Monday 31 May 2021


 First of all I need to explain about Lifeline - many of you ask about it from time to time.   Lifeline is an organisation run by our Local Authority.   It costs just under thirty pounds a month.   For this I get a large degree of satisfaction and comfort.   I wear a strap with a button on it on my wrist (I could have a pendant round my neck if I so desired) and should I need assistance I press the red button.   This works in my bungalow and in the garden but no further.   Lifeline then speak to me - the speaker is in the sitting room and if I am there I can answer.   If I am elsewhere they ring my phone and if I still don't answer they ring my son, who lives in the next village - if he fails to answer they send someone round.

When I fell and broke my hip last October I knew I had broken it - I heard it break.   I lay on the floor in the sitting room, where I fell ,and it was ten o'clock at night.   When the person on duty answered my panic button she asked if I needed assistance - I told her I had fallen and broken my hip could she call my son.   She said she would bypass my son and call an ambulance which she did.   Within an hour I was in hospital.  First class service.   Well worth the monthly outlay.   When I walk I always have my mobile with me and it has both my son's number and the Lifeline number on it so I am still safe.  I don't know whether all Local Authorities provide the service or whether it is just this one.   I do know that many people on this estate use them (many retired folk live round here)

I have already had my walk today - it is another lovely day of clear blue sky and a gentle breeze.   I did a shorter route on the flat - nearly falling yesterday has given my confidence a bit of a knock. My son gave me a bit of a telling off saying I must not walk if I am tired - he is quite right, I need to concentrate on what I am doing.   I hardly saw a soul (human that is) but I think I have learned 'Blackbird'.   About every fifty yards or so a different male blackbird took up the story and I came to the conclusion that what he was saying was 'Look at me.   I found a beautiful mate, we built a nest, she laid some eggs and kept them warm and we have babies now which are just leaving the nest and we are done - aren't we clever ?'   And as if to endorse this there on a lawn were four young blackbirds with mother busily cramming food into a beak.   A bit later a different 'song' as a blackbird was shouting 'watch out human about' over and over again.   I've got a long way to go with bird language but I have made a start.


Sunday 30 May 2021


Today there is a purest blue sky and no breeze.   It is the one Sunday in each month when J, my carer, doesn't come.   It takes me most of the morning to complete the jobs she usually does in her hour and, apart from that I miss her cheerful company.   But it is good of her to only miss one Sunday.

I should be washing and dressing - I have finished all the other jobs and setting off on my morning walk.   So I will put this to one side for later in the day.

It is now four thirty and the day is beginning to wane.   A cooler breeze has sprung up and is quite pleasant.   I did my usual walk round the block.   I have missed it for three days for one reason or another and how I noticed I had.   Twice, where the path sloped, I nearly lost balance and fell and the last one hundred yards or so were very hard going.

I shall own up in the morning to eating today's  lunch for last night's tea - it was just too good to leave until today - prawn salad.   For lunch today I had to search in my freezer to see what I could find.   There were plenty of interesting veggies - farmhouse miscellany,  mediterranean vegetables. oven chips, oven jackets,  I didn't feel like any of them.   In the end I did my walk, came back and cobbled together a salad to eat with smoked salmon I had in the fridge.  I could hardly keep awake and had to have a sleep.  Then Priscilla and Iwent out on to the patio and dozed.

I had two interesting conversations on my walk this morning.   First of all I met an African Grey Parrot with his 'Mum and Dad' - what a beauty he was - all grey but with a bright red tail. The three of them sat in their front garden in the sun.   Then next door to them a couple were gardening in their front garden.   They had a trough with eight black plastic plant pots - I have been walking past them a lot and seen the leaves emerge and grow.   I remarked how their dahlias were growing and looked so healthy.   They were not dahlias - they were special potatoes for growing in this way - first time they had tried them so now I shall watch their progress with interest.

The way I am feeling today underlines just how important it is that I keep up my daily walking - things were much harder today and I have been tired all day.  Back to the grindstone tomorrow!

Saturday 29 May 2021

The Spirit is willing......

 but the flesh is weak.    Oh what jobs I plan for the garden while sitting in my chair after lunch.   But do those jobs get done?   Well, first of all I fell asleep after lunch (delicious as usual).   Friends S and T called this morning - S to get my television in order and retune it for me.   She did this with what appeared to be no effort at all.  I could never have done it however hard I tried. T to repair the door knobs on the bathroom and dining room doors (dining room took all of one minute as it just needed tightening) bathroom he needed a different screw but he has 'mended' it for now.   It really is a case of 'horses for courses' - both jobs are totally outside any knowledge I might ever have had.   I can't thank them enough - they make it look so easy.  We had a coffee and a chocolate biscuit and sat and chatted and they went at lunch time.   I had had a lovely morning and got two jobs done at the same time.

After lunch I intended to pot up my two tubs by the front door.   D my gardener, had put the tubs, the compost and the plants on the wall so that I could reach them.    What happened?   I sat in the chair with my after lunch coffee and fell asleep.   I woke up an hour later with no idea of the time of day or where I was.   When I had pulled myself together I found I had lost an hour.

I went into the garden and stared at the plants and the tubs in consternation - where to start?  At that moment who should pull into the drive but D my gardener, here to mow the lawn and he filled the pots with compost for me and set me going.   I did the pots, he watered them and carried them round and put them in their place - what a help.   I cut back my beautiful Hellebore (let it put its energy this year into growing rather than producing seedlings - they are all over the garden from last year and growing into teenagers already) and then  I came in and here I am.

It is tea time - a salad awaits - I look forward to it.  Then I shall watch the News and force myself to stay awake!    As for the weather - it is a beautiful Summer's Day - blue sky, puffy clouds, tiny breeze and even I have taken off my sweater.   Bank Holiday week-end and warm sunshine.   Not a combination we often get in the UK is it?

Friday 28 May 2021


 Bank Holidays are never much fun, especially when one lives alone and we are still under partial lockdown.   My son and his wife have not had their second jabs for long enough to come round for coffee - Tuesday will be the first day they can come and they are indeed coming then for lunch as their stair lift is being fitted.

Our promised warm sunny weather has not yet arrived today.   It is half past eleven and it is grey and decidedly chilly.   I am lucky enough to have my lunch provided by my carer - today it is Dover Sole with sweet potato chips and mixed veg.   I shall heat the chips in my Remoska so that they remain crisp and I shall pop the Dover Sole in with them for the last ten minutes so that it heats well.   

I love Dover Sole and I never have it without being reminded of my dear mother.   I know I have told the story before but shall repeat it, just for my own pleasure.   When I lived a few miles away and still worked I used to go down to see her after work one night each week and I always took her either a Lemon Sole or a Dover Sole as a lunch - she loved both and my father hated fish.   Little memories like this keep one's parents alive in the memory I think.

With my father the memories are usually triggered by poetry, words, the stories of Conan Doyle, the odd sayings which he used all the time. As I am typing this one springs to mind.   It is from the Gospel of St Luke - 'He hath put down the mighty from their seats and hath exalted them of low degree' - it is surprising just how often that saying is appropriate today.

With my mother the memories are almost always food-related.   She was a keen cook and a good cook - and she loved food, especially meat (which I could happily live without if I could be bothered).   Now that I no longer cook very much I still get these memories triggered - now by my carer's meals.

Typing this I wonder what memories of me will be triggered in my son when I have popped my clogs.

With my first husband the memories were often music-related - we played in many music groups on harpsichord or piano (me) and on a variety of early instruments.    Also many art-related memories as he was a painter in oils and watercolour and we visited exhibitions whenever we could.   With my farmer my memories are nature related - the flowers, the birds, the animals (both farm and wild) and with both husbands memories of travel all over the world.   Goodness me, how very lucky I have been.

What memories do you have?   I would love to know.

Thursday 27 May 2021


 I think you could say we have had our first real Summer's \day today - warm and sunny with just a light breeze, and it has been lovely.   It is my hairdressing day when the taxi calls for me early in the morning to take me the mile or so to the hairdressers.   My little treat to myself which makes me feel better throughout the week.

I arrived home with just enough time to do the Times Mind Games before my Tesco order arrived.   When it came I was in the sitting room and I heard a light tap on the window.   Then I thought I had imagined it but I went through to the kitchen to see and there on the kitchen floor was my shopping and the Tesco driver just about to phone me to see if I was there.

It takes me a while to put away as I have to transport everything on my trolley but it all gets done eventually and I decided there was just time for my walk before lunch.   After a busy morning my walk was a slow one and after my lunch I sat in the chair and promptly fell asleep for a while.  I had intended to cut off the flower heads from my fading Hellebore after lunch - my garden has many  Hellebore seedlings so this year the plant may as well put its spare energy into its growing rather than reproduction,   But I was too tired so that will be a job for tomorrow - luckily the parent plant is right on the patio side so I can easily reach it with the secateurs,

I was pleased I wasn;t out in the garden because my old school friend called and we had a nice long chat.   So that has totted my chat total up nicely today.

I am a member of MDMD (My Death My Decision) which is an organisation in favour of legally assisted dying where people are incurably ill.   There has recently been an article by TonyNicklinson's daughter, Lauren, about her father's dreadful struggle.   There is a Bill going through The Lords at present and MDMD would like anyone who is in favour to sign the petition.   I know this is a absolutely personal decision - I made the decision to join with the full agreement of my family  and I believe in it absolutely.   It is not a decision I took lightly and I totally appreciate it is a personal view not shared by everyone.   But if any of you who read my blog do agree with that line of approach when one is incurably ill (I have nursed two husbands through this ordeal, so I have had experience of it) then please feel free to go to the My Death My Decision site where there is a petition you are invited to sign.

Until tomorrow dear friends.....

Wednesday 26 May 2021


 They came.   A phone call and half an hour later L from the Falls Team came, masked and all ready to go on my morning walk with me.   We walked a little faster than I usually do.   It did me no harm but Ihave been tired all day since.   She was very pleased with my progress and said at my age I had made much more progress than many folk ever made.

Also it was another 'bottoming' day by my Carer - the bathroom this time.   All I can say is that the bathroom and the airing cupboard just didn't know what had hit them.   Every time I pass the bathroom door I open it and go in just to admire it all.

It is certainly no warmer yet - I believe tomorrow is the day when things begin to warm up.   As it is I set my central heating at twenty this morning and apart from a couple of times when the sun came out it has been on most of the day.  As I write this in the early evening it is pouring with rain and my newly planted perennials are getting a good watering.   I am not sure how people manage without a garden - I have had one since I was a small girl and it has given me hours of pleasure - and is doing so even now when I can do so little in it for myself.   My tubs which were resplendent with pansies are now empty and waiting for replanting and I look forward to doing that over the week end when it is = hopefully - a bit warmer.   Bank holiday weekend - let's all bask in the warm sunshine if it arrives as promised.

See you tomorrow...

Tuesday 25 May 2021


At my computer, caught a movement out of the corner of my eye - my gardener and his 'mate' are here smartening up and planting the few plants I bought (not the bedding, that has to wait a few days because of frosts, but he has emptied the pots ready).

This morning I did my usual walk and stopped twice to chat to new people.   My legs do not like stopping so I found the walk harder than usual.   The first lady I spoke to - May - lives quite near and, like me, only walks with a Rollator. We had a long chat - we have know of each other ever since I moved in but this is the first time in four years that we have actually met. As I was passing the post box I put her letters in for her.   Then, at the end of the walk I met a young man with a Border Collie pup.   We had a nice long chat and ended up nearly related!

If you are a follower of John (Going Gently) do look at his 'trailer' today of a film they have made of his male voice choir.   It is a delight to watch.

My gardeners seem to have finished.  They will now need a cup of tea and paying so I'll sign off until tomorrow.


Monday 24 May 2021


 Well, I stuck with it - I watched all three episodes of The Pursuit of Love which ended on BBC1 last evening and I am so pleased I did.   Like so many of you I almost gave up half way through episode one - I couldn't get into it and the format with all the writing on screen was not helpful as far as I was concerned.   But I hung in there and by the time it ended last evening I had found it sheer delight.

It got the period to perfection, it got the costumes to perfection - those hats, those furs, those hair styles.  And, what is more it stuck fairly closely to the book.  It was a classic in its day and I enjoyed it very much indeed - so thank you BBC 1 for putting it on our screens. 

Over the years - just occasionally - the BBC have done productions to perfection.   One that stands out in my memory was Brideshead Revisited - about the same era.   Maybe part of the reason is the costumes - it is so recent that they must have a huge number of costumes to call on.   And,of course, I was born in 1932 so the outbreak of the Second World War and my brother being called up are quite clear in my memory - I was old enough to remember.  (and some of my sisters clothes were in my Dressing up Box).

Slightly warmer today - only a smidgeon -  at just after six in the evening I have just heard the central heating switch on so it has gone chilly - the heating is set to come on at 20 - I feel the cold in my old age.

All the new plants I bought yesterday have been out in the fresh air today - so now I shall go and pull them just inside the garage in case there is a frost.    Until tomorrow....

Sunday 23 May 2021

A Wet Sunday

Well, it started out as a pleasant day and luckily I got me walk in early.   Just before lunchtime friends S and T rang and asked if I would like to go out for a drive.   How kind of them - the first time I have been out other than to hospital and to the hairdressers since I broke my hip.   We had the most lovely drive through our beautiful countryside to a large Garden Centre and I was able to buy plants for my two tubs by the front door.   The pansies have been in for an age and still look lovely but it is time for them to come out to make room for some Summer bedding.   I also bought three herbaceous perennials  for my gardener to put into the rockery side where I have the dreaded Mares Tail weed.   We have decided to plant it up with plants which are good ground cover and have a little height so that eventually they will hide the Mares Tail.   We came home through the most beautiful scenery in our Dales and the whole outing was thoroughly enjoyed by me.   They came in for a cup of tea and the whole episode did me such a lot of good - it was so kind of them.

The rain set in not long after our return home and it has poured since then and is still pouring. This rain was forecast and is set to pass over during the night.   My plants are sitting in the garage (thanks T and S for putting them in) - a large sign in the Garden Centre reminded us that bedding plants were not safe from frost until May was past.

We had to be masked at the Garden Centre but other than that it all felt quite normal - any bit of normality now adds to the feeling that things are mostly behind us .  We have at least heard on the news today that Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines are now thought to be largely effective against the Indian variant.

Big black clouds racing through so I shall draw the blinds - until tomorrow dear friends.


Saturday 22 May 2021

Saturday lunchtime

 Marginally better day today - sun now and again pushing its way through the clouds, wind slightly less cold.   One or two out mowing lawns (bit wet I would have thought).   Neighbour M cutting her edges - have invited her round for a cuppa later today - how good to be able to do that again (for now at any rate).   Just to chat to people is such a treat I think - I know some folk don't agree and think I talk too much but chatting to folk is my lifeblood.

I have just collected my mail from the door step.  Our branch of the bank closed some years ago (now Costa Coffee and they never sweep outside the premises nor weed behind the railings so it always looks uncared-for whereas the bank always kept it clean and tidy.)   There is a letter from the bank to say they are closing another two branches.   I suppose this is because most people do internet banking but now my nearest branch is about thirty five miles away,   I don't need it but that can't be true for everyone.

M came round and stayed most of the afternoon and we laughed and chatted away and it was good.   The Indian variant is creeping its way up here,  there is not a lot of let-up in the weather, there is no real sign of any Summer, so why not spend the afternoon chatting.   I did my walk round this morning and I have done my exercises since M went so I have no feelings of guilt.   Have a good evening.

Friday 21 May 2021



Yes, I own to some extent to being obsessed with the weather.   If you were here to see me walking with Priscilla, you would realise just how slowly I walk.   I love my daily walks and this is partly because I know they are doing me good in many ways both physically and mentally.   But I also know that however heavily it rains I can't speed up - I really only have one speed.   Therefore I have to be fairly assured that the weather will be fine for the next three quarters of an hour after I set out.  

But I do also agree with those of you who say that the British are obsessed like no one else with the weather.  Now a quote in today's Times does to some extent suggest that this applies to those in America too.   The American poet James Russell  Lowell (1819 - 1891) in his poem 'Under the Willows' says 'May is a pious fraud of the almanac , a ghastly  parody of real Spring'.   So it is not just this year it is most years when May is changeable. This year in the UK  up to May 18th we had had twenty six percent more rain than we usually get in the entire month and added to that the temperature had been well down.   But we get what we get - the weather is never perfect - I just want enough fine weather to keep my muscles getting stronger.

I am managing to keep up good levels of conversation - my other aim.   I always have my carer for an hour.   This morning, added to that I had the lady from Lifeline to check on my wrist button that it was working accurately (it was) and then my neighbour H came round for a coffee and a Maid of Honour (a box of six home-baked left by my carer as a  surprise for when I went into the kitchen. ) We had one each with our coffee and they were delicious.

At last  (6.40pm) the sun has burst through the clouds but it is still pouring with rain so I shall not be walking today.

I also see in today's Times that Wally the walrus who is believed to have reached Britain earlier in the year on an ice floe and had been spotted a few  times around Tenby in Wales has been spotted again, this time around Padstow on the North Cornish coast.   What fascination we British have in any kind of wildlife.   After life on the farm where we had such a lot it is a bit thin on the ground here but I do have two permanent residents in my back garden - two male blackbirds, who seem to spend the majority of their time arguing.   I can only assume that somewhere in the hedge around part of my garden there are two Mrs Blackbirds who are sitting on eggs or hatching chicks..      They take not the slightest notice of me but they can't stand the sight of one another.  Maybe it is because I don't have any interest in eating worms.

 I shall now go an consult my pine cone to see what tomorrow's weather holds.   I agree Rachel and Derek - it is as good a method as any.  I love my barometer too, which hangs just inside the front door and which I adjust each morning - it too is reliable.   As to the weather on my phone - never bother with it.

Until tomorrow friends...




Thursday 20 May 2021

Will it ever end?

 Will the rain ever stop?   Today it has poured with rain ever since I returned from the hairdressers at ten this morning.   My gardener just managed to get my lawn mowed again before it started.   I must say I am pleased he did.   He had bought from somewhere a bag of some kind of compost which had been growing mushrooms and now my lawn is sprouting them in profusion.

The rest of the day has been a wash out in more ways than one; the sky is uniformly grey, the wind is quite strong and water is pouring down the sitting room window - all at the end of May and nothing diffferent forecast for the next week.  So we shall be into June before there is any warm weather - just like last year.

The days fly by - today an old friend rang to see how I was and my son kept ringing as he wished to speak to me.  Eventually he got through.   Now I am reading and writing blogs - then it will be Escape to the Country and then tea time again.  The days just fly by.

The Indian variant of Covid seems to be gradually wending its way Northwards even as the country opens up again.   I do sincerely hope, for the sake of everyone, that it is coming to an end but things are by no means sure yet,

Nothing else to report today.   It hasn't been a day for doing anything much - too wet to potter outside.    I intend to ask my carer if I might clean out the airing cupboard this weekend.   That is a job I can do sitting down and it will give me a sense of purpose but next Wednesday is the day my cleaner gives me cleaning time and she intends to thoroughly 'bottom' the bathroom this time and I know she intends to begin with the airing cupboard.Yes folks,  I do know it is my airing cupboard but I do also know that she may well make a much better job of it than I will.   Have a nice evening.

Wednesday 19 May 2021

What tp say?

Well, not a lot really.   Today is one of those days when it has got to tea-time and I really can't think of anything I wish to say.   Do you have days like that? It has just been an ordinary, run-of-the-mill day - the kind which, once you are retired and, to some extent, incapacitated, is the most common.  The thing is, also, that were I not incapacitated I can't think of anywhere I wish to go.

Getting up, having breakfast, showering (all ably assisted by J, my carer,) and doing the Mind Games in The Times, takes me up to about half past ten in the morning every day.   Then I have my walk, trying to go a bit further every day with Priscilla.   I am really doing very well here and enjoying it.   It is never a pain-free walk but the level of pain in my ankle does without a doubt depend on the state of the weather.   A couple of days ago I had a really good day - today it was hard going.   But I made it.

This afternoon was Poetry afternoon but of course I have no way of getting there.   I no longer have a car and even if I did I still cant manage to get myself into the car and out again so it is impossible.   My friend and neighbour called in to see if I was going but sadly it is not to be.   But i enjoy reading Poetry out loud and there is nothing to stop me doing that.

The highlight of the afternoon was when D, my gardener, came to stake and tie up my irises.   They will be out shortly and have tall stems and the weather forecast speaks of strong winds.   So forewarned is forearmed.

Tonight is The Sewing Bee on BBC1 - and like me I know a lot of you enjoy it.   The brilliance of everyone's sewing leaves me speechless and the way they tackle whatever is thrown at them.   Before that I intend to go to iplayer to watch 'Once upon a time in Iraq' which Thelma (North Stoke on my side bar) says should gave me some background to the Israeli/Palestine conflict.   I am so appalled by it and yet know little or nothing of the background to it.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 18 May 2021


 This morning I got up to absolute torrential rain.   The patio was flooded and water was pouring down the road.   This was at half past six.    By the time my Carer came at half past seven it was just 'ordinary' rain and by half past ten, when I had more or less finished most of the Mind Games in The Times, the sun came out and the sky was blue.   I decided to take the bull by the horns and go for my walk - it was glorious, a real Summer's Day.  On the way back there were a few ominous clouds and I debated which way to return.   It suddenly struck me that the paths involved formed a more or less perfect right angled triangle so - obviously - I had to apply the Pythagoras theorem (the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the square on the other two sides).   Miss Bayliss, my maths teacher, would have been proud of me.  (we always called her Bertha Martha because her sister, Annis, always called  Miss Annis was our house mistress).  If she is looking down on me I would like her to know that in all my eighty eight years that is the first time I have found it useful.

As it happens unnecessary though - now, two hours later, it is still a glorious Summer's Day.

Monday 17 May 2021

Sunshine and showers

 The weather has been so variable today.   I awoke to pouring rain but by nine o'clock there was blue sky and the morning sun was shining beautifully.   I had to stay in all morning because The Falls Team had promised to come and walk round the estate with me to check on my walking progress, so all through the sunny morning I had to stay in doing various jobs, doing the Mind Games in The Times (a must every day) and then heating up my lunch of roast chicken with roast and mashed potatoes, sprouts, carrots, green beans, cabbage and cauliflower cheese (delicious).   The time came for the Falls Team and they rang to say they couldn't come as the hand brake had gone on their car.

The sun was still shining although not quite as confidently but I put on my waterproof anorak and set off with Priscilla.   My ankle is very painful today - a sure sign that there is rain around (I have this on the good authority of my Physiotherapist, who assures me that arthritis is greatly affected by the air pressure) - so my progress was much slower than yesterday.   We took the long route and today, now that Lockdown has eased somewhat, I called on friend J.   Because I can't walk without my dear Priscilla I couldn't go in but she was delighted to see us and we stood for half an hour chatting in her porch.

When I looked up at the sky I saw huge black clouds approaching so I set off for home (uphill all the way) - I was stopped once by a masked driver who I didn't recognise but who introduced himself as Mr W - my butcher of many years ago!   We chatted for a while and then I pointed out the clouds, now almost upon, and set off for home once more.   As I pressed the button to activate the garage doors the heavens opened - just home in time and it has rained all afternoon.

Now, as I write this, the sun is coming through again after several loud claps of thunder.   I am feeling rather pleased with myself as I chose the wrong time for the delivery of my Tesco order and could not see how to change it.   I sent them an e mail, had one by return and changed the time.   My brain is not dead yet.   I know if I don't use it I shall lose it but often the easy option would be to ask my son to do it for me.

The only other job I have done today is to ring my gardener, D and ask him to pop round and tie up my irises.   They are almost out and this year (their second) there are six stems.   Strong winds are forecast for later in the week and last year the same happened and one stem was snapped off.   He promised to come and do it - I can no longer get up the steps to do the job myself.

Sunday 16 May 2021

What to do?

 I have just been reading The Bike Shed's post about whether to stick to one 'hobby' or have many.   It is an interesting idea and I do think a lot depends upon one's personality.   My first husband was a professionally-trained musician (flautist) and also went to Art School as he was deeply interested in Art.   He eventually went into teaching but the two interests he kept as hobbies throughout his life.   In fact they were more than hobbies.   He was a great one for hobbies and throughout his sixty six years was never without a few and all became all-consuming passions.

In our first house after  our marriage - a school which we converted into a house- he decorated it from top to bottom after we had it converted, then he built a lean-to greenhouse against one wall and for the five years we lived there he perfected the art of growing tomatoes.   Somebody gave him an old heating system (which entailed him getting up in the night to stoke it up), he sowed the seeds every Boxing Day and grew the plants, following instructions to the letter.   The cottage was out in the Lincolnshire countryside and everyone for miles around came to buy our 'Moneymaker' tomatoes.  Then he got moved with his job and overnight his interest in tomatoes disappeared.

We moved to Lichfield and our neighbour was a great boating enthusiast.  Overnight he began to be interested in boats - he built a couple of canoes in the garage (as did our neighbour) and we would go off at weekends with our young son, canoeing on the River Trent.   Then he built a sailing boat and moved up a notch.    Our neighbour (we all remained friends up until their deaths - I think about them often and am Godmother to their daughter).   Then he got moved again.   This time to Wolverhampton.

And here music came back to the fore.   As I was also a professionally trained musician (piano) we could join in together.  By this time our son was also in his teens and hoping to go to University to read Music so it was a great family affair.   My husband made recorders - right through to a Great Bass - I bought a virginal (a small harpsichord) and we played early music with a Group - had groups practising at our bungalow on Friday evenings and Sunday mornings - music took over our lives.   My son went off with his Double Bass to University and we stayed in Wolverhampton until we both retired from teaching and moved to The Yorkshire Dales,

Then painting took over.   We only lived here three years before he sadly died but in those three years he painted hundreds of paintings (mostly watercolours), won many prizes in competitions, exhibited widely a nd sold everything he painted.

I can honestly say he had a very full and happy life.  He was on The Death Railway as a young soldier (probably the youngest serving soldier to be captured as he went into the East Surrey Regiment as a Boy Soldier) and was home again before his twenty-first birthday.   He managed to overcome the terrible trauma of it all thank goodness.   And together we enjoyed every moment we had together.

He never let the terrible experiences of his early life colour the forty years which remained.   What made me think of this today?   I watched with  interest the programme about Prince Harry and his father last evening and I thought - in all cases of traumatic experiences we have two choices;  we either give in to them and ruin whatever time we have left or somehow (and it has never applied to me so I don't know how) with gigantic mental strength we rise above them.   Thank goodness for the sake of both me and our son Malcolm chose the latter course.

Saturday 15 May 2021

Superstitious? Me?

Are you superstitious?   I ask this after reading the Credo column in to day's Times over my lunchtime coffee.   Sheridan Voysey, the writer of the column, is speaking about the spread of conspiracy theories and their place in religion, this being Saturday' s Religious Column, but it did set me off thinking about superstition and the part it still plays in our lives.   So I ask you to think again - are you ever superstitious?   It is easy to say 'of course I am not - I don't believe in any of that rubbish' but I will admit to vestiges of superstition lingering in my persona.

I can remember loads of incidents in my childhood when my parents displayed superstition.   It would be done half with a laugh but it would be done all the same.  'Rabbits' on the first of the month, first thing in the morning.   Of course it didn't matter whether you said it or not and it would be said half in fun - but said all the same.   Spill some salt?   Bend down, pick a pinch up of the floor with your left hand and throw it over your right shoulder (or it might be the other way round - but you did it). Drop your glove on the floor?   Get somebody else to pick it up for you and don't thank them.   And (I saw this on The Repair Shop the other night - they repaired a lovely old purse - there had to be coins put into it before it was accepted back.)   Daft I said - until this morning when I looked up at the top of my bookcase:   My dear Grand daughter lives in Glasgow and way back at the start of Covid she had read somewhere how Birch twigs were lucky.   She draws very well and she sent me through the post a pastel drawing of a weeping Birch tree near where they live and she enclosed a bunch of delicate birch twigs.   I tied them in a bundle and hung them from the top of the bookcase.   The pastel is on my notice board as I write this.  Am I taking the birch twigs down ?  Of course not - I don't intend to tempt fate.

She did  ring with a lovely piece of Good News - there is another baby on the way - her daughter is to have a baby sister or brother (at thirteen weeks too early to tell yet) -  this will mean I will have two Great Grand children and two step Great Grandchildren 6,5,4 so far and another one in November - something to look forward to.

Let's hope things are beginning to look up - I mustn't tempt fate (superstition again I suppose) but this wretched Indian variant means it has not gone away yet by any means.

Friday 14 May 2021

Friday again.

 And not all that warm with it.   It is cloudy and 'almost' drizzly and what is more it is cold.   Certainly not May weather - I am still wearing many layers and have just been on my constitutional wearing many layers and also woolly gloves.   But I have walked and that is the important thing - I absolutely must do it every day.   My son and his wife called - it is my daughter in law's birthday today - her birthday treat so far was to be driven down to the Medical Central to have her blood tests.

What to write about today.   I was so pleased with everyone's response yesterday - so many different opinions.   It almost feels like sitting in a room with you all and having a wonderful discussion (I won't say argument).

What seems to be headline news today is the sudden Upsurge of the new Covid variant which so far it seems may or may not be the Indian variant, may be more likely to attack teenagers, doesn't appear to make  anyone seriously ill.   And then there is Foreign Travel - on or off.   And that brings me to another thing.   The word Staycation - do I assume it has been specially coined to imply a mixture of 'stay at home' and 'vacation' - clever.   I lay in bed thinking of one or two other similarly coined special words but by the time I came to write this several hours later I can't remember a single one.   Feel free to compile a list.

I am trying hard to have a day when I don't think about all the terrible things in the world, about all the problems in the Royal Family (which are on the front page of The Times.   Why can't they let the poor people get on with their lives without publicising their every hiccup?)   I could go on but that is just bringing them to the forefront of my mind and no- not today.   I shall think instead of going and getting my lunch, pottering in the garden with Priscilla (weather permitting), watching 'Escape to the Country' and 'Antiques Road Trip' and then it will be time for tea.   See you tomorrow.

Thursday 13 May 2021

Times they have been changing. But I saw th

 'The times they are a-changing'- was it Bob Dylan?   He was my hero but it was all a very long time ago.   But whoever it was - things don't half change fast - far too fast for me to keep up with them.   I suppose if it is an area where your interest lies then that's different.  But I saw on 'Breakfast' this morning that the largest tunnelling instrument in the World has begun going under the Chilterns  - 60+ miles at first I believe - making way for the High Speed Railway.

And I thought back to my parents - Jack and Maude - who both died in 1971 at a good age after a good and happy life with plenty of interests, never just sitting about dozing.   And I smiled to myself - as I often do when I think of instances - about an incident which occurred on 20th July 1969.   Any idea what it was?   We lived in Wolverhampton at the time and were motoring over to Lincoln where they lived, for the day.   My son was desperate to get there (we were pretty desperate) because any minute now Neil Armstrong was  going to land on the Moon in Apollo 11.   We flung open the back door and flew in - my parents were sitting reading the papers and waiting for us to arrive for lunch.  'Have they landed yet?' my son shouted.  'Who?'   'On the moon!'  -  I have never forgotten my father's reply - he was well in his eighties but had held down a responsible job and I had always admired the way he kept up with things.   'Oh - you don't want to believe all that rubbish!'    -

Of course we switched on, caught the landing, marvelled at it and -dare I say- it's all been downhill since then.   If they can do that they can do any kind of thing.   What my parents would think to a giant machine tunnelling under the channel with Eurostar and now under the Chilterns - and the speed the trains were going to go when it was all finished.   I can hear my father saying 'what do they want to do that for?'  Whereas we just take it all in our stride.

But it does make better news than the dreadful fighting that has broken out again in the Gaza strip.  These flash points in the World go out of the News and appear to die down but are simmering just below the surface and I am sure that if they affect you, whichever side you are on, the bitterness does not go away and does ruin your life.  But the bitterness boils over and sadly it is often the innocent - even children - who are killed.   Please let's all hope  a solution is found.  No land really belongs to anyone - while we are here we rest on it and grow to love it, but after we are gone that is the job of others.

Oh for a perfect world where  we can all live in  harmony.   Some hopes.

Wednesday 12 May 2021

Yet again

 Well,  it happened yet again.   The Falls Team were coming to assess my walking with Priscilla but rang to say they wouldn't come as they didn't think I should walk out in the rain (don't know whether they were thinking of themselves, me or Priscilla).   Now they are comingnext Monday.   Don't know what will happen if it is raining then.   Anyway, I put on my anorak and did the longest walk I have done since I came out of hospital.   It didn't rain and the sun beat down on my head and was really Spring-warm.   Bliss.   Strangely I missed my little Tess - after all this time.   It was a walk we often did together.

After lunch (delicious as usual) I had three letters to write  or rather type.   I suppose it is to do with my age but I do find I have to keep writing letters in order to be able to do it logically and without getting in a muddle.   Anyway I managed it, printed them off, wrote the addresses on the envelopes, stamped them and walked with Priscilla over the road to put them in the post box.   And that was the only time it rained.   Luckily we didn't get very wet as it is but a short distance.

Now it is almost time for Rick Stein in Vienna (I am expecting cream cakes - glad I am looking at the rather than eating them).  Anyone who remembers Gwil having a blog will think about him as he lives in Vienna.

As I type this the evening sun is blazing down on to the screen of my computer.   Are we getting Summer at last?   I do hope so.


Tuesday 11 May 2021

Wet again

 Wet again and quite cold with it - and almost at the middle of May.   I am decidedly wobbly today and am hardly daring to walk anywhere for fear of falling over.   It was fine walking out with Priscilla because she has a steady influence.   I went shortly after a lovely lunch of asparagus quiche and salad - brought by my carer.   It was delicious.    My  walk was good in that I met three different people, none of whom I had met to speak to before and they all stopped and chatted and all seemed to know where I lived and how long I had lived here and the fact that I had broken my hip - it is that sort of estate.   It is important to me to make these connections - it keeps my mind active.

I have something on every day this week - today it was merely the Tesco order coming, but it does mean unpacking and putting away everything and that takes quite a long time.    Tomorrow The Falls Team are coming to check on my walking - that will be a good thing I think as I do have good days and bad days.   Then on Thursday it is hair dressing day which means a taxi into and home from town - and then it will be the week end again - how quickly it has come round.

It is a brief post tonight because it is a Rick Stein programme at 7pm and he is in Berlin - a city I have never visited so I am anxius to see it.   Have any of you been?   If so what did you think to it?   Have I missed a treat never going?   It is too late now - that is why I am anxious to see it.

Monday 10 May 2021

Into double figures

How quickly we get into double figures each month.  And no sooner are we into double figures than it is the end of the month - we only have one more month to go and we are half way through another year.

I can't say that  has been a good day really.   I suppose at my age it is inevitable that I have some days which are not brilliant.   Each year, once the first bank statement comes after the start of the new tax year , I work out my finances for the year, type them up and put into my finance folder.   I have always done it and I am always pleased when it is done and I can forget about it.   So today was the day when I chose to do it.   It all went quite well and I put it all away in my file quite pleased with my morning's work.   I intended to have a coffee and then have my morning's walk with Priscilla.   It was then that it all began to go downhill.

I poured myself a coffee from the flask my carer leaves for me , sat in the chair with the cup in my hand and promptly fell asleep!   When I woke up I had poured the coffee all over myself - my sweater and my trousers and my boots were all very wet and I absolutely reeked of coffee.   I sat in despair for a few minutes, not quite knowing where to start.   Then I mopped up the chair (luckily the coffee had not reached the carpet), mopped down my clothes and went into the bathroom.   Dressing is one of the things I find most difficult and I really could not face changing my clothes, so in the hopes I would dry in the breeze I got Priscilla out for her walk.   I suppose there are worse things to smell of than coffee but it was certainly very strong.

I put on my anorak and opened the garage door - at which point the heavens opened and it poured with rain.   I came back in, sat down and promptly fell asleep again.   It is obvious I really am no longer capable of doing much without getting very tired.

It is now half past seven in the evening and I feel quite perky - hardly surprising as I have slept half of the day.   But as I am sure anyone over eighty will agree - it is really no fun at all getting old.   In one's head one can plan a day but there is a difference between the planning and the carrying out and that difference is enormous, especially   as until recently I had never noticed it.

I think it was Rachel who said the other day how she suddenly noticed her mother beginning to get old.   I have certainly noticed suddenly that I lean - metaphorically - on my son more than I have ever done in the past and it saddens me for many reasons, not least because he has so many things to do and he could do without me adding to his worries.

So - end of moan folks.   It happens to us all - it is the one thing over which we have little control and I am lucky to have got this far in good health.  And as the heroine in Gone with the wind says - 'Tomorrow is another day'   (If I have got the wrong quote from the wrong book I am sure someone will tell me.)




Sunday 9 May 2021

Sunday bright and early

 Well not so bright now - and I just heard the weather man say that there are so many 'layers of cloud' today that it is unlikely we will see the sun.   In spite of the promise of quite a warm day it seemed to have missed here and my morning walk was very chilly.   I had a nice long chat to my daughter-in-law about a present for her birthday this week - then I set off on my walk without my hearing aid in (I had taken it out to use the telephone).   The first person I saw was D, who I have not seen for literally years - we chatted and it was a strain hearing him.    He went off on his walk and a couple of minutes later I  stopped to chat to P who was hoeing her front garden.   She has a bed of pansies - they have really done superbly this year.  I have pansies in tubs either side of my front door and they are a sight for sore eyes.   So were P's no single plant the same colour as any other.

We were debating just how many people on our road are retired and live alone - having been widowed.   And how we look out for one another and how good it ia.   Opposite her lives a gentleman of 103 with his partner, who is in her early eighties.   It seems that we all take an interest in what is going on - and how good that is.   How lucky we are.   And how good it is to have Lifeline - I have a button on a bracelet at my wrist and I can press that at any hour of the day or night to summon help.   I did indeed do just that in October when I fell and broke my hip and the ambulance was here within ten minutes.   All the NHS services, plus Lifeline, plus my Carer and I feel so very well looked-after.

My son has just called with three parcels to be collected by the Post Office tomorrow and we stood talking on the doorstep for ten minutes (he is not in my Bubble - that 'honour' goes to my carer-).  That time let the chilly air into the hall and bliss - the central heating has kicked in and going back into the computer room I was met by a wall of warm air.   Spring is by no means here yet - keep your winter woollies on folks.

Saturday 8 May 2021


 Yes -  I assure you.   Half past eight this morning huge blobs (can't call them flakes, they were too big for that) of snow falling and they have fallen on and off all morning.   The weather man assured me that with the snow/sleet (didn't see that) would come much noticably warmer weather.   Can't say I have noticed that yet - I just opened the front door to have a look and I was met by an icy blast.   There is a shepherd's pie in the microwave, left there by my carer - so sorry folks but it calls.   I shall save this first paragraph and return refreshed.

The shepherd's pie was beautiful - don't know how many shepherd's were used in its construction but by golly it was tasty.   Served with savoy cabbage, peas, carrots and mange-tout and of course a cheesy mashed potato topping - bliss.   A ham sandwich for my tea and that is me satisfied for today.  (maybe a bit of coleslaw in the sandwich too).

It appears to have stopped raining at long last but I don't know whether I dare set out on my 'round the block' walk in case it starts raining again.   There is not a vestige of blue sky anywhere - and it is May 8th - on dear.

As is quite often the case here at the week-end, nothing at all appears to be happening.   Everyone has 'gone to earth' (can anybody else out there remember that film?)   The outcome as far as I am concerned is that I can't think of anything else to tell you today.   Except I heard on the one o'clock News that the Police have arrested someone in connection with the terrible murder of the Police Support worker last week - a crime which I am sure has touched the whole nation.   That can only be good news.   At least it is some kind of break through.

Until tomorrow dear friends......

Friday 7 May 2021

Friday again

 Something happens to the week these days - it is always made up of Fridays - no sooner does one come round than it is followed by another.   Certain things happen on certain days - hair always on Thursday mornings, walk every dry day, but Friday somehow arrives and it is the weekend again.

After listening to the weather lady on BBC Breakfast (love it when it is Carol - she is always a delight) I decided that I would don a waterproof anorak and set off on my walk the minute that J, my carer, had gone at about a quarter to nine.   The sun was scorching hot on my back as I walked up the road - certainly the hottest I had felt it this year.   Then I turned to come back along the footpath and met a lady - we chatted for a minute about how warm it was and then she pointed to a huge black cloud approaching.   I have only two speeds - slow and stop.   It was obvious what was about to arrive and yes - you have guessed it.   Before I got home it was hailing - large drops.  I chatted for a couple of minutes to M, my neighbour, and then we both retreated because it came heavily.   Blue sky is approaching again now but for how long goodness knows - but at least it is warm.

It is now almost tea time and we have hardly seen the sun today - it is just cloudy with the odd shower.  Still not cold but not particularly cheerful. Everything on the television today is dominated by the election news and, frankly, I can't be bothered with any of it.   Does anyone else think that all these 'nonsense' candidates with silly names is not only farcical but also rather an insult to the whole idea of politics.   I watched the announcement of the Hartlepool result because we do live on the edge of the North East of the country and I felt sorry for the Returning Officer who had to read out a great long list of the candidates - most of whom had got just into the tens or at the most two or three hundred votes - and most of which had nonsense names.  I don't know what other people think about this but I really wonder whether it should be    allowed - or is stopping it an attack on our civil liberties?  I really would be interested to know what you think.   Perhaps I am getting set in my ways in my old age.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday 6 May 2021

The Disappearing Post

 I typed this post earlier in the day and saved it for later but when I returned to retrieve it it had disappeared for ever.   There was nothing particularly earth-shattering on it, apart from just mentioning that I heard on the News - and I am sure most of you did - that a woman - I rather think they said it was in India - had given birth by Caesarean Section to nine babies none of them weighing in at more than a kilogram, and that all were doing well.  Not sure what to make of it when the world is so over populated and Covid is taking out so many people, but there we are, like it or not.   I am sure you all have views one way or another.

The May weather continues to feel like March weather - wet (showers - snow on Penn Hill, which I can see from my sitting room window), windy and very cold.   Central heating still going full blast.   I have not been on my usual walk today, it is too unpleasant, although at last the sun has come out and the rain has stopped.  I had my usual taxi down to the hairdressers and he collected me half an hour later.   After eating my lunch (brought for me by my carer) I gathered together polish and dusters, took everything off the Welsh Dresser in the hall and polished the dresser well.  Then I cleaned everything and put it all back.   Now the hall smells lovely of polish and the dresser shines - a good job done, but it tired me out and I fell asleep in the chair.

At tea time I realised I had in the fridge the perfect ingredients for my favourite snack tea and had a jacket potato stuffed with soft cheese, coleslaw and sea salt.   It was delicious.

I shall now go and read my obligatory daily chapters of 'The Count of Monte Cristo' by Alexander Dumas - our Book Group choice for the first Monday in June.   854 pages of small print.   I absolutely must read several chapters a day in order to reach the end by then.   Actually it is not a bad read and I am sure once I get past half way and am on the downhill slope I shall enjoy it more.

See you all, metaphorically speaking, tomorrow.

Wednesday 5 May 2021

Frustration has set in.

Something very frustrating is happening to my laptop today and it is driving me crazy.   Not sure what is causing it but it is one of the days when my tremor is very bad for some reason and that may well have a bearing on the fact that the screen will not stay still as I type.  In addition, trying to add items to my Tesco order for next week is impossible because although I have booked a slot the site will not let me get beyond 'book a Slot' to arrive at confirm the payment.   I am hoping that later in the day, when he has finished teaching on line, my son may be able to help me to adjust things.   I'll be back later, after 'Escape to the Country', which starts in six minutes - I am hoping that watching that helps my equilibrium.

Properties in Cambridgeshire today - a county I know only slightly - we had a quick look around Ely Cathedral (which I thought was in Rutland but then wondered whether Rutland still existed these days - no doubt somebody will enlighten me) and three properties.   Mostly the places we look round are just too big for me to contemplate - it is rarely usual for me to see anywhere I fancy.   Maybe this is because I am happy ..and content where I am.   But both yesterday and today the people looking round used the word 'Wow' so many times that I got tired and eventually switched off.   I am never really interested in the property but moreso in the countryside and this was no exception today in Cambridgeshire.   But also these days I bear the prospect of flooding in mind. 

Well Wednesday evening is here again and time for the Great British Sewing Bee.   I am enjoying this programme and tonight is all about garments influenced by another part of the world.   I wonder what will surface .

It is very cold here today, although so far it is dry and sunny too.    Certainly it is no time for thinking of casting a clout - winter woollies are still the order of the day.   Until tomorrow friends.....

Tuesday 4 May 2021

No Sleep

 Last night I went to bed quite late for me andI took a long, long time to get off to sleep.   The result is that I am feeling tired already and it is only eleven in the morning.   Why did I stay up late?   I watched the Snooker Final between Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy.   And boy was it exciting.   It looked a sure thing that Mark Selby would win as he was quite a long way ahead.   Then suddenly Shaun Murphy began to catch up.   It was one of the events where an audience (masked) had been allowed - what a difference a live audience makes.  Really it got to the stage when it wasn't so much who was winning as who would make the one false move that let the other one in.   Finally when the night's score was something like 17 Selby and 15 Murphy - Murphy made one false move and Selby was in for the kill.   The winner got a cheque for half a million pounds and the loser a cheque for two hundred thousand pounds.   What I found so pleasing was their good natured acceptance, their friendship (Murphy said they had been friends since they were nine years old) and the way they chatted away to the commentator afterwards.   But they did cost me a decent  night's sleep.   I am not really a snooker fan but when you watch snooker at this level you can see just how much practise these players must put in to achieve the level of accuracy they do.   Like any competitive sport  it is a full time job at this level.

The morning here was quite pleasant - the sun shone and the sky was blue.   At least my mind was in gear andI sailed though the Mind Games in The Times.   But after lunch it was all downhill and it has poured with rain  all afternoon, there is a gale blowing and it is very cold- March cold - certainly not May weather.   I spent an hour on the phone chatting to friend G - who is even more handicapped than I am but copes very well and gets about happily.   I am full of admiration for her and feel she is one of those people who makes me feel I have absolutely nothing to moan about.

Neighbour H has just pushed the local paper through my letter box - I heard it fall on the mat, so I shall go and collect it and then have a quick read of local news before watching The Repair Shop.

See you tomorrow...

Monday 3 May 2021

At Last!

At long last it has arrived.   Alright, so it is on May Bank Holiday,  but if you are a gardener (or like me are 'past it' but pay somebody else to do it for you) you will be happy to see it raining steadily.   Over here in the East of the country it is not actually pouring but there is a nice, steady rain falling and already the plants are perking up, although they need a lot more rain yet to catch up.

And it must be even more stimulating for those of you who are growing veggies.   I wish I could tinker about with veggies.   I read Cro's posts about what he is harvesting (and mouth-wateringly cooking) and am green with envy (at least I am appropriately coloured). 

Priscilla and I have stayed in today.   I intend to do my exercises later but see no point in walking out when it is wet and windy.   This morning was a double Zoom session Book Group when we all spoke about what we had been reading over the Summer (as well as Shuggie Bain I have also read some Ishiguro and have just this minute sent for 'Never Let me Go'  another of his. )  There is a lovely Alan Yentob interview with him on iplayer - I watched it yesterday and enjoyed it hugely.

The other thing I did yesterday was to watch the final of 'Young Musician of the Year' - and what an inspiration that was  - to see three young people so dedicated to music.   The winner was a young Xylophonist - inspirational indeed.

In an hour and a quarter I have another Zoom chat with friends.   That just gives me time to pour a coffee from the flask my carer leaves for me, put my feet up and watch Escape to the Country.   I love to see the different parts of the ountry - some of which I know well - but am not usually enamoured of the houses they visit - still each to his own.  See you tomorrow...

Sunday 2 May 2021

Is it really Maypr

 How quickly May has arrived and what a strange April it has been.   The driest April since records began and more frosts than any other April since records began.   And now, in typical Bank Holiday fashion tomorrow threatens to be very wet, windy and cold.   And just to underline all that - the glass just inside my front door shows a fine day tomorrow - it has gone up during the day today.   Is there any accounting for British weather?

It is now eight o'clock on Sunday evening, the wind has dropped, there is a low sun shining and the sky is palest blue.   It is very chilly out there and the central heating is on.

I did make myself go for a walk round the block this morning.   I didn't feel like it but as it is the day my carer doesn't come in the month I knew if I didn't go out I wouldn't see anybody to speak to.   As it was I chatted to a man in his seventies out for his morning walk.   He watched me down the slope of the drive - not sure what he would have done if Priscilla had run away with me.  (She has good brakes) and we chatted for a while.   Then later on my walk I met M, a neighbour, on her way home  from chapel and we had a chat.   My son also rang and we chatted for an hour, so quite a chatty day after all.

That is the sum total of my goings on today and I have just realised it is Zoom Book Group in the morning.  We are all taking a book we have read over the Summer which has made an impression on us.   I am taking 'Shuggie Bain' The Booker Prize Winner, which I thoroughly enjoyed from the first page to the last and which I can honestly say made a profound impression on me.  So I shall go now and make a few notes for morning.   See you tomorrow......

Saturday 1 May 2021

May Day

Not to be confused with 'M'aidez'   but when I was younger May Day used to be such an important day in the Workers' Calendar - there used to be marches by the Unions.   Now we rarely hear anything of the Unions at all.    My father, who took part in the General Strike in the late twenties and who spoke of it often during my thirties childhood, was a great Union man.   Now it has almost become a day like any other.

Joanne yesterday asked why I called my blog 'Weaver of Grass', so I thought I would tell you today.   I think I have told the story before a long time ago but here goes:

When I was thinking of starting a blog - many years ago - I couldn't think what to call myself.  We were still farming and I was still active  enough to walk with my farmer and t he dogs round the fields - in Summer moving the electric fence before letting the cows out after milking, in Winter just to  keep an eye on the sheep. But it is the evening walk that is relevant here.   We would set off about six o'clock in the Autumn - just as it was getting dusk and the sun was low.   Over the night and day small spiders would have woven their webs over the tops of the grass in the meadow and the setting sun would just catch these webs and they would glisten and the field would look so beautiful.   One evening the farmer said, as we approached the particular meadow where it always happened - 'I wonder if the weavers have been out ' - and I said -'that's it - that's the name for my blog!' and so it became.   Afterwards I found there was a book with the same name.    In the days when I wrote a bit of poetry I wrote a poem about them:

Weavers of Grass


In that bright hour

when the sun glows

with the promise of a rising sun,

when the air is cool and moist

and the dew lies heavy on the ground -

then come the weavers

threading their strands through the grass

so that at evening,

when the sun is low

it shines though the silken threads

and shimmers in the fading light

and makes a field of gossamer.


I'm not a brilliant poet but I did hope that my blog posts might 'shimmer in the fading light' - I didn't realise I would be fading for quite as long as I have been doing!! 

This morning, out for my morning 'constitutional', I met an elderly gentleman, walking with a stick.  We stopped to speak (his dog stopped too and flopped down on the grass, obviously used to his master stopping).   With no small talk  at all he said, 'How old are you, if you don't mind my asking?' - I asked how old he thought I was and he replied 'late seventies'.   When I told him I would be 89 in October he replied he was catching me up as he was 85.    At what age does one begin boasting about one's age I wonder!!