Monday 30 September 2019


It has been an absolutely beautiful morning here - warm brilliant sunshine and no wind.   Now, at quarter past four heavy dark clouds are rolling in and rain is forecast again.   I personally feel so much better when the sun is shining.   Now I read in today's Times that the weather forecasters are predicting a bad winter with the first snows set to arrive by the end of October.    I hardly dare think about it.   Cold and me don't mix these days and neither do slippery footpaths and me.   Ah well - let's think about other things.

All along our road summer bedding is disappearing.   A few doors away from me was an absolutely beautiful display of purple petunias - the lady had grown them from seed and was so pleased with them.   Today she is digging them out.   They were battered when we were all flooded a month ago but they recovered only to be battered again with yesterday's twenty four hours of rain - the last straw.   Always sad to say goodbye to summer bedding. 

Speaking of rain - after the 196 starters in the  peloton at theWorld Cycling Championships around North Yorkshire only 46 finished after the six and a half miles and as they crossed the finishing line one of the leaders vomited and all were soaking wet through.   The joys of cycling eh!

Off to get cheese on toast for my tea now.   See you tomorrow.

Sunday 29 September 2019

A Wet Sunday

Incredible heavy rain here overnight and through today - first chinks of blue sky appearing as I write this at 5.19pm.   The World Cycling Championships, which came through here at lunchtime, had to be re-routed because of standing water and many locals who had walked in to town to see the race go through missed it as it came through earlier than planned because of the re-routing.

 I and two friends out on our usual jaunt for Sunday lunch - we all three had the same today - Salmon and a bed of spinach with Hollandaise Sauce and a good selection of vegetables to go with it.   I followed that with Bramble and Almond tart - the other two had Jam Poly Poly (it was that kind of day, but I don't have a sweet tooth).   Then a nice sit and chat in the Bar over a tray of tea.   Home again before four, heating on, phone call from my son, feed the dog and now settle down for the evening.   If the weather improves sufficiently I shall take Tess for a short walk at some point, otherwise it will be out in the garden for her.   She is very good about such things.

Sunday evening is one of my favourite viewing evenings so no need to plan reading.   I never miss Country File - the farmer's favourite programme, he was always interested in that and I still love the idea of farming.   And I love the Antiques RoadShow, which always has some absolutely beautiful treasures on it.   There is a new programme on at Nine this evening about life in the first year of the Second World War - I hope that will be as interesting as it sounds. 

What did we do before television I ask?   Well I do remember gathering round the radio to listen to favourite programmes - Henry Hall's Guest Night,
I T M A,  Dick Barton - Special Agent,  and many more.   I wonder if any of you who are old enough remember any more. 

Well another week begins tomorrow - and my God-daughter comes to stay next week end - I am looking forward to that and am subjecting her to a new recipe tried out in my Slow Cooker - a Lamb and Pearl Barley Irish Stew - I will report back how good (or otherwise) it is.


Several people have asked what I am finding stressful.   All I can say really is that you have to reach  your eighties and live alone to find out that even the smallest things can be stressful.   Nothing is as it used to be.   Living alone and not being particularly mobile for a start, living alone and not having anyone to share one's problems, however small and insignificant, with for another.   Many years ago my sister, who was over twenty years older than me said that the thing she found most difficult upon widowhood was that for the first time she was not first in anyone's life - and now that I find myself in that position I would agree.   Small problems need sharing (a trouble shared is a trouble halved they say) and one's nearest and dearest have their own families who naturally and obviously come first.

It just so happens that in the last fortnight I have lost a dear friend very suddenly, and also I have three or four problems which I am sure will resolve themselves but which have all come at once and do tend to be overwhelming.   All these things tend to go round and round in one's head when sitting alone in the evening.   Thank goodness for good friends, my son and daughter in law, and last but not least my good faithful doggy friend Tess.

I'll hopefully be back this evening with my usual blog post.

Saturday 28 September 2019


I am going through a stressful time at the moment for various reasons - I have several things on my mind and at  my age I can really not cope with more than one at once.   So Saturdays, when I am usually alone for most of the day, are not favourites of mine.   But today has been carried along nicely.

Friend W collected me just before nine and we tootled along to our Medical Centre for this year's flu jab - over in a minute and never felt a thing.   I then came back to take Tess for her morning walk and to stop for a chat with the son of H, my dog walker who sadly died suddenly.  As most of us suspected, she died of an Aneurism.   The death was extremely sudden but of course has been a shock to everyone.

W called at two o'clock and together with another friend C we had an ice cream at our local Ice Cream Parlour (I had Liquorice and Blackcurrant and Clotted Cream - delicious) and then it was back home to take Tess for another walk.    Then at seven my son and his wife came round and we had an Indian Take-Away.   So a pleasant day after all.   And after a wet start it has been a warm, sunny day with very little wind.   It promises to be very wet tomorrow when the Mens' Elite World Cycle Chanpionship comes through.

Friday 27 September 2019


So far - at three in the afternoon - it has been a thoroughly wet day and coming back in after our friday lunch out has meant putting on the central heating for a while because it is so cheerless.   Tess has had a long walk with J, her dog-walker, while I have been out and she was very pleased to see me home.

This really has been a very wet month.   Sunday is the day that the World Cycling Championship Elite Race goes through and the weather forecast is awful.   It is a good job they are all keen otherwise they would have packed up and gone back home by now.

Lunch for me was fish, chips and mushy peas followed by Chocolate Bavarois with fresh raspberries and finally a cup of coffee.  On such a miserable day it was good to go out with friends W and M for a couple of hours pleasant conversation - can't beat it.

Not a day to do much now and I shall certainly try to avoid switching on for any Parliamentary News - I shall give it a rest in the hopes that after the week end everyone has come to their senses.


Thursday 26 September 2019


Today the World Cycling Championships came across the bottom of my road.   This particular race was for the  'Young Men' - the Mens' Race comes through our little town on Sunday.   I had intended to walk to the end of the road to see it but the heavens opened at the time it was due to go past and as my walking is so very bad at the moment (owing to a strained ligament in my left knee which is affecting my right ankle) I thought better of it.   My neighbour and friend H went and said it was quite a sight and very well-organised.

It has not been a nice day.   I went into town early in order to do a small amount of shopping before going for my weekly hair-do and then I came straight home afterwards and took Tess round the estate as this is not a day when she gets a longer walk.  We walked in the rain but she doesn't seem to mind.   The afternoon was spent having a cup of tea and a chat with my neighbour who has a birthday today.   It is one of those days when it is chilly and damp and yet the Central Heating has not switched on - may be I have just not yet acclimatised to Autumn.

The 'Goings-on' in Parliament over the last few days -  in fact over the last months - have really distressed me, as I am sure they have so many people.   There really seems to be no sense of pulling together, no sense of trying to get the job done.   It is all arguing and shouting until it makes one wonder just where we are going to end up.    Best to get a good book (it is not a good TV night tonight), settle down and just try to forget about it all I think.

Wednesday 25 September 2019


It has been a better day today - a bit colder but not raining all day - bits of blue sky here and there.  My Breat Cancer screening went as usual - it is so important to have this and I never understand people who refuse to go.   Because of my age I have to request it each time the unit comes.   Obviously the staff who man the unit travel from away somewhere because my appointment for 10.40 this morning was the first of the day.   Over and done with I was back home by eleven so had time to read through the poetry I had chosen several times - I always like to do this so that I don't stumble over reading it out loud.

There were only five of us today which meant we had more time to have a little discussion about the poems and the poets and at the end W, who is always our Hostess, provided us with slices of delicious water melon to eat.  (along with chocolate biscuits and Earl Grey tea).   S, who happens to live next door, along with T, took Tess on a walk around the village during our Poetry session and they called and had a cup of tea with friends while Tess socialised with their dog I believe.  So  a happy afternoon was has by us all.

Yesterday's first outing for Tess with the new Dog Walker seems to have been a great success so that bodes well for the future.   An Airedale Terrier, a Red Setter, a Spaniel and another Terrier were Tess's companions and they all seem to have got on alright together - so that gives me hope that these twice weekly sessions will help Tess overcome her socialisation problems.

Tuesday 24 September 2019


It has rained here non stop all day and is now, at a quarter to seven, almost dark and very miserable.  I have been to the Physiotherapist to have my knees and ankles manipulated and my back worked on.   I always come back very tired so hope I sleep well.  I certainly did last night.

It really has been a most depressing week weather wise after a long period of sunshine last week.   Suddenly it is Autumn with a vengeance and I don't like it. 

Tomorrow is our Poetry afternoon - as you know this is one of my most favourite afternoons - and as I have a Breast Cancer Screening in the morning I shall now go and choose my poems so that they are all ready for the afternoon.

What poem would you choose to read out loud at a meeting of friends?

Monday 23 September 2019

A Pleasant Monday

A very pleasant day here so far (4.11pm) with sunshine and a light breeze.   Tess and I have walked twice round the estate and also waited in for J, the new dog-walker.   She and Tess took to one another instantly and she is a 'terrier lover' which always helps as terriers are a law unto themselves, as any terrier owner will agree.

They had half an hour communing with one another and are now intending to walk together every Tuesday and Friday - starting tomorrow.   It is a relief that it appears to be going to work out.  I feel it is so important that she gets more stimulation than I am able to give her in just walking round the estate.   She adores friend S who takes her most Wednesdays and now to have two more days again should be so much better for her.  J was surprised to hear of her age, agreeing that she looked so much younger and fitter - long may it continue.

For some reason I had a very bad night's sleep last night so am feeling pretty ragged by this time and so shall not attempt to write any more.   See you tomorrow.

Sunday 22 September 2019


Just the usual Sunday here with lunch out and a nice cup of tea afterwards.    After getting home a friend called to commiserate about the sad and sudden death of friend H, who took Tess for her lovely long walks.   I am still very upset by it, as is everyone in the road.   She was such a popular figure.

It does seem is if I might have found another lady willing to take Tess for a couple of good walks each week.   She is coming to see me tomorrow.
I very much warmed to her on the telephone after her answer to my question, 'would you be able to take Tess for two walks each week?' was 'I would like to meet her first to make sure that she likes me enough to come with me.'   We have arranged a time to meet tomorrow and Tess, of course, will be there.

We have rain this evening and it is really Autumnal; so much so that I have just put the central heating on for an hour before going to bed to take the chill off everywhere.   It seems we are destined to have a changeable week weather-wise after a spell of very dry weather.

Saturday 21 September 2019


As arranged S and K from the Isle of Man (bloggers - or rather S follows my blog but doesn't blog herself) called as they were staying in the area on holiday.   We found we knew so many people and places in common that we were almost related!!   We had a lovely hour chatting about things before going off for lunch - fish and chips for K and me and ham and eggs for S - and all of it delicious.   On our way back to the car K made a detour to look at a row of E type Jaguars in the car park (why is it always men who drool over these?) and then we came back for a cup of tea and another chat about people and places we all three knew.    A really lovely day and I really do thank them for taking a day out of their holiday to visit me.   Once again it shows me the power - and the pleasure of blogging.

The sky is a clear blue and the forecasters tell us that this is the last really good day we shall have for the next week at least.   The gardens are ready for rain but I don't think any of us are really.

'Strictly come dancing' starts tonight - that is a real sign of Autumn and I suspect many a household will be glued to the screen as all the couples make their hesitant way around the dance floor.   I am not sure whether or not I shall watch - it is beginning to be a bit tedious I think.

Whatever you are doing - enjoy your Saturday evening.

Friday 20 September 2019


Sue (Beachcomber) and her partner are over here in the Dales and are kindly coming to take me out to lunch tomorrow.   I did not realise that they had been before and just can't recall the occasion at all.   This morning, after having coffee with friends, I drove into the Market Place to collect some super wallflower plants I had ordered.  I pulled into the side of the road, got out of the car and opened the boot for the garden man to put the plants in my boot.   A lady touched my arm - 'Pat?' - yes, you have guessed it.   It was Sue, who recognised me immediately.   Did I recognise her?   Sadly not.

A lady who comes to our Poetry Group has some condition - and I have no idea what it is called, so if anyone knows please mention it - and sometimes wears a badge to inform people that she is sorry she doesn't recognise them because she has this condition.    I was beginning to think that maybe I had it too.   Then last week I had new specs and was told by the Optician that my cataracts would be 'ready' next time I had my eyes tested.   When I queried with him what difference it might be making to my eyes he replied that quite often when cataracts are almost 'ready' people have difficulty recognising faces.   So take your pick.   What is it that makes me unable to recognise faces - incidentally it doesn't happen once I have seen people a few times and they kind of 'fit into' my memory bank.   But Sue had no difficulty in picking me out of a fairly busy Market Square when she has only seen me once before.

I am really looking forward to seeing them in the morning.

Thursday 19 September 2019

The World Championships

The World Cycling Chanpionships are coming to North Yorkshire at the end of this month - coming in fact past the end of my road - it will be closed for one hour as they pass on 26th September and the centre of our little town will be closed for one hour on the 29th as they pass going the other way or something.  So far there is not much information other than (very large) yellow signs at intervals - many intervals - along the roadsides telling us this vital piece of information.   No, I shall not be going to the end of the road to see them pass - they will be gone in a flash.   Then, if my guess is correct,  all the large, yellow, metal signs will be there for a while before they are collected up.   If they are efficiently collected straight after the two races pass through I will report it here.   And, as a matter of interest, the lettering on the signs appears to be permanent so presumably it can't be peeled off and the signs used for anything else, which prompts the question who is paying for them all?

I read that it is expected that the event will generate huge income for the area over the few days they are here.   I do remember a similar even when local eating houses expected large crowds but everyone was far too eager to follow the cyclists to hang about eating - so that is also open to question. 

Alright, tell me I am a miserable old git - it may well be true but I do know that often, when we have events like this in the town, our shop keepers and cafe owners suffer as everyone stays out of town.   And really I suspect it is hard enough for them to make a living without things like this. 

I hope I am completely wrong and that all our pubs, cafes and businesses benefit greatly from the week-end - in which case I will eat my words.

Wednesday 18 September 2019


The sun is hazy this morning but the weather forecast is good.   I am up bright and early - in spite of being upset at the death of a friend I had a good night's sleep.   My new electric blanket has made a huge difference to my sleep pattern - I hope it continues because I am not usually a very good sleeper.   There is never a good death is there - a long drawn out death means trauma and distress for all one's loved ones, a quick, unexpected death leaves a huge shock but is, of course, much 'better' for the person involved - but then they have had no time to say good-bye.   So it is a no-win situation and (perhaps) luckily we have to take the end we are dealt with.

Tess will, of course, miss H greatly but dogs are adaptable.   Although she is my dog she loved going round the fields on the farm with the farmer.   But, because he was in and out of hospital towards the end, she never appeared to miss him when he went for ever.   Life for her just seemed to go on as before.   I just hope the same continues now that H doesn't call twice a week for their long rambles together.

If there is one lesson one learns the older one gets it is that all one can do is to take each day as it comes and make the most of it.

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Sad News.

Sad news today because H, the lady who has been taking Tess for walks for me, has died very suddenly.  She took a load of garden rubbish to our local tip and died while she was there.   I am very saddened by her death as all three of us got on so well together.

Friends S and T came round for a meal this evening.   I was so pleased they came because, selfishly, they took my mind off my sadness about H's death.   They came round early and took Tess for a lovely walk (and picked me some blackberries to cook tomorrow along with the apples I was given this morning at our monthly Strugglers meeting.)   How lucky I am to have such good friends.

Our Struggler's meeting this month was interesting - it is always - as we discussed what we could say were our good points.   It is easy to say what our faults are isn't it, but not so easy to put our thoughts into words on what our strengths are.   I think all eight of us left with plenty of food for thought.

So altogether today was a lot of different days rolled into one.   There was sadness, indeed there was, but there was  also the comfort of friendship from different sources and the knowledge of just how important one's friends are and just how much we should value them.

Until tomorrow.

Monday 16 September 2019


Here are the Autumn Crocus (Colchicum) in the garden opposite where I live.   I love them and had some in my previous garden.   You forget all about them and then, suddenly, one morning they are there - all flowers and no sign of a leaf.   A sure sign that Autumn is on its way - and it is a lovely Autumn day today to prove it.

I had to go into town this morning on business and then to buy one or two things because I am cooking for friends tomorrow evening and I want to experiment with my Slow Cooker.   I called in our usual cafe and had Scampi, Chips and Peas for my lunch - lazy I know but I had had a busy morning and walking around town for me is very tiring.   Now  I am home, the basics of my base for my Cottage Pie are cooking on Auto in my slow cooker and my friend has rung to say we will not meet this afternoon but leave it until later in the week - so all pressure is off and soon Tess and I will have a wander.

Now that the children have gone back to school our little town has been taken over by bus-loads of Pensioners leaving their touring holidays until there are no hoards of children around.   The cafes are still full but few, if any, children around (lots of dogs though,as there always are).   Almost all the Holiday Cottages up here take dogs as we are in hilly country - ideal for walking and ideal for dogs.   We get a huge variety.   Many of them these days are of the mixed variety (no longer called 'mongrels' but given fashionable names as they are a straight cross - ie Labradoodle (Labrador/Poodle;)  Cockerpoo  (CockerSpaniel/Poodle); and even Jug (Jack Russell terrier/Pug).   Sometimes I do wonder if we might be storing up health problems with some breeds for the future - although we have a Labradoodle (Smarty) lives near to us and he is a darling I must say.   Do you have any views on the matter?

Sunday 15 September 2019


There is a wintry feeling in the air today - it is dull and a damp cold hangs over everything.   Thermal vest is being worn - what am I to do when 'real' winter arrives?   At the Golf Club where we have our Sunday lunch, the golfers were in short sleeves and many of them still in shorts.   Put it down to a combination of old age and thinning blood.
Horse Chestnut leaves and Silver Birch leaves are falling today I have noticed and there is a touch of Autumn in the air.   The bungalow opposite has a magnificent patch of purple Autumn Crocus in the centre of the front lawn.   I love them - they always seem to appear overnight with no warning.  I will try to take a photograph of them to put on for tomorrow for anyone who doesn;t know what they are.

Only three of us for lunch today - W is at a wedding.   I had salmon on a bed of spinach (salmon Florentine) with lovely veg; W2 had the same but without the spinach and without any veg.  C had Penang Curry with rice.

Tess has gone off for a walk with her friend H, who rang just before I went off for lunch to say she would take her this afternoon.   She is not back yet and will certainly not need another walk today.
 That is good news = I took her on quite a long one this morning.

Saturday 14 September 2019


One of the drawbacks of living up in The Pennines - or any other hilly district for that matter - is that it is almost always windy.   One part of my garden is seriously infested (there is no other word for it) with Marestail weed.   I spent a fortune on a specialist weed-killer which my gardener put on for me last year - twice.   It made not the slightest difference.   He has enough to spray it again this year but since it was twenty centimetres high (the recommended height for spraying) there has not been a single windless day.   Today promised to be such a day and I contemplated ringing him - but it was not to be.   By ten o'clock the sky had clouded over and the wind had got up.   It is still dry but quite a chilly day with a stiff breeze.  Certainly not what I could call a 'still Autumn Day'.   I wonder whether we will indeed get any of those this year.

The highlight of the day today for Tess and I has been our trip to The Tip.   Today we had our kitchen T V which had finally given up the ghost; my old frying-pan which no longer had a reliable non stick coating and two or three large cardboard boxes.   Taking such trips to the tip (rather a nice journey in itself) I find very therapeutic - on a par with filling my Green Bin with garden rubbish, which I did yesterday afternoon.     A sort of 'cleansing'.   Until tomorrow.

Thursday 12 September 2019

Busy Day

I have had quite a busy day - hairdresser and shopping this morning plus an early-morning dog walk and another before getting my lunch.   Then this afternoon with W and S to Sycamore Hall in the village of Bainbridge to play ukuleles for the residents to sing 'the old songs'.    We had an enjoyable, but tiring, afternoon.   The thought of taking Tess for her final walk of the day was a bit daunting but luckily, just as I was about to set out,
H rang to ask whether Tess would like a walk 'along The Shawl ' (a popular walk in our little town.   Needless to say, Tess heard H's voice on the phone and went to sit and wait by the front door until she arrived.   I breathed a bit of a sigh of relief.

It has been a slightly rainy day here all day - the kind of day that only happens up in the hills, when one is almost in the clouds, so that a fine missle is falling.   Now as dusk is falling the sky is lightening and a breeze is getting up.   The forecast for the rest of the week end is a good one with quite a warm temperature.

If you are one of those who 'blog with' Thelma of North Stoke I am sure you will join with me in sending her our love and all our sympathy as she comes to terms with her very sad loss.

Wednesday 11 September 2019


And so the week rolls on.   It is no sooner Monday than Friday begins to loom large.   If I have something on my calendar for each day then I can be assured that the week will speed past.

Today an old friend called in for coffee and shortbread this morning and we had a good old chat - it is a long time since we met up.   Then this afternoon friend S called and took Tess for a walk - and Tess always loves that.    It has been a lovely day here today - quite warm out of the sharp wind.

It is comforting to finding that other people have days when they feel 'not of this world' - I have not experienced the feeling before and I have found it very disconcerting.   It is beginning to go away now, as is my tinnitus (which comes and goes).   I suppose the whole thing is really called 'growing old'.

Tuesday 10 September 2019


Not a bad day - coolish but fine and with a light breeze.   I am feeling more or less back to normal - but not quite.   I don't feel quite 'of this world' - a strange feeling which I h ope will soon go off as I don't find it at all pleasant.

I went into town as usual - today is the day I stock up on any shopping I need.   Strawberries from Scotland (Angus) are still available and still as delicious as ever.    I don't think I ever remember such a long season.   So it is strawberries for tea again tonight.   Lunch was sausage, onion and apple cooked in my Remoska and it was delicious too.   Runner beans from a friend's garden and the first of the sprouts made up my plateful - I have certainly got my appetite back so that's a start.

There have been programmes on over the week-end about the start of the Second World War- eighty years ago. I watched them - of course I remember it well - I was seven when it started.   But I am not sure whether I really want to go over it all again.   Is it important that we see the devastation, the bombing, that we bring it all back into our minds or would it be better if we forget it?
I really am not sure in my mind what difference it makes to our thinking to see it all over again.   My friend and I were saying yesterday how well our parents protected us from the worst of it.   We lived in areas where it was not quite as subject to bombing and certainly where I lived we weren't evacuated, rather we accepted evacuees to live with us.  But I don't remember ever being afraid.
After eighty years let's just hope it never happens again.

Monday 9 September 2019


Thank you for your concern those of you who questioned what had happened to me.   I have not felt all that well over the week-end and just have not felt like putting on a post.   Today I have had a lovely day out with dear friend Wand have returned home refreshed and feeling more like my old self.   

Tess has been with us and the three of us have been over the top of the Pennines and down into the little town of Kirby Lonsdale and there met P and D, our friends from Windermere, for a delicious Italian lunch.   It has been light rain all day and the tops have been in cloud but it has been quite pleasant and not really cold - more of a cheerless day I would say.   But the company and the food were splendid and that more than made up for the miserable weather.

Hopefully I will be back to normal tomorrow.   See you then.

Thursday 5 September 2019

Which side are you on?

There is an amusing article in today's Times by Robert Crampton where he quotes Isaac Foot, a Liberal MP (and the father of Michael Foot - a man I greatly admired for his principles).   Apparently Isaac Foot said "I judge a man by one thing: which side would he have liked his ancestors to fight on at Marston Moor".   I wonder
when (or maybe I should say if) everything dies down, when all the present posturing, tantrums, lolling on benches and banging of tables and stamping of feet goes away and everyone starts behaving like normal people again and when we are gone and our children and grandchildren have in herited the mess left behind if they will ask the same question of us and the present mess.

Wednesday 4 September 2019


It is a lovely day.   The wind is much lighter.   After what seems to have been a wet night the sky is blue with puffy white clouds and the sun is actually warm.   Tess and I have just had a shortish walk - she is still pretty tired after her ramble around the castle yesterday and today is the day that friend S comes to take her for a walk.

I had a brilliant night's sleep after two very bad ones.   The first thing I did was to add another cellular blanket under the duvet, then I popped a hot water bottle into the bed about half an hour before I went to bed and last of all I went on line and ordered myself a new electric blanket.  Oh and I went into Winter jim=jams - Summer nighties will now be washed and put away for next year.   If all this is not enough to make the weather turn into an Indian Summer I don't know what is.   But after all that I had a jolly good night's sleep and didn't wake until almost half past seven.

I put on the television while I was eating my breakfast - I don't know - there is Boris ranting and raving, Rees-Mogg sprawled across the bench looking as though he might well be asleep, MP's crossing the floor and changing sides half way through the argument. Do we really want to be governed by people like this?   Any effort at interviewing anyone outside is completely useless as there is so much shouting and protesting in the background that it is impossible to hear what anyone is saying.   I wonder if it would help if I sat in my sitting room reading several books waiting to be read, drew the curtains, didn't listen to radio or TV, cancelled my paper and just pretended it would all go away.   What do you think?   Any other ideas.

Tuesday 3 September 2019


Busy day all round but I had a very bad night - mainly for two reasons.   Firstly my son rang quite late and we chatted for almost an hour, which got my brain so active that when I did go to bed I couldn't settle down.   Secondly, it was a very chilly night and I just could not get warm.   I got up and added another blanket, putting it on top of the duvet as I couldn't be bothered to remake the bed in the middle of the night.   I still took a long time to get warm and drop off.   Consequently I am quite tired today.

I walked round with Tess and then went into town to top up on food shopping - mainly fruit and veg - before returning home.   It was our fortnightly lunch meeting (chicken casserole followed by blackberry and apple crumble or apple pie and ice cream) - all delicious and as usual all good fun with good company.

On returning home Tess had disappeared.   H had called and had taken her for a walk.  It was a relief as I was really very tired after my poor night's sleep and it is impossible to explain to a dog why a walk is not a possibility.   My son rang and asked if I wanted to go with him and his wife into Richmond for a coffee and cake, so I contacted H on her mobile to tell her I would be out on her return with Tess.   She had walked around Richmond Castle walls - she said Tess had done a wee about every twelve seconds on the entire walk!!

It is not a warm day here so it was home again to find the heating had come on and the bungalow was pleasantly warm - yes I know it is a bit early in Autumn but I refuse to be cold, it is so miserable.  Tess had returned and has been asleep in her bed ever since - tired out no doubt.  What a lucky dog she is to have so many friends who help me out (I have just had an e mail to tell me friend S will take her for me tomorrow).

Now I think a cup of tea and a slice of Battenburg is perhaps the order of the day - and maybe a small bowl of Scottish strawberries - they still have the lovely taste of summer.

Monday 2 September 2019

Book Group

It was my Book Group this morning and it was my turn to be the Host.   Only five of us today.   Since moving I have not baked a cake - I miss my Aga, I don't wish to eat a lot of cake, I am not inspired to bake anyway - so I succumbed to buying a Battenburg and some oat biscuits.   Half the Battenburg was eaten - the other half languishes in the cake tin.   I suspect it will not languish for long  - I am very weak-willed where it is concerned.

The book - 'Full Pardon' about the troubles in Northern Ireland was not really to my liking - in fact it was not really to anyone's liking but it generated an hour's really interesting discussion mostly about religious divisions.   Interestingly in our group there was a Roman Catholic, an Anglican, a Humanist, and two who had no particular religious affiliations.  This is the good thing about a good Book Group - we don't spend time talking about our ailments (which seems to be a common complaint) - we really get down to some interesting discussion.   I love it and they are all such nice people.

Our next book is ' Diary of a Bookseller' and I have just ordered it from Amazon - it should be here by the week end and I look forward to a good read.

The weather here today is decidedly Autumnal - cold, windy, grey skies, the odd shower - and I keep hearing the central heating clicking on and off (set on 19) - methinks thermal vests must be looked out again.    I shall have a ready meal from COOK for my tea and it will cook in the Remoska whilst I watch Antiques Road Trip.   If anyone watched Antiques Road Show last evening I am sure they will agree that there was some really amazing stuff on - incredible jewellry (none of which I would have cared to wear as it happens), beautiful pottery (which I admire greatly but would be too scared to have standing around in case I broke it) - in fact all the beautiful things were so because they belonged to someone else and I was not in the least envious.   I adhere to Rachel's view on such things.

Sunday 1 September 2019


Cro, on his most recent post, speaks of Travel and how easy it is these days and how many go far and wide during their lives whereas others never move far from home.   Interesting topic.  

In my parents' young days (early 1900's) nobody travelled far - unless they were very wealthy so most young folk married someone from the next village or from within the town where they lived.  The townsfolk usually met either through their work, or in the Pub, or at the Saturday Night 'Hops' of which there were plenty.   The villagers had grown up together, often gone to the same school and/or church.   So it was easy to meet plenty of possibles. 

Now, of course, the world is their oyster (not necessarily making for any happier relationships).
But there are many who still are unused to travel for a variety of reasons - and not always from lack of the money to do so.   Sometimes staying put is their choice and they are content.

All this reminds me of a story from my young days.   When my son was in his teens we always went to the same cottage in Wales - to a cottage on a farm not far from Cardigan.   We often went two or three times a year, we knew the family well by this time and we loved the walks in the area.

Just down the road lived an old man who lived alone and who, in his whole life, had never been further than Cardigan and had no desire to do so.  One evening, while standing at his gate watching the moon rising on a warm Summer evening, a car drew up and the passenger asked him the way to
somewhere a little further North - let's say Aberporth.   (all of ten miles away).   He thought long and hard and then said 'Go up to the moon and turn left'.   The old man had had a long and happy life.   Horses for courses as they say - be a stay at home or travel the world - all that matters is to be content with your lot.