they suddenly knew there was no such person (come on Tom - don't kid me you still believe and I have ruined it for you).   So I am asking you  - did we really believe in him and his magic or did we only half believe?

Monday 18 December 2017

Christmassy weather.

Ice, as somebody pointed out writing in The Times today, is interesting.   When we are children we absolutely adore it - we slide up and down and really 'polish' slides so that eventually we can approach them at speed and enjoy the thrill.

But then, as we get older, we view ice in a completely different way - we envisage car accidents, broken limbs, bad backs - there is nothing at all  to be said in its favour.

Similarly with snow.   It is pretty when it first falls and everything is cloaked in white and the frost shines making the scene like fairyland.   But how quickly it palls - bad enough while it is frozen but then turning to slush which is just as bad in its own way.

So us killjoys hope for a mild Christmas - easy for travelling around and keeps the central heating bill down into the bargain.   Yes, that's another thing, we do tend to get mercenary as we get older.

You can imagine - I am finding it difficult to cultivate a Christmas spirit this year.   But with not one but three great grandchildren coming to a buffet lunch here on Boxing Day I shall do my best to enjoy it and remember the twenty three happy Christmasses the farmer and I enjoyed together and the thirty nine Christmasses I enjoyed with my previous husband.   They add up to a lot of Happy Christmasses and for that I am eternally grateful.

Here's wishing everyone who reads my blog a Very Happy and Healthy Christmas.

 New Post

Sunday 17 December 2017


A lethargy descended upon me after my Spa day on Friday and it hasn#t altogether lifted yet.   After a large lunch at our usual place today, I have come home and am trying hard to type this without falling into a deep sleep.
I had to nip into town this morning as I have a very busy day tomorrow and was going to run out of mince pies (no I don't bake them this year).  It is my turn to host our Book Club in the morning (my cleaner is coming early - at 8.30am - so that she can be finished before they arrive at 10.15) and straight after lunch other friends are calling to see me and to look round the bungalow.   In the evening I intend to make my red cabbage dish for Boxing Day and when it is cooked and cooled I shall freeze it.

This may well be the last year I cater for a Boxing Day party.   I love to have them all but whether I can cope with them all remains to be seen.   Time will tell - certainly the freezer is bursting with food.   My main worry is that I have only used my electric fan oven once after twenty years of using an Aga.   It can't be that difficult can it?

Today we have all four friends been out to Sunday lunch as usual - and delicious as usual.   I had one of the starters as a Main Course - Salmon Goujons with sweet chilli sauce, served with chips and a good salad and I followed this with a delicious Christmas Pudding with brandy sauce.   Indulgent.
I came home, immediately took Tess round the block and now intend to sit quietly and relax.   Hope you are able to do the same.

Saturday 16 December 2017

Christmas Present.

My son and his wife took me into Richmond this morning to choose my Christmas present from them.   The last thing I needed to complete the move into my new bungalow was some curtains for the dining room patio doors.   The room faces due North so they needed to be thick, warm curtains.

We managed to find a pair to our joint liking.   Then we had lunch in a fine old pub in Finkle Street, just off the Market Square.   We all had sandwiches - me prawn sandwiches with chips and a nice salad, my daughter in law hot pork sandwiches with chips and salad and my son cheese and pickle with chips and a salad. 

On arrival home I made the coffee while my son took Tess into the fields (not out of the goodness of his heart to Tess but because he is rather averse to picking up dog poo.)  After the coffee son insisted upon fixing up the curtain pole and the curtains himself with no interference from us!  Now they are up and hanging in the hopes that all the creases will fall out by morning.  Then he also removed one of the light bulbs in my hall - they are recessed bulbs and not easy to remove and in any case I dare not climb up on anything to do this operation.

I took my camera so that I could take some photographs of Richmond to show you.   It is a beautiful old market town with a wealth of history.   But I am sorry to say that once there I completely forgot that I had my camera with me.   Another day perhaps.   Today there was a mass of Christmas shoppers so perhaps it was the wrong time anyway.

I am now going to sit down and watch the final of Strictly Come Dancing  - a good way to pass a Saturday evening.   Enjoy yours.

Friday 15 December 2017

Sheer Indulgence.

Today friend W and I have been really indulgent and have had a Spa Day at Swinton Park, which is about ten miles from here.   It did strike me as I was typing this that it is something that would have been completely beyond the comprehension of my parents.

You can imagine that this has been a very stressful year for me and as the year has gone on my shoulders and rib cage have become more painful.  In fact the upper part of my body has been totally tensed up with stress.

We arrived at around quarter past ten.   This morning W swam in the heated pool while I dabbled my feet in the shallow end. (shoulders too painful for a swim).   Then we went into the steam room, the sauna, the jacuzzi, had a footbath - had a delicious two course lunch - and finally had a one hour massage.   By the end of it I was a limp rag I was so relaxed and was very grateful that I wasn't the one doing the driving.

I would certainly repeat the experience.   When I came out of the jacuzzi I decided to swim out - maybe only a dozen strokes but it is the first time I had swum in possibly thirty years and I could easily get used to it again.

Back to earth with a bump tomorrow with organising Christmas festivities.   The day itself will be spent with three friends, Boxing Day all my family will be coming here for a Buffet lunch and evening meal.  That means I have a lot of lists to make, so better get on with it.


Thursday 14 December 2017

Things are beginning to draw to a close.

At long last - after nine months - it does look as though things are at last getting sorted out for me.   I shall be glad to return to some sort of normal and so begin to pick up the pieces.

Christmas will of course not feel like Christmas, but I shall make some sort of effort for the sake of my grandchildren (and three great grand children!).   The shops here in our little town are looking very Christmassy - and for those who asked for pictures of the shop windows - I haven't forgotten, just not had the chance yet.   Today I intended to do it when I went to the Hairdressers, but it was pouring with rain.

People on our estate are very kind.   I stepped out of my front door with Tess on the lead this morning just as a car stopped and a man wound down his car window and called to me not to walk as the footpaths were so very icy.  How kind of him.   We walked round the edge of my lawn instead - she did several wees and that was enough as she was later to go on her long PetPals walk.   They call and take her each Thursday and Friday which is a great help.    As a friend takes her most Wednesdays too I know that at least she gets three good walks a week.

Wednesday 13 December 2017


Today was the day earmarked for Christmas Dinner at The Creamery in Hawes with friends P and D from Windermere.

Some years ago the cheese factory in Hawes in Upper Wensleydale threatened closure with the loss of quite a few jobs.   Luckily the Management saw its potential and there was a buy out.   Since then Hawes Creamery has gone from strength to strength and is known everywhere for the quality of its Wensleydale cheeses of various varieties.
There is now an efficient factory with tours each day, a shop, a cafe, a restaurant and all efficiently run.

The day started off well as we woke to find all the snow gone overnight and sunshine.   But as we set out it began to rain.   It is only half an hour to Hawes but it absolutely poured - the sort of rain which only falls in hilly areas - and by the time we reached The Creamery there was a huge amount of surface water on the road and the River Ure down in the valley was banking and threatening to overflow, which is does quite happily. 

Lunch was delicious - we all had a glass of wine with it - we all had a pud (well, I had cheese and biscuits) and then coffee.   By the time we left our fears were confirmed - the river was over and we had to come home by a circuitous route and at one point W had to negotiate quite deep flood water.   Luckily she has a four wheel drive vehicle and there was a similar one coming the other way which gave us an idea of how deep the water was before we set off through it.

Home to find that friend S had taken Tess on a lovely long walk (on a bitterly cold day too) which meant that I didn't have to brave the weather again.   Now all the blinds are drawn, the bungalow is warming up and we are settled in for the night.   Wherever you are and whatever you are doing - keep warm and enjoy your evening.

Tuesday 12 December 2017


Here in Wensleydale, at 600+ feet, we have been very lucky this time and not had more than a faint covering of snow.   It has indeed been bitterly cold, but the sky has been blue and the sun has shone all day for the last few days.

There was a time, not recently of course, when I would have been overjoyed to see the snow and the thought of snowballing, building snowmen, sledging and the like.   Now I hardly dare venture out of doors for fear of falling over and breaking something.

But today I had to go out as I had quite a lot of business to attend to as well as meeting friends for the usual Tuesday morning coffee (and tea cake for me - self indulgent as I am today) and doing some shopping.   But by the time I reached the centre of town the paths had been cleared of our tiny amount of snow (barely a covering).

It is promised to get slightly warmer over the next few days before turning colder again at the weekend, although not as cold as it has been in some places further South.

I haven't forgotten about photographing the shop window in town.   Their decorations are superb, as usual.    You can imagine, I have absolutely no wish to decorate this year - this has not been my favourite year.   But for the sake of my great grandchildren, who are coming one day to lunch, I am making a bit of an effort and have made sure to have some little thing in each room.  I always get a lot of cards and they will also make the place look Christmassy, so all is not lost.

Monday 11 December 2017

Let it snow.

This wintry weather - as always - has caught us all by surprise.   In my case the worst thing is how I am missing the warmth of my Aga - a warmth which heats the whole fabric of the house.   My central heating (gas) is very efficient but it is not the same.

We have been lucky in that we have missed all the snow here in North Yorkshire.  The nights have been bitterly cold and the days have been wall to wall bright sunshine and blue sky.   According to the weather forecast at teatime today the snow is disappearing and tomorrow (after a bitterly cold night) will be marginally warmer - even up to four degrees in some places.

Imagine my surprise then when I opened the door at the ring of the bell to find my little friend Liam on the doorstep and to see that he was covered in snow which was falling in large flakes around him.   Hopefully the snow looks like wet snow and may be the start of the slight thaw - I do hope so as on Wednesday friend W and I are set to meet our friends at the Creamery in Hawes - high up in Wensleydale - for a Christmas lunch.

Today Tess and I went back to the farm, had a short walk in the paddock (the ground was too hard for a long walk) and then called in at the farmhouse.   As we went towards the door, Blackie - the black farm cat - came rushing up to greet us and to rub around Tess in ecstasy.   It was lovely to see him again. 

Saturday 9 December 2017


As the day itself draws nearer I find it absolutely impossible to get any sort of Christmassy feeling about things.   I suppose, as it is only nine months since I lost my farmer, this is to be expected.   But I have no desire to put up decorations and make much in the way of prepation.
My family will all receive a present of money and friends have agreed to give presents a miss this year.    All my family will come as usual on Boxing Day and the big day itself I am spending with three other friends.
Menus are being planned so that much of the cooking can be done in advance.   Jacket potatoes and vegetables cooked on the day to add to various cold cuts of meat and a Christmas pudding - mince pies, cake and trifle for tea - not much to do then. 
We still have no snow here at all but the weather is bitterly cold.   My son came to take Tess for her morning walk today as it was icy and he has promised to do the same tomorrow.   By lunchtime today the roads and paths were dry so I was able to take her myself.
My great grand-daughter, Ula, is one year old today - so Happy Birthday little one.

Friday 8 December 2017

Food,glorious food.

I took my camera into town this morning
intending to photograph the windows of 'Serendipity' the shop in our market town which has such lovely window decorations at Christmas.
Several readers have asked me to repeat this as they were so admired last year.   Dear readers - I forgot.   Sorry 

However, after visiting a very upmarket Craft Fair in the town we went out into the countryside on a beautifully sunny (but icily cold) day to find somewhere to lunch.   We ended up in The Castle Hotel in the pretty village of Snape.   There was a lovely fire burning in the grate, a friendly welcoming Border Terrier at the door and superb fish, chips and mushy peas to eat.   My only complaint is that now I have grossly overeaten. 
On arriving home it was to find that I had left  my walking stick there, so friend W went off home and I drove back with Tess to collect it.  Tess and the pub dog met for the usual bottom-sniffing session and then we drove home, this time round by the main road as the temperature was on freezing, so another cold night in store.

It has been a lovely day here - very cold but clear and sunny and the bare trees look so beautiful.   The only fly in the ointment was that we passed a pheasant shoot in full flow and it seemed so barbaric somehow that the beauty of the countryside should be bespoiled by such slaughter.

Another cold day forecast for tomorrow and then maybe snow on Sunday.   But then it is Winter.   Keep warm.

Thursday 7 December 2017


The weather is set to turn cold as storms sweep in.
Scotland has been hit today with storms and winds of ninety miles an hour and the cold is promised to reach here tomorrow.   The one glimmer of hope is that it is supposed to be worse in the West of the Country than it is in the East and that is unusual at this time of the year. 

I am well-stocked up with food in my store cupboard and freezer - really there for Christmas.   But needs must and if necessary I shall stay indoors and raid supplies.      I do not care for driving on icy roads.

Today one of the Alzheimer's groups that we play ukulele songs with have held their Christmas lunch in nearby Richmond and friend W and I went along.  It was delightful and delicious.   We both had salmon with nicely cooked vegetables (we figured we would have our fill of turkey before Christmas was over) and then I had home made cheese cake and W had Christmas trifle.  Then we went back to W's for coffee.   In the meantime Tess went for her PetPals walk with her friend Jack, the Schnauzer.   By the time I returned she was fast asleep on her bed by the radiator. 

I see there is trouble in Jerusalem tonight - hardly surprising and surely anticipated by Donald Trump.   It is so sad as for quite a time all has been fairly quiet in that area and I began to think that perhaps folk were learning to live together.   But obviously it was not to be.

Also today there is joy in our area up here in the North East as the young men who have been wrongly imprisoned in India for the past two years have been freed and have returned home - what a lovely Christmas present for their families.

Wednesday 6 December 2017


Thank goodness for small children.   I have three coming to see me on Boxing Day - all great grand children - two aged one and one aged five months.
And what a good thing because I just do not feel inclined to join in the celebrations this year - my first without the farmer of course.

When I left the farm and  packed everything for the move I threw away all my decorations; they were all old and I had had them years so they were jaded.   Now of course, I have none.   I have bought a 'bridge' for the window, with lights, and I have bought a wooden sign saying 'Merry Christmas'.   Now I wander round the shops looking for something else which will add a bit of festive cheer without overwhelming me. 

Tomorrow is the first of several Christmas lunches for friend W and I when we go to have lunch with Alzheimer's patients and their carers in the little town of Richmond, only a short distance away.
We have preordered and have both chosen salmon, knowing we shall be totally and utterly fed up with turkey by the time the season is over. 

So now I shall go and finish writing my Christmas cards so that I can post them in the morning - and that will then be another task I can cross off my list.

Monday 4 December 2017

Bright Monday

Living alone is no joke as anyone amongst my readers who is in this position will testify.   However one tries to fill ones time, however many friends one has, the fact is that in the long run one comes home to an empty house ( apart in may case for a dear little dog companion).

Sometimes days are like this too.  According to my calendar for today, today should have been such a day and I earmarked it for those jobs which need doing but always get put to one side (cleaning out the cupboard under the sink in the kitchen, where I keep dusters, polishes etc.) and washing out the fridge. 

But of  course it didn't turn out like that at all.  The lady who cleans for me on a Monday left at half past ten and since then it has been a whirl of people calling in to see me - and how welcome they have been.

When I had an hour to spare at lunch time I popped Tess in the car for the ride and we drove up  to the tip with her old bed and blanket (she has
just had a new one.  After that I parked in town,
did a quick bit of shopping and arrived home just as my gardener arrived.   No sooner had he gone than a friend walked past and stopped to chat and then my dear friend, W.  called in.   As she went my little seven year old neighbour from where I lived on the farm, popped in with some eggs for me. What a social whirl and how much better I felt for it.  Such a difference living here amongst people from living on the farm down a lonely lane.

Oh and in case you are wondering - when everyone had gone I did clean out the sink cupboard and wash out the fridge.   I shall now go and read my magazine, which arrived this morning and which I have not had time to open yet.

Sunday 3 December 2017


Yesterday morning I managed to fall out of bed.   I got up and made myself a cup of tea, looked at the clock and realised it was very early so I decided to go back to bed for an hour.   As it was a bit chilly I got into bed with my dressing gown on.

I went fast asleep and overslept, waking up to realise that it was almost time to go to the monthly coffee morning.   Instead of climbing out of bed I 'gracefully' slid out and landed on the carpet at the side of the bed.   How to get up?   The skill of getting up when one is getting on in years does not disappear gradually - one day you can get up easily and think nothing of it - the next you can't
- or so it seems to me.

My only option was to crawl/shuffle through to the sitting room where I could use a chair for purchase.   Mission accomplished - the doorbell rang.   Friend W had arrived at the coffee morning and couldn't understand where I was.  Friend H, who lives next door to me, had come round to find out.

Well, it all adds to the excitement I suppose - and at least it proves what good, thoughtful friends I have - they are golden.

Friday 1 December 2017


We woke up here in North Yorkshire to about an inch of snow and very icy conditions.    It was certainly far too slippery for me to venture far.   Friend W - true friend as always - called and took me into town to meet the 'girls' for coffee.   I crossed the road very carefully; although it was beginning to melt there was still a lot of ice about.

Now I am home at 2.15, have eaten a bowl of steaming hot lentil and vegetable soup I made yesterday, and - on the advice of my Physio - am keeping warm.  Writing my Christmas cards beckons.   Having to tell so many friends about the death of the farmer means it will be a long process this year - so the sooner I begin the better.

My house number (19 on a piece of slate) arrived this morning.   I have just rung the man who looks after my garden and he is going to come and fix it for me within the next few days. At present people have to work out the number for themselves as there is no number there at all.

Pale, cold blue sky outside.

Thursday 30 November 2017

Back problems

Deeply inflamed nerve endings on ribs has been diagnosed.   I am in pain and use of the computer is quite painful.   Keep warm and keep doing the exercises is the advice - so shall do that.   Back in a few days.   Snowing lightly here and bitterly cold.

Monday 27 November 2017

Short post.

For some reason my back and side are quite painful - I think I have pulled a muscle.   Whatever the reason, it is painful to sit here typing - so no post today.   Hopefully see you all tomorrow.

Saturday 25 November 2017

Last night friend W and I,along with a lot of other people, went to an event in the village called 'Food  of the Americas' - there was a delicious array of dishes cooked by local people in the church - all with an American theme (so plenty of chilli to match the very cold night).

W collected me from home as I can't drive in the dark (eye problem).   It snowed/sleeted all the way there (only a couple of miles) and when we came out at around nine o'clock after a lovely evening with nice company the roads were like an ice rink.
Another friend C, who had known the farmer very well (although I had never met her before I had heard so much about her) gave me a lift back to save W making the perilous journey and C very kindly saw me to my front door.   I am super scared of falling on the ice.

This morning is another beautifully clear, sunny morning with more than a hint of frost everywhere.   As my sitting room faces due South the Winter sun is very welcome indoors as well as outdoors.

W c

Friday 24 November 2017

Jack Frost

There are some beautiful things about a cold and frosty morning - and this is one of them.   My friend, W, took this photograph of one pane of glass in her conservatory roof this morning - isn't it beautiful?

It was slippery underfoot so I took Tess for just a short walk and I chose a route where it was just possible for me to walk on the grass all the way.  (it is amazing how quickly when one lives in a town that wees and poos become an obsession ((to me I mean, not Tess - who couldn't care less as long as she is out of doors).   Forty wees and one poo later we were back home.  (sorry about that).

Morning coffee for us all as usual and then later home again for me to have a Roman blind fitted in the computer room - looks very jolly.   Just a couple of pairs of curtains to go and then I am home and dry.   Keep warm.

Thursday 23 November 2017

Reading instructions.

Our Roadside recycling collections have all changed.   One week it is Dustbins - fairly straightforward - contents of dustbin wrapped in plastic bags and taken to the bottom of the drive.
The other week is Recycling week and since I moved - and all the instructions changed - I haven't got it right yet.

We have a variety of boxes and bags.   Here are the instructions:-

Blue Bags:   All paper, all card, egg boxes, brown card, cardboard tubes.   No to:  Takeaway containers, polystyrene, used tissue and wallpaper.
Boxes:   Plastic bottles,pots, tubs and trays; glass bottles and jars;cans, aerosols, cartons.   No to:  Broken glass, paint tins, plastic film and bags, plant pots, black plastic.

I sorted everything carefully yesterday and put it out at the bottom of the drive, but they didn't take it.    Did I do it wrong or did they just not see mine?   I will never know, but this morning, in the pouring rain, Tess and I drove up to the tip and handed it all in.    So all nice and tidy again.

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Being British

Being British there is always the weather to talk about.   In fact I suspect it is our main topic of conversation.   It is either too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry, too windy or we could do with a good strong wind to dry things up a bit.   Maybe there are one or two days - most likely in Spring - when the weather is 'just right' for us all.  And we wallow in it.

Well today was definitely not one of the just right days.  You wouldn't call it a grey day - more of a black day.   Great black clouds have puthered across the sky all day and the rain has fallen heavily.   In addition the wind has been too strong for me to walk far.

Luckily it is the day when friend S sometimes calls to take Tess for a walk and she called today and braved the weather to take her up to the top of the road and then into the field.   Tess would love that as I know she misses the grass.

Now, at five o'clock, it is pitch dark.   My son has just been and helped me to organise my garage in a better way.    That doesn't mean I shall be able to get my car in but I shall be able to use my tumble drier.   I think the car is destined to stay on the drive but when I look down the road almost everyone seems to leave their car outside overnight.    Do you leave your cars out or do you put them away?   I would be interested to know because several folk have told me it is actually better for the car to stay outside.

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Too busy

Some time ago, friend W (who is only a little younger than I am) announced that she really was going to cut down on what she was doing.   I thought this a good idea and followed suit.   Has it worked?

Certainly it hasnt worked if today is an example.  This morning it was 'Strugglers' - a group of us (anything from half a dozen to around ten) meet in the Quaker Meeting House for an hour and a half of quiet contemplation and a time when any of us  can talk about anything we wish to talk about and discuss.   Sometimes this is a jolly meeting and sometimes it is sombre.   What it always is is a support group through thick and thin.

Four of us went out to lunch afterwards - just across the Square.  (a prawn baguette with salad for me).   Then I went home to make a meal in my Remoska - a sausage, red onion and apple casserole (half for my tea this evening, the other half for the freezer) and a snooze on the settee.   Friend W went on a hospital visit twenty miles away.   This evening we both went to two hour ukulele practise.

I have come in pretty exhausted.   Can't imagine how tired W must be.   In other words - neither of  us is sticking to our resolution.   How much work should us eighty year olds be doing?   I have also had three walks with Tess - albeit fairly short.   Off to bed.  Good night all.


Monday 20 November 2017

Making music

The ukulele is such a fun instrument.   I am a keyboard player and have also played in an Early Music ensemble playing a variety of 'old' instruments - harpsichord, virginals, rebecs, recorders, crumhorns and the like.   But the ukulele is a completely new experience and it is a good thing at my age to take up a completely new thing to do.   It exercises a different part of the brain.

I have a condition called 'Benign Essential Tremor' which means that my hands shake when I write or when I try to carry a cup and saucer for example.
People tend to think it is the start of Parkinson's disease but my condition has been investigated and it is really quite harmless - irritating but not serious.   It runs in families - my father shook and my sister too.   And reading about it on the internet I see that the actress Katherine Hepburn
suffered greatly from it from an early age - not just in her hands but even her neck and head too.

Oddly enough I don't shake when I play the ukulele.   The doctor informs me that this is because it is a new skill I am learning and that uses a different part of the brain.  So yet another reason for taking up something new.   

Sunday 19 November 2017

Home sweet home.

Yes, it feels like home.   Not the farmer with his dear self in it, but I have to be realistic - he is not coming back - just the memories of him - and I find those easier away from the farm than I did while living there.   I have the bungalow more or less liveable and am getting to know folk round about - everyone is very friendly.

This morning the sun is shining brightly on to a very frosty world.   My sitting room faces due South as did the sitting room at the farm, so when the sun is shining the rooms soon warm up as good backing to the central heating.   I have a louvred blind at the window so there are shadows on these photographs and because of the restricted space  things seem at an angle - but you get the general idea.

It is a long room and there is pleny of space.   The blanket (which I made from an old sample book of tweeds) on the settee back is handy for my legs in the evening (and Tess rather likes to sleep on the bottom of it too).

If any of my US readers can remind me what the figure on the left of the mantel shelf is called I would be grateful.   I love it - bought it at Mesa Verde some years ago - but keep forgetting his name.

Saturday 18 November 2017

Five Weeks to Go.

All I can say really is that M & S at Teeside Park at half past nine on a Saturday morning is pretty much mayhem.   Admittedly it was a twenty percent off clothing day, which I am sure made a difference, but finding a spot in the car park would have been nigh on impossible without my 'Disabled' badge and the poor assistants were already looking haggard.   Only another seven or so hours to go.

Watching my half hour of Breakfast television this morning - on a Saturday it includes a quarter of an hour of 'Click' - I watched with amazement a Production line putting together smart phones in China.   Long lines of operatives, each one placing just one tiny component in the phone and then sending it on to the next bay so that in double quick time it arrives at the end of the line and is complete.   No wonder the operatives get a two hour lunch break; most of them, heads down, were asleep at their posts.

All this made me jolly glad to be long-retired.

Oh and by the way - bought two lovely sweaters.

Friday 17 November 2017

No Joke.

This is the third time I have tried to post this and each time, as I got the the end the whole thing disappeared into thin air, never to be seen again.   It has been most frustrating and does make me realise that old age/lack of real computer knowledge is a great handicap to blogging.   As it is indeed to everything else.

Yesterday, what started out as a perfectly ordinary day with not a lot on the agenda, ended up as a frantically hectic day which ended with my feeling like a wrung-out rag.   This was mostly due to old age.   Everything takes twice or three times as long to do - nothing is really easy any more. End of moan.

I would like to repeat yesterday's post so that you can read just what a hectic day I had but really the effort of remembering it in detail is just not worth the bother. 

Today has been less so, largely because it is our Coffee day and following on this friend W and I, as usual, went out for lunch.   We had a prawn and crayfish salad with trimmings and a bowl of chips each.   It was delicious.

My Insurance Broker came and we spent the afternoon (after the whole thing was sorted out) chatting.   He has just come back after a trip with his wife to Macchu Pichu and then a week going up a tributary of the Amazon.   One of the holidays I would have loved to have done when younger but just listening to the itinerary now was enough to make me want a lie down.

The weather here is bitterly cold today with a sharp wind blowing.   Even Tess seems reluctant to go out although if J, who often walks her in the early evening, rings the door bell I am sure she will change her mind.

Back to old age.   At our ukulele meeting for the Alzheimers and their carers the other day, one friend forgot her ukulele, another forgot his music and a third (who actually called for me) forgot to close his boot, so that the car kept pinging for the first half mile!  In today's Times I read of a man who lost his car twenty years ago (a VW Passat) when he just couldn't remember where he had left it.   It has just  been found by builders about to
clear a site for building!!   Traced back to the man the car is now quite undriveable of course but he acknowledges that it is still in the place he parked it all those years ago.


Wednesday 15 November 2017

Settling down.

Getting back into blogging is playing a large part in settling down to my new life.   Bit by bit things are getting done, a place is being found for everything (well almost) and the bungalow is beginning to look tidy.

Sadly I can't abide mess so all the boxes were unpacked in double quick time.   I had wonderful help from W and C who were at the bungalow to receive the stuff when it arrived.   By the time my helper J and I arrived they were well on with putting the crockery away in the kitchen cupboards.

Tradesmen all came when they said they would come so that everything was finished on time.   The electrician is here this afternoon putting a socket in the garage for my electric doors.   My dog walker has just arrived to take Tess for a walk with her dog, Meg. 

Ukulele has taken a back seat - my mind was far too full of other things to concentrate, but I am starting again tomorrow when I go with a small group to play for Alzheimers sufferers and their carers.   It is a lovely afternoon and we all enjoy it so a good place to start up again for me.

Sounds as though we are in for a very cold spell of weather.   If so then I shall miss my dear old Aga.
Gas central heating is good but nothing beats the Aga for good toe-warming.

The world and its affairs have passed me by completely although I am now watching Breakfast television for the half hour or so it takes me to eat my porridge and banana.   Zimbabwe seems to be the headline today, along with the terrible scenes of famine and displacement in Yemen.   Nothing changes does it - just the site of the problem.  As somebody said (and I am sure one of you will point out who it was) 'Mans inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.'

Until tomorrow friends.

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Normal service

It seems that I have been away such a long time - much of it thanks to BT who connected my telephone the same day that I moved but didn't connect my broadband for a fortnight so I have been champing at the bit.

The good side is that I am almost straight.   All boxes are unpacked.   I have had two rooms redecorated.   Quite a lot of electrical work has been done.   A new shower and patio doors have been installed.   Yesterday a new carpet was laid in the dining room (which was previously a bedroom) and it is now down to buying one new set of curtains for the patio doors and then I am completely finished and it is home sweet home.

Tess and I are settling in well.   This is a very friendly road and I already know quite a few people in it.   They, plus some I had not met before, have called in to welcome me and already I feel at home here and know I have made the right decision.   Tess misses the fields of course and the fact that she cannot be let off the leash because she has absolutely no road sense.   As I write this she is laid at my feet.   I try to take her for three walks a day.   Today I have only managed two as I had to go to see the specialist at the hospital early this morning but sometimes in the evening a friend calls to take her for a walk, so there is time yet.

I am finding gas quite scary - I have gas central heating and a gas hob; ovens are electric and after twenty five years with an Aga it is daunting, but I must get down to tackling it before Christmas.

The world has not changed in the three weeks I have been away.   Everything is just as it was and I have slotted back in.   Within a week I shall have forgotten I have ever been away.

The bungalow holds no memories of the farmer.   I have our wedding photograph in a prominent place.    I love the look of optimism on his face and I know that he would not have settled here.   He would have been back at the farm helping out at every opportunity.    Quiet retirement in a bungalow was never on his agenda.   So he rests in peace in the fields he loved.

Monday 13 November 2017


Hello all friends - at last I am back on line today  and  after reading through my 427 e mails can now start posting again.

I am more or less straight.   The builder, the decorator, the electrician and the water board have all been and done whatever they had to do.   This morning the computer engineer came and put me back on line and any minute now the carpet layer will arrive to lay the dining room carpet and then I am almost there.    I cannot bear to be untidy and so shall be glad to be back knowing where everything is (more or less) and my brain will begin to function normally I hope.    As it is I keep mislaying things - this morning it was my front door key and I still have that to find.

I had a lovely e mail from Rachel in Spain - she sounds to be having a good time.   I hope she will come back in fighting form.   Isn't it good that we can give one another support when things go wrong?

Hopefully posting proper will resume tomorrow.   In the meantime - I have missed you all and missed our almost daily contact.   It has kept me going over the past few months.

Monday 23 October 2017

Normal service.

The day for moving is almost here.  I shall have to dismantle my lap top and it all has to be moved to my new address.   I know there is no B T Point where I want my computer to be so I shall have to wait for them to instal one.   So folks it's goodbye for now.


Sunday 22 October 2017

Nearly there.

Today has been a day of doing a bit then sitting down and having a rest and then starting again.   For some reason I am very tired although I slept well - I suspect it is tension building because Tess and I are to leave our home - the home I have lived in with the farmer for the last twenty four years.

There are very few things left for me to do now but because the family are having one or two very large pieces of kitchen furniture and are collecting them on Tuesday, I have to empty the cupboards and find somewhere to put the 'stuff' until the removal men come.

Only four more nights to go before I leave now.   Tess is definitely beginning to sense that something is happening and as a result she is  
restless most of the time.   Outside it is very cold and windy but I think a short walk may calm us both down.

Saturday 21 October 2017

Lunch out.

Lovely lunch out at friend W's when her friends N,K and S came to stay.   Lunch is made up of S's favourite things so was - Roast ham, chips, new potatoes, cauli, petit pois, asparagus, sprouts - lots of mustards and sauces.   This was followed by one of her famous fruit salads of various berries, pomegranate seeds - a bright, jewel-like mix of fruits with ice cream and/or cream or if you preferred sticky toffee pudding (the original Cartmel variety) and then coffee.  By this time Storm Brian had sent us buckets full of heavy rain so we just sat and chatted until half past four when I came home.   Tess took one look outside and decided that she just didn't wish to go for a walk this evening thank you.   I shall now sit and read The Guardian and then do a few more packing jobs.   Tomorrow is another day.   Only 5 more nights sleeping here.

Friday 20 October 2017

Bit of a non eventful day

I didn't sleep well last night.   My mind was on the go all night long - I think I probably got about three hours sleep and finally got up for good at just after five o'clock this morning.  I went for my usual coffee with friends, came back, had jacket potatoes and fresh mango for lunch, sat in the chair and woke up feeling awful two hours later.
But a good long stroll down the Lane with Tess (and with Blackie the cat too unfortunately because he is such a pest weaving in and out of my legs)  and I came back feeling more like my usual self.   Five minutes now to the last of this week's Antiques Road Trip - so goodbye for today.

Thursday 19 October 2017

The only way

I have decided that the only way to get through these last few days until next Thursday and moving day is to catalogue a list of things which must be done each day and then do them - ticking each one off as I go.   Then, although the house is in chaos, at the end of each day i have a sense of satisfaction at a job done.   And so it was today as my taxi drew up to take me into town.

Nails done - tick; hair done - tick; a walk down the Market Square to the Post Office and Co-op - tick;  then snag number one as I drifted round picking up things I needed only to find that my bags were really too heavy.   I staggered down to the Electrical Shop and bought a new Tumble Drier (to be delivered when I move in) and then rang my taxi to collect me from there.

After lunch I made myself set up Direct Debits for all the Utility Services at my new property.   I didn't feel like doing it - when one is very deaf, as i am, speaking on the phone is not easy.   But everyone was most kind and helpful and before long I had them done in time to go down to see my Solicitor.   So a cup of coffee and a scone in a cafe in town then home again.

Now it is pouring with rain.   Tess will not go out although she has not been out since half past nine this morning.   Hatches are battened down and all's right with the world.   For today at any rate.


Wednesday 18 October 2017

The last dregs

I suppose, like the last straw, the last remnants of packing to move house are the worst.  Wednesday is an afternoon when a friend S often takes Tess for a long walk.   I dare not mention the name all morning because Tess goes mad in anticipation.  As she has done often over the past few weeks, S arrived just before two o'clock and took Tess on what she hoped would be a new route she has carefully marked out on her map.

I decided I would start at the far bedroom and make sure that everything in each room was intended to go to my new home.   All items I don't need will be put into the office and the door closed; that way nothing will go by mistake.

I worked my way through two bedrooms, a boxroom, a sitting room and a living room.  Now we are down to the hall where my computer lives (plus a plethora of things under the stairs!) and the large kitchen.   It all looks much more manageable now and I feel two things - satisfied with my afternoon's work and dog-tired.

So it is time to sit down with a cup of tea and read my book for a couple of hours.   It is not a particularly good book but it is relaxation and occupies the mind.

Tuesday 17 October 2017


We have been very lucky here with the storm - yes it has been windy but not too bad and now - four in the afternoon - it is really no more than breezy.

I have had my Aga professionally cleaned today and I have to say that this evening it looks like a new one.   They have made a smashing job of it and I am so pleased.   Tomorrow the engineer is coming to service it and switch it back on, then I shall be back to normal. 

This afternoon I have gone about packing some of my kitchen equipment - mixer, liquidiser etc. just into an open topped box so that the removal men can do what they will with it and in the meantime I can wash out the cupboard where it has been stored. 

As with all things like this it is the last few things which take the time.   Looking at my dustpan and brush and my long handled soft brush I have decided to say goodbye to them and buy new ones when I next go into town.   Sometimes it takes something like a house move to look objectively at something one has been using for ages and see that it is worn out!

Ukuleles tonight so I shall now go and have a leisurely tea and watch Antiques Road Trip.

Monday 16 October 2017

Michael Fish

I can't help feeling that I have done a bit of a "Michael Fish" yesterday.   (for US readers he was a weather forecaster thirty years ago when the great storm broke here and he predicted it wouldn't arrive).
Storm Ophelia is predicted to hit Northern Ireland later today and all schools are closed throughout both the North and the South of the Country.   As far as we are concerned here, the winds are predicted to be storm force - particularly in the  West of the country but even here in the East they may reach seventy miles an hour.  So we shall all be battening down the hatches.

The good news is that it should pass through quite quickly - but the last big storm (in 1987) did a huge amount of damage - the town of Sevenoaks 
in a very short time became 'Oneoak' as all but one of the famous oaks was uprooted by the strength of the wind. 

So - if I have done a Michael Fish then it is history repeating itself.   Let's all keep our fingers crossed and hope that this storm is not as severe as it might be.

Sunday 15 October 2017


Sundays have now become synonymous with eating out at the same restaurant where we are now seen as regulars,   The same goes for various other people so that we meet a lot of old friends there now which is rather nice.

The outlook from the bar across the golf course means looking at literally hundreds of deciduous trees and today they were at their autumnal best - all shades of oranges greens and yellows  literally glowing in the sunlight.   There is so much that is beautiful about Autumn isn't there?   I suppose this is true of every season although I find I have to search hard to find anything beautiful about Winter unless it is a Christmas card scene seen through the sitting room window and a blazing fire in the grate.

There is something to be said for living in a place where the climate is never too extreme.   On the whole we don't have forest fires, gales so severe that they bring down thousands of trees, heat waves , tornados, hurricanes, floods - well if we do then they become headline news because they are so unusual.   Looking at the TV coverage of the awful fires in California and the beautiful houses of the rich which have been burnt to the ground does make one realise that how lucky we are.   And the whole town of quite ordinary folk - all gone, consumed by the flames.

The hurricanes in the Caribbean area and all the homes destroyed.   I could go on -  I just feel lucky
that I live in good old boring UK.   But if they mention Brexit one more time I shall do something I may well live to regret.   (Haven't thought what yet - probably utter some of those words I never thought I would say!)

Saturday 14 October 2017


Is anyone out there having the lovely promised weather today?   It began raining here before I let Tess out for her final wee last evening and it is still raining now at four in the afternoon on Saturday; not pouring rain you understand, just that damp, all-enveloping wet stuff.

I am continuing with my packing.   Starting upstairs and working down I now feel that everywhere is in an easy state for the removal men.   The kitchen is certainly not but they will no doubt be used to dealing with kitchens. 

Flu jab morning.   We put off going last time our surgery had a flu jab morning as my friend was not well.   But this morning, both  fighting fit, we joined the queue which was moving rapidly as the centre staff have it worked out to perfection.
We were there for half past eight and well home again for nine having bought a Guardian on the way home.

Out to lunch again tomorrow, so the only question tonight is whether to watch 'Strictly' or not.  Getting a bit fed up with it this year - I think it has maybe gone on a bit too long.

Friday 13 October 2017

Friday again.

How quickly Friday comes around.   As I am sure you know by now, I love my Friday mornings because I meet friends and we have a good chat.   Eight of us this morning - E back from her travels here there and everywhere, the rest of us turning up as usual.

We have now been going to the same cafe for so long that the waitresses know exactly what our orders will be.   We sit there for about an hour and a half and then toddle off to wherever we are going next.   In the case of friend W and I it is out to lunch - a new place this week to try - The Bolton Arms in the pretty village of Redmire.

I am rather ashamed to say, in spite of having been stopped driving because of a couple of minor TIA's I opted for sausage, egg and chips - a combination I have not had for years.   It was delicious - I am weak and couldn't resist it.

Since coming home I have cleaned out two cupboards and packed the contents into boxes and labelled them  - each time I fill a box I feel a sense of satisfaction and a little bit nearer moving.   I wish a good fairy would wave a magic wand and allow me to awake in three weeks time when it is all over.

Thursday 12 October 2017

Lost my independence.

I don't think I realised until I had my Driving Licence suspended just what independence driving gave me and what a difference it makes.   Today I have struggled with teetering on the edge of a depression.

A simple day like an E C G at the doctor's surgery and then an hour later my hair appointment, became a bit of a mammoth arrangement.

A taxi collected me at half past nine for the Medical Centre.   I only had to wait a couple of minutes before I was called in.  (it always intrigues me that whenever I go the car park is crammed with vehicles and yet there is hardly anyone in the waiting room) and the E C G took no time at all.

I then had to get to the Hairdresser - maybe about half a mile and almost all uphill.  I walked - slowly - and really enjoyed it.   It was a pleasant morning.   I posted a couple of letters and had time to collect my winter coat from the dry cleaners.  I must have looked pretty exhausted from my walk because he made me sit on a chair while he got my coat and then insisted on carrying it round to the Hairdressers for me.   What a nice man.   

I was half an hour early so I sat and read The Times and then, dead on time, the taxi drew up outside to bring me home.

I cooked a fish pie with broccoli and carrots for my lunch, with strawberries to follow, sat in the chair and slept all afternoon! 

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!!

Autumn is well and truly with us now.   Maybe in towns and cities it is not quite so evident, but here in the countryside the signs are everywhere.

My tall Scots pines, the windbreak close to the prevailing wind side of the farmhouse, are dropping pine cones and pine needles by the thousand.   The pine needles often end up in the guttering of the house;  the pine needles blow up and down the drive, gradually being swept into piles until they are quite easy to gather up.

The cattle - milk cows, beef herds, suckler herds,
fill the fields, eating up the remaining grass now that silaging has finished.   It has been showery for the last few weeks and the grass has grown apace so there will be no need to start on the silage yet and it should last well over the winter, with no shortages. 

Walking down the Lane this morning with Tess I was struck by the dearth of hawthorn berries.  There was plenty of May blossom but now there are none of the swags of ripe berries for the winter birds.   But the rose hips are there, pushing out into the Lane and fully ripe.   I was tempted today to cut some to take with me to my new home - I love them so.   But then I decided that the birds need was greater than mine and I left them to give pleasure where they were.

The rooks go no further during the day than our fields - swooping across them in the strong west wind, landing in the ash trees and complaining to one another about the conditions for flying I suspect.   If you are close enough the noise they make is quite deafening.

There is a feeling that all Nature's creatures are making preparations for the coming of winter - laying in stocks of food, making snug places to spend their time, making the most of any sunny, warmish day.

Oil tanks are being filled, logs are being sawn and stacked (the farmer had a goodly quantity left from last year so the folk coming into the house will start with plenty), all the signs are there.

Now the forecast is for a warm week-end, so let's make the most of it.

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Guilty as chargedn

Yes, it was me - I admit it.   The reason yesterday's post was back to normal was that my son called in
and corrected things in a flash.   How did he do it? He went to my site, clicked on 'compose' and everything jumped into place;  I had accidentally clicked on HTML!   The trouble is that what I know about I can do alright on the computer - everything else is a foreign language.

Only a short post today because it has been a long day - lunching out (Caesar salad since you ask) and sorting out a lot of music.   Three walks for Tess and a bad night's sleep last night - so see you tomorrow.

Monday 9 October 2017


...whether I feel like it or not. Rachel says today she just doesn't feel like doing anything. I woke up feeling much the same but of course I had to get up; there is no lie-in when you've got a dog. I ate my solitary breakfast and watched my usual half hour of Breakfast Television (I turn it off after half an hour because it repeats itself). Then I had a sudden spurt of energy and sent out a rush of e mails and the result is that I have got a tentative moving date. 
Nothing is absolutely sure (is it ever?) but it is sure enough to book the removal firm. This fired me into a spurt of doing one or two jobs - packing all my shoes into one suitcase and all my summer T shirts into another. This has been done on the advice of the chap who came to look round regarding removals. Then I wrote one or two letters about moving and ticked them off my list and I must say that at the end of all this (and cooking a lunch) I did feel decidedly better. 
 Not being able to drive is very frustrating - I do appreciate that it is necessary but that doesn't make it any easier to bear. I live a couple of miles out of town and a mile from a bus stop so I rely largely on friends, although I have managed to book a taxi for the morning when I have to have an E C G and then later on a hairdressing appointment. But being in a state of limbo is not an easy thing to put up with, especially when one is used to being so independent. Patience is never a quality I have been particularly endowed with. I apologise for the lack of paragraphing. I have written the piece in paragraphs but blogger has decided to have a mind of its own and is refusing my size of print and my paragraphing. I shall be patient. 
**I now see that John's post on Kingfisher 'doesn't exist' according to blogger so at least I am not alone in my problems.
No posts at the moment as something has happened to my blogger page and I can't seem to get a sentence to stay on it and I cant control the size of the print so it is almost too small for me to see - so back soon (I hope!)

Saturday 7 October 2017


The weather is very chilly today; winter seems to have crept up on us and suddenly presented itself, demanding that we get out our heavy coats and scarves.   Maybe it is just me and old age.   Whatever the reason I was pleased to get in in the warm this evening.

Nothing like as nice a day as yesterday when our trip out to Kirby Lonsdale gave us such wonderful views, today has been cloudy and there is a sharp wind blowing. At least now that the sun is setting the sky is clearing and that should present a good view of the promised meteor shower for tonight.

Not being able to drive is proving such a handicap as I live so far from the main road.   Friend W is, as usual, being stalwart but there will still be some difficulties.   Thursday is a day when there are problems as I have to have an ECG quite early in the morning and then a hairdressing appointment later.   And the distance between the two venues is quite a long way for my arthritis too.   I am trying to arrange taxis but so far can't seem to raise a reply from the taxi company.   But I'm sure something will work out.

This morning was our local church coffee morning
and lunch was a delicious beef lasagne bought at the church hall and made by A - she always saves us two each.   Then this afternoon was ukulele practice - not so many of us today but we had a play together.   Now it is in, light tea after the lasagne and I shall now repair to the kitchen by the Aga to watch Strictly Come Dancing and try to do The Guardian crossword.   Enjoy your Saturday evening - and if you are in the UK I hope you manage to see the meteors.


Friday 6 October 2017

Two days out

There was no time to put a post on yesterday as I spent all day at our local hospital.   I have had a couple of T I A's and so was given a complete health check yesterday and am now wearing a twenty four hour heart monitor.   I feel fine and expect there is nothing to worry about but at this time of stress it is something I could have done without.   As usual very dear friends are rallying round.   So that was my day out yesterday.

Today's day out is much more pleasureable - yes, as many of you will have no doubt guessed by now - it is Kirby Lonsdale.   Over the Pennines go friend W and I on the most glorious Autumn morning (clear blue sky, bright sunshine now at 8.30am) to meet friends P and D in Avanti, our favourite Italian Restaurant in Kirby for a leisurely lunch.   We have, as usual, both decided what we are going to eat (we more or less know the menu off by heart by now) but may very well change our minds when we get there.

As my son and I were saying last evening - this has not been a brilliant year for us.   I suppose all families have years like this.   My beloved farmer died in March, my daughter in law, who is a semi invalid anyway, has had to have a new hip and is still recovering, my great nephew has some unidentified illness which has put him in hospital for months, many of them in Intensive Care - and he is still not in the clear yet by a long way.   In addition two more friends have died.   I suppose we all have years like this, when crises bunch together, but it doesn't really hit home until it happens to you.

The other outcome of the blip in my health (I feel fine by the way) is that for the time being I cannot drive.   As I live down a long lane a mile from town this is a nuisance.   Friend W ferries me everywhere (for which I can never thank her enough) but events like the hairdresser each week present a problem.   I shall go back to on line grocery shopping this week and this will solve the problem of food so at least I needn't worry about that.   I have been trying to keep my food shopping down to the minimum because we eat out a lot (!!) and I don't want to be carting food when I move houses.

Speaking of the move - it does look as though it is on the horizon and may well take place before the end of October.


Wednesday 4 October 2017

Several days rolled into one.

Today has seemed like a week of days all crammed into one day.    By tea time I was a complete nervous wreck and my shaking (Benign Essential Tremor) was so bad that I could hardly write.   My son came round between school and evening private music lessons in an effort to calm me down a bit, but really things are getting all too much for me now and I shall be relieved when the move is completed.  (Probably by the end of the month the solicitor says).

Over the past month I have had a couple of T I A's which the doctor feels should be investigated.   This morning I had to go for a series of blood tests - all went well.   Then back home for lunch and then to the hairdressers - all went well.  A friend, S, was calling while I was at the hairdressers to take Tess for a walk.   I am most grateful for her help and so is Tess of course.

I had another appointment, this time at what I thought was 4.40 to have an E C G.  At four o'clock the friend reminded me of the fact and when I looked at the calendar I had missed the appointment by an hour.   Ringing up and apologising was so embarrassing but the surgery were very good about it.

Then there was a message on my answer phone asking me to ring the hospital, which I did.   I was given an appointment to see the specialist in the morning.   I wrote it on my calendar but trying to read it back later I can't decipher the time.   When I tried to ring and ask, the desk was shut for the night.

I have now been sitting down for an hour, have had some tea, and am at last relaxing.   I really don't want many more days like today!

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Is there anything better?

Does anything beat a warm toasted tea cake with butter and a cafatiere of Italian Coffee on a cold windy wet morning?   Well I am sure both John and Tom can suggest something but we won't go down that road.

This evening has been our Ukulele Social Evening at our local Golf Club who put on a first class buffet for us at a very reasonable price.   It was a hot buffet with plenty of choices - lots of salads and garlic bread - veggie dishes - curries etc.  And three excellent puds.

We played for our friends and relations and some members played special numbers they had practised.   It was all light- hearted and great fun and a lovely evening was had by all.   I am now home again at ten-thirty and sitting up a bit later to give my meal time to digest.

Monday 2 October 2017

Physio .

It was my monthly visit to the Physiotherapist this morning.  I have arthritis in various joints and she just keeps me moving about.   Also, because it is now well over six months since I lost my beloved farmer and I still have not moved house, I really am beginning to feel the stress of it all.

Neighbours and friends are being absolutely wonderful - I am sure I could not have kept going without them.   But even so my shoulders have tensed up so much that they are now very painful. The Physio worked on these today - they hurt more now than they did before I went! but I know that in a day or two their condition will have improved.   There is no gain without pain.

Tess and I went for a walk on the way back but after only a hundred yards or so the wind was so strong that it almost blew me over.   I thought it best to get back in the car and come home.   I felt really mean but daren't risk it.   I then cooked myself a quick bacon, egg and tomato for lunch as it was ukulele practise this afternoon and as a treat I cooked Tess a slice of bacon (nice and crisp) - don't know whether she connected the two events but it made me feel less guilty.

The shooting in Las Vegas is so shocking - so many dead, so many injured, such a seemingly 'ordinary' man committing the crime it seems.   We will never understand these things - and I for one just can't understand the Gun Laws in a country where these things seem to happen with terrible regularity.

Then there is the collapse of Monarch Airlines and the many people it has affected.   The staff all out of work, the people on holiday abroad who have to get home (the C A A are flying all of them home at or near to their appointed end of holiday time) and then all the thousands who have booked a holiday with Monarch and now are left with no way of getting to their holiday place - and also the worry of whether or not they will get their money back.

The world suddenly seems a crazy place to me today.

Sunday 1 October 2017

Lovely Sunday

Today has been what has become a normal Sunday - four of us going out for Sunday lunch.   We have now gone to the Golf Club for so long that we know a lot of people and there are always folk to chat to.   Also today, after a bit of a misunderstanding over a Parking problem we made friends with another group of four people and had a good laugh with them.    When you live alone this chunk of almost four hours out of the middle of the day helps enormously.  (half an hour in the bar sipping our pre-lunch drink, an hour eating our lunch, then the rest of the time back in the bar with a tray of tea and coffee just chatting).
I always come straight in and take Tess for her walk so that is done for the day.

Today's lunch for me was a Vegetarian Lasagne with garlic bread and salad.   It was delicious and I shall attempt to make it myself.

The ' season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' (ha-ha - you know who you are) has really hit with a bang today.   It is damp and cool and the breeze is beginning to get to 'wind' force.   The leaves are falling from the beech trees in showers.

Friend W has just rung to tell me there is a programme on the poet Charles Causley on BBC4 tonight - Auden last night and Causley tonight - two of my favourites - what a treat.

Time for Tess's tea - goodnight and sleep well.

Saturday 30 September 2017


Up extra early this morning in time to take my dog for her early morning walk before going off with friend W at eight-thirty for our flu jabs, I was struck - as I am every Autumn- by the sound which blots out every other sound morning and evening out in the countryside (and for most of the rest of the day too if you stand and listen.)   The sound of the rooks chatting to one another.   If only I knew 'bird' and could tell what they are saying.

As we walked down the lane in that clear, early morning, still air, I could hear them stirring in their rookery down the lane and soon they were flying over in their thousands, shouting out to one another as they went off up Dale to their feeding grounds.

I can't begin to tell you what pleasure they give me every year in Spring and Autumn - nesting finished, feeding young finished - when they seem to be totally free to just BE.   Even Tess stopped and looked up to see what all the fuss was about.


It seems to me the wind
is your friend.
Soaring, tumbling,
or playing with the thermals
on a still day. 

Tacking, swooping,
cutting along the hedge top,
manipulating a gale.

Chattering, flying high,
sailing home on a
light breeze.

Building your stick nest
high in the bare branches
for it to rock and rattle
around the rookery.

You joyful bird
with your black, lustrous plumage
and your crusted beak
that stabs the ground
for leather-jackets.

You can
fill the sky with movement,
write a tune on the wires,
blacken a field with your parliament,
and fill my heart with joy
as you surge past my window
in your thousands
at dawn on a cold wintry morning.