Wednesday, November 30, 2005

More cooking

After making the Christmas Pudding yesterday, I decided to make the Cake today. So for the first time in umpteen years the cake`s made, as it should be, weeks beforehand!
So I`ve really excelled myself this year! Now all I`ve got to do is ice it, and it looks as if that might even get done before Christmas Eve this year.

I wondered as I made it, why despite the fact that we`ve got quite a number of recipe books, that for these two items I still go back to the old recipes that we`ve used time and time again, instead of using a perhaps slightly different one from a newer book. Is it because it`s out of habit or because it`s tried and tested, or traditional? Looking at the date on the yellowing page of the magazine that the Pudding recipe is on I found that it`s from the
“Woman`s Pictorial” 3rd. December 1949, price 4d. ! We`ve certainly had good value from that magazine recipe over the years.
Wonder if anyone else uses a magazine over 56 years old for a recipe?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Christmas preparations (1)

Well, I`ve done it.
I`ve been going to do it for weeks, but either haven`t felt in the mood to do it, or haven`t had the time to do it, or haven`t had all the essential ingredients to do it, but now this afternoon I did it. And in a few hours time it will be cooked and ready. A lovely smell is beginning to permeate the kitchen, bringing back memories of past years, past times. Strange isn`t it, how smells can evoke so many memories. This one brings back thoughts of happy times, of watching mother making them, of my small hands trying to stir them, of dad tying the covers on with string and securely knotting a handle over the top in the way only he could do. Happy memories.

What am I talking about…. our Christmas puddings.

Monday, November 28, 2005


Boxes, boxes everywhere, and not a space to spare!
No, I`m not talking about Christmas boxes, I`m not one of those organised people who`ve done all their Christmas parcels up yet. I`m talking about all those boxes that one just has to keep.
It seems to me that now-a-days, whenever you purchase something, its always in an enormous box, and the instructions say “keep the box” in case you need to return it – but, they don`t tell you where to store all those boxes. I can`t put them in the cupboard, that`s full – of boxes already, there`s no room under the beds, nor on top of the wardrobes, the cupboard under the stairs is full, there`s only a small opening to the loft and a lot of the boxes won`t go through it, no matter how we twist and turn them. We`re drowning in boxes!
What anyone who lives in a small flat does I dread to think, we have at least got a medium size house, but still have no where to put all these boxes.
And, if we dare to throw one out, it`s sure to be just the one we need isn`t it?! I wonder what other people do with them. Do they keep them or destroy them or where do they put them.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


One of the presents I had for my birthday was a new digital camera –so look out for more photo`s on here! I`ve still many pages of the instruction book of the camera to read yet, but this is one I took with it today. The seagull kindly `posed` on the post while I sat in the car, just before it poured with rain.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


So, the licensing hours for places selling alcohol have been extended. Is it a coincidence I wonder that two of our members of staff failed to come in to work today, the next day to the new extended hours?! (As one who doesn`t drink I fail to see the need for any extended hours anyway).
It really makes me wonder what the country is coming to. I saw a week old baby today and I wonder what things will be like when he grows up, are `we` ruining the earth and existance?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Do Birthdays make one older?

So, I`m a year older ! No I`m not!
I`m a day older than I was yesterday, and by the time I finish writing this I`ll be ten minutes older than I was when I started writing it. So why do we say at birthdays that one is a year older? Thinking about that set me pondering - when were birthdays first thought of? Did they mark or celebrate them in the first century AD, or in Roman times, or was it even earlier than that, I read in the bible accounts of meals and feasts, were any of these perhaps birthday celebrations?? Or when did somone first decide to do it, and who was the first person to celebrate a birthday?!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Age - all in the mind?

Fifty two today.
Yet, where have those years gone to?
When I was a child anyone over 50 seemed old, so do I appear old to others, maybe to those I work with?
Yet I don`t feel old. I don`t feel any older than I did ten or more years ago. Well apart from a few occasional aches and pains, but we won`t go into them!
So, is age all in the mind?
(yes, the little one`s me)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Floral Mystery

When I arrived home at lunch time today, there sitting waiting for me was a long narrow box that the postman had delivered. What was it I wondered and who had sent it. Intrigued, I tackled the staples that were holding it tightly closed and found inside wrapped in green tissue paper, a beautiful bouquet of carnations, direct from Jersey. Who had sent it?
I found the gift card in the box, “Thanks for all you kindnesses.
Happy Birthday for the 24th.” But, there was no signature, no printed name, nothing to tell me from whom it came.
So, it`s a mystery.

But it`s a mystery that I shall have to solve so that I can say Thank You.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Crazy golf

I`ve just been playing a game of crazy golf, but I didn`t do very well! Took over 40 shots more than the recommended. Guess I need a lot more practice.
Still at least I didn`t get cold or wet and have to walk miles round a course to do it!

Monday, November 21, 2005

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Autumn Colours

Having written yesterday about the delights of autumn colours, I dug out of the cupboard some photo`s I took in a previous year of a beautiful autumn day in Norfolk, and having now treated myself to a scanner thought I`d try and put them on my blog piece for today, so here they are.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

A country drive

It was a beautiful autumn day today, but a sharp cold one, so instead of going for a walk, I went for a drive round the country lanes, no particular destination, just a ride to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.
We saw some lovely autumn colour in the leaves on many of the trees. Such varieties of shades from yellow, gold, orange and with the sun shining through them and the breeze gently stirring them, they were a delight to view. There were carpets of fallen leaves too under the trees and contrasting with the green of the grass where they had fallen on the banks. Further on the movement of a flock of sea-gulls over a field caught our attention they were following a tractor ploughing the field. There was grace and pattern in the systematic way the ones pecking in the rich dark earth of the furrows made, at the furthest end from the tractor took to the air and came to the front and settled again, a constant circular motion of movement of them all in harmony. To complete the real country scene a horse with a small carriage came trotting along the lane towards us.
As the afternoon wore on the sun began to drop lower in the sky and became a striking orange, lighting the sky and hanging as a huge golden ball. Trees stood silhouetted starkly against this orange sky, making visible their shape of bare branches.
What a beautiful world, and how lucky we are to have all this so near where we live.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Watching a quiz game show on television this evening, I began to wonder (yes, I seem to do a lot of wondering, don`t I?!) why it is that they never have disabled people as contestants? I know some disabilities could be inappropriate in practical ways for some quizzes, like for example a visual quiz for a blind person, but there`s nothing to stop such a person being on a question type programme, is there. With all the laws now against discrimination against disabled people, surely they should be included in such activities.
And, why do they seem to not have people that are unemployed and could do with winning some money, nearly always contestants seem to have good jobs.

Here`s a version of one of the game shows that I found that one can play on here. ( I only managed to get to £250 though!)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Saving items

If you had to evacuate your home quickly, and could only take 3 things with you, I wonder what they`d be?
I`ve been thinking about this, since hearing a similar thought this morning. It`s made me think what do I treasure? What couldn`t I do without. I think it would have to be: first my cross on a chain which has very sentimental value, second my photo of my Dad, thirdly my handbag! (And of course the pet bird)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Too money orientated?

A chance comment made to me the other day, set me thinking. Do people feel they have to be rich to go to church? Is this part of the cause of the reported falling church attendance now-a-days? Are the poorer and less well off people stopping away because they feel they can`t afford to go to church?

Even over the last few weeks on Sundays at the church I attend, besides the `normal` collection in the service, there`s been an extra collection for a cause, gift envelopes for different causes, children with collecting boxes, boxes available to take home to collect in, and others- like tickets for events, cards and items for sale, which one sometimes feels obliged to buy.

Are things like this putting people off coming to church? Do they feel excluded because they can`t always afford to contribute, so they stop coming to worship? I wonder.

Is the church getting too money orientated? There are other ways of showing God`s love, in caring. I`m not suggesting that we shouldn`t support needy causes and disasters, but at times it seems as if worship is being lost for money-making.

Is this all contributing to falling church attendance?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The North Wind

The North wind do blow
And we shall have snow
And what will the robin do then, poor thing?
He`ll sit in the barn and keep himself warm
And hide his head under his wing
Poor thing

This verse, learnt years and years ago at school came back to me today with the icy wind that`s blowing about here. I don`t know where the verse comes from, or who wrote it, or if it`s part of something longer. Still, it shows I did learn something at school !! even if it`s something not very useful!

We call it a lazy wind – it goes through you and not round you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


What is News?

I`ve just looked it up in a dictionary and it says “new or interesting information about recent events”. And, interesting (in the thesaurus) could be classed as absorbing, entertaining, engrossing, intriguing, fascinating, gripping, and stimulating.

So, why are all the news programmes on television so full of gloom, of depressing news? Why do they never divide the programme time between good and interesting things that have taken place? Why is it all on tragedy and disaster, or scandal? I know that we have to be informed of such things, and it would be wrong not to, but at the same time why isn`t good news shared? I can`t believe that there aren`t good things happening in the world. If “news” is meant to be interesting information about recent events, we should be told about them too. Why can`t they even up the balance of the programmes, so that we don`t switch off at the end, feeling so depressed with everything?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Given or Taken?

I wrote a while ago about some expressions in language which I dislike – there`s another one, that I`ve heard several times these last few days, which I also think is inappropriate to use. And that`s - “gave their life”. It`s been used a lot in different services/programmes especially relating to war times. Did those soldiers (and civilians) really willingly give up their lives. I can`t imagine that they purposely went out there to die which would be “giving” as it would be done intentionally. Surely we should say “those who died in war”. or even " those whose lives were taken through war".

Sunday, November 13, 2005

What present to buy?

Stuck for what to get friends for Christmas? I came across this novel idea for Christmas presents the other day give them a piece of the moon, or an acre of Venus. Now, I wonder what would one do with that? How would you get there to use it? Could you build a house on it, or farm it, or what?

Of course to own a piece of Paradise sounds far better – now perhaps I should include that on my Birthday list for 11 days time! But then, what could I do with just a square foot of paradise? Not big enough to put a deck chair on, and it may not be on the beach anyway!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Appreciating Life

Maybe its because of the sad event of this week (which I wrote about earlier in the week), or memories from last week, or because tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday maybe it’s a combination of all three, and thinking about those whose lives have been cut short. But, I keep getting a line come into my head today, I`m not sure whether it comes form a poem, a hymn, a song, or where but its `Treat each day as if thy last` or words to that effect.

Reading someone`s blog the other day, they were talking about buying things to treat themselves. I can relate to that because I was brought up to save, and not spend, but yet these last few years, it`s come to me that one should enjoy what one has and make the most of it. I`m not saying be rash and go bankrupt!, but to have what one needs and gives pleasure while one can enjoy it.

I think it`s a lesson I`ve learnt, but still need to keep reminding myself – that time is precious and we should make the most of what we have.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Book Title

I`ve just been looking at a book – its title “Operation Guide”.
Now, what does that make you think of?
Am I learning how to remove someone`s tonsils, or replace a hip or knee joint, or perform some other act of surgery on some poor unsuspecting victim? No, as anyone who knows me will know straightaway and tell you that that`s not likely to happen, because I`m a very squeamish person!

No, the title is actually what`s written on an instruction booklet. I wonder why they chose to call it an operation guide, instead of just a plain Instruction Book or even a User Guide?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

"In heaven"!

I`ve been in heaven this afternoon.
Well, not literally! (but its another one of those sayings)
I`ve been in a large craft shop – they had absolutely everything you could imagine. Paper in all colours of the rainbow, paints, pencils and sketch pads (not that I`m any good at drawing of painting – wish I was). Materials for all types of sewing from patchwork to dressmaking. Buttons and beads in all shapes and sizes, skeins of silks and cotton, containers to store them neatly in, sequins and thread. Things to make, things to colour – you name it they had it.
I only went in to get some needles. Did I come out with just needles?! No, ofcourse not, I ended up with far more. Now all I need is the time to use them!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Swimming with thoughts

I wonder why it is that when I do these “What creature am I” type quizzes I seem to end up with something that can swim! First it was a turtle (see here), now it’s a mermaid. Yet, I can`t swim a stroke. Oh, I`ve got a certificate that says I can do a few yards, but I can`t recall swimming it!

Out of those two creatures – the turtle and the mermaid, I guess in some ways I`m more like the turtle – in respect to having a “shell”, to hide my real self. What most people see is actually just the outside of me.
Maybe that explains a comment that was said to me recently – when someone said that they used to think I was so strict and stern and they were afraid to speak to me. But now that they knew me they knew that wasn`t so. And it quite shook me when she said that to me and it`s worried me, because I don`t want to appear like that to people, because I`m not like that. But I suppose to hide my feelings and the uncertain and lacking in confidence person that I really am maybe I do appear too unapproachable or unsociable. I wish I had got more confidence to talk to people and to make friends. I really shall have to try and do something about it.

Not sure about doing something about the swimming though!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Magical Creature

What kind of magical creature am I?

Well, according to the quiz result, this is what I am!

Your a Mermaid! You are calm and collected. You
are one of the smartest creatures. But people
really have to earn your trust and friendship.

What Magical Creature Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, November 07, 2005

At a loss

This is not the post I was going to write today, but I`ve just heard of such a tragedy this afternoon that I just need to write something. Just three words affected several of us where I work, (I`m not going to use names for obvious reasons). The words were "Xxxxx`s Yxxxxxxx`s (name of son) dead". He was a young man, with a young family, it was a tragic accident. Some of her workmates and friends were in tears, I wanted to reach out to them, but I felt so at a loss too, I didn`t know what to say. What does one say in a situation like that? How can one help? And at the same time how can one answer one`s own questions of why was this allowed to happen, let alone answer theirs. I felt so inadequate.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I was privileged today to take an active part in a Communion service. Although I`ve attended and received Communion many, many times, somehow today through being more involved with it, it gave it an even deeper significance. Standing there close to the table with the bread and wine in front of me, looking at them as they were spoken about, and hearing some of the very familiar words, I found was very moving.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

My cat

I`ve not had time to write much today, so here`s a picture of my cat. It`s sitting watching me as I type.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Smile Please

Smile Please” No, I`m not going to say you`re on Candid Camera (wonder who remembers that television programme?) It`s not one I was particularly keen on, in it they set up tricks to play on people in everyday life – like a post box which as soon as you posted a letter in, in posted it out to you again (because, obviously there was someone in the post box), but people seemed so flummoxed by it happening and would stand there keep posting the letter in and watching it come back. Surely it had to be a set up of people using the box and not the general public that they said it was, no-one could be that taken-in. Or could they?! And that was though to be comedy entertainment!

Strange isn`t it how a phrase suddenly brings something back, I`d not thought about that programme for donkey`s years. – And there`s another of those Sayings I was writing about the other day, surprising how many we use in everyday language isn`t it.

“Smile please” And, no, I`m not taking a photo either.

So what does the title refer to?.....

It`s the answer to yesterdays “What is it”


Thursday, November 03, 2005

What is it?

Having written rather serious entries the last couple of days, here`s a `lighter` one........

It costs nothing, but gives much.
It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give.
It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
No-one is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it.
It creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in business, and is the countersign of friendship.
It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it is nature`s best antidote for trouble. Yet, it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or even stolen, for it is of no value to anyone until it is given away.
Some are too tired to give you one: give them one of yours, as none needs one so much as he who has none to give.

What is it?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


As anyone who read yesterday`s entry might have expected, I took some flowers to my Dad`s grave yesterday, it`s in a nice spot by the sea and is very peaceful and calming, and I fairly regularly go there.
It`s strange, but I can only comfortably go to the left hand side of it, and kneel there to put the flower in the vase. Somehow I just can not go to the right hand side, it feels totally wrong, I`ve only ever stood that side once. I`m not sure why I feel so uneasy about going to that side, but I think it`s because it was the right hand side of his bed and then of the hospital bed that I always went to and I suppose I somehow see it as that too, it`s a very peculiar feeling and thing to explain, and I`ve never said it to anyone, incase they thought I was mad.
But it’s a relief in a way to actually write how I feel there, and to share it instead of keeping it to myself as I have for so long because I daren`t say it to anyone for being thought stupid.
(and as far as I know, there`s only one person that knows me that reads this and I don`t mind them knowing)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I`m feeling a bit nostalgic today – this would have been my Dad`s birthday. He would have been 83 today. I know it`s just over 13 years since he died, but it doesn`t seem anywhere near as long. I still miss him a lot and birthdays bring back memories. I was thinking a little while ago of the different birthday cakes I`d made for him when I had an interest in cake decorating, there was one I iced with a river scene with a fisherman, another with a crossword, all took hours to do, but I can see now it was a labour of love. He was never one to like parties (and I take after him in that, and in so many ways), so birthdays were a quiet affair, yet I loved to make a fuss of him, to spend time with him. That was so difficult though when he was ill, as I didn`t want him to know how ill he really was, and I was so afraid of showing him how upset I was, that I didn`t spend as much time with him as I wanted to, and how I regret it. I often wonder too if my doing that made him think that I didn`t care? And that worries me still and there`s nothing I can do about it. I cared too much (can one care too much?), that I wanted to protect him from what I`d been told and knew, but he didn`t.

I had another `strange` link with him today too, I had to sort out some new staff clothing, and piling up the packs of shirts I could `see` his hands doing that, because he worked in a men`s clothiers.