Thursday 30 September 2021


I am going down to Ripon next week to have my ears examined and to order new Hearing Aids which are not available on the N H S.  The ones I have (which are NHS are so frustrating because now that I am really shaky my hands will not stay still enough to change the batteries   So - all the plans are laid.

This morning the Hearing Clinic rang me and said they wanted me to put drops in my ears for the next week.   So, taking out my hearing aid I proceeded to do just that. Then I put cotton wool in my ears for an hour.   Then I decided to put my Hearing Aids back in - but I couldn't find them.   I searched and searched, I  went in every room, I  went over every surface,  I retraced my movements over and over again, but to no avail. w ith a sense of panic I made myself calm down and sat down in an armchair for a think.

Towards the end of the news on television there was an item about a naughty little boy and a teacher who had developed a way of making the little boy confront his behaviour and then go and apologise to the child he had hit.   This brought tears to my eyes (yes, I know he was probably a little scamp who drove every teacher mad) and I felt in my cardi pocket for my hanky.  There was the hearing aid! At least I didn't put my cardi in the washing machine before I found it..

I am rather pleased with myself today.   My carer is on holiday this week and I have a lovely replacement (we have met before - I had two carers when I first came home and she was the other one) .   Because my usual carer is not here I am getting my own lunches and I am rather pleased with todays.   I had a panini filled with smoky fried bacon, cranberry sauce and toasted with slices of brie on top.   I have eaten it in cafes lots of times but thought I would try it myself.   Not bad for a first attempt - it needs perfecting so that everything is ready at precisely the same minute but the taste was delicious.

The sky is looking very black and it is very windy.  I think Priscilla and I might stay in today.   I feel better for a walk every day but Priscilla can be so contrary in the wind.   See you tomorrow

Wednesday 29 September 2021

Spring in a box

 Beautiful little viola seedlings have come through the post this morning from Thompson and Morgan, neatly packed in tiny individual plastic pots and promising so much for the Spring.   I have left my gardener a message on his answer phone saying please can he find time to come, empty my Summer bedding from the pots, replace the compost and plant out the violas, putting them either side of the front door, in full sun, so that they get at least a taste of a few fine, warm days (fingers crossed) before cooler weather sets in.   We can but hope.

In fact, that's what gardeners thrive one isn't it, hope?

Looking out of my computer room window as I type this, it is almost dark and it is but 7.15pm. In a month we shall be putting the clocks back an hour and then it will hardly be worth drawing the curtains and blinds back during the day.   Brrr, somehow the thought gets harder every winter doesn't it.   But let's not get downhearted - there is something to be enjoyed in central heating, in log fires (if you are lucky enough to have them) in log burners and in all things wintry.

Tuesday 28 September 2021

The Sky Spells Rain.

 Sometimes I think it would be better not to look at or listen to the weather forecast.   Today - darkest blue in places - meaning heavy rain - is said to be drifting over from the West.  The sky keeps looking angry and the wind gets up a bit - then it dies down again and a smidgin of blue sky pokes through.

Twice I have thought of setting off with Priscilla, getting half way down the drive and then coming back.   Luckily I did once because my new microwave, promised for next Monday, came this morning.

I have been unwell for a couple of days - upset tummy basically - but I am almost better today, but maybe not quite up to walking round the block.

My old microwave, an old one when I inherited it, it now well past its best and has begun to go rusty inside  so this sparkling new Daewoo should smarten the kitchen up a bit.   And as my carer very kindly provides me with meals each day I need a reliable way to heat them up.

Any more news for you today?   Sorry but there really is nothing at all to report.   I will be back tomorrow with any snippets I manage to glean between now and then.

Sunday 26 September 2021


No doubt about it, there is now a distinct nip in the air  this Sunday morning - September going into October- the sky is blue and a rather watery sun is out, but I notice people going past with their dogs have almost all got a jacket on.  And so the seasons roll by - we can't hold on to them and every one has its beauty.

I needed to pay the milkman so Priscilla and I walked down to put his money through the door.   Then we had to decide whether to walk right round or walk back the way we had gone.    We chose to go on.   It was a mistake.   It is almost a week since we walked right round, too many things have taken precedence.   It was too far and I found it a real struggle to get home.   I have been very tired ever since, so it was a pleasure this afternoon to welcome friend H from next door round for a cup of tea.   It is her birthday today and her family helped her to celebrate it yesterday.

Last night I watched the new Strictly Come Dancing.   Last year I found it so boring that half  way through I decided not to watch it any more.   I switched on last evening expecting to feel the same but the standard of dancing was absolutely stunning and if it carries on in this vein I shall definitely continue.  But I hear on the News this evening that already one couple have to miss next week after testing positive for Covid.   It hasn't gone away has it?

See you tomorrow when, hopefully, there will be something more exciting to report. (well the toilet is blocked and they are coming in the morning to unblock it if you call that exciting!) 

Saturday 25 September 2021


 I am awarding myself a medal today - alright, so it is big-headed but I think I deserve one!

My computer skills plus my ever-worsening shaking hands mean that by no stretch of the imagination would you call me 'computer literate'.   Yesterday, with the help of friends S and T I also bought a new'run of the mill 'mobile phone.  So far so good.

After breakfast, when my carer had gone, I thought I would have an hour trying to get to grips with my new phone.   It reminded me very much of when Windows 10 in their wisdom decide to change for instance the format of e mails.  They often give you a choice and say you can stick with the old way if you like but then - reading the minds of the people who have changed it - you know that in about a month you will have to do it anyway, so you might as well do it now.   For two or three days it is absolute murder sending an e mail because you keep forgetting the new format, then suddenly - without warning - you have got it and have completely forgotten how it used to be.   Well that is how my mind works anyway.

And so it was with my phone.   I am struggling.   I sent S a text and accidentally sent it in three parts because I kept somehow pressing a 'send' button.   When she finally rang me it was to say had I sent her some gobbledegook (well she was tactful enough not to say that, but it was, I assure you) I had sent it to her landline anyway.   And as she was gardening I don't expect she was jumping for joy.

I persevered and sent one to my carer half an hour later - she confirmed it had arrived .   Step one completed.   Then I decided to empty my old texts (well over a hundred) - had a few attempts which failed but finally found the right button and it is now completely empty.   Then I went through my list of people I wished to have listed in my phone book - cleared it out nicely.   Jobs done.

Then I went over to my computer where my Grandson sent me a resume of 'American Gods' by Neil Garman, which is our Book Group book.  (not for the faint hearted).  It is his favourite book and he is doing some sort of higher degree in English at University.   I wanted to print it off to read at our meeting.   Could I remember how to copy an e mail and print it off?   It is ages since I did it.   I struggled, rang my son and he kindly talked me through the process without losing his cool - heaven knows how as he had to keep repeating himself.   Eventually I did it, thanked him, rang off and went to my printer (also quite new).   I started the process and on the little screen it told me that the paper was jammed.   Could have been the last straw but no, I persevered and finally have done it.

Medal awarded for perseverance - off now to reward myself with beans on toast with plenty of brown sauce.

Friday 24 September 2021


 Friday, the end of a rather busy week and it has certainly ended with a bang rather than a whimper because it has been such a hectic but enjoyable day.

I was sitting eating my morning porridge when friend S rang to ask whether I would like to go out for the morning - first to go to Tesco to look at a new mobile phone for me and then on to  The Green Frog, a Garden Centre, where they wanted to buy a plant as a present.

I was very grateful for friend S's input in the buying of a new phone - not an iphone but just an update on the phone I already had.   It didn't take all that long to choose the right model for me - the salesman transferred my SIM card and we were away.

At The Green Frog T and S went off round the plants - all beautifully arranged and looked-after while I went into their gift shop as I wanted a small gift for a friend and also a selection of cards for forthcoming birthdays. All done we went into their very nice cafe for lunch (scampi, chips and salad for me; lasagne with chips and salad for T and what turned out to be a delicious vegan cashew nut loaf with salad for S).   And so it was home for coffee at my bungalow - a really lovely outing so many thanks to T and S.

I had been home but a short time when friend M pressed the doorbell.   She is shortly moving house - only a short way from here to across the road and into a bungalow.   Like me she lives alone and the whole operation is a little daunting but she has a very supportive family and I am sure everything will be alright.

And now - six o'clock and time for tea which will be the lunch my dear carer left for me - a cheese and onion pie.  Certainly no shortage of calories today!

Thursday 23 September 2021

Sun has arrived again.

 Yes, just as I arrived in my taxi at the Bank the sun came out and it was so pleasant - bit windy in our Market Square though (notorious on really windy days for blowing over aged people).   The taxi dropped me literally at the door of the Bank and said he would wait as long as he could and if he went, to wait  exactly there (I had Priscilla with me so I could sit down).

There were ten people  in front of me in the Bank queue -all masked and all spaced covidly around the edge of the bank.   I was a good half hour and when I came out - no taxi - so we sat and watched the world go by.   Haven't done that for a long time.

My how dress has changed.   There were people wearing absolutely anything passing.   Hardly anyone was what I would called 'dressed up'.   Most folk were in jeans and a top - often with bare midriff, hardly any woman had short hair = almost all had long, straight hair.

Now I am home and have lunched.   There is something wrong with the toilet flush in the bathroom  so now I have to wait in for the plumber to call (he lives just down the road so may call in on his way home.)

I watched the tribute to Prince Phillip last evening - somehow I found it vaguely disappointing but there were some lovely tributes to him.   I suppose it was inevitable that The Queen wouldn't contribute but I did wish she had done because I do believe they had a very happy life together.   I found Prince Charles so very sad - it came over so clearly that he felt he had never lived up to his father's expectations.    And yet I felt that in spite of that they were very close.

Relationships are interesting aren't they?   The programme set me thinking about my family relationships.  Thinking seriously I would say that I loved my parents equally, had a very happy childhood, but now there is no doubt I think of my father every single day - the talks we had about nature, the walks we shared birds nesting, mushrooming, looking for and identifying wild flowers.   He left discipline entirely to my mother and he never, in all my days at Grammar School, came to a speech day or parents' evening - he always left it to my mother.   I do think of my mother - usually in relation to recipes, cooking, that kind of thing.

Looking back on the programme on the Royal Family, it was lovely to see both the Queen and Prince Phillip playing with their children, rowing on the water,barbecuing, just having fun.   They can never be like the rest of us but at least they tried to be as 'normal' as possible.   And quite obviously loving being parents.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 22 September 2021

Another hectic day

 You wouldn't think I could have hectic days when I walk so slowly with either a frame or Priscilla but I can assure you it is all too easy when I get to my desk, sit down and get out my writing pad,to find there is no pen anywhere near so I have to get up and go into the kitchen pot to fetch oneAnd this  is followed by many similar incidents.

My hair appointment was a day early so, of course, I have now been thinking all day that tomorrow will be Friday when it is really only Thursday.  (If I ever said 'tomorrow will be Friday' when I lived with my Mum and Dad he would always retort 'and we've caught no fish today' - something to do with fishing boats not setting sail on a Friday I believe (I shall look it up when I have finished this post.)

I returned to a pile of post, all of which needed dealing with - either a written answer to be posted or a phone call.   As so often I was pleased that I lived directly opposite a post box.

Afternoon involved chatting to a builder who is coming to repair and renew an outside sink - unfortunately it is the one where my gardener put in a new pipe for me last week and to work on the sink the builder has to remove the pipe.   So that was another phone call to apologise to the gardener before he returned to work in the garden only to find his pipe work messed about with.

Now early evening and  all loose ends sorted out.   Nothing feels better than when everything on your list for the day is crossed off.   All that is left to do now is to washing up my tea things  (I no longer use my dishwasher unless visitors come - I feel it is too extravagant).  Then I shall sit down with a cup of tea and have another stab at the Times crossword and wait for the 9pm programme where all the Royal Family reminisce about their memories of Prince Phillip - it promises to be a really interesting hour.

I have just watched the programme and am on my way to bed (my computer room and my bedroom are one and the same).   It was an interesting programme but somehow I found it a bit disappointing - not sure why.   Did any of you watch it?

Tuesday 21 September 2021


 It is not as pleaant as it was yesterday (a perfect September day) - the sun is hazy and there is quite a strong breeze.   Had we not had yesterday for a comparison I would have said it was a lovely day today.   It is the day for managing without a carer and I have just finished doing what takes her an hour (I rose at 7.30 and it is now 11.18) but everything is done and I am happy with how it looks everywhere.

And there is Chelsea to look at.   I love looking at other peoples' ideas for gardens.   Many years ago, maybe around 1983, a very dear friend who was a superb gardener - she spent all day in her large garden and had a huge collection of rhodendrons, was unable to go to Chelsea and gave me her ticket to go on Members' Day.   I lived in Wolverhampton at the time and caught a very early train up to London and went along - I was there when it opened.  It was an experience I wouldn't have missed but by two in the afternoon I was absolutely  exhausted and caught an early train home (and fell asleep on the journey).

It was wonderful and the individual gardens were so very interesting but you could only look at them from behind a barrier, whereas when you get a preview on television the presenter is often wandering round looking at what is planted and you get a close-up.   So I decided television was much better - for me at any rate.   How lucky we are to have television aren't we?   How my Dad would have loved Chelsea from his armchair.

Monday 20 September 2021

A Day and a half

 Today started quietly but as the day went on, so it got busier until by now - just after tea - I am again alone and once this post is done all I have to do is get my brain resharpened ready for University Challenge.

But one thing it has shown to me is that I should be very grateful to so many people for what they do for me.   Without them all I would find life very hard.   So I shall list them and tell you just how much I am helped along my handicapped way.

1.   First of all there is J, my carer.   She comes for an hour in the morning - never stops working but manages to chat along as she works so that she always leaves me in a cheerful frame of mind.   What does she do?   Gets my breakfast (porridge and a banana), sees to the commode and makes my bed and tidies away any clothes which I have changed.   Twice a week she puts on the washing machine so that I can empty it and put the clothes in the tumble drier.   Any which need ironing she takes home to iron.    She brings a lunch every day and unless it is a salad leaves it in the microwave or by the Remoska if it is chips.   Showers or strip washes me and helps me dress.   All this in an hour.

2. T and S, my dear, always cheerful friends who do so much for me.   They call in often just for a cheerful chat and a coffee.   They  keep my laptop and my printer in working order and sort me out if I get in a mess.   They do untold little jobs and errands all the time and I can never thank them enough.

3.  L, who lives just down the road, who keeps me topped up with fruit and bread and coffee between visits from Mobile Tesco.

4.   D, my gardener, who as well as keeping my garden in order does all sorts of little jobs.   This week he noticed that the drain pipe from my dishwasher to the outside sink had a hole in it.   He came, measured it, replaced it all and had almost finished before I noticed he had done it.   Another always cheerful man who I can rely on.   His health is not good and I worry about him but he soldiers on.

5.   My immediate neighbours H and M both of whom are cheerful and chatty and we pass the time of day almost every day.   It is lovely to have good friends so near.

6.   My son.   Although D only lives a mile away, since Covid I rarely see him.   His wife is an invalid and understandably he worries about her catching Covid so he is very careful.   But what he does is lend an ear.   I am a worrier, always have been and not likely to change now.   If something is on my mind I ring him, talk it over with him and together we sort it out.   Without his help there are times when I would feel about to go under.

These people make my life what it is now.   I find walking hard and can only go slowly.   But between them they jolly me along.

I just heard a noise and went to see what it was.   Through the door was a parcel from Amazon Prime with two books I had discussed with my son and said I would rather like to read.   He had sent them to me post haste - we were only speaking of them yesterday.

So here, publicly, a sincere thank you to them all.   Acts of kindness I can never repay but which make my life complete.

Sunday 19 September 2021

Growing old (dis)gracefully.

 Well of course one has little choice when it comes to it does one - grow old or don't grow old.   And even whether one does it disgracefully or otherwise is down to a few things - physical condition being  I suppose one of the main ones.   After lunch Priscilla and I will do our perambulate - how we could make it in any way disgraceful it is hard to see.   I suppose I could decorate her or perhaps wear a purple hat a la Jenny Joseph.   In perfect health (is anybody at 88?) maybe I could make a bit more effort.   As it is just the sheer effort of getting all the way round the circuit and arriving back home is enough.

A friend is 89 next weekend - five weeks before me, so I can always joke that I am not as old as she is - at least for those five weeks.   I do try to keep young in my head by keeping up to date with the news and things like that, and I do the Mind Games in the Times daily in an effort to keep brain gremlins at bay.   But when all is said and done one's life span and the way one approaches death is in the lap of the gods.   But one thing is for sure - I have had a much longer life than what I now have left.   So best to soldier on and live each day as it comes.

There is a lovely old lady, W, in our town who is 100.  She carries no excess weight and is reasonably  nimble on her feet.   Until Covid I used to collect her every  Sunday and four of us would lunch at the same restaurant.   I met her at the doctor's surgery last Monday.   Sadly she didn't recognise me but she said she recognised my voice.   Her mind is getting a little forgetful but she still lives alone but surrounded by her family.   She is totally content, which is lovely to see.

In yesterday's Times there is a photo of an old lady of 101 who has   been trapping lobsters since 1929.   Three mornings a week between May and November, she gets up at 3am and gets on her boat with her son, who is himself 78.   Her son sees to the boat and hauls in the traps, she measures the lobsters and throws back the small ones and then ties the claws of the ones they are keeping.   A few years ago a crab cut her finger and she had to have stitches.   The doctor was interested in why an old lady of her age was still doing such a job and when he asked her, her answer was "because I want to"!

Perhaps that is one of the secrets of a long and happy life.   Don't sit around waiting for death to arrive - "do precisely what you want to!"   It will arrive anyway when it wants to.

Friday 17 September 2021

Perfect Autumn Day

Just to keep reminding me of the fact, the garden opposite has a large bunch of Autumn crocus in the middle of the front lawn and I always forget them every year until the day when suddenly they are in full flower - and they cheer up my day.   Somehow there is a feel of Autumn in the air in spite of the temperature being around twenty, the sky being clear blue and the sun fully out.   But the street light opposite went on at  8pm and by then all the blinds were drawn.   And there was suddenly a chill in the air   Bu I have bought myself a new cardigan - very large and 'cuddly'.   It came yesterday, since when I have lived in it.   I am in love with it.   I am thinking of sending for another one in another colour - after all I can't wear the same one every day through winter can I??

What to report today?    Well my 'jaunt' into town yesterday seems to have done me no good at all because today I am very tired.   I struggled round my usual walk and since then apart from eating my lunch the only other thing I have done is order a new battery for my Bosch vaccuum cleaner.   Then the cleaner has to go into the shop where I bought it for the battery to be fitted.  As someone (sorry but I can't remember who it was, so apologies) pointed  out - if the cleaner had been a Dyson I could have fitted the battery myself but as it is a Bosch it has to go back to the shop for them to fit it.   So now I await the arrival of the new battery.

The only other domestic incident to report that yesterday I complained I had marked the wall in the hall with a pencil in order to get the photograph frame level and then could not get the marks  off.  Well my carer this morning removed them all in two minutes maximum - don't ask me how - something to do with a spray I had under the sink and a damp cloth.   They have magically disappeared.

I think I shall stop now and take Priscilla round to the garden at the back of the bungalow to see how it is doing.   The sun is still out and it is a week since I was out there.   Hopefully I will be back later. 

Back in the evening and looking forward - as I am sure Rachel is too - to the very last round in the Celebrity Baking Competition.   I have really enjoyed watching it - although as usually happens in these programmes I rarely know any of the so-called 'celebrities'.   Maybe it is because I don't watch all that much television.

It really has been a lovely Autumn day - I always savour every one this time of the year.   The silver birch leaves are really seriously falling now; they always seem the first to go round here. The hollyhocks which I pass every day on my walk round the estate are still full of bees, as is the salvia bush much nearer to home.   Another fine day is forecast for tomorrow and then rain is set to arrive.   My son has just rung to say that they have arrived home after their week up near Lindisfarne - they seem to have particularly enjoyed the bird life.

See you tomrrow.

Thursday 16 September 2021

The sun has got his hat on

 The sun has got his hat on.

Hip hip hooray

The sun has got his hat on and

He's coming out today.

An oldie - my Dad used to sing this to me when I was a very small child and I so often think of it on sunny days (and him too).

It was hair day so taxi at nine twenty as usual, straight into the chair and out again by ten.   I needed a picture hook to hang my Great grand daughter's photograph so I walked gently with Priscilla into town - only a few hundred yards - to buy one at our very good hardware shop.   It is only the third time I have been right into town this year.  And I really didn't like what I saw, although I suppose in these days business needs to be good.  Several shops have closed and H S B C (which then became Costa Coffee and since the advent of Covid has been closed down) is a disgrace to the town being filthy dirty - you can't see into the windows and there is rubbish everywhere round it.

In addition, several of the shops in the Market Square now have lots of goods on display outside their shops in trolleys and baskets and shelves.   It doesn't help and certainly offends my sensibilities and sense of tidiness.   But in such a small town (under four thousand) I suppose they have to do anything to attract trade.

The town was very busy on this sunny day - groups of cyclists had stopped at the Post Horn cafe for a morning coffee.  Motor cyclists were roaring through on their way up Dale.   One or two coaches were in town and their occupants wandering round looking at the shops and sitting outside various cafes drinking coffee at the outside chairs and tables.

I bought my picture hooks, rang my taxi and sat on Priscilla's comfy chair - and then I had a thought.   I was sitting right outside Andy's the Bakers!   Andy makes lovely Cornish Pasties, Pork Pies, Sausage Rolls and many more goodies savoury and sweet.  I just had time before Mike rolled up.   "A Cornish Pasty please!"   "Cold."   Just in time (after lots of fumbling for change) as Mike drew up alongside me.

Home it was warm the pasty (delicious even though it was mid morning) eat it and then put up the photo.   I measured and marked gently in pencil and the photo is lovely - just right.   Now I can't find my India Rubber to rub out the pencil marks on the wallpaper.   They stick out like sore thumbs.  I shall not be going into town anytime soon to buy another rubber so it will have to stay as it is.   I am totally worn out by my expedition - and to think once upon a time I used to think how exciting it would be to go to Everest Base Camp.   I suppose I have just done the equivalent for almost 90!

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Hello Sun!

 Well the dear old sun is back today and reminded me this morning on my walk that it still has some power in it.   After the grey, cold, 'really need the heat on' day we had yesterday, today was welcome.

When you lack mobility completely without aids as I do, every job which you used to do whizzing round in ten minutes now takes all day.   First of all a letter from the Medical Practice  arrived saying my flu jab has been postponed.   This meant going to the calendar, unhooking it, taking it to my desk and altering the date.  Then it meant texting friend S to tell her (their jabs are at more or less the same time and have been changed accordingly).   Then there was a long form to fill in and return to the Medical Practice about seeing the Phlebotomy Nurse.   That done I thought I would have my walk nice and early as it was such a nice morning - several chats on the way round (some with dogs and some with their owners) and back home to see a man delivering a parcel of sweaters I had ordered for Winter.  Then it was take into the sitting room and take off the mountains of packing - plastic bags, tissue paper, publicity from other companies.  Thank goodness I could try one of them on while sitting down and know that they would both fit.  Then it was gather up all the 'rubbish' and take it out to recycle.  This means changing 'vehicles' as it is down a step into the garage.

It is the day in the month when my carer kindly cleans through for me.   I have a cordless cleaner which is supposed to last for twenty minutes when it has been charged up   It has suddenly started only lasting for five minutes.   My son thinks it needs a new battery but when I read the booklet it says a new battery must be fitted by a specialist.   I have had three attempts to ring the shop where I bought it - engaged each time.

Then after all this it is put all the accumulated bits and bobs away - and lo a behold it is lunchtime.  Even the simplest job takes an age - hearing aid batteries collected from the Medical Practice when I was there last week are still in my handbag so remove them - collect container from medical supplies basket in cupboard, add them to the container and then return the whole thing to the cupboard having changed to a trolley as I can't walk and carry anything without using a trolley to put it on.

Get the picture?    I hope you don't see this as moaning.   I am quite used to it by now  but it is all so time-consuming.   But = the sun is out, still plenty of mind games to work at in The Times, the Finals of Master Chef are on tonight (who do you think is going to win Rachel?) - I do think the right five have reached the finals - and it is hair in the morning.   When I go down in my taxi I have to remember to ask him to give me an extra ten minutes so that Priscilla and I can just go into town to buy some picture hooks.   Then on my return I can hang the lovely photograph my son has had done for me of his daughter and her friend with Nicola Sturgeon (they live in Glasgow) at a Garden Party.   That will take ages as I am useless at doing things like that and getting them absolutely in the right place first time.   There will be a lot of measuring before I tap in the first picture hook.

Changing the subject , looking at the photograph in yesterday's Times of Emma (of tennis fame) at the Ball, wearing thousands of pounds worth of jewellry and a ballgown costing many thousands, I can't help wondering how she can possibly 'come back down to earth' and meet her mates from school for a coffee after all that Razzamatazz and with all that money in the bank.   Is it going to be possible to return to anything like normal for her?  I do hope so

See you all tomorrow.

*somewhere in here is a spelling error.   I saw it when proof-reading but can't find it now.   I do apologise and if you find it please ignore it.

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Good Morning!

 Good morning fellow-bloggers on what is a very dark and threatening morning here - obviously the threatened rain will shortly arrive.   This is the one morning each week on which I no longer have a carer.   It does me no harm at all to 'cope' alone but I have to keep telling myself to take things slowly and carefully and not to try too hard.

 Two hours later.   The trouble is that when I have no deadline to keep to I tend to dilly dally -  do the Mind Games in today's Times, sort through my winter woollies drawer and take out the wearable ones as it is a chilly morning.   At the end of last winter they all went away into my drawer for such things - but getting out of bed this morning I realised that they needed to see the light of day again because September is telling me quite clearly that winter woollies are the order of the day.   John tells me this morning when he replied to my yesterday's post that it has been raining heavily there since seven this morning and looking out on to the patio I see that it is damp if not very wet so a woolly  jumper this morning.   It is either that or the central heating and it is a bit early for that.

It also means that so far my today's walk will be off  because taking into account the speed at which I walk I do not walk in the rain.

But I find plenty to do, albeit it rather lazy jobs.   I have sorted through and taken out all woolly jumpers and hung them in my wardrobe, exchanging them for T shirts which have now gone into the drawer until Spring (assuming I am still here to wear them!)   I have topped up with a few new ones which should arrive within the next day or two.

So what to do with my time after the sorting.   Well because our transmitter at Bilsdale is still down I am limited to watching BBC Channels only but there are a few programmes I am really enjoying.   One is Chris and Meg's Wild Summer in which for half an hour each Sunday evening Chris Packham and his step-daughter Megan McCubbin explore Wales and the Lake District - lovely relaxing wild life programme.   Then there is Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing - another gentle programme.   Tonight I am loving A House through Time - this time the house is one in Leeds.   A host of other regulars like Antiques Road Show and University Challenge (got three right this time but have forgotten already what they were (remembered one answer 'Rite of Spring, and just remembered another was one of Van Gogh's Bridges)

And of course there is my Book Group book to finish.   One of the things I like- apart from the fact that they are a lovely group of people and are happy to come to my house, otherwise I would not be able to continue my membership- is that we all choose such different books.   Some I love, some I hate and some are mediocre.   This month's is 'American Gods' - the genre is 'American Fantasy' and I had never even heard of it.   It has over seven hundred pages and I have so far read two hundred of them.   No I don't wish to read any more, and yes it is all a bit mind-boggling (especially the sex!) but at least when people talk about the genre I shall know what they are talking about.  And sometimes it does us good to step outside our comfort zone.


I think that will do for today folks.  Enjoy your evening.   See you all tomorrow.

Monday 13 September 2021


 Today was 'taking my mole to the doctor' day.   I rarely go to the doctor and I don't think I have   been since before Covid so it was strange going into a spaced out waiting room, masked and hand =sterilised, to wait spaced out until - half an hour later I was called in to see the skin specialist.  She praised the photograph I sent her  on line when making the appointment, said it was the clearest she had ever been sent (my son took it with his new camera so he will be pleased) and told me the pattern on the side of my nose was not skin cancer but was some unpronounceable named thing which will repond to chemotherapy, and gave me a prescription.

I saw a dear old friend who has passed her hundred since Covid began and still looks as fit as a flea.   She is beginning to lose her memory but physically looks very well.

Friend W called this afternoon for a chat.   I am always pleased to see friends.   Now that I am fairly immobile it is always good to have callers - passes the day well.   I usually manage to fulfil my speaking to at least six people each day target.   I easily managed it today by going to the doctor, having the taxi to take me there and back, meeting the old friend at the doctors, having the friend call this afternoon, speaking to the doctor of course  - it soon adds up and stops me feeling lonely.

Rain is forecast for tomorrow and today it has been cloudy and not very warm all day.   I had the central heating on for an hour at tea time but it has soon switched off - it is that time of the year when things soon warm up if you switch the heating on.Take care friends - until tomorrow.  See you then.

Sunday 12 September 2021

It has arrived.

 I think it is the same every year, it's just that we forget.  'It' being the arrival of Autumn.   Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week were exceedingly hot - 'mid-Summer' hot.  Thursday and Friday were cooler, yesterday needed a body warmer - and this morning there was almost a feeling of frost in the air.

In the late Summer I bought another hardy Geranium which is a very dark, almost red.   It had what I presumed were the last few flowers of the season on it.   Today it has thirty blooms and has tripled in size over the last month.   Just the plant to hide my Mares Tail weed (my reason for buying it) and a perfect addition to my garden.   It has a very descriptive name and I think it has the label on it still but I can't tell you what it is because I can no longer climb the steps up into my upper garden.

Yes, having seen that Emma has indeed won the US Open, I am so pleased for her.   Such dedication to the sport from a very young age deserves recognition.   A Level results, leaving school, winning the US Open Tennis Championship all in the space of a few months.   Then getting congratulatory messages from The Queen, Prince William and the Prime Minister in the space of an hour.   It must be a fairy Tale come true for her after many years of exceedingly hard work.   All very well-deserved.

Good weather today for The Great North Run - cancelled because of Covid last year it is being run again this year with a staggered start.   Again a perfect example of devotion to sport and in this case also thousands raised for good causes.  So many people - young and old - training for the run, getting sponsors for their good causes, running for the sheer pleasure of it,   What a good way to enter Autumn and face up to Winter which is assuredly on its way.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday 11 September 2021


First of all just a reminder that today commemorates twenty years since 9/11 - so remember all those almost three thousand who perished and their loved ones who were left behind.

And, of course, life has gone on without them and those left behind have had to pick up the pieces - which always is the case. And life has moved on.


And the world has changed for us all but as will always happen it is easy to look back and see what went wrong.   Afghanistan has happened and almost as many of our joint American and British soldiers have been killed and many maimed for life.  And Afghanistan's people have also paid a high price and it is now time to question 'for what'?


To continue on a happier note.   Covid is with us still but in spite of this 'The Last Night of the Proms' is tonight and it comes with much of its usual razzamatazz.   I shall watch it and I shall sing along with 'Rule Brittania' - not because I agree with the sentiment behind it but just because I enjoy a good sing in a crowd.   And I can't wait to see what the soloist will be wearing (I understand he intends to surprise us all).


And then of course let's not forget the final of tonight's US Open Tennis Final - two teenagers - Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu - the up and coming generation of teenagers.   By the time we get up in the morning here in the UK one or the other of them will be the champion.    Wonder which one it will be?                      

Friday 10 September 2021

The Old Days

 I seem to have stirred up a lot of memories this week and it has set me (and I suspect a lot of you too) off thinking about those days.   Of course they weren't the 'good old days' in retrospect were they - apart from the Second World War and its aftermath and the hundreds of thousands of 'displaced persons', and the bomb damage and the return of mentally damaged personnel from the armed forces and the food shortages, we still soldiered on.   Our parents were used to hardship - many of them (certainly mine; my mother was 'in service' at fourteen)  had seen harder times in their own childhood.   In most ways things have got better and better.   When I married I expected (and got) a house with a bathroom and an inside loo.   We never rented but always had a mortgage and so crept up the property ladder.

It was interesting seeing Rachel's lovely old photographs on her post today.   I have many similar ones from me dear farmer's childhood and youth..   The difference he always used to say was that much of their money was in the grass or what was intent on eating it.   Any spare money went on updating equipment and often 'luxuries' like new bathrooms or fridges were well down the list.

Yes, for most of us things have changed for the better.   And it is useless us bemoaning the fact that today's children over a certain age prefer to have their noses stuck in some piece of electronic equipment rather than fishing for tiddlers.   And as some of you say - children do still enjoy these activities.

My friends and I often remark that we are pleased that we are not young with small children now.   And I daresay most generations say the same.   I find it daunting to keep up with computers - I make myself do it because it is good for my brain but it would be very easy to said goodbye to my computer and doze the days away.

All of you keep me young.  My legs tell me I am in my eighties but on 'good' days I feel much younger than that in myself - on the days when I don't?  well we'll draw a veil over those.

Thursday 9 September 2021

'Normal' Day

 Thursday - taxi to the hairdresser as usual and ten minutes of putting things to rights there and back with the taxi driver.  'Young people today' was today's topic - brought up because he and his wife had had their grandchildren of fourteen and nine to stay for a few days.   'How was it?'  I asked.   'B* hard work' was his reply.   He found it all very 'foreign' that really all they wanted to do was to be on their ipads all day (especially the fourteen year old.)    I was thinking about it when I came into the house on my return - how children have changed in the getting on for forty years since I retired from teaching.

How pleased I am to have retired I thought but then I realised that if I had still been teaching I would have changed with the times and would probably    still be enjoying it.  Looking back to my own childhood, I can't expect today's twelve year old to enjoy cycling off a couple of miles down country lanes (are there still any left?) with a picnic of jam sandwiches, a bottle of water to drink, a fishing net and a jam jar to hold my catch and a bit of old towel in my bike bag to dry my feet after paddling in the beck.    Life is just not like that any more.

Other thoughts for today?   Well not a lot really.   I now find that after a day with visitors (which I thoroughly enjoy)  I am usually pretty exhausted and need to have a quiet day to collect my thoughts.   And so it has been today.   Had it not been for friend and neighbour H popping round early in the afternoon I think I might have stayed asleep until teatime.

Now in the early evening I am fairly wide awake and now I have put on a post I intend to go and start my Book Club Book, which came yesterday.  It is Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' - a long book but easily readable print.   It is a genre I know nothing about - if you have read any then you might give me your views on it to help me along please.

Until tomorrow blog friends.

Wednesday 8 September 2021

Guests for lunch.

Guests for lunch today.   I changed the menu at the last minute because of the beautiful weather.   We had salami, smoked salmon, cheese and onion quiche, crisps, potato salad, celery , raisin and walnut salad, coleslaw, salad, cheddar, brie, cheese biscuits and coffee.  And we ate it sitting in the dining room with the patio doors open on to the patio and all at a nice, leisurely pace.   Now my guests - niece and great nephew- have driven round to see my son for an hour so I am here alone,  the dishwasher is merrily swishing away and I thought it a good opportunity to read my e mails and catch up on my blog.

My great nephew is a whizz on the computer and has confirmed that my ink cartridge is just not compatible with my printer.   He has typed out the reason why and given me an e mail which I have just forwarded to the company concerned.   These days everything seems to be an uphill task. Not sure whether it is me and my age or just a struggle with life in general.   Whichever it is at the moment everything is hard work.   Does anyone else go through patches like this?

A walk round my garden (both are keen gardeners) has made me feel a bit more 'normal' (whatever that is) and has also confirmed that the garden is more full of the pollinators - the bees, the butterflies than it seems to have been all Summer.   Even just a couple of sprigs of lavender on a plant which is dying back should be enough to leave the plant until those two sprigs have also finished.   The bees need it, the butterflies need it and we need both bees and butterflies.   Would that we could recall these beautiful days in the middle of winter when the weather is throwing everything it has to offer at us.   But somehow with the summer these memories fade.

My visitors return - we will have another pleasant hour together before they toddle off for Harrogate, where they are spending the night.   Until tomorrow.


Tuesday 7 September 2021

Mr Winkle!

 I hope my story today makes you smile.   Last Autumn I had a major job done on my back garden which was far too big for me to manage even before I broke my hip.   Half of it was flattened, gravelled and dotted with evergreen shrubs.   I love it.   A  few weeks ago I sat in the garden on Priscilla while J, my gardener's partner, was weeding and D, the gardener, was mowing the front lawn.   We were chatting about the new piece and I mentioned how I really would rather like a statuette of some kind to stand on it.

Yesterday they came, D to mow and J to weed the patio.   They arrived at the same time as the Book Group arrived so I paid them and just left them to get on with it.    At tea time yesterday, realising that I certainly would not need my body warmer for a day or two I went into what used to be my bedroom to hang it in the wardrobe and there he was!   Standing mid-garden, staring into my old bedroom window stood a statuette of a naked man leaning up against a lion.   Nothing on his anatomy was left to the imagination.   All very classical and I remembered how we had chatted at the time and J had said I needed a pretty naked classical statue of a cherub preferably a female one and I had jokingly replied that no - I had no male in the household any longer so that was what I needed.   I have certainly got it in no uncertain terms - a present from the gardener and his partner and christened  by them Mr Winkle.

It has been a glorious day here = pure unbroken sunshine but just a tad hot for me.   I have my niece coming for lunch tomorrow so I set the table today and that was all I could do - the rest of the day I have sat with my feet up and rested.   I suspect it will be just as warm tomorrow.

Have a nice evening.


Monday 6 September 2021

Utter bliss

 What a beautiful day - pure sunlight and everyone sitting around in their gardens soaking up the sun.  We usually get a few days like this at this time of year and it is good for the soul.

It was a Book Group this morning.   I don't know how my American readers view ErnestHemingway but after watching several programmes on him when it was time for me to choose the book (this morning)  I chose A Farewell to Arms, mainly because I had never read any of his work. 

We were more or less unanimous in our feelings on the book.   We thought it was good in parts, especially the retreat, his escape and the story of his flight into Milan and then the Couples' rowing across the border into Switzerland.   But we none of us felt that he was the best American writer since Mark Twain and that all writers since him were influenced by his work.   I would be interested in hearing what any of my American readers have to say about his work.   So please, if you have a view let me know what it is. 

My gardeners came this morning just in time to stop the dandelions completely take over the back patio.   In the last fortnight they have really invaded like there was no tomorrow.   Now, looking out of the window, the patio is clear - wonderful. 

Back again tomorrow when hopefully I shall have a little more time.


Sunday 5 September 2021

Running out of time.

Oh dear - almost time for Countryfile, which I love, and I have run out of time for putting on a post today.   Because I have visitors for the day on Wednesday I have been doing little jobs all day - watering all my  tubs so that I can wind the hose up on to the wall out of the way.   I know my visitors will wish to see the garden and with the hose draped around it is not safe.   So everything watered wall and the hose is now neatly up on the wall.

Then I noticed that all the window sills - especially those at the back of the bungalow, which face to the North, are festooned with fine cobwebs - this happens every  year - and need a good wipe down with warm, soapy water.  I learned one thing while doing it - spiders obviously eat crane flies because every web is full of crane fly wings.

That job done then I came round to the front and watered all the pots around the front door.  These days all these jobs take me such a long time and I also managed to get in my walk round the estate - going a little further than usual.

So now it is five minutes to Country File, so I shall sign off for today.   Sorry it is short and sweet but I will be here again tomorrow.   Until then, take care. 

Saturday 4 September 2021

My least favourite signs of Autumn

 There are many things about Autumn which I love.   The abundance of our beautiful English fruit - the apples, the plums, the blackberries.   When we were children every blackberry was picked - no freezers, so there was blackberry and apple pie, blackberry jam, and with the very best of the fruit blackberry jelly.   Now much of it stays on the bushes for the wildlife - I am sure they are pleased.   My friend and neighbour brought me some Victoria plums yesterday - I ate the last one a minute ago - it was divine just eaten off the tree.   No messing about with stewing or making jam or plum pie.   Victorias as too good for that.

The last of the garden flowers and seeing them go to seed and leaving the seeds on for the birds in the lean months to come (hoping they will miss one or two so that I get a few self-sown plants).   And also seeing the last few welcoming the pollinators,   On my walks with Priscilla I see lots of lavender - now that really does need trimming back to neat clumps before winter, but don't do it yet.   There are still some stems which are attracting butterflies and I see a lovely selection of them as I walk round.

Then there are the leaves - a huge variety of colours and just beginning to flutter to earth; and their last gift is to leave us with that lovely, earthy smell as we walk over them.   And suddenly we can see neighbours in their windows and have a quick wave.   (several babies round here that I haven't seen since April and are now much more alert and giving toothy smiles!

Then there is my little mouse who has set up home in the wall just outside my computer room window.  I never see him/her in the Summer but I saw him yesterday - I shouted hello but he didn't acknowledge me.

So let's get to the minus things - for me at any rate.   Spiders - large, fat ones which lurk and then suddenly during the evening emerge and race across the floor.   Ugh!   Hate them.   I try the card and glass method but as I am sure you know, it's not easy.   I can't kill them so I have to tolerate them.   We used to say 'If you want to live and thrive, let all spiders run alive!'   My father always used to say the large ones were female and had eaten their mates when they had no further use for them.

Finally - and the thing that prompted this post this morning - there must be a purpose for Crane Flies (Daddy long legs) but can anyone tell me what it is please?   Four outside on my sitting room window this morning and I'll guarantee they will be there for several days.  And should your face accidentally make contact with one the feeling of those spindly legs brushing across your cheek is not pleasant.

But Autumn arrives whether we like it or not - so let's enjoy its beauty and its 'mellow  fruitfulness.

Friday 3 September 2021


 Friend S has just called to bring me some eggs (they keep hens);   she always reads my posts and having read about the day when I was frazzled all day she tells me this morning that they have a chicken called Frazzle.   So one of us is in good company - not sure which way round though.

I still feel a bit frazzled round the edges but she is a good deal younger than I am and she tells me that she has frazzled days too, as does her partner.   All these things go to boost my self confidence.   But I do sometimes wonder how I ever managed to run a large department in a Comprehensive School, or plan teaching English as a Second Language.   It all seemed so easy thirty odd years ago.   Now my brain often resembles scrambled eggs!   So it is all the more reason to carry on with my daily posts - it makes my brain work hard rather than go into a semi-dormant state.

So far there is no sign at all of a sun - after a couple of days of warm sunshine it is a chilly grey day.  Much warmer weather is forecast for next week but only in a short-lived burst.   We really need it for the whole of September, then we would go into winter feeling much better.   The news everywhere is so depressing that I have stopped listening to it.   I can do nothing and I see all the posturing, all the threatening, on both sides I might add.   Would that we could all live in harmony with one another.   But I suppose we never have.   If people can't even do it in their own families or with their neighbours, what hope is there for wider mankind?

My garden is making last little bursts of colour and they are giving me much pleasure.   Plants I can see from my window - a lovely hardy geranium - new this year and already a big, sturdy plant- has deep pink, large flowers which are almost but not quite red.   The indigenous colour of these hardy geraniums seems to be pink (plus the odd dark blue ones which don't seem to favour me), e a Bowles perennial wallflower pinky/purple - it has flowered all summer long.   I can thoroughly recommend it but as a perennial it doesn't last all that long.  There is a tall, golden-yellow achillea in full bloom, lots of yellow and a few red antirrhinums which have self-seeded as they do every year.   I leave them to go to seed and then the next year they pop up all over the garden.There are several clumps of gallardia in bloom still - golden yellow and orange and bits of Crocosmia here and there - almost over.  A few pinks here and there, a white scabious clump. various white daisies, a few osteospermum and one single stalk of verbena.    I don't any longer do anything in my garden but my gardener follows my instructions.   I am not a tidy gardener and this time of year I like to leave everything to flower itself out - there is all winter for him to tidy, to split up plants that need dealing with.

It is one of those days when it is warmer out than in.   By the time we reached the postbox I was very much warmer.   We had a pleasant walk with a couple of stops to chat to friends.   When I got home H was standing on the doorstep (she had spotted me coming) ,with some Victoria plums for me - they were exquisite and for my tea I had a ham and pickle roll followed by five ripe plums  - delicious, so thank you very much H.

Enough for today.   See you tomorrow

Thursday 2 September 2021


 My order from Tesco has just arrived.   A nice delivery man has just helped me unpack it.   He was sporting a jolly, colourful mask and a matching hat.  And - as they all are - he was very jolly and also helpful.   They   came absolutely on time.   No wonder people are turning to them rather than trailing in to the shops at this time.   I have used them for many years and shall continue to do so.   Now that my carer supplies my meals (chicken and leek pie today (home made) with mange tout, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower cheese and new potatoes.) I only need a delivery about once every three weeks.   Owing to my BET it happens sometimes that I accidentally erase things I want ed(Pringles) so L, just down the road, does the sweeping up at a local shop for me.

The Tesco man took it all out of the boxes and put it on the work surface and even offered to put the tins away in the cupboard but I have the rest of the day in which to do it.   I should be doing it right now - this is a bit of displacement therapy.

And after I have done all that (cupboards and fridge have already been wiped out) my next job is to check my notes for Book Group on Monday when it is my book 'A Farewell to Arms' by Hemingway.  My notes are ready for my presentation but it is a couple of weeks since I wrote them so I need to look at them again.

It was m y Hairdresser''s this morning, as it is every Thursday.   My taxi couldn't take me so my son stepped into the breach.   I tried to save him the full journey by dropping me early and not going into town but he wouldn't hear of it saying he didn't want Priscilla and I crossing a busy road where there was no crossing.   I explained to him that I had been crossing the road alone for about eighty five years and that when most drivers see me with Priscilla, if there isn't a crossing, they stop and let me across.   But he was having none of it and insisted on taking me right into town.   I should be pleased that he cares enough to insist I suppose.

It has been a lovely day here today; the sun has been out until about half an hour ago - and a very warm sun at that.   Schools round here go back next Tuesday so there are children around but never many - I fear they are mostly at home on their ipads rather than out in the fresh air - a completely different way from how things were when we were young but it was always so wasn't it?   Life goes  on and things change.

Winter draws on - I had an invitation from our surgery today to book my flu jab.   I rang and listened to music for what seemed like an age but eventually a Receptionist answered - she was lovely (called me darling)- and two seconds later my appointment for my winter jab was booked at the beginning of October, so that's another useful job done.   And, as I say above about life going on and things changing - how different from when I was a child.   Our village and the next village 'shared' a doctor - Doctor Harrison.   He was a most-respected figure in the community (the Vicar, the Doctor and the Headmaster of the senior school) and what he told us to do we did.   I may have told you before but it bears retelling.   I had chicken pox when I was about four I suppose and it was hardly possible to put your finger between the 'scabs'.   One day my mother was trying to change my vest when Doctor Harrison called.   She had me sitting on the kitchen table next to a clean facecloth and a bowl of warm water.   She was gently dabbing each one and easing the vest off.   He asked my mother to move so that he could look at the state of my body - he took hold of the bottom of the vest and whipped it off in one fell swoop.   I remember it as though it was yesterday!

Can you imagine a doctor coming round to look at chicken pox now?   The role of doctors in our society has completely changed hasn't it?

Well sorry for rambling on - better close today's post before you drop off to sleep with boredom.   See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 1 September 2021


 Do you have what I call 'frazzled' days?   Days when everything takes twice as long to do as usual and the harder you try to be 'normal' the more you feel the opposite?   Well today has been 'one of those days'.  Perhaps it is me.   Perhaps things are just as usual but my brain has decided not to process anything, to have a day off.

It started badly.   My carer kindly gives a good clean through for me once a month and I agreed with her that I would this month clean everything at waist height (it is dangerous for me to stretch up or bend down as my balance is bad).   I have really enjoyed it and have discovered muscles I had forgotten I had.  I have polished all the furniture, wiped all window sills, cleaned the hob, cleaned the top of the kitchen units, tidied the bookshelves.  Not all in one day I hasten to add - it has taken me a good week doing a bit, sitting down a bit and then doing a bit more.

Last night, to be sure, I made certain the vaccuum cleaner was fully charged.   Luckily she brought her own because mine lasted all of five minutes (it is a twenty minute one).   We had a good look at it, we consulted my son, we decided I needed a new one.   My son consulted on line when we found mine refused to charge.   Ten minutes after my carer had gone having used her own to finish the carpets, I plugged mine in for a last try before ordering a new one - it worked perfectly and merrily charged for two hours before saying it was fully charged again.   We now will wait and see.

Then I tried to deal with an insurace which is due for renewal and I needed to telephone to confirm that I wished to renew.   I got out all the documents and made a note of the questions I wanted to ask- rang the number only to be told that number was unobtainable. I looked in my file and tried various numbers (the company has recently changed hands) until after almost an hour of searching eventually I got the right number.   They apologised profusely - they had typed the renewal on the old company notepaper in error!   Then of course I had to sort all the papers I had had out of the file into the right order before sorting them in again.

Then trying to add to my supermarket order which comes tomorrow - many things were unobtainable - coffee, my favourite beetroot(to which I am addicted), my favourite coleslaw.   So I had to search through and find alternatives.   Then half way through adding them to whole thing went off and I had to start again.

The last straw came this afternoon when I wrote the cheque for the insurance renewal, put a stamp on the envelope and thought I would relax by walking across the road in the sunshine (yes it is a lovely sunny day here), then I couldn't find the letter I had just written and stamped.   I retraced my steps from my desk - reciting to myself where I had been.   To take my mind off it I emptied the tumble drier and folded the towels, took the pipe out of the window and closed it, bent down to put the pipe out of the way - there was the letter.   The breeze from the open garage window had blown it on to the floor.   It is now a quarter past four and I am doing nothing more today - I am frazzled!!