Saturday, December 31, 2005

Looking back

It`s the last day of the year, so I`ve been doing a bit of looking back, with a mixture of feelings and emotions.
I`m still single and 99.9% happy to be so, but yet sometimes I wish I`d got a partner, someone to care about me.
I`m still living in the same house as I`ve lived all my life, which in which we had the kitchen and bathroom completely refurbished this year, it was a major upheaval, but well worth it.
I`m still working at the same place, but have cut down my hours so only now do 33 hours a week. It`s lovely and has made a big difference to me.
I`ve come to accept a bit better my mothers` relationship with her man friend than I did at the start of the year, yet at times I still feel a lot of resentment, both for her putting him in my Dad`s place and for the way she always considers him in doing and arranging things, before she considers me and my feelings on them. Yet, in another way it`s a good thing as at least it gives me a few hours to myself each week.
My Church work is still a lifeline to me, having no family of my own this means a lot to me and gives me a purpose and sense of belonging. But I feel that my faith needs to grow more.
My main worry during the year ( and which will continue, I know) is the way my parent is getting older, slower and less able to do things, and I worry that I won`t be able to cope in time to come with that on my own. And having no brothers or sisters to help, it does frighten me at times.

But overall, it`s not been a bad year, just a very ordinary one.

Wonder what 2006 will bring

Friday, December 30, 2005


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What beauty there is in the way such tiny specks of white frozen water can form together and delicately cover everything.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

On this day in 1969

36 years ago today by the date, I did something for the first time.

Yes, it`s the day I started working where I still work. Isn`t that boring?! During that time I`ve seen 7 managers come and go and am now on the 8th. one and that`s not counting all the short term relief ones we`ve had. The firm has changed hands at least 4 or 5 times, if not more I`ve got lost on that count. But then, does one ever really know who one works for now-a-days? There`ve been happy times, more so in past years than recently, (and that`s not looking at it through rose coloured spectacles), it’s a fact that several of us agree on. “Things aren`t what they used to be”. It used to be a good `family` atmosphere and everyone helped one another, now its all money, money, money orientated.

I never thought when I walked in there thirty six years ago that I`d still be there all these years later. But yet, where have those years gone to, it doesn`t seem that long in one way, although looking back it feels a life-time and I don`t feel I`ve accomplished very much with my life.
Roll on retirement!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Why is it....

I`ve not got much time to write anything tonight, so just an observation, or a question, call it what you like!

Why is it that when you`ve plenty of time, everything goes right and jobs get completed before time. Yet, when you`ve not got time everything goes wrong, and hinders you and it’s a struggle to get it done in time.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Back to work today. Is Christmas Day really only 2 days ago? In some ways it seems much longer, how quickly we get back into everyday routine.
It set me wondering – about the Shepherds after they`d been to visit the baby Jesus, what did they do, in the following days, weeks, months and years. Did they tell everyone they met – but being out in the fields would they really meet that many people to tell? Did they quickly get back into the routine of looking after their sheep? Did the events of that night seem like a dream to them? As time went on did they wonder if it had really happened or whether they imagined it? Did it change their lives?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Boxing Day

I think my brain must be having a Christmas holiday too. I can`t think of much to write about today. I`ve taken my Mum out for a ride this morning, as it`s a nice sunny but cold day. Would have liked a walk, but she`s not able to walk anwhere now. So, I think it`s now a case of go and sit round the fire and read a book I had as one of my presents yesterday. Had some nice presents this year - no hankies, calendars or smellies!

I`ve just realised,
it`s exactly a year since I wrote my first blog. I`ve just looked back at it. If you weren`t reading my blog then, you might like to look back at that too.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

It`s Christmas!


You may like this link for Christmas

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Night before Christmas

It`s the night before Christmas, the cards are all posted, parcels all delivered, the decorations are up, the goose is cooked. In fact everything now all seems rather “flat”, after all the weeks of preparation there`s nothing else to do. It makes me wonder, is it at times the planning and preparation for special events and times, the thinking of ways to surprise people, or anticipation of something, that gives more “lift” to us than the actual event?
Maybe I`ll feel different tomorrow when it is actually Christmas Day.

(00.40 a.m.) I`m now going to add a post-script to my earlier post (above). Having just attended a inspiring midnight communion service, the feeling of flatness has completely gone, and the real meaning of Christmas has returned. The service gave me a tremedous feeling of peace.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Greed or service?

Forgive me, but I`m going to have a moan today!
In this day and age is there really anyone who desperately can`t manage without shops being open for just two consecutive days? With the advantages of today`s living with all the freezers, fridges and long life foods around, the mountainous trolleys of goodies that everyone buys for Christmas “just incase” and then continues eating for weeks afterwards, Why do shops need to open on Boxing Day?
Is it really just to provide a service, surely the real reason is the greed of the bosses. Those bosses of course not working themselves on Boxing Day, they no doubt have the 2 or 3 or even more days off to celebrate the holiday. It seems to me that things are going backward instead of progress. It seems to be going back to the days of Scrooge, where no consideration is given to the workers.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Snow for Christmas?

Looking at Christmas cards set me wondering…. Did they really have white snowy Christmases years ago? It just seems that a lot of Christmas cards always have old fashioned scenes of people out enjoying skating, sledging, shopping, in the snow. Robins sit on post-boxes, or gate posts or branches of trees all covered in snow. No, not the robins covered in snow! I mean the things they`re sitting on.
Do they really portray how life was or is it all just a dream world?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


We sing quite a lot about angels, especially at this time of year and I`ve been trying to find a picture of an angel for something I`m doing, but somehow despite looking through lots of clip-art images of angels I can`t find anything that seems suitable. Some seem too much like cartoons, others in un-angel like situations, nothing seems right. But then, what do I really expect one to look like – I`ve never seen one!
I know there`s several references to angels in the Bible, but was that the imagery of the time it was written, did it have another meaning, or were/are there real angels?
The whole concept of angels is something I find very difficult to picture or imagine. I know we sometimes use expressions like “she`s a little angel” of a little girl that`s exceptionally good, or “you`re an angel” of a friend who`s done us a good turn. But are angels real or are they just imaginary?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Early shoppers

Why, I wonder, is it the men who shop early?! No, I`m not talking about doing Christmas shopping long before Christmas, but looking at the people who shop in the town early in the mornings, I`ve discovered that the vast majority of them are men. Some I realise are on their way to work, but many of them are retired or don`t work, so it sets me wondering, why, when they`ve got all day ahead of them do they go into shops as soon as they open? Is it that they don`t like to be seen to be shopping by the ladies? Maybe it`s that they`re not as organised as ladies and have to come out to get something for their breakfast!

It reminds me of when the post-office used to be opposite to where I worked, and on pension days you would literally see the same nine or ten old men all jostling for position to be the first in the queue for when they opened the door – did they think the post office would run out of money if they weren`t first in?!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas card verses

I don`t know why, but this year I seem to keep remembering things from Christmas`s past. Like for example, whilst writing my Christmas cards, I found two verses from cards kept coming back into my mind.

“From the four corners of the earth
the wise men came to pray,
and I too pray that love and joy
and peace may come your way”

“May the star that led the Eastern Kings,
to the humble manger bed
shine out for you and guide you too,
through all the years ahead”

The verses were from years and years ago, when I was maybe in my early teens. My parents and I would sit round the table, all the cards spread out in neat lines, and they would pick look at a name from the list then pick up various cards from the table, read aloud the verses until they were satisfied as to which one to send that person. And, so I suppose that was how from one year these couple of verses stuck in my mind. I`d not thought of them for ages, yet this year they came back to me. Odd isn`t it how the mind works. Does anyone else remember verses like that I wonder.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Differing Attitudes

I`ve attended two different Christmas style services today. They were both good and gave food for thought.
At the second one, children were participating in miming the story of Mary & Joseph, the Shepherds, Angels and Wise Men, to narration and with various songs. My attention was caught though by two of the men in the congregation, probably both were fathers or relatives of some of the children. One had a small boy in his arms and he stood throughout the whole of the time, showing the child what was going on and taking part in it. The other had a digital camera and was repeatedly taking photos of all that was going on seeming more interested in that, than what was actually being said or sung.
It made me wonder, which of the two men would actually remember most about the service afterwards? Would it be the one with the photos to show for it, or the father with the child. Or, maybe, even that child itself would remember what he`d seen from his dad`s arms.
(I found that seeing the father with the child and his caring attitude very touching)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas character

I came across this on a blog I was reading, so thought I`d try it and see what Christmas character it made me

Ah, you are such a beautiful person! You are the
peaceful snow on a winter day. You would be
considered a calm person that does not let much
bother you. You find joy in tranquility and
beauty. You are probably one of those people
who take in deep breaths before anger hits you.
You have great traits about you, and you get
along with people well. Merry Christmas =)

A lot of it I would hesitate to say was `me`, but I do find joy in tranquillity and beauty of nature so at least a bit of it is true.
Still, I always find it`s fun to do some of these light-hearted quizzes.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Getting ahead of myself

Having woken up this morning with a splitting headache which lasted most of the morning, and not feeling too good, typical on a day off I thought. I didn`t think I was going to be able to get done all I`d hoped to do today. But in the end I actually got a lot of jobs done this afternoon, I`ve marzipaned and iced the cake, wrapped my presents, put cards on strings and hung them up, plus a few other tasks, and can actually say that I think I`m ready for Christmas and there`s still a week to go yet – what a change from previous years when I`ve still be icing the cake on Christmas Eve!

Now, all I need to do is get a few early nights sleep because maybe that`s what the headache was telling me this morning, that I need a bit more rest. Still, I have spent a nice quiet hour this evening sitting watching tv with just the lights of the Christmas tree twinkling away.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Tree Decorating

One of the things that really says to me that Christmas is coming is putting up and decorating the Tree. I`ve just spent a pleasant evening doing just that. Its a job that I enjoy doing every year, and its one of the seasonal jobs that`s never a chore to do.
Not for us a `designer` tree with everything in blue and silver, or red and gold, or any other stylish combination. There is, to me, a lot of memories in the decorations which go on the tree as our ornaments have come down through the years, with usually the addition of one new piece each year. The oldest, and my favourite has to be this one.
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She`s only about 3 inches tall, and although now getting rather worse for wear, is very precious, because it was given to my Dad one Christmas by a family that he knew when he was in Belgium during the war. We even still have the original box in which it was given to him. I often wonder, as I handle it and hang it on the tree, if the family that gave it to him are still alive and if they think of that at Christmas too.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Have you got a license to do that??

I head a rather ridiculous item on last night`s television news.
Apparently it`s illegal to go carol singing in the streets, or at an old folks home or any venue at all unless you`ve bought a license to do so!
What is this country coming to, when the simple pleasure of a group of people carol singing could be breaking the law. Alright, I can understand if they say they`re collecting for charity, there should be some way to ensure that the money is for the charity, if that`s what behind this, but it didn`t sound as if that was the reason. Even if a group go to entertain at a hospital or similar place they (so the tv said) need a license to do it.
What happened to the Christmas spirit of good will? Why should people who are willing to give their time to give pleasure to others be expected to pay out for a license to do so. To me it seems ridiculous.
What ever next? Will we soon need a license to walk along the sea front, or even down our own streets?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Lights (2)

Everywhere one goes at this time of year after the sun goes down, lights shine out – from windows, on walls, on roofs. Not just in towns but even out in the countryside one will suddenly come across a blaze of colourful lights. Every year there seem to be more and more people decorating the outsides of their homes with Christmas lights, there`s Santa`s and sleighs, snowmen and trees, reindeer and bells, holly and stars. It struck me, how generous all those people are – not just in the fact that they have to pay for all the electricity they use!, but because all of it is not for their own benefit because sitting inside their homes they cannot see the outside, so they must be doing it for the enjoyment of all who pass by.
It seems to me, that they are, in their way bringing light into darkness. They may not see it in the same way we think about the Light coming into the darkness but they are giving joy to those who pass by. It`s given me the reminder of a line of either a rhyme or a song that I`ve heard at sometime, but I can`t remember where I first heard it, but it seems quite appropriate. “Now light one thousand Christmas lights in this dark world tonight….” But I can`t remember or find the rest of it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas Lights (1)

Here`s some Christmas lights I saw recently. Will write more about that tomorrow.
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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Preserving Houses

Writing yesterday about that House that I visited the other evening set me thinking - all the Stately Homes and Houses that one visits are all from many centuries past. We enjoy looking at the items they used to use and the way they used to live. What a hard life those working “below stairs” would have had, it makes me appreciate the life style I`ve got today. (No, I`m not a rich person with servants!!) In particular I like looking at the kitchens, seeing all the gleaming copper pots and moulds on shelves, and the utensils they used, and the dining rooms seeing all the tables laid out with beautiful crockery, glassware and cutlery. It all tells of a completely different way of life.

But, what will people in the future look back at? –
will there be Houses and homes of the 1940`s, 50`s, 60`s…. and so on, complete and set out in how they were when they were lived in, for people to walk round in the way we do in these, or will all of that be lost? Surely it`s part of our history and heritage that there should be some preserved in that way, so that people in the future can look back and see the lifestyle of their ancestors and compare them to the items and home they have, and see the progress. That`s ofcourse assuming things continue to progress. What will the homes of 50 or 100 years time be like, what will they have in the way of gadgets and furnishings???

Saturday, December 10, 2005

An Evening Out

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I made the decision on my dilemma of earlier this week, and went and met my friend this evening. I went through a few foggy patches on the road there, and thought to myself `it`s a good job my parent doesn`t know it`s like this!`

S and I met as arranged and we had a very enjoyable evening. She had been doing a lot of flower arranging in one of the National Trust properties for a special Christmas event they had on, and this is what I had gone to see. In the grounds of the place were marquees of craft stalls, which we also enjoyed browsing round, not buying!, just browsing. But what a lot of talented people there are about. We then went across the courtyard in which a band was playing Christmas music and entered the large House where we were met by the sight and sound of handbell ringers playing carols on the beautiful old wooden staircase in the centre of the entrance hall, then we progressed round the various rooms which had been decorated especially for the evening.

In one of them the very long highly polished table was set out for a meal with attractive crockery, cutlery and beautiful table arrangement flowers. A large garland of greenery adorned the old wooden mantle-piece and a tree of sweets stood on the sideboard. On entering another room a group of gentlemen in evening dress were entertaining with barber shop singing alongside a tall decorated Christmas Tree. In these two rooms in particular I really felt transported back to Christmases of years gone by and could imagine that that was how it was celebrated. Coming out into the cold frosty air, there was a stand selling hot chestnuts and more Christmas music being played creating a lovely atmosphere.

I am so glad that I resolved my dilemma and went.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Writing Cards

I really must get down to writing my Christmas cards. I found this the other day, so thought I`d share it with readers on here.

I have a list of folks I know – all written in a book
And every year when Christmas comes I go and take a look.
And that is when I realise that these names are a part
Not of the book they`re written in, for they are in my heart.
Now each name stands for Someone,
Who has crossed my path sometime,
And in the meeting they`ve become the rhythm in each rhyme.
And while that stands fantastic for me to make this claim,
I really feel that I`m composed of each remembered name.
And whilst you may not be aware of any special link,
Just meeting you has changed my life a lot more than you think!
For then I met somebody the years cannot erase –
The memory of a pleasant word, a helpful deed or just a friendly face.

So never think my Christmas cards are just a mere routine,
Of name`s upon a Christmas list – forgotten inbetween.
For when I send a Christmas Card, that is addressed to YOU,
It`s because you are on the list of folks that I`m indebted to.
I really am the total of many folks I`ve met,
And you are just one of those I prefer not to forget.
Whether I have known you for many years, or even just a few,
In some small way you have had a part in shaping things I do!

Every year when Christmas comes I realise anew,
One of the best gifts that life can offer is knowing folks like you.

So may the peace of Christmastide, that thankfully endures,
Leave it`s richest blessings in the heart of you and yours.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I`ve just discovered on doing some reading of a wildlife site that there`s a creature that has 8 eyes! Do you know what it is?!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Watching spiders

It must be my week for spiders. I`ve just been fascinated by watching a programme on television about them. They really are very clever creatures, in the different ways they spin their webs, and the uses they have for them, the different types of silk each spider can spin from their bodies for various purposes. What a marvel of nature those webs are, so fine and thin, so delicate and so intricately shaped. To see the spiders so close to under the magnifying lenses of the cameras and to see their features and faces, to observe how carefully one of them prepared the place to lay her eggs and then the care she took to ensure they were protected and looked after, was quite something. Nature really is so wonderful if only we took time to stop and look, isn`t it.
But whether that will make me feel differently about them when I next encounter one, I`m very doubtful !

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Spiders again

I`ve written before about my dislike of spiders, but this incident which happened to me this afternoon may give you a smile, it didn`t me at the time.
My parent was out, so I was having a turn round of furniture in a room, don`t know what she`ll say when she come back about that, but that`s getting sidetracked from the point of what I started to write. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw something black drop down inside a desk cupboard I was emptying prior to moving it, I looked again and couldn`t see anything, so it must be a shadow I thought. A little while later, there sitting on the edge of a board I saw it – yes a black medium sized spider. Aggghh what shall I do, I was alone in the house with it, I couldn`t leave it there because I`d always be wondering where it was whenever I went in the room. I`ve got to be brave I thought and get rid of it somehow, then I remembered the upright vacuum cleaner standing near me that I`d just been using, so I put the longest fitting pipe attachment on to the hose of it, switched it on aimed the nozzle to the spider and at the instant I got near the spider something touched me on the shoulder – did I jump!!
Eventually, common sense said it couldn`t be that spider.
I discovered that as I`d stretched the hose to get the spider so I`d pulled the cleaner and its handle had toppled towards me and touched me!
Sorry to any spider lovers, but yes, it did end up in the cleaner.
But, maybe it had it`s revenge in the way I almost jumped out of my skin!

Monday, December 05, 2005

To go or not to go

I`m in a dilemma. I`ve been asked by a friend several weeks ago, to go to an event with her on Friday evening, its about 20 miles from where I live, and I`ve said yes, because I want to go to it with her. But I still haven`t managed to pluck up the courage to tell my parent that I`m going. There`s nothing wrong with the event, and nothing wrong with the friend, but I know my parent will object because of me driving on my own late at night because she`ll worry herself sick about it. It`s beginning to play my nerves up and make me feel unwell. Or, am I feeling a bit like this because in the back of my mind her worry about my driving late at the weekend is also a worry to me? Do I tell my friend I can`t go and make excuses, although she`s probably got the tickets now? Do I go and worry my parent for the evening? I`m torn between the two.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Christmas Trees

As a change from flower festivals, I went to a Christmas Tree Festival this afternoon. I`d heard of them in previous years but not seen one before. I was very impressed. At first glance the church was filled with a mass of twinkling coloured and white lights. Then as I walked round looking at the trees they were all totally different, one was decorated with spectacles, another with tiny dolls in national costumes, another with cassette tapes, a very tall one had all kinds of sweets and knitted liquorice allsorts on its branches. There were teddies on one, hearts on another, newspaper cuttings on another, some had hand-made decorations by children and play groups, these caused a lot of appreciative comments from the visitors….and so it went on. Over 55 of them. I found it a very moving experience to realise that all of them were in support of a different charity or organisation, and to realise too that there were so many “good causes” all in need in the locality and that people had spent so much time in arranging and decorating the trees to support their cause. Their work being recognised and acknowledged by the coins the crowds of adults and children kept dropping into the various collecting tins and boxes.

The most emotional moment to me was the way at the gentle sound of two hand-bells gently rung a couple of times and a lady`s voice, all went completely quiet even though the church was packed with people, as everyone stopped and stood where they were to share in a short time of prayer. I somehow found that a very emotional moment, to think that all of us, strangers to one another stood in prayer together for the work of the church and the various organisations being represented there.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Three weeks today

Three weeks today will be Christmas Eve. By this time of day all the shops will be closed and what we haven`t bought by then, we`ll have to go without! But with the amount everyone seems to buy I can`t see any of them going without. Every year people seem to buy more and more and more, it seems almost a phobia that one will not have enough, so everyone buys far too much “just incase”….
Wonder if there is a word for it?
Maybe it`s called Consumeitallitis !

Friday, December 02, 2005


With the police having a good crack-down on drink driving this month, it seems a coincidence that my cousin in Texas has emailed this to me this morning. Here`s what could happen to Santa if he started drinking. (use the arrow keys to move Santa and mind the railway track!) Have fun with it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It began with two darning needles

I`m always interesed looking through old pages of newspapers or magazines that I come across, not so much at main the news articles, but at the adverts and other bits and pieces. In the magazine I wrote about yesterday with the recipe in, I came across this article

Incase you can`t read it, this is what it says:
"Telegraphic communication became possible in 1837, but at first messages could be sent only by Morse Code. A Welshman, David Edward Hughes, a Professor of Music living in the United States, sought to invent an electrical apparatus that would transmit typed messages. One evening in 1855 he borrowed two darning needles from an old lady and began to use them as vibrators.... Thus was born the telegraphic type-printer - the forerunner of the modern teleprinter.
The inventive spirit of Hughes is still alive in Britain today. The electricity industry, for instance, is continually developing new appliances which increase the output of our factories and farms and make life easier in the home. On the electricity supply side, too, marvels are being done to overcome the post-war power shortage. Already electricity may be used freely at all times except at peak hours. Soon the nation will be able to enjoy even greater benefits from the new electrical age."

How far we have come in those intervening years, when something we type on here can be seen all around the world the next second to being posted!
What will the future hold?