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

SNOW

 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!!