Tuesday 31 December 2019

Gentle walks.

The order of the day here.   It has been a lovely quiet, sunny day and Tess and I have had two short walks round the estate.   It has done us both good.   New Year is not a particularly happy time as it holds so many memories - but it soon passes.   Tess is about the same walking-wise but certainly no worse and when the vet rings on Friday with the results of the tests I shall ask what he thinks to enrolling her at the Hydro pool (only a couple of miles away).

Coffee with four friends this morning - a pleasant hour and lots of laughs,although one of the four has worries about two of her dearest and health problems.   There is something comforting about sharing worries like this with friends and I hope she gained comfort from us. 

Friends called when I got home.   S and T had read about Tess on yesterday's post and called round 'sick visiting'.   Of course she was delighted to see them and watching her with them I did get the feeling that her movement was a little better with the introduction of the anti inflammatories.

Apart from placing an order with Tesco for Thursday delivery (my grand daughter and her family are coming at the week end) that more or less sums up my day.   Now curtains are closed, dog has been fed, scented candle is lit, almost time for the News and a couple of programmes I am looking forward to.   Shall I stay up to see the New year in?   I doubt it - I can see myself in bed for eleven as usual.   But a Very Happy New Year to you all.

Monday 30 December 2019

A Visit to the Vet

Rachel and I have had a similar sort of day today.   It has not been pleasant.   This morning Tess's walking was so bad that she was struggling not to fall over.   I decided to take her to Open Surgery at 2pm.   The Vet I go to lives about ten miles away so I need to leave half an hour in advance to get there.   When I got there there was a full house.  For me struggling from the car to the surgery with a handbag, a walking stick and a reluctant dog on a lead was not easy - nor was opening the two doors to get in.   Luckily a kind man jumped to his feet and held the doors open for me (that alone brought tears to my eyes so you can tell how worked up I was about the whole thing).

 He gave her a thorough examination and said that she had little muscle around her back thighs and obviously had quite severe arthritis in all four limbs.   He took a few blood samples, tested her kidneys and said they were fine and then sent a couple of samples away for testing.   He has given me some anti inflammatory drugs to give her and told me that for the time being he thinks the two walks a week she does with a group of dogs (several big dogs who obviously go faster than she does) should be suspended for a while until we get this thing under control.   I then drove home again, calling at a Nature Reserve I pass so that she could have a walk on the flat, which she enjoyed.   Not sure I did as by this time it was beginning to be    dusk and I was anxious to get home.   It is at times like this that being alone really hits home - I am ashamed to say that tears were not far away.  Still, onward and upward ...

Sunday 29 December 2019


The promised unseasonably warm weather never really materialised here today.   It has been a pleasant enough day but the temperature never got above nine or ten even when the sun came out mid-afternoon.   Our usual lunch out - the four of us - was pleasant, as usual.   Three of us had salmon and the fourth roast beef.   Two of us (me for one) had the new addition to the menu for sweets - we had the cheese board.  It consisted of three pieces of our chosen cheese (cut at the table by the chef) with biscuits, butter, celery and grapes.   A perfect finish to the meal.

Tess and I have managed two walks today but I am worried about her as she is limping so badly - it appears to be arthritis in both back legs and now today in her front legs too.   I am already giving her a joint supplement so intend shortly (after New Year) to pay a visit to the Vet. 

This week looks to be a quiet week so far before I am expecting visitors for tea on Sunday -so plenty of time to post on here.   See you tomorrow.

Saturday 28 December 2019

A Late Birthday Outing.

For my birthday my son and his wife bought me a beautiful large scarf and also promised me a visit to Saltburn on the North East Coast.   Today at lunch time he rang to ask if I would like to go this afternoon.   Of course I said yes please.
It looks to be a chilly North Sea and I am sure it was although there were one or two surf boarders around (in wet suits I hasten to add).

There were hundreds of families there walking along the promenade and walking down the pier.  The whole place has a real Victorian feel to it and it almost seemed incongruous to see people in up to date clothing.   There were lots of children with their Christmas presents - little bikes, scooters and the like and there were lots sitting in the outdoor cafes on the side of the prom.   We joined them and had a cup of coffee and a cake and watched the world go by. 

Because both my daughter-in-law and I are disabled (she in a wheel chair and me with a wheelie) we went down from the car park to the prom in the cliff railway - a fascinating contraption constructed in the late nineteenth century and one of the things which gives the place its Victorian feeling.    The two carriages
pass one another on the journey - one going up and the other coming down and the whole thing takes maybe about a minute.   Coming down we were at the pier in no time.
There was a strong aroma of fish and chips on the pier as dozens of those sitting on the seats had cartons of fish and chips and dainty little forks with which to eat them.   They smelled divine!

We didn't have long there before the sun began to go down and it began to get near to dusk so we had to set off for home, but we had had a lovely afternoon.   By the time we got home we were all three hungry but nobody felt like getting any tea so after calling in at their house to feed the cat they took me home (only a mile away) and ordered a pizza each - they were jolly good.   The sea air had given us an appetite!   My son took Tess for an early evening walk and we settled down for a chat.   Now they have gone home and it is time to get ready for bed.   The sea air should send me to sleep soundly.

Friday 27 December 2019

Almost over and done with...

Well not quite - there's still New Year's Day to come to mess up and confuse one's memory of what day of the week it is next week.  Today is Friday isn't it?   But only the arrival of my dog walker confirmed for me that I had things right - and then going out to lunch with W, M, and C - what a treat to get out of the house and almost back to normality.   I had a bacon, brie and cranberry panini and have just had a cup of tea and a mince pie.   It has been lovely to get with one's loved ones - my son's meal was super yesterday and I enjoyed it very much - but how good it is to get back to one's normal routine.

Weather forecasters speak of a warm spell drifting up from Africa as a great mass of yellows colours the weather map.   I hope it arrives here soon because at present it is damp and cold.   Luckily Tess has had a good walk today and I am hoping it is better weather for me to take her tomorrow - my walking is almost back to normal after my visitors.

It is good to have my telephone back in working order again and I have been most impressed with the work BT have done.   It was a big job and several teams of workmen investigated various possible faults until at last they dug up my front lawn and fitted a new connection.   Every single workman was pleasant and friendly and today - the icing on the cake - an e mail from BT apologising for taking a week to finish it all and telling me that they had credited my account with forty pounds compensation.   So well done BT.

As usual there has been little on television to appeal to me - apart from a special nightly 'University Challenge' in which teams who were at Uni in the nineties have competed against one another.   It has been so interesting to watch especially as their reactions to the button are just that little bit slower than the young things who are usually on the programme.   And it was good to watch HM The Queen, so amazing for her age - and so dignified - talk for ten minutes.   I am no royalist but who could help but admire a lady of such age who ploughs on, come what may, whatever we may say about privilege and no money worries?

Saturday tomorrow - I shall no doubt think it is Sunday all day - a day on which I have absolutely nothing to do apart from walking the dog and going into town to post a parcel.   So see you then.

Tuesday 24 December 2019

Happy Christmas.


Monday 23 December 2019

Almost there.

Well 'twas almost the day before Christmas and it is almost true that 'not a creature was stirring not even a mouse'.   Tess and I have just been for our late afternoon walk - Tess 'raring to go' and me still having difficulty walking.   Add to that that it is a very windy day and you will realise that it was not a particularly successful walk for either of us.   Still, tomorrow is the day that Jane comes to walk her so she will get a good walk then.   But once I have fed Tess (immediately after writing this) we will both settle down for the evening.

Our little town is heaving today, as I suspect is everywhere.   There is a big market here and when I went in at nine o'clock there was not a single place left in the Car Park and I just managed to nab the last Disabled Place just by the shop I wished to visit - very lucky.  I like to think it is all people who have been working up to today rather than people who have just left their Christmas shopping until the last minute. 

One by one flashing lights are appearing in the windows on the estate where I live.   I have just an arc of candles in the window - I quite like the peace of it.   I have not quite got the enthusiasm to decorate the bungalow since my dear farmer went so I only have a few decorations here and there but I have had a huge lot of Christmas cards which I absolutely love receiving (and sending) and when they are up it livens the place up and makes it Christmassy.   They all came down this morning so that my cleaning lady could give a good dust.   After tea I shall read them all before putting them up again and I shall enjoy that.   I hope you are all having an enjoyable and Christmassy day too - and there is 'Carols from Kings' to look forward to tomorrow - one of my favourite things about Christmas.

Sunday 22 December 2019


Hurray!   I have a telephone again.   And I cannot speak too highly of the treatment I have received from BT.   Once they knew my age and the fact that I subscribe to Lifeline they have pulled out all the stops.   After various checks by various teams both inside and outside the house, they finally identified the fault as being in the cable under my front lawn.   It had been laid  when the bungalow was built almost fifty years ago and is the kind of cable which is no longer used in any case.   They took up the turf, dug a channel, replaced the cable with a much large one, brushed the soil off the grass into the trench, replaced the turf and then broke through the path to the house wall and drilled a new hole through into the sitting room.   It is all neat and tidy.   Tess promptly 'christened' the new concrete strip with paw prints which will be there for ever, but otherwise it is a neat job.   All the teams who came were pleasant chaps - I dished out hot mince pies - the least I could do.

My visitors have been and have now gone.   I got lots of food in and they were both very good at helping prepare it.  They also took Tess for her walks which was a help.   But inevitably I was on my feet a lot more than usual and today I am finding it very difficult to walk.   I am just hoping that my ankles and knees get stronger over the next few days. 

Out to usual Sunday lunch today then home to take Tess for a very short walk, which was all I could manage.   I have several presents still to wrap so that job will take me up to bedtime - there is nothing I wish to watch on television.   My Book Group book is Bill Bryson's 'A Walk in the Woods' which somebody on my blog recommended (it is my choice this month and I didn't want anything too heavy for around Christmas as everybody's mind is on other things).   I must say I am enjoying it very much - it is a very amusing read.  Bill Bryson lives up in The Dales so he is very much a local lad (he is of course American but seems to like living over here).   So whoever it was who recommended it - 'Thank you.'

Tuesday 17 December 2019


When my sister (twenty two years older than me) became old she used to say that what irritated her most was that she would lay in bed in the morning, planning her day and then - at the end of the day - she would realise she had done only about an eighth of what she intended.   Now that I have reached my eighties I can only say how true I find what she said.

Except for the odd day.   And, glory be, today has been a day like that!   No - I am not walking any better - I still need my stick and even with it I can only walk slowly and painfully.   But I have really had a very good day.   My Grandson and his partner come tomorrow until Saturday so I had quite a big shop (I always shop on Tuesday mornings).  Much of the day to day stuff I have delivered but for vegetables, fruit, bread - stuff like that - I like to go to the shop and buy it.   I was late setting off because the egg lady came with my dozen eggs and we had a chat.   I found a parking spot immediately, I whizzed round the shop buying everything I needed, there was no queue at the back of the shop where the Post Office is located and in no time at all I had the shopping packed in the boot of the car (I always have a young man from the shop to help me) and was on the way home.   I even remembered to call in at our Medical Centre to collect some Hearing Aid Batteries so that I don't run out over Christmas.   Then it was an hour's sit down over lunch, The Times, Coffee and a Mince Pie. 

Tess had a long walk with her Dog Walker, so I slipped back into town because I had forgotten to pay my newspaper bill.   Normally one trip into town would be enough, today I managed two quite happily.    Then, before I took my coat off I took out the Recycling 'rubbish' and put at the bottom of the drive.   Another couple of jobs done.

Then the job of washing out the fridge, putting the fresh food I had bought away, adding the dry goods to my store cupboard, putting my shopping trolley and bags in the garage where they live - and the door bell went to admit the Lifeline warden who calls on me once a month to check that I am alright.   It was good to see him because he did not know I had no telephone service (and without that Lifeline doesn't work).

Now, at half past seven in the evening, everywhere is tidy, Tess has had her tea and is asleep in her bed, the house is warm and I shall now go and choose my poems to read at tomorrow's Poetry.   An earlyish night will enable me to rise fresh in the morning to make a batch of vegetable and pearl barley soup ready for my visitors coming in the evening.  Served with croutons or garlic bread it makes a delicious meal followed by coffee and a hot mince pie.

There will be a gap in posts now because my visitors will be staying in my computer room.   So my next post will probably be on Saturday.   Whether or not I shall have a telephone service by then seems unlikely.   I have to wait for an outside contractor to dig up the lawn and no sign of him today.   The good news it is turning warmer for a couple of days.   See you soon.

Monday 16 December 2019

Monday News,

The most important Monday News is on the phone front.   After extensive investigation both inside the bungalow and outside the problem has been identified as under my front lawn.   So contractors have now been called in to dig up the lawn and put me a new cable in.   The BT engineer has been this morning and has moved the whole caboodle on to the outside wall and put in a new socket so that when they put in the new cable it can be connected.   A spiral of cable sits on the outside wall awaiting connection - and I await the arrival of the contractors whenever they choose to come.  Of course I am still not connected to my usual Lifeline service but I have my mobile and as long as I keep it fully charged then I am fine.   On the plus side, although there is a bit of snow lying here and there, the sun has shone all day and although there is a sharp cold wind blowing it is a rather nice December day - better than rain, snow or fog any day.

Well Ben Stokes won Sports Personality of the Year 2019 and a well-deserved win I would say.   What a year England's   Cricket Team had and what pleasure they gave to so many people.   Sport of any kind is not my thing but I do always bear in mind the pleasure they give to so many people who for one reason or another are unable to participate.   And Ben's charming acceptance speech was a delight to listen to.

   The fitting of a new point in a different place in my sitting room might well mean I shall have to rearrange my furniture but I shall cross that bridge when I come to it.   When it came time to take Tess for her morning walk I found that the engineer was not allowed to stay in the house on his own while I took her, so my son came and walked her round the block for me.   I would have been quite happy for the engineer to stay in the place alone but seems it is not allowed - understandable I suppose.

Funny how these days we just can't manage without all these contacts with the outside world.   When I think my parents never had a car, never had a phone, (never even had central heating come to that) I wonder whether we have become a bit too soft these days.   What do you think?   Should we take advantage of every bit of modern technology, should we pick and choose what we have or should we just ignore the lot?

Sunday 15 December 2019


Yesterday morning I woke at 5.30am to find the central heating on (it is set at eighteen overnight) so it had obviously been very cold.   Today I didn't wake until a quarter to eight, only to find the heating hadn't come on.   When I drew back the bedroom curtains there was snow  - obviously the snowfall had kept the temperature up a little.   I might add that I quickly turned the heating on - I am not that hardy!  Now, at half past nine, the sun is shining and the snow seems to be going, so I should be alright to go out on my usual lunch date.
Remember I live in very hilly countryside and I drive a nippy little Vauxhall  Corsa - not the most suitable combination for wintry weather. 

I have still no landline - the fault seems now to have been identified as under my front lawn and they are coming tomorrow to dig that up.   I cannot complain about BT service - they have been very good at giving me priority because of my age and  trying to restore my access to Lifeline, the service I belong which helps people who live alone.  So I am relying on my mobile at present.

My old 98 year old friend, who always comes out to lunch with us on Sundays, called off today - she said she didnt want to venture out in the snow and that the view from her window, looking out directly into the Dale, was enough to keep her happy all day as it was 'white over'.   As friend W had another engagement that meant that just C and I were there.   We both had a veggie choice - C had Penang Curry and I had Vegetable Chilli - both were delicious.   For 'afters' we both had cheese and biscuits with celery and apple - it was delicious too.   I arrived home in time to take Tess for a short walk before the road got icy - I dare not walk on the footpath as it still had snow on it and had hardly melted at all.   I have to cajole Tess into going out when it gets too cold so I don't think she missed her usual walks.   Now all the blinds and curtains are drawn, the heating is turned up and both of us are settling down for a snug evening once the place gets warm.   Hopefully see you tomorrow.

Friday 13 December 2019

Well, well, well.

Don't know whether to be pleased, horrified or dis affected - all I can say is that it is over and we shall see.   At least there is a clear majority whether you like it or not so something should be able to get done rather than shilly-shallying from one argument to the next.

Down here on the ground floor, the grass roots, with one of the safest Conservative seats in the country (there's a lot of money about in North Yorkshire) there was never any doubt so not a lot of interest.   I have no idea what the turn-out was but there was a steady stream when I went to vote and in a town of not many more than a couple of thousand that is what you would expect.

Now it has all died down, no more shouting, all loud hailers, all pamphlets through letter boxes, all empty promises - gone as if they had never been.   So now we can get back to serious posts folks.   Only trouble is that my landline is down - I didn't have online service but it suddenly came back on late yesterday evening,  but the phone is still dead. Luckily my son is sorting it out for me with BT - I am now at the stage where I easily get into little pieces and flap!!   See you tomorrow.

Thursday 12 December 2019


What a strange week it has been weather-wise.  Alternate days have been breezy but pleasantly sunny.  The other days, including today, have been horrible.   Today it is very cold (two degrees), very foggy and heavy rain.  Luckily the rain didnt start until I got home after a trip into town - my usual hair appointment followed by chores.  Because it involved some admin work involving my son and because he has now broken up for the Christmas holidays, he kindly chauffered me round - a great help.   Admin done I slipped into our Deli and bought two large Christmas cakes as presents.   They are made in Wensleydale and are every bit as good as home made.   Now that I no longer have my beloved Aga I no longer bake cakes.

I got home to find that Tess was out with Jane, my dog walker and Tess was quite perky when she returned - she had obviously enjoyed it in spite of the weather.   I spent a quiet afternoon reading, doing the puzzles in The Times (I do these every day - have to keep the old brain active), and having the odd doze until it was time for The Repair Shop.

Well Election Day is drawing to a close - thank goodness - I and many others - am totally sick of all the empty promises and all the waffle.   I shall certainly not stay up  to see the declaring of the results; there was a time when I did.   I did go and vote -my son drove me up to the Polling Station.  I was in two minds whether to bother (ours is a very safe seat) but , as my son always says, "Remember Emily Davidson mother" - and I do.

Another week bites the dust.   Not long to Christmas now - and more importantly not long to a New Year.

Wednesday 11 December 2019


The fact that the same things happen each week on the same day does tend to make the weeks come round quickly.   I am not complaining;   I like time to whizz by not drag.  Wednesdays are a day in particular because friend S almost always comes after her Craft Class to take Tess for her walk.   Today was no exception.   By the time S came the sun had more or less disappeared which meant that the cold had begun to come down and it wasn#t all that exciting a prospect but it does do Tess such a lot of good and she does adore S.

They arrived back half an hour later and S and I sat in the Sitting Room and put a few things to rights (without once mentioning tomorrow and the election!) before S went home.   I did a bit of admin which needed doing - increasingly I hate doing it and begin to feel scared that I shall do it wrong - old age I think. 

Now is time to close the blinds, draw the curtains, turn the heating up a bit and sit down to watch The Repair Shop - a programme which I enjoy tremendously.   To watch these expert skilled craftsmen and women at work is mind blowing.   Maybe hummus on crackers for tea and a piece of fruit - neither take a lot of getting ready and I am feeling lazy today.

Monday 9 December 2019


Monday and only a couple more weeks to go.  It is not my favourite time of the year and I expect I write for many who have been widowed when I say this.I am spending the day with three friends, all on their own, and we shall enjoy our time together.   I did contemplate asking my dog-walker to house my dog over the period but have decided against it - I shall miss her too much in the time I am here alone. 

Bit by bit I am getting all my pre Christmas jobs done - cards delivered or posted, parcels posted, drinks cupboard topped up for callers and just a few small decorations put around the place.   Cards have begun to arrive - I always enjoy them and especially those from friends far away which might have a letter enclosed. 

One of my favourite things is The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from Kings, usually on TV on Christmas Eve and always a joy. 

My Great grand daughter is three today and has had a little party (last Saturday) with seven of her little friends, when they played lovely games - all completely new to me.   She rang me tonight to say thank-you for her birthday presents - it is lovely that now she is getting to the age when we can chat on the phone - it gives me such pleasure.

It has been a lovely day here - quite windy although the wind has largely  died down now - bright sunshine all day shining straight into my windows.   Time now for a cup of tea and University Challenge - tests my brain a bit (not always very successfully!)

Saturday 7 December 2019

Coffee mornings.

The first Saturday in each month holds the  Church Coffee morning in the Village Hall - I no longer live in the village and haven't done for some years but I still go because I know so many of those who go and if I didn't go I would never see them these days.  In any case the Christmas one always holds some 'goodies'.   First of all A bakes, as usual, turkey lasagnes - they are individually packed, delicious and freezable.  I always order two, have one for my lunch and freeze the other for when I need a nourishing meal in a hurry.   Then the Christmas meeting is always enlivened by K's beautiful mince pies which put   mine and I suspect most people's to shame.   She serves us one each, warmed and served on a tiny paper mat.   Then today A,  in addition to her lasagnes - and her marmalade, which is also very good (I bought a jar) - had two home made and decorated Christmas cakes - I bought them both.
We are lucky to have such good bakers in our village aren't we?

Returning home I called to fill up with petrol and realised that during the time I had been away from home the wind had reached gale force and was blowing directly across the forecourt of our local petrol station.   Arriving home I decided to take Tess round the block before the wind got any stronger.   As it was there were places where I had to hold on to the fence until the gust had subsided.  I really don't think Tess enjoyed it any more than I did.

Now in for the day with doors locked, curtains about to be drawn,  central heating turned up a couple of notches and 'Strictly' semi-finals on TV tonight, I can finally relax.    And January Good Housekeeping magazine through the letter box an hour ago (a present each Christmas from my God-daughter) to top up the gap.   See you tomorrow...

PS  I have just noticed that the cake photograph makes it look as though the cake is hanging on the wall - I can't see how to turn it round a notch so sorry but you will have to imagine it one twist round to the left (it will taste just as good).

Thursday 5 December 2019


I have to confess that where Christmas is concerned I am a bit of a traditionalist.   When I was a child we had the same things came out for decorating each year.   We had a 'real' tree which was lifted from the garden each year - although I don't remember it really getting much bigger.  What we certainly did have was the same ornaments on it.   None of your plastic rubbish back in those days - the ornaments were glass and VERY breakable so they were treated with great care and when not on the tree wrapped in tissue paper until it was time again.   At the most we had a dozen glass ornaments plus one little silver house - made out of cardboard I think and then covered with glitter (my favourite) and a few bits of tinsel draped around.   It was wartime, mybrother was at the front - I don't suppose my Mum and Dad felt in the least bit like decorating.

For Christmas dinner we usually had a goose (a present from the butcher for my mother dressing the poultry for him) with all the trimmings.   In the evening we played cards or dominoes or (if we could pursuade Dad who though it a daft game) tiddley winks.  I had maybe three presents at the most and I don't ever remember my parents exchanging gifts - there wasn#t the money for a start.

Now the sky seems to be the limit with all things Christmas - stockings full of presents, a groaning Christmas table and decorations festooned everywhere.   And that is the bit the drives me mad.   Across the road from my bungalow the sitting room window is suddenly festooned with row upon row of blue flashing lights.  I don't like flashing lights for a start - there is nothing subtle about flashing lights - but worse than that - BLUE flashing lights.   I like my Christmas decorations to be red, green or silver.  Blue is a cold, icy colour.  I remember they drove me insane last year - well they are here again and at the moment I donot feel particularly Christmassy about them.   Maybe they will grow on me over the next month.



Wednesday 4 December 2019

A Pleasant Outing

As readers of my posts will know, friend W and I go over to Kirkby Lonsdale on the edge of The Lake District to meet friends for lunch quite regularly.   But we only do this in the Summer as it entails driving over the Pennines - there are two ways to go but whichever one you choose you cannot avoid crossing the Pennines and the weather can change dramatically in a few hours in Winter.   Our friends are younger and so they come over the tops and we meet in Hawes - only fifteen miles from here through Wensleydale.   And today was the day for our Christmas meeting.

We set off from here in beautiful sunshine and I took my camera hoping for some good shots to show you.   Sadly, we had only gone a mile or two before we encountered clouds which got thicker and thicker and it really was not a photography day.   As friend W remarked - suddenly everything is a uniform brown - no leaves anywhere on the trees and few berries to enliven the scene.

Even Hawes was much quieter than usual - but by the time we had been in The Wensleydale Creamery cafe for half an hour it had filled up so we were glad we had booked.  As W and I are going out with four friends for Christmas lunch on Friday we resisted the Christmas menu (friend P had it, W had a chicken dish,  D had steak pie and I had my old favourite quiche, chips and salad.)  We were able to sit and have a nice chat for an hour afterwards and I was happy in the knowledge that friend S, who almost always takes Tess for a walk on Wednesdays, had agreed to come, take her today and post the key through the letter box.
Tess loves S dearly so I am sure she would be overjoyed to see her. 

As we approached home on our return journey gradually the clouds lifted and by the time we got here it was a lovely sunny day again.   The weather forecast had been correct when it had forecast cloudy in the West and sunny in the East.
Back home the electrician came at last and fixed my front door bell which has not been working for the last month.   I turned up the central heating and settled down with my book - shall not need any more to eat today!

Tuesday 3 December 2019


There was a time when I was really interested in Politics - when I would turn up at pre election time to stick things in envelopes and lick them and then put them through peoples' doors.   When I would listen to Party Political Broadcasts and believe every word 'my' party said - all other parties were lying of course, but not 'my' party.   Now I know better.   They are all lying in their pre-election Propaganda and I believe none of it.   In fact I try to avoid listening to any of it if I can.   Will I vote on the big day?   Well conscience tells me I should; after all we fought long enough to get the vote.   But as to who I vote for well that is another matter.   As my Grandson once said - if you don't like any of them or can't make up your mind then go along and spoil your ballot paper.   I just might do that.

Tomorrow W and I drive through Wensleydale to meet friends at the Wensleydale Creamery for lunch.   It is forecast to be a relatively nice day (as it has been today) - I shall enjoy the company, I shall enjoy the scenery and I refuse to give the election a single thought.

Monday 2 December 2019


The sun has gone today and in its place just clouds.   I am sure it is slightly warmer if one looks at a thermometer but in fact it feels colder because it is back to being cheerless weather.   Book Group this morning at S's house - I always enjoy going there - he makes the most delicious flapjack. 

We had a good hour discussing Robinson Crusoe - most interesting too.   The next book is my choice and we had intended to read and discuss Salley Vickers 'Grandmothers' which is advertised as coming out in November in paperback but not so according to our local bookshop.   So there will have to be a change of plan and as it is Christmas month and we will all be busy one way or another and don't want to read anything too heavy I have suggested Clive James's 'Unreliable Memoirs'  and am waiting to see what the others think.

Chiropodist this afternoon, walk round with dog and now all shut up and snug and warm.   Set to get warmer over the next few days - time will tell.

Sunday 1 December 2019


December has arrived, the sun is out, the sky is unbroken blue and the frost is thick.   My heating appears to have been on most of the night although set at eighteen when I go to bed.   Tess went out only reluctantly when I got up at half past six.   Well only reluctantly until she caught sight in the half light of the large black and white cat which stalks through my garden each morning leaving its mark on various trees then there was a stand off, a couple of barks and a streak of black and white as the cat beat a hasty retreat over the wall into the field behind.   There are sheep in the field now I notice so I am just hoping they don't decide to come over the wall and into my garden (it has happened before I understand (before I lived here)).

It is 'out to lunch' day - only three of us today- and I need to take Tess before I go, but must  wait for the frost to clear and the ice to melt off the footpaths.   A fall at my age could be disastrous.

The coming week sees three lunches out - one my regular every other Tuesday local lunch and two to meet friends on pre Christmas lunches - the first of these at the Wensleydale Creamery.   In addition it is my Book Group on Monday - we have all been reading Robinson Crusoe and I for one have really enjoyed it.

Lunch at the Golf Club meant driving up to a beautiful stretch of golfing grass - green where the sun was catching it and white where it was in the shade.   Still a few eager golfers out though.   Very busy in the cafe today - hardly surprising when it is such a good lunch every week without fail - a long and excellent three course menu, value for money and a friendly atmosphere.   When I returned home it was almost dark and already the ice was forming and I dare not walk with Tess so I let her out in the back garden and for a good ten minutes she chased up and down running off steam - I was pleased to see her do so as I always feel guilty if I can't walk her.   Now I feel much better about it.

The central heating has been on all the time for the last twenty four hours in spite of the sun shining into the bungalow directly all day.   Luckily it is set to come milder again by the week-end.   But I suppose that may well mean rain -it seems to be one or the other.   Keep warm wherever you are - and those of you who are taking the most exquisite photographs do keep doing so - to those of us who can no longer venture out in this weather it is a source of delight to see them.