Friday 30 September 2022

Acts of Kindness.

I don't see myself as a particularly kind and thoughtful person.   During my working life - mostly with children from fairly disadvantaged backgrounds I loved my job and worked jolly hard to do my best for them all - but let's face it I was getting well-paid for it.  Since retirement I have with both husbands had wonderful holidays all over the world,  great friendships, much fun with music.  I could go on but enough to say that I don't recall ever seeing myself as doing good particularly.   Both husbands did.   They were both good at spotting when somebody was in need of something being done and then they would step in and do it.

But fast forward to now.   An act of kindness yesterday (after I had finished having a bit of a cry) just made me realise how lucky I am.

I had got all locked up for the evening - it was not a particularly nice evening and it was jolly cold.   I was just thinking what to have for tea - lights on, blinds drawn, when my front door bell rang.  "Who's this bothering me at this hour?"   I unlocked the door to find my gardener D's partner standing on the step with a dish in her hand -handing it over she said "D's made you this".   "This was an apple crumble."   I beckoned him out of his van and gave him a kiss!!   Only after they had gone did I have a little weep.  What a kind thought.

During the evening I thought of the many acts of kindness I experience all the time and wonder what I have done to deserve them - I am in no state to reciprocate and yet they are so good.   My friends T and S - T has a permanent screwdriver in his hand and goes around looking what needs doing (and doing it).  I couldn't begin to list the jobs they do for me all the time - the help they give me without being asked.  S similarly helps me all the time. They call - they spend an hour or so here, they keep me company, they make me laugh,  they are here for me and I can't possily tell them how much I appreciate it.  J my carer does so much over and above what I pay her to do - usually something in the fridge she has cooked for me and constant texts  to keep my spirits up,   When my husband was in hospital twenty five miles away with 'End of Life' care with his brain tumour friend W took me to hospital every single day because she could see I was in no fit state to drive myself.

 Lots of other little acts too - I am so lucky - and not forgetting all of you out there - you bloggers who constantly cheer me up and keep me going.   And this is just a little thank you from a soon to be ninety year old - what would I do without you all?

Thursday 29 September 2022


Just as the weatherman said this morning - showery - heavy downpours interspersed with bright sunshine - and very cold.   As I look out now the sky is intense blue and it is very sunny but black cloud bubbling up on the horizon.  And it is cold.  I have to keep reminding myself that it is Thursday.   Going out to Ripon yesterday has thrown my days of the week out completely.

Friends S and T came this morning and have sorted my night lights out for the winter.   T has the sort of mind that deals with such problems and S was not happy about my having candles  in the event of a power cut.  (the way things are at present quite likely) .   He found that my two lamps in constant use are worn out,  but S has fitted me up with a nice light for the side of my bed which I can switch on just long enough for me to see my bedside lamp and switch it on.  Now it is just a case of looking for one in the sitting room.   No use waiting for it to happen.   Maybe "camping" lamps are what I am looking for.

I keep wondering how our friends in Florida are surviving .   Our weather girl, Carol, said this morning to imagine a Double Decker bus and then realise that that was the height of a storm surge hitting the shore, accompanied by winds well over a hundred miles an hour.

Well what to have for tea?  I rather fancy a tuna sandwich so shall go off and prepare one.   See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 27 September 2022

A Timely Haircut

Well today has been the day.   A "bitter" day to quote my carer I must say I have an unlikely thickness of layers on for September - added a fleece to yesterday - but at nine this morning my gardener walked past my window in his shirt sleeves with his hedge-cutter aloft.   And by lunch time all my hedges had been cut, their tops had been aligned and the whole place was neat and tidy for the winter.   I have to keep going to look out of the window to make sure how good it looks.

Next a giant thank- you to Debby for continuing to write to me having assured me that she will continue to do so although she understands that I no longer feel able to write back.   Debby I love receiving your lovely long newsy letters - I read them over and over again but being realistic at my age writing my blog almost every day is about as much as I can manage.   But your letters are truly appreciated.

I have to say I too 'enjoyed' HM the Queen's funeral.   I watched it all day and I do agree that as a nation we do those sort of things well.   I also loved your story abour Mandela - if it was in our TV version I missed it.

On the subject of gifts(I probably put this on my blog at the time) but when my six year old great grand daughter came a few weeks ago I wrapped up six little gifts and hid them in the sitting room.    She had to find all six and then she could open them - the pleasure it gave her to search and find them and the pleasure  it gave me watching her open them made the whole thing more than worthwhile.  I am speaking inexpensive gifts - a ballet tutu; a pencil case; a set of .from 3H through to 3B pencils; a packet of crayons and a sketch book all inexpensive from Amazon,  I added a small pack of sweets and that was it.  I shall certainly  do it again.

Just to end by saying our thoughts are with Canada and the terrible storm.  I will be back tomorrow - I am having my ears 'serviced' in the morning.

Monday 26 September 2022

Not chilly - let's be honest - cold!

 Very sharp wind blowing down from the Arctic and really no other way to describe the day than a cold one. H, my friend and neighbour, is ninety  today - this is where she has six weeks or so on me -I am ninety on Hallowe'en.   Priscilla and I went round early with a pretty card and a small present.   The small present I have ordered has not come - just a letter to say it is out of stock and they will send it as soon as new stock arrives in.

Friend W called in this morning and we had a pleasant morning chatting about this and that.   Our friend D, who is gay, has got the star letter in Saga magazine this month and we speculated what he might do with the £100 star letter prize!

Friend H has just arrived.   We said we would have a tea cake toasted this afternoon so I shall close down and come back when she has gone.   It is now six o'clock and she has returned home so here I am again but with nothing much to add.    We have chatted all afternoon so her birthday has passed pleasantly enough.   Now that the sun has gone down it really is chilly.   I have a feeling that British summertime ends anytime soon.   I can't be bothered to go and look at the calendar but once 'proper' time kicks in and it gets dark early then it really is Autumn.

See you on the morrow.

Sunday 25 September 2022

This and that........

 as I think of it!

Yes - I shall watch Strictly - I enjoyed it, there were some really good dancers on the programme and it passes a Saturday evening nicely.   I had a nice long chat with my God-daughter after the programme ended - we can always find plenty to chat about  - especially when Strictly is on.

The weather has turned very cold here and although I vowed not to switch the heating on until the middle of October I  have changed my mind - at my age it is important that I keep warm.

Friends S and T have just been and we had a cup of tea and a chat.   S and I chatted about the teaching of French in schools.   We both were taught French early  in our secondary school lives in the same way:

French teacher:  Bonjour mes enfants.

Class:   Bonjour Mademoiselle.

French teacher:  Comment appellez vous?

Me:   Je m'appelle Collete  (my stage name).

We both agreed we have a reasonable vocab but as for stringing words together  - forget it.

Hopefully French is no longer taught in this way these days.   I do remember being asked a question in a written exam about what I might find in a sideboard.   The only thing I could think of was a bottle of White Horse whisky!  We were a non-drinking family too.

Many years later, sitting chatting on a bench in Paris I wanted to know the time.   I asked a passing Frenchman -

"Quelle  heure est il, si vous plait?"The Frenchman looked totally nonplussed.   Another Englishman sitting on the bench held the Frenchman' s arm : "Avez vous l'heure?" - we got the time immediately.

The reason we were speaking about the teaching of French is because my Great Grand daughter - she is almost six  - has recently started school and is being taught French as well as English.   Teaching to  receptive young minds - brilliant.

As I have been sitting here typing the sky has gone very black and the heating has come back on - Autumn has come in with a bang.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday 24 September 2022

Almost back to normal.

But not quite.   Do be warned if you have not yet had your Covid jab.   In a lot of cases it is not nice.   I had mine on Wednesday afternoon at theChemists in Hawes.    And I was warned.     As he gave me the jab (totally painless) the chemist warned me that the after effects might be unpleasant and he was right.  For the next two days I have slept heavily  for most of the   day waking up now and again.   Bed has been early and I have slept like a log   all night too.. 

Many of the folk I blog with had the same side effects too,   But life has gone on just the same.   I more or less slept through the Equinox and now we are truly into Autumn.

Are you a 'Strictly Come Dancing' fan?   Each year I say I won't watch it again because I don't know any of the 'so called' celebrities.   It started again last evening - put off a week beca use  of the death  of H M the Queen and again - apart from the girl with Olympic medals for swimming I knew no-one.  So I shall give it a go this evening - what's the betting I get hooked. I find it odd who is a 'celebrity' these days - I never seem to know any of them.

So I really will make an effort tomorrow - that's a solemn promise.   Have a good evening.

Thursday 22 September 2022


Actually my day yesterday was my top up covid jab in Hawes - a journey through lovely countryside in sunshine and a more or less painless 'jab' but today I am so very tired I can hardly put one foot in front of the other, so this is just an apology - hopefully I will be back to normal tomorrow - in the meantime - have a good day.

Wednesday 21 September 2022


Beautifully sunny day - perfect for the drive through Wensleydale for my Covid top up jab.   .My taxi driver contacted my carer yesterday to say that his taxi had broken down and to ask if I could manage to get into his minibus.   The answer to that is no - there is no way I can climb steps that deep so he is 'borrowing' his wife's car.   I hope the sun stays out because it is such a lovely journey to Hawes.

It is pleasing to see from The Times this morning that King Charles and the Queen Consort are already in Balmoral where they intend to spend a week in Private Mourning before taking up any royal duties. 

"Mourning" is such a strange thing isn't it - Matthew Paris discusses it in his weekly comment column in today's newspaper and I largely agree with him.    Certainly as far as our late Queen is concerned - the   death was by no means unexpected.  The signs of seriously deteriorating health have been there for some time in fact for a less determined character it would have meant total retirement from public life at a much earler date.  The fact that she 'invited' our new Prime Minister to form a Government only a couple of days before she died shewed the sort of person she was.   But although we can all feel sadness at her passing I am not sure any of us can 'mourn' in that sense - rather feel a sense of profound admiration that she kept on to the bitter end.   And so up there in Balmoral I hope the King and his Consort get out on the moors they so love and walk and just relax with their dogs (do they have dogs - if not then I am sure there are plenty around that they can 'borrow').

To those of you who suggested I turn the heating up a notch - thank you - I have done so.   I have no intention of being cold - it just seems so early to turn the heating up.   My carer who is a  what my dear old dad would have called a 'dab hand' on Facebook has found a shawl which fastens cleverly (I have several. all wool and very warm but all suffering from the same fault - they have no fastening other than tieing round the shoulders) with a buckle and she has sent for one for me (I will report back with details if it is as good as it looks).

In the meantime breeze is increasing and some rather big black clouds are appearing.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday 20 September 2022


 Autumn is here in NorthYorkshire with a vengeance and I had forgotten just how much I feel the cold th   ese days.   I set the heating to come on at eighteen yesterday and it never came on once but I was cold all day.   I have layers as though it was mid winter and have just ordered a fleecy body-warmer to see if that helps.   I shall have to break the news to my carer in the morning.   She thinks I have enough warm clothes to clothe the whole road.   Fortuitously an organisation came round with bags asking for clean, wearable clothes and we have been able to fill it read to put out early in the morning.  (with clothes which no longer fit).

Well its all over, everyone is on their way home and the Royal Family are now having a week of private mourning.   The King looks absolutely exhausted - what a job to take on at his age.   I hope he and his Consort spend a few days this week at Highgrove, which they love.  Do they have dogs?   I wonder what will happen to all the dogs.   I heard that Her Majesty has had seventy corgis in her lifetime and that Prince Andrew is taking over some of the ones living now.

Its funny how we all like different breeds isn't it?   The estate where I live is awash with dogs - almost all are pedigrees - lots of shid-zues, lots of Labradors/ Retrievers, a fair number of Spaniels and three or four Pugs.   One Red Setter I always notice when he goes past -a beautiful dog and a breed my father always loved (my mother hated dogs and refused to have one).   A large number are Cocker Poos or Labradoodles or some such.   There are also a fair number of retired Greyhounds which, apparently need little exercise and two or three Whippets.   And - I have to say - very little dog poo around - most people are exceedingly good at picking it up and putting it in the appropriate  containers for collection.

My garden is  providing me with a new crop of Autumn blooms - antirrhinums  in assorted colours continue to spring up everywhere as do osteospermums and michaelmas daisies.  crocosmias are continuing to flower.   I must say that rain now and again has continued to keep us damp too, unlike poor Derek who has suffered greatly until the past fortnight.

Well friends - plenty to look at on TV this evening which is nothing connected with the Royal Family - let them have the rest they deserve.   I think the BBC's anchorman -I'm not good on names but think it might have been Huw Edwards (I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong)- deserves some kind of award for his stalwart coverage don't you?

See you tomorrow.   Covid jab for me.

Monday 19 September 2022


 I must say that I have been glued to the television screen all day today to watch Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.   And I have to say that the organisation, the spectacle, the way the BBC have presented it - all have been excellent in my opinion.   Hardly a hiccup and then only a small one here and there..   And one tiny touch I  found so pleasing - the new Prince of Wales had his son, Prince George who I think is nine, standing next to him during the service.   Surely at that age a very awe-inspiring and slightly scary experience.  At one point during the service he looked up at his father and the Prince of Wales put his hand down, took hold of his small son's hand and gave it a squeeze. What a loving gesture I thought.

I think all the family - and especially His Majesty King Charles III- look exhausted and drained - please let them have a few days break  now to grieve.

Meanwhile life has gone on. Now her late majesty has I believe been laid to rest by her beloved husband and I can get round to thinking about what to write to you about each day.

A free easy day tomorrow and then on Wednesday a trip twenty miles or so to have my next Covid jab.Thursday is my hair day and then everything back to normal.

My Covid jab means a journey through Wensleydale to the little market town of Hawes - about twenty miles through lovely scenery - the road follows the River Ure the whole way.   The last time I was there was  in the Spring with plenty of lambs frolicking - this time the leaves will be beginning  to turn.   How quickly the seasons pass.   See you tomorrow.

Saturday 17 September 2022

And still they come.

The queues get slightly longer  - last time I looked it was fourteen hours - I do wonder how they are going to control it.   Still luckily it is not my worry and as it all seems so very well organised I am sure 'they' have that worked out too.

It has been so warm in the sun again today and the wind has been a little less strong.   But now that dark has fallen again it is very cold - but set to turn a little warmer next week.

I will try to get my son to take some photographs of my garden and post them for me.   I can no longer take photographs because I have this annoying Benign Essential Tremor which means 'camera shake'.

Yes it was indeed moving to see Her Majesty's  Grandchildren standing vigil.   I do think it has made us all see her in a different light.   After seeing that lovely Paddington Bear sketch where she keeps her marmalade sandwich in her handbag she really does come across as having a much lighter side - lovely to see her like that as well as serious regarding 'affairs of state'.   Her children and grandchildren all seem so very fond of her.

Now before I go to bed I am going on to Amazon - I fancy a heated blanket or a hot water bottle (hopefully the former) and some lavender bags to deter clothes moth. My carer has now also cleaned out my trouser and winter coat wardrobe (she did my jumper one last week.   One new pair of trousers will suffice for now I think.   One very best pair which I rarely wear (because I rarely go out now and will go out even less in the coming months) and four everyday ones which I will for now increase to five.   As for jumpers - I definitely have not room for a single jumper more in my wardrobe.

See you tomorrow.....


Friday 16 September 2022


Golly, how Autumn has suddenly set in with a North wind blowing today at about forty miles an hour.   Yes it is sunny and clear.   My gardeners arrived with a view to cutting my hedges but it is too breezy and hedge cuttings would blow everywhere.   So instead they are top-dressing for Autumn so at least my plants will all have warm feet.

I have ordered my Tesco order for tomorrow evening between six and seven - as good a time as any I suppose.   Usually if I only want one or two things I add them to my son's order but this week I needed more, so I have had an order of my own.

More activities today for the Royal family.   King Charles has been in Wales and had to travel there by helicopter because he has to stand vigil with his siblings this evening and would not have time to get back by road,   How exhausted they all must be. 

The queue to pass the Queen's coffin at her lying in State now stretches back so far with a wait of twenty four hours.   That is such a very long wait and the weather is unseasonably cold - I fear many of the queuers (is there such a word or have I just coined it?) will return home with chest colds.

I do so wish I could post photographs of my garden for you to see - now my gardeners have top dressed (if you don't do this do consider this it makes such a difference).

I shall now work out a way of keeping warm without switching the heating on.  I tried to order a hot water bottle on my Tesco order but no luck - I shall have to pop over to Amazon I fear.

Until tomorrow blog friends....

Thursday 15 September 2022

We'll have to get used to it.

 Yes, it's here - Autumn I mean.   Sunny today but the wind is in the North and out of the sun it is chilly.  Thinking  of the price of electricity and gas I - like most of you I suppose - am keeping my heating off as long as possible and resorting to  a blanket.

This morning I did three laps of the patio quite easily and after lunch (fish with new potatoes and salad  - delicious) put my order for Tesco on line just before M came along with our next months book for Book Group.    We had a nice hour's chat and now I am chatting to you all before having my tea.

The queue seems to grow longer to file past HM the Queen's catafalque - so impressive and the people so respectful.   And I was pleased to read in The Times that HM the King is having a day at his residence - Highgrove - relaxing apart from reading the despatch box.

Enjoy your evening - keep warm and I'll be back tomorrow.

Wednesday 14 September 2022


I have been making lists and trying to complete at least two tasks each day because lately quite a few 'problems' have cropped up which needed sorting out.   Yesterday I managed to complete three out of four problems - the only one I ignored was ringing the Gas Board when they told me the approximate waiting time.  I didn't want to speak to them that badly!

Today I had two problems = the first was a problem with an insurance renewal - and they told me it was their mistake - the second one  about a service for my hearing aid - e mail  of f, awaiting a reply.  But when one lives alone there is no-one to do these jobs for you.   The answer I think is to do jobs like this early in the morning when my brain is fully in gear.

I watched H M's coffin carried on the gun carriage go up The Mall this afternoon and round to Westminster Hall for the Lying in State.   The thousands of people queuing to pay their respects as they file past the coffin is very impresive particularly when you can see so much more by watching it on television.  I must say I have been so much more moved by it all than I expected to be.

Suddenly today the weather has turned much cooler here  and a lot of the warmth seem to have gone out of the sun today.  I need my gardener to come now and cut my hedge for winter.  Then - with the exception of a few more lawn mowings the garden is put to bed.

See you tomorrow.

Monday 12 September 2022

It goes on.

 The grieving for our Queen goes on and on, day after day.   Poor King Charles III must be exhausted - today he started in London and then flew up to Edinburgh and then almost immediately with less than an hour to rest (and in that hour he had to change into Scots regalia, kilt and all) he and his brothers walked the Royal Mile behind their mother's coffin to S Giles Cathedral for a service.   Next time I put the TV on he was sitting in the Scottish Parliament listening to speeches again.   He is in his seventies and he is grieving - please give him a break.

Well what have I done today?  Well I have managed to book my Covid jab for the 21st of this month so that is one thing achieved.   In addition I have endured half an hour's chiropody (hate it).   The two merino jumpers I sent for came - they fit and I managed to put them on hangars and hang them in my wardrobe.

Most of the day the sun has shone but there has been a strong, cool breeze,   Now, as the sun goes down the breeze has stilled and the sky is a clear blue.    I  think we are all hoping for a warm Autumn to save on our electriccity and heating bills aren't we?

Until tomorrow......

Sunday 11 September 2022

Interesting day

There have been plenty of repeats again today but it was interesting to see the Queen's cortege leave Balmoral and travel through the beautiful scenery of Deeside and finally into Edinburgh where it will rest in the Palace of Holyrood House overnight before a short service in St Giles's Cathedral and a flight to London.   I am sure it has been planned for weeks but that can only be a good thing.

It has been a better day - warmer but Autumnal.   I have had two or three walks out in the sunshine one to chat to M, my neighbour, who was busy weeding dandelions out of her drive and one to her neighbour whose name I don't know but we often have a chat - today about pruning holly.

Between times watched a bit of television about the funeral and the journey down.   Now it is time for a bit of tea - maybe a couple crumpets with honey I think - I am not very hungry.

See you all tomorrow. 

Saturday 10 September 2022

This and that

 The first sign that Autumn is fast approaching this morning four Daddy Long Legs (Crane flies)  on the outside of the window.   Not keen on those thin, dangly legs but as long as they remain on the outside of the window that's fine.

The other, more pleasing sign is that in the rare moments of sunshine this week it has been quite warm and all the perennials that D my gardener cut back are well on the way to flowering again which does tend to emphasise that Summer is not quite over yet.

Today is just a very grey day - a kind of 'nothing' day weather-wise.  I am wearing a vest, a pure wool jumper, a cardigan and a shawl. My carer breezed in in a T-shirt and complained of being hot.

Each time I switched on BBC 1 without thinking yesterday . - all I got was repeated shots - many of which I had seen earlier in the day.  I do agree we should have a period of mourning but I do hope it doesn't go on too long (for King Charles's sake as much as anything).   I did watch a Prom concerto which was highly impressive and when I finish this I shall try to find out what it was .   I presume it was probably from last night's prom.   If anyone out there watched it and knows - please do let me know.   It was a violin concerto in which the soloist walked amongst the orchestra in the last movement.

Lunch calls.   I watched the Official proclamation from St James's Palace.   Our new King looked so cut up about his mother (understandable when he has had no time at all after her passing  when he could afford a few minutes to grieve).   This morning's official proclamation was so interesting in that never before has it been seen by members of the public.  To see the Guardsmen in full dress take off their Bear skins so that they could ' do' 3 cheers and to see them kneel in obeissance to their new Head of State was very touching.  (his mother would have been proud of him).

Friday 9 September 2022

A Strange Feeling.

 It is indeed a strange feeling that after all those years suddenly our Queen is not with us any more.   I am not particularly a Royalist - in fact  I have no feelings either way but She has been our Head of State for such a long time that  She had really become a Permanent Fixture and now suddenly She is gone.   There is a disorientated feeling there which I hope will go in a day or two.   Life feels so very strange without Her.

I watched King Charles III land and drive to Buckingham Palace around lunchtime - how very strange it must seem to him to walk along the crowd of well-wishers, all eager  to shake his hand.   By tomorrow he will have a sore hand I guess.   He must have wanted to just go inside and put his feet up  and have a quiet time but no such luck.   Now meeting the Prime Minister  and then addressing the nation.   The state of things to come I guess. 

Good to read that Derek has had a good downpour - it has not rained so much here today although still several heavy showers and a rather cheerless day - as befits the news about HM the Queen I suppose,

No Last Night of the Proms - it has been postponed - I shall miss that but we must have a period of National Mourning I suppose although I don't know what our Beloved Monarch herself would have to say about it

I'll be back tomorrow friends.

Thursday 8 September 2022

An eventful day

 One way or another this was a day to remember.  I had promised to take friends T and S out for a meal and S had booked us into the CB Inn i n Arkengarthdale.   Today was the day when it decided to rain and when I say rain I mean RAIN!!!   It wasn't just the "gentle rain from heaven" sort of stuff, it was gigantic claps of thunder flashes of lightning and the real, heavy,  pouring stuff.   Here in The Dales it never really stopped until we came back to a lower level and it was tea time.   And Priscilla and I don't do rush so it is easy to get wet.

But the meal was excellent.   The Landlord was most welcoming.   Hehad only two tables booked but people arrived in a steady stream and his excellent chef was very busy.   We all three had fish and chips with peas and excellent  it was too (especially with a glass of Sauvignon).   And we couldn't resist ice cream and really good coffee.

We came home still through pouring rain.   No way could I eat any tea so I made myself a pot of tea, sat down to drink it and switched on the TV only to learn the very sad news that H M The Queen had died.An elderly lady with a long and happy life and a long and happy marriage.    Loved and admired by so many all over the world.   It was sad to see her family arriving - most of them too late - and all to be so noticeably upset.   Now we have to adjust to HM King Charles III but I am sure he will do her proud.

Wednesday 7 September 2022


Just as I thought- in the time it has taken me to answer all your answers from yesterday, what threatened has arrived - it is now a cold, wet day.  I refuse to put the central heating   so it is a cardigan instead.   As usual my carer arrived in a very skimpy top and quickly complained of being hot.

It is only a week since my gardener did all the cutting back and tidied in the garden and already many of the clumps of herbaceous plants are in bloom again.

I am looking forward to this afternoon.   My friends P and D who often come over and meet W and I for lunch, went over from Grange over Sands yesterday to a village near Scarborough.   They stayed there with friends overnight and go back this morning.   They will eat lunch somewhere en route on the way back and then call here mid afternoon for a stop and a cup of coffee - they intend to stay around an hour.

The sun is out, the rain has stopped and it is marginally warmer outside.   I see my lunch is on the kitchen table - a ready-cooked salmon steak with new potatoes and a salad.   My favourite.


See you tomorrow. 

Tuesday 6 September 2022

Our new member.

We have always been worried about getting any new members in case they didn't fit in but we have a new member L and she fits in perfectly.   And what better time could she join us than when we discussed The Canterbury Tales because she is a Medievalist.   Her contribution this morning was invaluable.

It was a lively meeting and I think we all enjoyed it.   I was very tired when it was over so I had my lunch and then followed Rachel's suggestion and had a sleep.   When I awoke it was absolutely teeming with rain and from the state of the road outside I would guess it been raining at least an hour.   I just hope the rain had passed directly overhead at Derek's and thus alleviated some of his worry about the state of the land.

I think I rather fancy some tea now maybe a toasted tea cake with cheese and a nice cup of tea.   I don't think i shall watch TV tonight - it seems to have been taken over by politics today.   See you tomorrow.

Monday 5 September 2022

A busy week

For me at any rate.   Tomorrow is Book Group and we are discussing The Canterbury Tales and hopefully we have a new member joining us.   I have concentrated on The Prologue and have found that by making a short precis of each character I have really a clear picture in my mind of them all.   These days at my age I do find recall quite difficult.     I have also read Part 1 of The Knight's Tale - interesting how women are treated as possessions to be handed over to the victors and married to their captors.   In some societies not much has changed I fear.

As for The Miller's Tale - the less said about that the better methinks!

Then on Wednesday friends P and D who live in Grange over Sands but have been to Scarborough to friends for the night ar calling for an hour on their way home.

Thursday I am taking friends T and S out for lunch.   They do such a lot for me so I am taking them - well they are taking me car-wise but I am paying as a thank you-.   I have decided if fish and chips is on the menu I shall have it (I say this and then read the menu and change my mind).

As with yesterday the sun is shining, it is warm with a gentle breeze and the garden is full of butterflies.  It was raining heavily as dawn broke but as the sun rose so it stopped raining.

My son has just been and taken my garden rubbish to the tip so the patio is nice and clear.   We have a new P M.   Will it make any difference?   Time will tell.

Sunday 4 September 2022


 Poor Derek on the Isle of Sheppey - rain just seems to keep missing them and everywhere is absolutely arid and the ground is cracked - all quite worrying.  Here most days we get a shower at some point; the lawns are green and nothing looks seriously short of water.   Now that my gardener has been and cut everything back already many of the herbaceous plants like the geraniums and the gallardias are coming into flower again.  Now all that remains is for me to get rid of all the bags of rubbish.   It is green bin collection on Wednesday morning.   My son has promised to take my excess up to the tip tomorrow and once the green bin has been emptied it can be filled again so hopefully the patio will soon be clear again.  There is definitely an  Autumnal nip in the air morning and evening but T and S have just called with some damsons and a couple of cooking apples and they say the temperature is twenty one outside.

As I sit here typing a sleek black cat I haven't seen before has travelled through my garden along the top of the wall.   I haven't seen this one before - is it new to the area or (more likely) is it swift-moving and hard to see?

Every time I see a 'new' one I am envious but then I remind myself  I do live on a busy road and I would hate to own a cat only for it to get run over.   (In any case does one ever own a cat or do they just choose to live with you - the latter I rather think.)

A new series of Antiques Road Show begins this evening and before that an hour of Country File.   Just about time for tea before it is time to get all locked up and settled down, so see you again tomorrow.

Saturday 3 September 2022

Autumn draws on!!

 Half past five on a Saturday evening and I have to say it is like dusk already.   H from next door came round with a dish of grapes and a yoghourt  and we had a cup of tea and a chat - made the afternoon pass quickly.   I was hoping my son was going to call on his way to the tip with his lawn mowings and relieve me of some of my garden rubbish but presumably he hasn't been yet because the extra bags still sit by my bin.   In the meantime my garden looks so much tidier I have to keep going and having a look at it.

Herbacous geraniums are such good value for money in a mixed herbaceous border.   The several new ones I bought earlier this year have done me proud, especially the Blue Johnson one which hopefully will seed to places it chooses where I would never have chosen to put it but which are just right.

It is time I started thinking about what to have for my tea as it is a quarter to six.   Super salad from my carer at lunchtime strips of beef on a bed including crunchy lettuce, grapes, cocktail tomatoes, cucumber, baby beets, potato salad and cole slaw and then scattered with cubed blue stilton cheese.

See you all tomorrow.

Friday 2 September 2022


 Suddenly, with the onset of September  has come the onset of Autumn.   This morning there was a distinct chill - by lunch time the sun was really hot and I sat out -but now at half past seven that chill is back with a vengeance.

My book group meeting is on Tuesday  this coming week and we have been reading the 'modern' version of Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales'.   We are all reading The Prologue and then each choosing one more tale to read.   I have read my choices earlier in the month but my brain is such these days that it is not brilliant at keeping information.   So on my Tesco order yesterday I bought a new notebook and today I have re-read The Prologue making a list of the pilgrims in the order they follow The Knight and with a little bit of information about each one.   I feel much happier about reading about them now.

Now tomorrow I shall re-read The Miller's Tale and make notes.   Have you read it?   Golly the whole lot is sexy to say the least.   I certainly never read it at school but as I went to a single-sex Christ's Hospital Girls' High School in the days when all women teachers had to remain unmarried that could have had something to do with it because there is an awful lot of sex in it and virtually nothing is left to the imagination'.

My son said last night that some scholars think T S Eliot based the way he started 'The Waste Land' on the start of The Prologue.   Anyone out there heard that?

Thursday 1 September 2022

Holidays in a dying USSR

 It all seems such a long time ago.  My last holiday with Malcolm, my first husband, was on the Trans-Siberian Express  and was I think in 1989.  We got on the train in Khabarovsk (Vladivostok was a closed city - you couldn't get on it there ) and were on it for four or five nights, going through the Taiga and along the side of Lake Baikal and getting off in Irkutsk.It was quite an experience - the old ladies on the platforms where we stopped, selling hot jacket potatoes, the terrible food on the train (you no like chick on the very skinny chicken wings dished up for dinner) and the long walk down the sleeper carriages from our very comfortable cabins through the 'locals' who kept their pyjamas and dressing gowns on for the whole journey and bought their meals on the platforms or brought it with them.  They slept in bunks on either side of the aisle.

We had some really wonderful experiences - Registan Square in Samarkand, the Ancient city of Bukhara where a little lad sitting on the steps to his front door indicated that he would like us to take his photograph and where we were chased off by his mother with a stick.

Most of our USSR holidays if not all were in Gorbachev's days - they needed our currency and the holidays were all controlled - I think by Intourist.

Once I married the farmer in 1993 our holidays were mostly in the US or Canada with a foray up the Norwegian coast and round to Kirkenes on the Russian border.  I would advise anyone never to turn down the chance to see the world.The memories last forever.

On the Home Front - it is a lovely sunny day - it threatens to change at the week-end and become much more unsettled.   In the meantime I can look out on my lovely garden,all tidy and sunny and - as it was yesterday- full of butterflies.

See you tomorrow.