Wednesday 17 April 2024

I didn't want to like this book but.....

                                                          


This was our book group read
 for April. When I read the blurb that it was about the aftermath of the 'A' bomb on Nagasaki I did not want to read it.. I was convinced I wouldn't like it. How wrong I was, I loved it!
Each chapter is introduced with an explanation of a Japanese culture and history and is worth reading to get the 'flavour' of the story.

The story revolves around the life of Amaterasu, a mother and grandmother affected by the dreadful atom bombing of Nagasaki. She spends her life grieving the death of her daughter Yuko and grandson Hideo. 
One of the best books I've read. An engaging story,  exquisite writing, and characters whose emotions you could actually feel. The author has a poetic quality of writing and really makes you feel about the choices of love and trust.
Years after the bomb Amaterasu, now a widow and living in America, opens her door one day to see a disfigured man there, claiming to be her lost grandson, Hideo.
He has with him a parcel of letters from Sato, a Dr who had loved her daughter. Sato had never sent them, but declares his love for Yoko in the letters and with Yoko's diary, Amaterasu relives her own past. 
The story  tells of her own love, and her daughter's love. It weaves back and forth across generations and changing cultural attitudes. It is a challenging read in some instances but ultimately rewarding and I found it difficult to put down, wanting to know what happens next.
It is a very emotional book with a deep romantic story at its core. The author actually lived and worked in Nagasaki and Sapporo for three years and researched the cultural references, so the explanations and terms of Japanese history at the beginning of each chapter are correct They were an education to me who knew little or nothing about Japanese culture and history, and as an introduction to each chapter, they were a nice touch too. 
This is  a thought provoking, beautifully written book that I highly recommend. 

Chrisxx

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Grrrrrrr, some days I hate myself!

That  troublesome word has cropped up again ....weight.. mainly my being very over weight. How did I get here I ask myself?? The bulk of this extra weight arrived in lock down. Why?? We did things in the garden, to keep active, when we had planned not to when we moved to Suffolk, so we'd be free to take holidays any time of the year. But it didn't work out that way. Once the rules in the second lock down, was that we weren't to travel, our movements were restricted, we didn't drive to walk somewhere, but did walk around our road. and locally. I bought my 'wheels' to help me, so we did get out walking.  We didn't go shopping, but had everything delivered, so no tempting shelves of sweets and chocs to see.. sounds  feasible doesn't it? 

But....

We ordered the tempting things instead, crisps, chocs, cake, we even found Orange Flavoured cake mixture and different fruit bread mixes and we did what a lot of Britain did, we baked cakes and made bread! When it was the winter months, we did not walk as much and my weight piled on. I felt very anxious the whole time and hardly ever slept through the night,  so we had tea and toast most nights! Then I compounded the stress by saying I wanted to move back here to Wales in the middle of lock down!

We had buyers right away, but they were slow getting a mortgage and the sales dragged on for 4 months. Each time we saw a bungalow here, because our sale hadn't gone through, we lost what we wanted to buy. This bungalow was the only one left for us to buy. Too big really, although we've filled it with our own furniture even though we gave a lot away before we came here. The garden is a lot bigger than we wanted, fortunately we have a big power lawn mower so it makes short work of the grass. And we have settled in and do get out quite a bit. But exercise doesn't lose weight, eating less does! Hence Slimming World and I am losing weight, but so slowly and I'm very easily tempted, so this SW cake helps.. But Sunday I ate more than one piece and some ice cream and as we had beef for our Sunday dinner, we had home made Yorkshire puddings, so doubt I'll lose another 2 lbs this week! Grrrrrrr

Here is the SW Weetabix cake,  it does hit the spot.

SW Weetabix cake

2 weetabix crumbled

200ml skimmed milk

100g sultanas

100g Self-Raising flour 

1 Tsp Mixed spice

2 Tbl Sweetner

2 large eggs

Method.

Preheat oven 180C fan/160C/Gas 4

Line a pound tin

Pour milk over Weetabix and mash, leave for a few minutes till thoroughly soaked.

Beat in all remaining ingredients

Spoon into tin and cook for 1 hour.

Turn out and leave to cool.

Slice into 12 pieces (3 1/2 syns per slice)

Chrisxx

Monday 15 April 2024

A WALK?


The sun was shining and Dh said 'come on lets go for a walk'.. I hmmm and haaa-d a bit but got my shoes. We intended to walk along the Eastern Prom, as it has been all revamped and the path ways are smooth and no loose pavers. It goes all the way up to the harbour, filled these days with top class yachts, unlike when I was little when there were just  a few old wooden fishing boats, keeled over on their sides. Sunny Sundays here are always packed, but altho the roadsides are full with parked cars, there is always spaces in the car park. 


This coffee kiosk by the harbour has lovely coffee and they have these too. It was somewhere we always went with Nell but we haven't been there since she went over Rainbow Ridge.   

 A couple of years ago while we were sitting there enjoying a coffee, Dh thought there was a seal swimming near the entrance of the harbour, we both watched for quite a while and it did look like a seal. So we walked all the way round to get a closer look. And was it a seal? No, a rock,  but I did agree (?) it could have been one. Since then I have teased him saying .... shall we go on a seal hunt??
... but it is a lovely place to sit and watch the world go by. So I said, yes lets go... but as we opened our front door, the heavens opened and the rain came down like 'stair rods' We waited a while but it didn't look as though it was stopping, so coats off and Dh made a cup of tea, which we had with  a piece of Weetabix cake.

Then as we sat down in the lounge and looked out of the window, the sun was shining again!!!!! 
Chrisxx

Sunday 14 April 2024

Insomia and a Saturday.

 This is pickled cucumber made by Dh, the one I made was eaten,; we really like it! The recipe is here....  https://alwayssmiling24.blogspot.com/2024/02/a-fancy.html

I had a funny old Saturday, started off tired as I was awake for 2 hours in the night. Some nights I sleep with the loo visits and some nights I wake for the loo and then can't get back to sleep. Friday night I tried hugging my pillow for an hour, with the mantra, 'I'm warm, I'm comfortable and I'm going to sleep,' with the picture in my mind of the sea gently lapping the shore. Then after an hour I get up, as that's what all the experts say.. I sometimes read my kindle, as its back lit so don't need a light, but at the moment I'm reading the book group book, 'A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding,' About a mother grieving for her daughter and Grandson, who were victims of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945. The font is faint and where its in italics, I need a bright light to see it.  An easy  read, but not a book I'd go to bed early to read! So I sat in the lounge with my spot light to read it. Climbed back into bed at 4 and was asleep in minutes. 

We usually visit the library on Saturdays, but no books to collect so we'll take ones we've read back on Wednesday, the book group afternoon.

Then gardening in the afternoon, Dh mowed the front grass, then he pruned a rose I'd missed, when I did the others a few weeks ago. It was a cutting that Dh took of a rose, that my daughter gave me several years ago and flourished in my Billericay garden. He took 4 cuttings and all 'took' We left one in the Suffolk garden and gave 2 away, so this is the last one. It's very precious, pink with a heavenly Turkish delight scent.. And while we were looking in that flower bed, I found a little penstemon, called Sour Grapes, I thought I'd lost. I took cuttings before we left Billericay and have had 1 or 2 in my garden where ever I've lived. This one I brought with me from Suffolk. Some of my plants have lived in several gardens!

(pic from a catalogue)

I can't kneel to garden any more so Dh did and cleared away the Forget me Nots and dandelions around it, to give it breathing room! Its still very tiny but I'll give it lots of  TLC to bring it on.

So our pickled cucumber went with our green salad and a very tasty steak and baked potato, for our evening meal. Another Saturday gone, with a drizzly end, I call it air rain, the sort that wets you!

How was your Saturday?

Chrisxx

Saturday 13 April 2024

Make your own pot noodle

Ingredients

50G dried noodles broken up.
1/2 veg stock cube crumbled.
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Tbl sp soya sauce
Carrot, grated
Small red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
Spring onion, chopped.
Fresh coriander, chopped
Tsp garlic granules.

Method

In a heat proof jar, layer the ingredients with the noodles at the bottom.
When you're ready pour in boiling water till noodles are covered.
Put on lid and leave for 8 mins
Stir and add a tsp of sweet chili sauce if you want it, enhances the taste.
(That would be synned for SW)

EAT AND ENJOY!
Chrisxx
(pic from a member in my SW group)

Friday 12 April 2024

A Sea Monster?

 On Thursday afternoons I have my hair done, since moving here I've found a hair dresser who does it just right. We don't usually go round town after it, but today we did, as it wasn't raining. Once I've had my hair done, I won't get it wet; we wandered through the town to get some cards, but suddenly there were some spicks of rain so we rushed back to the car.

We thought we'd have a drive to the sea front to see this huge piece of drift wood. Its been photographed by loads of people and is on all the FB pages. But we couldn't get a parking space near to it and I didn't want to get wet. Its like a huge monster from the sea!

It looks bleak doesn't it? We drove further along the front and got a parking space further along the prom, just by our favourite kiosk and got a lovely decaff coffee... 


... and one of these..

...A shortbread biscuit from Popty Bakery, they are delish.
And we sat and watched the sea breaking over the rocks and it rained and rained and rained!
So glad this isn't me!

Hurry up summer, we're fed up of the rain
Chrisxx

Thursday 11 April 2024

How life changes.


Yesterday was a day of rain and wind, but we still managed a blow by the sea. Some days I need to blow the cobwebs away out of my mind and yesterday was one of those days.
I had been brooding about those people, who always seem to take advantage of situations and I feel down trodden. Well one in particular.
In fact all my life I've felt second best. My childhood was carefree, but living without a mother I always felt I was missing something.
For the first 9 years of my life my cousin and her parents lived with us. There was only 6 weeks in age between us but, she was always just that little bit bigger than me, she developed breasts' when I still had 'fried eggs!'  I loved her mum and I did spend a lot of time with them. When we did go to the beach with an adult it was with her mum, because she didn't work. So I have lovely memories of those afternoons, but she wasn't my mum.
Then they moved to Wolverhampton, because her father got a job there. So I had summer holidays there. I was put on a train in care of the guard and travelled by myself, met the other end by my aunt. Can you imagine that happening today? I spent many happy summers there with them. 
I didn't know the background of our living arrangements back then. I mean I didn't know who owned the house in Porthcawl. So it came as an enormous surprise to learn that the Aunt who actually looked after me, who paid for me to go to that private school was the owner. It was she who encouraged me to work hard at school and get my qualifications. And one thing I had more than my cousin was, I got my school cert in 10 subjects, including my Aunt used to say very proudly French with Oral. My cousin got one subject and that was needlework! 
But didn't I feel I had something more than her, not really she had a mother and I didn't. When my Aunt who brought me up died, the house became mine, it was a shock, she had never told me.  And it caused a huge rift and the Wolverhampton crowd, as they had become to be known, decided not to speak to me. That was 1990.. but a few years ago my cousin got in touch with me and we exchanged cards etc. She came and stayed with us in my little house in Billericay and the Suffolk house. We were invited to stay with her in her 'barn conversion' rather posh, but out in the wilds. She has posh friends who all live in very big houses and own horses; my cousin had one too, for years. But now it seems I have more than she can ever have. Very sadly, her youngest daughter died age 30 with meningitis, she and her husband split after that and although she 'appears' to have money, her life is very changed. I still don't like her, something I realised a few years ago. She thinks my husband is very down trodden by me as he cooks when she has visited us and I appear to do nothing. I don't care I don't feel I need to explain things to her. 
Why am I brooding about all this now? She wants to come and visit and each time she has asked I've said no, with the reason we had builders here or something going on. Now she has asked again, and I've said no, why does she want to play happy families now when she didn't speak to me for over 20 years? Dh says we should, she's lonely and we have each other and it would be the Christian thing to do.
I'm thinking about it, but really I want to say no. Dh says it will only be for a few days but I know it will be like an open door.. 
I'll think some more!
What do you think?
Chrisxx

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Once Upon a Time!

 Ice on the inside of the bedroom window, toes on a hot water bottle.

 Spiders in the outside lav, with paper on a meat hook on the back of the door.  I never closed the door at night, but sat there swinging my legs, looking at the stars.

Sunny all day, playing out in the back lane.  Pushing my dolls in my pram with Kay and Margaret, wonder where they are today?

Days on the allotment with my grandfather, eating too many gooseberries and then tummy ache! Bless him, to keep me clean, off came my dress and on with a wheat sack, so I went home with a clean dress and filthy knicks where I'd sat playing in the mud!

Sweet shop round the corner and 5 for a penny.                             Dandelion and Burdock pop.                                                            Tinned peaches and Evaporated milk for Sunday tea and bread and butter!                                                                                                     Play clothes and a set of Sunday best clothes and school uniform. 

Toes cut out of last years sandals to allow for growing feet! There wasn't a lot of spare money.

Knitted pixie hat and matching gloves, probably would be highly valued now, but then every scrap of wool was used for something.


My aunty did knit one of these for me out of odd bits of wool.
Sitting in front of the coal fire in winter, toasting bread on the fire, listening to the radio, children's hour at 5 o'clock.
Playing Hide and Seek  in the dark, in the street, the lamp post was 'home.'
Paddling in the sea and getting my frock and knickers wet.. who cared?
Running down the hilly sandhills, screaming arms outstretched.
Days gone bye, but happy memories, and it never rained!
What was your childhood like?
Chrisxx



Tuesday 9 April 2024

Ta da!!

Although it wasn't obvious, there was a big dip in the lawn here. We wondered if at some point in time there'd been a shrub planted there and then dug up and the area roughly filled and grass allowed to grow over the spot and it had sunk.
There were quite a few times when I didn't allow for the dip and I nearly fell over. This last time my whaooo loud shout frightened me and Dh, as I forgot the difference in level and nearly went over!
It took 12 or more bags of top soil to fill the dip. We did this a couple of months ago and did the foot shuffle as shown by Alan Titmarsh to get it flat. Heavy rain since helped, so it was ready for turf.
Then there was the  search for turf. We saw some at Homebase the weekend before Easter, but as we were trying to get organized for our Easter visitors thought best leave it till after.. ha ha of course it was all gone.


I asked on our local FB page and was given the name of a firm that supplied all sorts of stuff for gardens, about 4 miles from us. I phoned them Friday and ordered the turf and we went along yesterday and picked it up.. and ta da.....
 

Not bad for a couple who had never done this before, with just big boots jumping to make it flat and a kitchen knife to cut it!
Of course Dh did the work I just supervised. He was very muddy and wet and had to go straight into the shower. And we'll have to soak his old jeans!
We're really pleased with our efforts, now we have the patio to clean, as the top soil is very black. The woman in the office, where we got the turf, advised us to put down some fertilizer first which we did.
Looks ok doesn't it?
Chrisxx

Monday 8 April 2024

Blossom

 These are my flowering trees bought last year and kept alive by Dh watering the pots twice a day in that searing heat, for 3 weeks, while we were having the patio layed.  A crab apple, and a flowering up right cherry. 



This is our chocolate vine, which we brought with us as a tiny 'shoot' from our garden in Suffolk. It has produced all this growth since we moved here.

The lovely blossom does produce a fruit, but I don't know if this one will, it needs to be well established.
I don't know why its called a chocolate vine because it doesn't smell like chocolate, more like vanilla. Proper name, Akebia Quinata.


And this is a lovely clematis that I've managed to grow up a little tree. Its called Pixie; not my photograph but how it looked when I bought it.

The tree was a small root brought with is from our other gardens; this is its 4th garden. A small tree, given to Dh many years ago. Name?? But it has a small Silver narrow leaf, produces a small yellow flower mid summer and the scent is heavenly.


My little flowering trees making my day a very happy one; my tulips survived the ferocious winds and slashing rain in the night.


Close up of the crab apple blossom.. so pretty!


I'm a happy bunny!
The Alanchier is still to flower and in pots we have a twisted stem flowering cherry, and Acer and Olive.
We have as well, a Bramley Apple, Victoria Plum, Damson, Russet Eating Apple, Peach, Fig tree and 2 Gooseberries. Even if they don't produce a lot of fruit, they look good!
Such a lot has been added to this garden which was only weedy grass when we moved here.
And I have flowers to come.. the little veg patch has garlic and shallots, carrots, sprouting broccoli and there will be runner beans in the summer. I grow my tomatoes in pots and potatoes in bags; we are keen gardeners.
Do you love your garden?

Chrisxx

Sunday 7 April 2024

We are nearly sorted.

 Burst pipes in the boiler. hole in the roof? These are the only things we'll have done if needed in future... we've had enough done and we're fed up of trades men...

This last 6 months, we've had a 30m hedge taken out and a fence put in its place; new window in our bedroom to have a fan light, as there was just one big window, I need cool air; new garage door; new garage roof; new patio; new front door; outside lights; planted close on £300 worth of small garden trees and shrubs instead of the hedge and sorted out a decorator to paint the outside walls. 

We had already had a new bathroom, kitchen, plus extra electrical wall sockets, decorated through out, and a carpet in the lounge..So we're done! In June we'll have been here three years.

We feel happy and sorted and living a comfortable life.. I have to be more active, so must get this sleep sorted, its so annoying to be awake a couple of hours each night. Dh lets me sleep on, but then our days start late, as I'm showering at gone 10 some days!

Roll on the summer months I'm ready for it! We're getting the garden straight while its dry, house work when its wet, so gradually getting sorted, hurrah!


Chrisxx

Saturday 6 April 2024

My heart is singing!

I had a happy, happy day yesterday.. my heart was singing and the sun was shining. And I lost a pound! I had eaten all the Easter stuff, hot cross buns with lashings of butter, the big lamb dinner with choc pud and ice cream for desert and some tiny chocolate Easter eggs, plus  Monday evening I had that Chinese meal! So how did I do that?? I was very strict before the weekend, didn't go to SW last Friday because I banged my toes on the chair in the bedroom and not only did they hurt like 'billy oh' I couldn't get my shoe on my foot as my toes had swollen. So I had probably lost weight last week, but hey ho I have lost a pound at SW! Some members had gained 4 pounds!

In the afternoon, we were out in the garden. I transplanted my Alicante tomato seedlings but not as I had planned. Last week I bought an 'i' newspaper to make newspaper pots, but where did it get to?? I think Dh who rarely puts things away has tidied it somewhere, or absently had popped it in the recycling! The pages cut in half are the best size for a home made pot, but I had a magazine with non shiny pages, so made them out of that.
Here are 8 propped up in a foil container. 
And my window sill little green houses with the latest flower seeds.


And my pelargoniums now grown quite a bit as I bought these as plugs two weeks ago.


So gardening has begun, yippeee. It was lovely outside working on the patio, tomorrow I want to pot up my dahlias, if its raining I'll work in the garage.. but also our little plastic green house moved to its new position, has been warm enough to grow on the little rockery plants. 
 Our new flowering cherry and crab apple trees, bought new last summer are beginning to flower.. no wonder my heart sings!
Chrisxx

Friday 5 April 2024

Fat Friends

 This is a delightful and very funny series which is about a group of people who attend s slimming group. This was an ITV series 2000 to 2005, hence why these actors look so young.


Its really worth watching especially if like me you belong to a slimming group, altho' our slimming group isn't a bit like this one, where gains are announced to shame the person!

I don't think that would encourage me to keep to the diet plan, but then neither does hearing some younger members, who swim, jog, or run miles each week losing 4 plus pounds each week, compared to my 1 or 1/2 pound loss.

It makes me feel like giving up as they are praised and win the Slimmer of the Week basket. I don't want the basket, but now and then it would be nice to be praised for always attending and always trying!

I won't have had a loss this week, as we did the whole Easter celebrations with Hot Cross buns, the full Easter Lamb roast and I even ate some chocolate! 

Its one of those dieting stories, I can keep to the diet, except for Christmas, Birthdays, Easter, Bank Holidays, Holidays and every week that has a d.a.y in it! 

What about you?

Chrisxx

Ps, Fat Friends are on NETFLIX

Thursday 4 April 2024

Am I old fashioned?

One of the topics that came up over the weekend was working Mums. It seems the latest view of children going to nursery school is that, they are more ready for school and learn better. I don't dispute that, but babies in nursery?   I know some families have to have both parents working, but if one parent earns enough for the other to stay home, why work? 

It was never a problem when I had my children, I was there and wouldn't have had it any other way.

I remember when my daughter first said 'mummy.' I was cleaning the bathroom, and she was in her little chair.. I stopped what I was doing, picked her up and danced around with her saying,' mummy, mummy, mummy!'

That was wonderful to me, especially as I had never had someone to call mummy!  That moment was a first, then there was her first time standing, first step, first time singing a nursery rhyme was amazing. If she had gone to a nursery I wouldn't have had that. 

All four of my children had me at home, they all learnt a whole lot of things before school and I made sure that they knew numbers and letters as well as play!

I'm just an old fashioned very proud mum! What about you?

Chrisxx

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Alone Again.

It was lovely to have visitors but its oh so nice to be just us again! 

Dh's daughter and her husband arrived Saturday morning just after 10:30, they were up early. We were still waking up! I am very happy for Dh's daughters to visit, but they haven't realised we are that much older and not as sprightly as we used to be, and personally I think they take too much for granted.. but as we had prepared a lot of the food well in advance, that was fine. Mid-morning tea and hot cross buns went down well, as did the quiche and large salad and extra side bits for lunch. I had made the pickled cucumber plus other bits.

 We were just relaxing with an after lunch cup of tea when Dh's phone rang and it was his son, who was at a beach round the coast and thought they'd pop in.. him, his partner, his daughter, her daughter and a friends daughter. There were then 9 of us. We do have a larger than average lounge/living room but it felt over crowded.

Cups of what ever and drinks, I was shattered walking back and fro. so was Dh! When they went, we sat in our arm chairs looked at each and laughed! And then we were cooking the evening meal! But all prepared, chicken kiev, baked potatoes and a mixed veg. Followed by Chocolate log, bought Christmas time but not used.. by the time we had all eaten and the table cleared, it was gone 7 and Dh and I were flagging, but we loaded the dish washer and slumped down. Dh couldn't sit in his favourite place in the corner of our large sofa, because his daughters announced she was so tired and had her legs up on the cushions alongside her husband.

Honestly I might seem a complaining old hag but I am old and waiting on young people wears me out. Sunday it was just four us. Dh and I cooked the large Welsh leg of lamb and it was delicious. Pud was rhubarb, from the garden and cream and tea was sandwiches & crisps I went to bed early than Dh, I was so tired and I had backache.

And then Monday my own son and wife arrived just after Dh's  daughter and husband left... but thank fully they had just eaten and were staying at a local site in their motor home.. After they went we treated ourselves to a Chinese. We ate, watched Tele and went to bed and slept! 

Whew!! Today we didn't need breakfast, but we sat and took our time, showered and dressed after 11 and then cleared up in the kitchen.. This afternoon we have read our books and dozed.

It is so nice to be quiet, we're not used to so many people talking all together!

Thank you for all the Easter Good Wishes, We still did our Easter Bible readings and prayers and Dh is the best man in my life, and he agrees, his daughters have to realise we are older!

Chrisxx

Sunday 31 March 2024

Halleluiah!

 


He is risen, halleluiah.

Chrisxx

Saturday 30 March 2024

Getting ready for Easter Visitors.

Dh and I have been busy moving dust! This is because Dh's daughter and her husband are coming for the Easter weekend. We need visitors now and then to push us to clean that second bedroom.. everywhere is more or less clean, as we have a regular routine of cleaning.

We work together because we get more done and quicker. We have a laugh, because we both had jobs, when we left school that taught us how to clean. Dh joined the navy age 15 and was shown how to clean the 'heads' (toilets) and I started my nurse training age 18 and I too was shown how to clean a toilet. I usually do it wearing my invisible 'tiara' because like I've said before, I always think when I'm doing it.. 'I bet the Princess of Wales doesn't do this' ( Hope she is feeling positive and knows how all of us are praying for her!)

But very importantly the patio is sparkling from being pressure washed by Dh. And Thursday I bought 2 pots of tete a tete and replaced some in the front trough to brighten it up. So as long as my garden looks ok, I'm happy. Dh's daughter is garden proud!

And my planted tulips are looking amazing.. and a very sparkling clean patio! 



Looks better than when it was new as, there must have been a film on the slabs, because you can now see the marbling effect, I love my garden.

I'm happy!!

Chrisxx

Friday 29 March 2024

Thursday 28 March 2024

I've got a lot of time for this woman!

 Have you by chance read what Ann Widdecombe has said recently to GB news.

The former MP said...  Quote....'Firstly I think you should stop lumping all old people together. There's enormous difference between  someone in their 60s, who almost certainly comes from the age of computers and someone in their 90s, who struggles a bit and whose brain doesn't work as fast as it used to and is afraid of new technology. There's an enormous difference. I'm sick of hearing the word pensioners as if we're all the last stages of an illness.

 Secondly is that,  very sophisticated stuff you wouldn't expect them to do, like on line Banking is fairly simple to do and  can be mastered by most people and most people have access to the younger generation, who can show them what to do if they can't.  I say Just get on with it!'

End of quote...

Then last evening I had a text from my DD thanking me for their Easter card and a 'ha ha ha,' for my explanation of down loading an app. to know the time in Chandigarh India. where my grand daughter is. I had sent her instructions of how to find one because she said she couldn't... in stages..eg, ... On yr phone, Search for the World Clock, tap and open, then scroll through options, then chose the option Asia, tap and open, then chose the town nearest to ... etc then blah blah.. I did reply by saying I might be 81, but you forgot I taught computers when I was teaching and had given her step by step instructions assuming she knew nothing!! Ha ha. and also Dh's job was IT.. I use my computer for everything.. and nothing phases me! Criky I know younger people who can't blog, are afraid of emailing and think their phones are annoying when their phone won't do something. I've said, its you, not the phone!

What do you think if you're an older person?

I do admire Ann Widdecombe but her books/novels,  are awful in my opinion!

Chrisxx

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Where does it go?


Isn't this an amazing photo my friend's daughter K, who is very artistic took it. As a child, did you ever blow one of these to tell the time?
I knew K when she was young and her sister, because when their mum started working, I was her port of call, if one of them was ill and couldn't go to school.

I was a stay at mum, as most mums were in the 70's and 80's and my friend was very good to me and supported me, when I was going through a rough patch in my marriage, so I was more than happy to help out.
Both girls had a lot of time off school, and so spent a lot of time with me and I got to know them well. 

On K's 14th birthday I bought her some nail polish, as she always played with pens colouring her nails.. She was delighted and said she'd do her toe nails the same colour. I innocently said, how wonderful they would look, especially as she had smooth young legs, and quick as a flash, she said she shaved them.. Her mum was shocked and upset.. she started to cry, because she thought her little girl was suddenly grown up.
Several cups of tea later, with her girls watching TV with my children, my friend and I talked and we both realised our children were growing up.
Today K is a mother and a young grandmother. When she left school she became a Shop Window Dresser. She's still very artistic and as well as her photography, she draws and paints.

We can all feel the same about our children, I can't believe my grand daughter is 30 this year. At the moment she's in India working for her Accountancy firm! How can that be, only the other day she was making cakes in my kitchen, more mixture on her face than in the cake papers!
Time flies and whoosh, all we have left is memories; so enjoy every moment and laugh a lot!
Keep smiling!

Chrisxx

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Chinese Whispers!

 

                                                             


Aren't these lovely, I bought them yesterday, a present to myself, silk orchids in a shiny pot! But I just thought they'd look nice on our coffee table and they do! Sometimes you have to treat yourself.

Once again, I've had the most dreadful urinary infection, I was prescribed some anti-biotics last week and took the whole course, but last night I was hardly in bed. It seemed like they hadn't work. 

So Dh tried to phone the surgery at the 8:00 o'clock scramble time, but as usual couldn't get through, so 9 ish we gave up, altho I felt like screaming. Anyway I phoned after 10 and was number 9! When I did get through, I asked for an emergency appointment. I had to answer questions and was told I would have a phone call back; I made sure I had her name.

Phone call back was the same receptionist, who told me that she had spoken to the contact person, who spoke to the Duty Dr. Criky I thought its 'Chinese Whispers!' 

But I was prescribed different anti-biotics and for a longer time. 

It's not easy to be ill, and know you can't get to see a Dr. How have we come to this state of affairs?

I've just read an article on chronic UTIs and there is a call for less anti-biotics in favour for an anti-bacterial called Hiprex. I was prescribed it once by # 9 Dr, I'm saying #9 because she was the 9th Dr I'd spoken to since we'd lived here. I've spoken to a few more since then. I'll try after Easter to get a routine appointment and ask for it. I've tried buying it and can't! 

In the mean time I'll take what I'm given and treat myself, altho Dh would have bought those silk orchids if I'd said I'd like them... but there's a book I have my eye on, so I might mention it to him!!

Chrisxx

Monday 25 March 2024

Afternoon tele or ??

 What did you so before daytime tele? I asked this of some friends of mine of a similar age to me. And would you believe it, we all did housework bits, mostly ironing.

I realised that I did the same and also in summer I did the garden. There wasn't day time tele, in fact I didn't know there was any, some time in the 1980's, I remember my DD coming home from UNI and wanting to watch Neighbours, it was on TV during the day.

But I still didn't watch TV during the day. Once I started teaching, full time work took up my time and in the evenings, I marked books and did my lesson  planning. 

But in lockdown we watched a lot of tele, and since then, I like to watch some afternoon programmes like 'Escape to the Country' And we binge some films on wet afternoons.. and I read.

And that's what I realised I never did during the day years ago, I didn't sit down and read during the day. I felt guilty if I sat down to read? Can you believe that, I didn't read during the day? What a waste of reading time!

All those years I could have been reading; these days I read all the time!

What do you do in an afternoon, housework, garden, or going out?

Do you read during the day? At the moment I'm reading this book...

Something totally different to the Kristin Hannah book, and I'm enjoying it, #20 this year, so you see I do read a lot.

Chrisxx

Sunday 24 March 2024

Palm Sunday



I was in Israel in 2002, so walked the road where 2000 years before people had stood and waved palm leaves and shouted Hosanna for a man riding a donkey.
It seems a lot longer ago, when I was there, and now there is war and destruction there.
The shortest verse in the Bible is 'Jesus Wept' (John 11.35)

Chrisxx

An amazing read.

 This is the 4th book I've read by Kristin Hannah and have loved everyone.  This is a powerful story of friendship, marriage, being a parent and the effect of war on families.

The characters become so real to you, as you read through the story. Jolene and Tami are best friends who met when they both became  soldiers in the US National Guard. They are very close, even lived next door to each when they married. 

Jolene and husband, Michael appear to have a perfect marriage, but things start to go wrong when she is deployed to Iraq.. You're swept along in their lives and of their children and the way it is written, the dialogue just flows. 
The story was fast paced full of emotional and I had tears in my eyes as I read, Seeing a war through the eyes of a woman, the experiences, and the story of the horror of war gave me, a fresh look of a modern war; of things I've never known. 
I kept thinking how could women face the conditions they found themselves in and how amazingly proud their families must be; Jolene a pilot of a Black Hawk helicopter.

While some people might think the children weren't perfect, Betsy 12 years of age especially had some problems, but that's how families are.
I couldn't put this book down, it tore at my heart strings and I wanted to scream at some of the characters, to say, wake up look at what you have, be grateful and be 'nice.' 
The Author had spoken to members of the Military in her research,  so there was a truthfulness about the horrors of modern warfare and how it was used in the Iraq war. Frightening that it happened and how soldiers have such courage and to whom we have so much to be grateful for.
This story will stay with me for quite a while, a roller coaster of love, war, families, hardship, loneliness, suffering  and the friendship of two women.
I hope you'll read this book and enjoy it as much as I have.

Chrisxx

Saturday 23 March 2024

Royal news.

 Catherine, Princess of Wales has very bravely given a televised interview announcing that she has been diagnosed with cancer.

She explained that William and herself, wanted to make sure that their children were told first to allay their fears and to make sure they understood. And this why she hasn't spoken about her illness at an earlier time.

 


It seems her original operation wasn't for cancer, but on examination after the operation, it was discovered.
She is receiving treatment for the cancer and also medication as a preventative and she is well.
She did look very pale, but as beautiful as ever.

I should think, another reason that she has chosen to speak now, is because of all the wild rumours. Let's hope now people will stop and give her space to recover and leave her alone.
This wasn't my intended post today,  but how could I not write about our beautiful Princess of Wales.
We're all praying for her and for her successful treatment and for a complete recovery.

Chrisxx

Friday 22 March 2024

It's started already!

 You might say, what has started.... all the promises of.....if you vote for us! Well I've lived long enough to know, it doesn't matter who gets into the driving seat of power in Parliament, the policies are guided by one thing and one thing alone, MONEY.

Carl Marx said... the root of everything is money.

If there isn't enough in the coffers, there's no change. Unless they borrow from ??

During lockdown there was the furlough scheme, the money was borrowed and we're still paying it back. It was certainly needed.

When I was training to be a nurse 1960, my very first monthly wage packet held just over £7, that was after board and lodge, tax etc was taken. This in 2024 is approx. £2,300, before stoppages,. This is the lowest band. However, they start off with the bill of their degree fees to repay.  

The basic wage of a Dr is approx. £52,000. P.A  No one would say they're not worth their wages, and we're all very appreciative of their services when we need it.

As a retired  teacher I know how hard teachers work, their starting salary is approx £30,000 P.A 

When you look at the figures and like me,  you've lived 8 decades, it seems that their salaries are good.. however with the rise in the cost of living they certainly are not.

And what about social workers and all others, who are providing us with their services?

Does anyone in UK remember what you could buy for just a £1? Once upon a time!

I could get.....

A loaf of bread. Half a pound of butter, Pot of jam, Pint of milk and a Packet of biscuits.  

Today you can get a loaf for 75p or possibly cheaper if you shop around and the rest? Well, it will all cost more than a pound, of course it will, how ever did we ever think we'd need food banks?

So promises of any Party in Government aren't worth anything.. they are just 'paper' promises.

Our present PM, Rishi Sunak has said he'll uphold the Triple lock, so OAPs will get an annual rise, equal to the rise in the cost of living.

It would be good if he did, but I doubt he knows how Old Age Pensioners live. I remember the scandal of the MP Paul Scully, who didn't know the cost of a pint of milk. Does Rishi know the problem of trying to live, when the money you earn doesn't cover all your living expenses. 

One of Dh's daughter works for Christians Against Poverty, a charity to help people who are not managing, because their household  bills are more than their salaries, and that doesn't include food.

The majority of our MPs, probably all of them have never been on the 'Breadline' but they give us promises, which they can't keep. 

 And as the saying goes..'And they walk among us!

Chrisxx

Thursday 21 March 2024

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who wrote comments about blogging, it was so interesting to read, especially those of you who don't have your  own blog. I have noticed that there are bloggers who reply to comments, but I think if I did that I'd never get off my lap top.  
And I agree its sad when a blogger stops because of trolls and even sadder when they've passed away. I've known 5 who have and I was always really sad for  them and their families.

I try to think of different things to write about, at the moment I'm horrified at the malicious talk about Princess Catherine. To allay a lot of fears, she and William, went walk-about near to where they live. Its been suggested that it wasn't her, but a lookalike!! And shock horror William wasn't wearing a wedding ring?? He's never worn one, and it was explained some time ago that the 'Royal' men don't wear wedding rings. Why do people start these rumours? I think personally, shoot me down if you wish, but they are a lovely couple and are trying to do their jobs as Royals. They are very loving parents and take time out of their Royal Duties in school holidays to give their time to their children. 

And just because they're beautiful, here is a photo of Artic White Daffodils.(not my photo) I had these growing in my front trough last year.......

.......and popped the bulbs in a dry pot in the shed, to grow this year and forgot all about them, until at the weekend I found them. So I have potted them up and they look as though they are growing, yea! 
They cost a bit more than yellow daffs, but I spare no expense if its for my garden. Just wish I could do more, but my age is catching up with me and I can't do a lot of things I used to be able to.

Chrisxx