Monday 24 June 2024

Going, going, ....

 Yes.   At last, after a gruelling fortnight, much of which has been spent lying languidly on my bed, my Covid test this morning tells me 'good-bye'.   One more test to go and then hopefully I shall feel better.  (difficult when one is going 'downhill' to decide when one feels 'better' from Covid but the wonderful herbaceous geraniums and roses are definitely making me feel more human (as long as I don't try to do anything!))

The sun certainly does the old bones good.

The irritant at the moment is that the batteries need changing in my garage door.   I have them here but cannot change them because it needs two hands.   My electrician is on holiday but is coming home today  (must be hard as the joyous background 'noise'  (or should I say 'nature's music') sounds so very tempting.  He  says he will pop round and change them for me this evening.

Off now to look for something tempting to eat (for  the past fortnight everything has tasted like cardboard).

Friday 14 June 2024

A Hurrah for Newspapers

 I understand that Newspaper sales are not what they used to be. Folk these days rely on TV, their mobile, all the fancy ways now of getting to know what's happening without spending their money on a daily wad of paper stuck through the letterbox, three quarters of which they never read (and if you don't catch the arrival of the paperboy quickly on a pouring wet morning then the half of it sticking out of the letterbox needs pegging on the line to dry out).  You can easily rustle up an argument to understand why sales are down.

But I love my newspaper.  Perhaps it is a family thing.  My father took The Daily Herald until it disappeared from the newstands in about 1964 just a few years before he died.   It doesn't need saying that he was  staunch Labour Movement man but as a child I found it very boring.

My first husband's father was a Daily Mail man.  Each morning an unopened edition was by his place at the breakfast table.  Woebetide    anyone who had dared to read it before him.  My husband loved Teddy Tail of the Daily Mail (a strip cartoon) and he would carefully open the paper and read him each morning (|if there was an accident  and the page got ruffled his mother would iron it before she folded it by 'the Old Man's' place).

I am addicted to The Times and wait for its arrival each morning in anticipation of a good read.   It is like a best friend who saves up special things to tell you; little snippets of information -useless information some would call it- that stir up the old brain cells and start the day off well.

 I have just spent an hour (after spending a similar length of time on the Mind Games)  reading snippets and I thought I would share one or two of the interesting snippets with you:

Did you know that it is exactly 105 years ago today since Alcock and Brown took off in a First World War biplane to attempt a flight across the Atlantic? After a nail-biting, hair-raising flight they made it, thus winning a £10,000 prize for the first non-stop flight over the Atlantic.   That landed in what they thought looked like a flat green field in Ireland but what turned out to be a bog, so they came to a halt nose first but unhurt after 1890 miles in around 16 hours 10 minutes (120 mph) - at that time the longest distance flown by man.   They were both knighted by King George Vth.   That's surely worth keeping in the brain's memory box for next time the Red Arrows scorch through the skies leaving a red white and blue vapour trail and gone before you can blink.   (Thank you for that Paul Simons)

Then a quick turn to the Comment section to find out what snippet Jonathan Tulloch has today in his beautifully written Nature notes.   They are never a disappointment (just a tiny bit of irritation that this neat, always nicely illustrated, snippet never appears on a Saturday).   Today's is about the Water Vole (or as he points out), Ratty in Wind in the Willows.   He is apparently becoming more "fossorial" (hands up those of you who knew that word - it means 'adapted for digging') and can    now be sussed out at Easterhouse near Glasgow where he forages above ground but lives in subterranean holes.  Apparently Water Voles feature quite heavily on the menu of American Mink so I hope he has done his homework thoroughly.

There you are.   Two snippets for your digestion.

Covid still taking its toll but we are getting there.  Bad sleeping and poor appetite but improving.   And it is snippets like these that keep  me going!

Thursday 13 June 2024


 Just a quickie to let you know I have a nasty bout of COVID!!!   Started on Sunday - have had a couple of days showered and dressed then laying on my bed under a blanket all day.

I am beginning to feel better today.  But couldn't help thinking how I said in my last post to always look for the good things.   Well I wasn't tired, just weak and unable to even read the Times.   But my garden is fully visible from my bed if I pile up the pillows and what joy it has given me this week.  It is ablaze with colour:

Pink Valerian all along under the hedge,    then pink Osteospermum, purple and yellow iris, foxgloves - both pink and white, two huge clumps of bright pink rock roses separated by a Heuchera with dark  purple/brown leaves, deep purple campanula, the last of the aquelegia, a big patch of tall purple thistles well within chatting distance of a dozen or so tall pink foxgloves, vying to see who can grow tallest, my rose Gloire de Vivre - pale apricot/pink- 7 blooms out and another seven buds and a lovely patch of summer bedding pansies - so far apricot, purple, white and yellow out.   There are a lot of herbaceous hardy geraniums to come shortly - white one and pale pink (very invasive) one are out - waiting for the others.  Anyone who says it is boring just laying on the bed all day needs a garden to look at!

And that is without the tiny wren in the garden all day flitting from pillar to post - so tiny that if it stands still  it is easy to miss, Mr and Mrs Blackbird searching for food for their nestlings and visits from various other feathered friends.

The sun has just broken through and is making everything look brighter.   I am trying to stay upright today and also trying to eat after two days of almost fasting.   I am off to make myself a hot choc and with it a couple of chocolate digestives.  Life is returning to normal .

Wednesday 5 June 2024

Be Happy

 D Day and the 80th commemoration is upon us.   Speaking to a chap who was not born until the late 1950's yesterday, was interesting.      He felt the 'fuss' being made was really a bit 'over the top' after all these years.

I could not agree less.   Remembering  those young men in the prime of their lives and the sacrifices they made in the wiping out  of Fascism in Europe at the time should not be forgotten just because it is 'a long time ago'.   I believe over 2000 a day were killed in the first fortnight - many before they even got their feet wet - being shot at by snipers and the German guns as the jumped down from the landing craft into a jolly cold and rough sea, many drowning.  Those who reached the shore after pushing their way through their dying and dead comrades experiencing things most if not all of them who survived the war never forgot even if they rarely spoke of it.

I intend to watch the first ceremony in half an hour on TV but first I just wanted to say this:

We owe it to ourselves and each other to search out the good, the beauty there is in the world - the good people there are everywhere.   Not everything is bad even though the News bulletins do tend to dwell on that side of things.   So here are one or two things in today's Times which cheered me up no end.

Remember those two tunaway horses spooked by a noise on a building site as the Household Cavalry rode past?   Do you recall the pictures on TV and in the papers of the black and the grey horses, covered in blood, galloping wildly through London streets, riderless, bumping into vehicles, thoroughly scared?   Well, they are almost better and ready to return to work.  In today's Times there is a photograph of the two of them hob-nobbing over the fence in adjoining buttercup-strewn fields, noses touching, communicating as horses do, saying who know what (unless one is a horse).  What pleasure I got from looking at them this morning - not in their usual environment but 'on recuperative 'holiday'- the shot gladdens and uplifts the heart.

And want a laugh - or at least a smile (especially if one has been a parent of a young boy)?  In the US a Congresman is denouncing Donald Trump's conviction.   Goodness knows why but he has taken his seven year old son with him and there are three photographs.   In the first his son, Guy, who is sitting behind him, is leaning into the picture and smiling at the camera (aw - lovely little red-haired boy proud to be in a photograph with Dad) but by the time the other two photographs are taken boredom with the proceedings is setting in. (with a vengeance).  In one his head is lolling to the right and his little pink tongue is  poking out.   By the time the last photograph is taken boredom has really taken over.   He is sitting upright but his shoulders have flopped, his eyes have taken on a vacant look and his tongue is poking out and touching his left cheek.  Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words.

Life is so full of posturing politicians, we read what is written, we never know the whole truth - only what is fed to us.   Sometimes it is good - after admiring those wonderful old men - and women - now all in the nineties and some over a hundred, who tearfully (me included here) listened about, in some cases talked of ,their fallen comrades who they all said deserved the medals far more than they did, voices choked with tears sometimes, many with loving family members there for support,  sometimes its good to find something to smile about, to get a good feeling about.

Heaven knows almost every page in the newspapers at the moment is doom and gloom, wars, election promises we all know will be broken, crooks, staabbings.   Follow my example, search for something/s to make you smile, to give you a good feeling.   You know it makes sense.