Friday, March 31, 2006

Annoying change

It irritates me and I wonder if it does anyone else too, the way that when out shopping the cashiers now-a-days just shove the change into your hand in a heap. Why can`t they take that extra second and count it back to us the way it used to be done? - Guess I know the answer to that – they couldn`t do it ! If the till didn`t tell them how much change to give they couldn`t work it out for themselves, so we can`t expect them to count it to us, but why don`t they count out what they`re actually giving us and do it that way? How many of us actually stop to check and count what they give us, to make sure they`ve given us the right amount?. They could give us anything! It just seems to be a case and feeling of `right, I`ve had your money, now I want to get rid of you`.

Why too, do they insist on putting the notes in your hand first then dumping the change on top, so that it all slides off?

No common sense there at all, is there?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Who`s Living in the 21st. Century?

Are you living in the 21st. Century?
I came across this check list ……

Your reason for not staying in touch with family and friends is because they do not have an email address!

Every commercial on television has a web site address at the bottom of the screen.

You buy a computer and 3 months later it`s out of date and now sells for half the price you paid.

Leaving the house without your mobile phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you rush back to get it.

Using real money, instead of credit or debit cards, to make a purchase would be a hassle and take planning.

You just tried to enter your pin number on the microwave.

Your dining room table is now your flat filing cabinet.

Your idea of being organized is multiple-coloured Post-it notes.

You get an extra phone line so you can get phone calls.

You disconnect from the Internet and get this awful feeling, as if you just might be missing something important.

You get up in the morning and go online before getting your breakfast.

You're reading this.

Is it all true? Are there other things we could add to the list?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Important Fingers

A bit more about hands…. Writing about the difficulty doing things without one finger, brought back to mind a story told to us as children in church, so it was many, many years ago.

I`ll retell it here:

The fingers on the hand were having an argument as to which was the most important.
“I`m the most important said the first finger, because I can point to things and show people the way, and I usually press the buttons to start things working”.

“No, you`re not the most important”, said the middle finger, “I`m bigger than you and stronger then you, and taller than you, so I`m the most important”

“You`re both wrong”, said the next finger “I`m more important than both of you because I show people`s love, they put their important rings on me”

The little finger was very quiet for a while, and then said “You`re all wrong, I`m the most important, because when we pray, I`m the one nearest to God”.

The Thumb then spoke up “You`re all important he said, because you all have a purpose and use, and none of you could work without the others or without me, so we all belong together and are all equally important as we work together.”

Obviously the preacher that morning certainly must have had a way of telling it which makes me remember after all these years this story that she told. Wonder what children will remember of stories in church in years to come.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Index finger

How much do you do with one finger?
I didn`t realise quite how much I used the index finger on my right hand until I had to bandage it up this week (to save a blister from my burn breaking - see Friday`s posting) and keep it dry. How can you wash your hands and not get it wet?
I`ve found it difficult to use a pair of scissors as that`s a finger you put through the hole; I can`t sew because that`s the one to hold the needle with; my writing isn`t as neat as I have to hold the pen differently, alright, I admit my writing`s not always neat, especially when I`m in a hurry but this is worse than that; and to type thiks I keep hjitting two keys at once!
So I`ll not write any more tonight.
I might write more about a hand tomorrow.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Wise Owl

Driving through some country lanes yesterday, I suddenly caught the glimpse of the silent flight of an owl swooping low over a field to my right. It`s a sight that always thrills me. So rarely do I spot an owl. Until about three years ago I`d never seen an owl in the wild before, in its natural habitat. I remember clearly the first one I saw, it was sitting on a branch of a tree which reached out across the narrow country lane I was driving along. It just sat there watching. So beautiful a sight.

I don`t know what the fascination for them is, maybe it goes back to this childhood rhyme about an owl:

A wise old owl sat in an oak,
The more he heard, the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard;
Why aren't we all like that wise old bird?

And what a lot of good sense there is in that!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Rose Sunday

Today can be known as Rose Sunday. No, it`s not the day for planting roses, nor for pruning them.
I`ve just discovered that Mothering Sunday, can also be known as Rose Sunday. I rather like the sound of that title, because for those of us who are not mothers, the events that take place today in some worship can leave one feeling rather left out. This alternative title in fact comes from the fact that in some churches the purple robes of Lent are replaced by rose coloured ones and also refers to the tradition of posies of flowers being collected and distributed to all ladies in the service.

Another name for today is Refreshment Sunday or Simnel Sunday from the practice of baking Simnel cakes to celebrate the reuniting of families during the austerity of Lent. That makes me wonder – why do we not see Simnel cakes on sale in shops? Is it one thing that manufacturers actually haven`t thought of?

So, Mothering Sunday, Rose Sunday, Refreshment Sunday, Simnel Sunday are all vastly different from the commercial Mother`s Day, (which originated in America) which most people seem to know today as - a time when the shops try to persuade us to buy everything under the sun as a present for our mothers.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Garden question answer

I guess it`s time I gave the answer to my garden question that no one has guessed or knew. There was another type of clue yesterday.
The Answer is pencils and crooks are stages of the daffodil.
Pencil when the buds stand up straight, and crooks when they bend over before opening.
Simple really isn`t it?!

Friday, March 24, 2006


Well, after a good morning, it turned out to be "not my day", calamaties have occured.

First I was reversing into a space on a carpark in the town and someone backed out of the space opposite me, and despite me hitting my horn he backed straight into the front of my car. When he got out he turned out to be someone from the same church as me! He admitted he hadn`t looked where he was going. Consequently I then spent time this afternoon how I hadn`t planned, in taking my car to the garage to get an estimate for the cost of the work. Thankfully the damage was not too serious.

Now, after making a cake and cooking my tea, I`ve burnt my finger and may have damaged one of the hot plates on the cooker. I set a tray on the work top while I took the cake out of the oven, went to move the tray and ouch! I got hold of hot melted plastic, or some such substance. The plate was still on slightly and had melted the underneath of the tray on to it. I stuck my hand straight in cold water. But, being the coward and squeamish as I am, especially with hands and fingers I`m now sitting here trying to type with one finger wrapped in a piece of kitchen paper because I daren`t look to see what damage I`ve done or if there`s a blister forming, (of course it had to be the index finger on my right hand, didn`t it, the one I use most),

Anyway, to cheer us up after reading that, here`s a photo of some daffodils that I took in the garden this afternoon.

So, it`s been a "funny old day" as they say.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

It started with a typewriter

About twenty years ago, I was asked to type out something on a duplicating skin (the way to do copies before photocopiers became an everyday machine), and to do this I needed a different typewrite to the little one I had. There was a spare one at the church, which I could borrow, but it weighed a ton weight to carry, we had no car, so someone was asked to deliver it here for me. I naturally invited him in when he came with it, and that was the start of a friendship between him and his wife and my parents and myself.

Over the years they became very good friends, the sort who would do anything for you – and did.

I`m so grateful to them, especially for during the time my Dad was ill they used to take him to his hospital appointments and help in any way they could. Ivy would come and keep my mother company, would go with her to various appointments she had. She kept an eye on my mother for me whilst I had my first ever holiday away on my own, and on subsequent holidays. Nothing was too much trouble for her. When I was organising a sale or event at the church she was always willing to help, and did so so cheerfully too.

She didn`t treat me just as my parents daughter, but as a person in my own right. And that meant a lot.

We visited them a few months ago, and she took me to see a conservatory they`d had built and the chairs they`d bought for it, and as the two of us sat in there, she said to me, “we thought we`d have it built, so that we can make the most of what we have”. At the time I sensed there was something behind her words by the way she said it. I wonder now whether she knew then that she was ill.

Now, today I`ve attended her memorial service. I usually shy away from attending funerals and that type of service, but I wanted to be there today. It was a very moving time, and I found tears rolling from my eyes several times during the service. But, I am thankful for having known her.

And it was all through one typewriter!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Windscreen update

It didn`t rain yesterday after all!, so I finally got my windscreen replaced.
I quite miss looking at the crack now, it seems to have been there so long. But, I don`t want another one, its too expensive for that to keep happening. Especially when I hadn`t done anything, it just appeared overnight so to speak.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It`s Spring

It`s the first day of spring today, and I saw a big patch of primroses the first I`ve seen this year, so that must be a good sign of warmer weather coming, mustn`t it?! I also saw crocuses in purples, white, yellow and gold these early flowers really seem to brighten and cheer me after winter.

If you still haven`t worked out the answer to my question of Sunday, I`ll give another clue, the pencils and crooks are all stages of the same flower – but which one?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Store stacks

What am I going to write about today?.... I don`t really know. It`s been a pretty ordinary day. I suppose I could tell you about the “smashing” time I had on Saturday.

Why is it that now-a-days all shops and supermarkets try to cram as many stands and stacks of goods in all the aisles, so that one just can`t help but knock into them or trip over them? Is it in the hopes that something will fall into ones basket as you walk past them, and then you pay for it at the till and don`t notice it until you get home?
No, that`s not what happened to me, but its a thought.

As I was walking down the stores aisle carrying items in my arms, I turned the corner to the right to get to where I had to be when my arm just brushed lightly against something, and the next second, myself and a lady coming the other way just stood transfixed as we watched a pack of 10 bottles of beer crash to the floor and smash! As it hit the ground we both managed to jump back so no glass hit us, but for the rest of the day there was an unsavoury smell of drink coming from where it had splashed on my skirt and shoes! As I don`t drink alcohol, what anyone who didn`t know me and came across me that day thought, I daren`t think!

Yes, there had been an unstable stack of them on that corner, in a ridiculous place for bottles to be. But I noted today that the message must have got through, because they`re not on the corner now!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Garden question

Looking out of the window into the garden this morning, I said to my parent, “I see we`ve got some pencils and crooks out there”. She didn`t know what I was talking about, do you?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Food Handling

During the last few weeks, I`ve been watching on television a programme called Masterchef, in which people have been competing to achieve that title. During this last couple of weeks those heading towards the final have been cooking in various places and situations; for the army in the arctic; on the QE2; at top restaurants; for a film crew and actors; as well as producing test dishes in the studio.

One thing that I`ve notices in all these programmes, and which really appals me is the way that so much of the food handling is done with their hands. Not just the competitors, but those instructing them in the top establishments too, were teaching them to arrange the food on the plate using their fingers. Fair enough, we all handle uncooked food like vegetable which are going to be cooked, with our hands, but I was always taught, both at home and in domestic science lessons at school, that you just DID NOT touch with your hands food that other people were going to eat.

So how is it, in these days of strict hygiene regulations in food shops and outlets, that in restaurants the food put onto the plate for people to eat, is allowed to be done with bare hands?

Friday, March 17, 2006

What`s in a Name?

What`s in a name? House names always fascinate me, and when out walking I find myself looking at the name plates on people`s houses, bungalows and cottages. On some I can see why it has the name it has because of physical features, like Lilac Cottage which has a large lilac tree in the garden, Sea spray on a house a short distance from the beach, or Tides Reach - don`t think I fancy living there! Those type of names aren`t particularly out of the ordinary, neither are those like Dunroaming, or The Retreat, but the ones that I like are those that are out of the ordinary and that make me stop and wonder why they`ve called it by that particular name, and those that have a sense of humour about them. There used to be a house in our town called Idunno and on their garage they had Nordoi – that I thought was clever. One I saw today, at the end of a cul-de-sac also particularly struck me as witty it was called Outter Way.

I would be interested to hear too of other out of the ordinary names of dwellings readers of this have come across.

(Now whether you need a Norfolk accent to make sense of those, I don`t know – but if so, leave a comment and I`ll translate)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rain stops play!

Want to know why its been a damp rainy day where I live today? I guess it`s my fault!

After more phone calls all was arranged for the man to come and replace my windscreen today, all week every day has been dry, cold, but dry and sunny – what happens today when he comes? Yes, it rains, so yet again he couldn`t do it, because its got to be done outside. He can`t do it in the garage I use because its not wide enough in there to open both the car doors at the same time. So, we wait again.

Want to know when the next wet day will be?.... guess it could be next Tuesday, that`s when he`s due to come back again!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Dog Hotel

If you`re looking for somewhere to go on holiday, I`ve found just the place to stay, a dog hotel !

Now by the sound of it you`ll no doubt think I`m going to some kennels, or else talking about putting a canine friend in kennels while I have a much needed holiday and break away. (I have on my travels seen a kennels called The Dogotel, but this isn`t it). This is a place for humans to stay, but would you fancy it?.... I`m not sure if I would.

And, no, I`m not on commission or involved in it, I just came across it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Country chickens

Out driving in the countryside on a sunny day at the weekend, I came across this lovely group of chickens and cockerels just on a grassy bank. I wonder where they are now, whether they lived on the patch of grass or whether they belonged to a house or farm nearby. They seemed to be totally on their own when I saw them, and didn`t seem bothered when I stopped the car beside them and got out to take their photo`s.

Whenever we go for a drive round the country lanes we always seem to come across something different to see. It really is a beautiful world in this part of the country.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Back to routine

What am I going to write about today? Not a lot really. I went back to work today after having three weeks off. Surprising really isn`t it how quickly one adapts to changes like that.

Yesterday I was feeling and thinking I don`t want to go back, I like my life at home. I like not having to be watching the clock all the time.
Yet, today I enjoyed being back at work. Back amongst other people, catching up on their news and events, settling down into the routine of the jobs I had to do. Yet, a part of me still wanted to be “free”, to be able to not be tied to a set pattern or routine for each day. I could do with a job with flexible hours!

Sunday, March 12, 2006


What a difference a voice makes. I don`t mean between having a voice or not being able to speak. What I`m talking (or should I say writing?) about is the tone and volume of voices.

I`ve attended two services today, but I have to admit that the manner and voice of this mornings preacher simply made me unable to concentrate. My mind just wandered the whole while and I took in nothing of what he was saying. Yet, this evenings preacher I found so easy to concentrate and take in what was being said.

Why the difference? They were both male voices, both quite loud voices (I do normally prefer quiet spoken people and voices as I find those the best to listen to). This mornings voice was very excitable, erratic, seeming to rush through everything he read and said without a pause to draw breath, whereas this evenings one spoke calmly and smoothly without rushing. Another difference seemed to be that the first one seemed to just be talking `at` me, whereas in contrast the second seemed to be talking `to` me.

I find the same thing in conversations too, some people are much easier to listen to than others.
That makes me stop and think – how do I sound to others?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Missing manners

Where have good manners gone to now-a-days?

I was brought up that if people were talking and you wanted to speak to one of them you waited until they had finished their conversation. You didn`t go up to them and butt in. Neither do you walk through the middle of two or a group of people talking, you walk round them, or behind them. And, it`s not just the young people who do this. I was talking to someone yesterday morning, and starting to say about something that`s worrying me when someone barges through the middle of us, thus ending what I`d just had the opening and opportunity to say and to ask.
It was so frustrating and annoying.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Windscreen update

Having written last week about the mysterious crack appearing in my car windscreen, I expected by tonight to have got rid of the crack. I rang up all the relevant insurance people straight away last week, and had a phone call back from their windscreen replacement firm with the earliest they could come and replace it, being this afternoon between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

So, I duly waited in.
Now, I know that if it had turned out to be raining they obviously couldn`t do it, but in the middle of the afternoon I got a phone call from the repair chap that he was on his way, but that it was pouring with rain, and asking if it was raining here. No, I replied its dry here. So, about 15 minutes later he arrived. The sky was a bit cloudy but it was dry. He got out of his van, looked at the sky then at my car, said, yes I`ve got the right windscreen with me to replace it, and the glue to fix it. Then he looked again at the sky and at the windscreen, went and got his invoice and looked at that. Although he`d got the replacement screen and glue, they hadn`t listed and he hadn`t got the black sealing strip to go all round the windscreen!
So, he couldn`t do the job.

Now, wouldn`t you have thought he`d have known he needed that too before he set out?
So, I`ve still got to drive round with a crack and wait for another phone call to know when he can come with all the parts and replace it. And ofcourse to hope that it doesn`t rain on the day they decide on.

Who would have thought it could be so complicated to get that job completed.
Why is life so complicated.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Difficult spending

I had two gift vouchers given to me as a gift last Christmas. I greatly appreciated them and the thought behind them. But – I find it so difficult to spend them. Is it only me, or do others have the same dilemma?

It`s not that I can`t find the shop or place they`re to be spent at. In fact I`ve been wandering round one of them this afternoon. I`ve looked at this, and that, and the other, but yet – what to get with them, is another question altogether! I`ve come back without getting anything.

I can happily go shopping and look round and see and buy (finances allowing!) something that I want or takes my fancy, using cash or cheques etc. Yet, when it comes to spending a gift voucher it seems so difficult to know what to get with it. Is it, I wonder, because I want it to be `something special` or something worthwhile as the person has been kind enough to send me the vouchers. I don`t want to waste them by not getting the `right` thing with them. But to keep the vouchers and not spend them isn`t doing justice to them either, nor to the person who sent them for me to get myself something with. It somehow seems different spending my money to spending someone elses.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

New Life

For months this has been sitting on our window sill, completely dead looking. It was on the point of being put out. Then, about a week ago I looked closer and thought is that a tiny bit of green I can see deep in the centre, so we left it on the window sill. Now, just 7 days later what beautiful fresh green life there is. Three leaves appear to be growing, or dare we hope that they some of them may be flower stalks?

To me, its a wonderful sign of life after death.
So inspiring.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Monday, March 06, 2006

Rules of the road

A question that went round my mind today after I`d been out for a drive today was - Who first decided that we should drive on the left? Did it just naturally happen or evolve or when did someone, and if so who, first decide that it should be done? Was it in the days of pony and traps, stage coaches, bicycles or did it not come about until the motor car? And, where did the rules of the highway code originate from?

Yes, I know I come up with some strange thoughts at times! But these questions suddenly pop into my mind. Wonder what that says about me?!!

And, if you want to have a go at a driving test try these.
Glad to say I passed on the one I tried.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

If I weren`t me what would I be?

What would I be if I weren`t a human? That`s a questions posed by someone on their Blog today, and it set me thinking. What would I like to be?

Not an insect – they get trodden on and despised by many people, although I could quite fancy being a pretty butterfly flitting about, but then, they don`t live very long do they.

Not a fish – I can`t swim! Nor a crab or lobster – beautiful as the underwater world is shown to be, I want to be on dry land.

So maybe I should be an animal? – I could be a elegant giraffe nice and tall and able to see all around, but - having just had a bad throat, think of the long sore throat one would get! Or should I be a polar bear, I quite fancy that nice warm furry coat- but do I fancy living somewhere so cold? No, they`re not for me.

I think that I too would like to be a bird – but what sort?
I think I would like to be a canary in a cage – feeling safe and secure in my own home, being given food and water and titbits every day, being given a bath to splash about in when I wanted, having people to clean my home and talk to me and I`d chirp back and sing to them, and then just be able to curl up into a ball when I wanted to be left alone.
Yes, I think that would be for me.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

An enjoyable day

Nothing very interesting or exciting to write about comes to mind tonight. I`ve just spent a day doing some of the things I enjoy doing when I get time to do them. Like making a lemon cake, some chocolate buns and a lemon steamed pudding before cooking a roast lamb lunch. Then a lazy afternoon and evening sitting doing some cross-stitch work.

Friday, March 03, 2006

A Cracking Mystery

A cracking mystery – have I been watching too many of Agatha Christie`s detective Poirot programmes in recent afternoons you may ask by that title of today`s blog?

It`s true I`ve been doing the unaccustomed activity (or non activity depending how you look at it) of watching afternoon television during the last couple of weeks while I`ve not felt well.

But, no, this isn`t one of them. My mystery is, that my car has been sitting quietly in my drive outside the front of the house for the last couple of weeks, not going anywhere (well, apart from a few yards to the doctors and back twice). But on getting in it this afternoon I looked at the windscreen, then looked again, must be the way the light is catching it I thought as it was a beautiful sunny afternoon, but no, on getting out to look closer and to feel it with my hand, I find a crack in the glass, about 6 inches long and curving upwards.

Now, the question is – how did it get there, what caused it?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bird Feeding

We had an unusual visitor to the garden yesterday. We`d put out the remains of the chicken we`d had at the weekend, and it was as usual quickly surrounded by a flock of starlings. (Wonder if they ever realise that they`re eating almost one of their own kind!!). Anyway, we were then aware of a larger bird sitting on the building at the end of the garden watching. It`s not one that we find in the garden as a rule. I think the cold weather had maybe made it hungry and brought it in. Gradually this bird came nearer, hopping along the grass in its peculiar gait, then it came to the snow that hadn`t yet melted and almost as if he (or she) didn`t like the feel of the snow under its feet the way it put its feet down and quickly lifted it up again. (Wonder if birds do feel temperature in the way we do?) Eventually it got to the chicken carcass, the other birds by this time had flown off at its approach, so it got stuck in and had a good feed. I just had to get my camera out and take this photo of it from the window. Yes, it was a magpie.

Does anyone know – is it unusual for one to come and feed like that?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

March the First

Snow to start March with. Another month starts today, and there`s a sprinkling of snow outside, quite unusual for here. This is a view of some rooftops nearby with a covering of snow, I always think the snow makes them look so pretty but I`m really glad though that I`m off work and didn`t have to walk on those icy pavements this morning!

Still as the saying goes -

If March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb.

Let`s hope that proves true