Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bucket of Flowers

A bucket of golden blooms..... I`ll show you tomorrow what I`m doing with them Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

101 Jobs

Just a short post today. Why is it, I wonder, that whenever a holiday approaches there always seem to be 101 jobs to do beforehand. Why do I feel that I need to get everything up to date before going away, and not leave even the non-essentials until I come back? Even things that I`ve been putting off doing for a few weeks and which could wait another week or two, suddenly I seem to feel that I must get them done before going off. Is it just me, or are others the same?? Is it a fear that one might not come back?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Just two more days

Only two more days to go. What a nice thought that is, just two days and I can finish work for just over a weeks holiday.

I`m looking forward to a holiday, but yet, although I`m going away for it, I think it`s going to be a very tiring hard time and I`ve got some anxieties over it. I`m taking my elderly parent with me, so that means I`ve got seven days of wheelchair pushing ahead of me, so I hope I can find some level places. She`s bigger and heavier than me, so I`m stuck when it comes to hills – ofcourse I could always let go on a downwards hill and catch her up at the bottom, couldn`t I?!

My real worry though is that at home she doesn`t walk up steps or stairs, she uses a stair lift, but at the hotel we`re going to, she couldn`t get a ground floor room, so booked (at the beginning of the year) an upstairs one. “Oh, I can do them” she says, whenever I say anthing about it, but I`m scared that she`s not going to be able to do them, or worse still that she`ll fall down them. But what can I do?!

Monday, August 28, 2006


I said on the Bowl Movement Cricket Club site, (yes, I`m a member of the virtual cricket team), that I`d write about my skill at catching.

In this instance, it wasn`t a cricket ball or any kind of ball that I was called upon to catch. As all good stories say… let me start at the beginning!

At the time of this occurance many years ago, I was working in a supermarket, and spent most of each working day on the check-out. This obviously involved dealing with a lot of members of the public, some very pleasant to get on with, some not so, and some that were quite eccentric at times in things they said or did. (I could write a book on them! - that`s ofcourse if I was better at writing, and not waffling on like I`m doing now!). Anyway, we had this elderly man come in regularly each day, and used to joke with us. One day from about half way down the aisle from the check-out he suddenly called out to me “catch”, I though he was having me on, as normal, but I instinctively stuck out my hands to catch…. and what did I catch? Yes, he did actually throw something…. and I caught it…. Thank goodness I did – it was a jar of jam!

I promise you that is a true story, and something I`ll never forget. After that, I used to try and hide if I saw him coming and we nicknamed him the jam-thrower.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Avoiding holiday crowds

How to avoid the crowds on a sunny bank holiday Sunday afternoon….

It was too nice to stay indoors this afternoon, but we didn`t want to get caught up with lots of traffic and crowds so we went for a ride in the country lanes. Quiet, peaceful and with plenty to see. Turning the corner between hedges, some thick with blackberrys beginning to ripen, on one of the twisty lanes coming towards us was a lovely sight – a small pony putting a trap with a driver on it, we slowed right down to let it pass, no sooner had it gone past than another one appeared, so we waited for it too to go on its way.

A few yards futher along, we again had to stop, this time there were more small horses and traps coming, they looked so right in the countryside and it seemed almost as if we were intruders in a bygone age. As we travelled a bit further on, enjoying the shade of trees, the colours of wildflowers in the hedgerows, rabbits sitting on a bank and their white tails bobbing along as they ran through the fields, the sound of bird song, we met yet more ponies and traps, this time slighly bigger horses, all looking very attractive and trotting along at quite a pace. (Sorry, I`ve no pictures of them to post with this, I tried taking a couple through the car window, but they didn`t come out well.) but it was a wonderful sight.

It`s so good that just a few yards from main roads you can find beautiful quiet lanes and the wonder of the natural world.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

How do you moo?

Have you been for a walk in the countryside lately and listened to cows mooing?, and if so did they have an accent of the county they were in? I heard this amusing fact on the news the other day.... how true is it, I wonder, and what about other animals for instance do dogs bark in local accents?!

British scientists have confirmed farmers' claims that cows throughout the country moo with accents that resembles those of their owners.

"I spend a lot of time with my (cows) and they definitely moo with a Somerset drawl," said dairy farmer Lloyd Green of Glastonbury. "The closer a farmer's bond is with his animals, the easier it is for them to pick up his accent."

John Wells, professor of Phonetics at the University of London, said he couldn't dispute the claims.

"This phenomenon is well attested in birds. You find distinct chirping accents in the same species around the country," Wells said. "In small populations such as herds you would encounter identifiable dialectical variations most affected by the immediate peer group."

Jeanine Treffers-Daller, reader in linguistics at the University of the West of England in Bristol, told the Mirror she agreed.

"When we learn to speak, we adopt the variety of language spoken by our parents, so the same could be said about the West Country cow moo," she said.

If you want to read more about it, look here

Friday, August 25, 2006

Food Glorious Food

Having just cooked and enjoyed this, thought I`d share it with you all.

Going to the fishmongers this morning to get the fish, there was no plaice and the cod and haddock didn`t look too fresh, so the lady suggeted I tried this. It was a fish that I`d never eaten before, but I said "ok, I`ll be adventurous and try it", they assured me I would like it... and... guess what?.... they were right, we all enjoyed it.
What was it? - Hake. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Top Ten Foods

I wonder what your top five meals would be? Mine would be -

1. Fish & chips
2. Toad in the Hole
3. Roast Beeef and Yorkshire pudding
4. Roast Chicken leg
5. Sausages and jacket potato

And, top five puddings? .... for me, they`d have to be...
1. Ginger syrup steamed sponge pudding
2. Orange and chocolate trifle
3. Apple pie and Ice cream
4. Pancakes
5. Orange flan

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Favourite Recipe

One of the things I enjoy doing when I`ve got a couple of hours to spare is to have a baking session - Cakes, biscuits, scones, sausage-rolls, apple pies etc. I wonder where the origin of baking came from? Who made the first cake, the first biscuit, the first apple pie? Who discovered that you could combine ingredients and then put them in an oven to get results? Interesting thought isn`t it.

I`ll share with you, one of my favourite cake recipies, its one that I traditionally now make for birthdays or when we want a special cake and not a fruit cake.


6½ oz. margarine
7½ oz. caster sugar
9 oz. self-raising flour
rind of 1 orange
juice of ½ orange
3 eggs
4 oz. plain chocolate, roughly chopped

Grease and flour an 8inch round or 7inch square cake tin
Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C/Gas mark 2

Place the margarine, sugar, flour, rind and juice of the orange, in a bowl add the eggs (unbeaten), mix together and beat well. Add the chocolate and beat again.

Turn mixture into tin, place in centre of oven and bake for 1¼ - 1½ hours. Turn out of tin and cool on a wire rack.

TIP: For a crunchy top, sprinkle top with granulated or caster sugar before putting in the oven.

Or, when cool, melt some chocolate in a basin over hot water (or in the microwave) and pour over the cake, decorate with cake decorations as desired. Leave to set before serving.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

More food thoughts

A few more "foody" thoughts.... this this might turn out to be a week of thoughts and comments on food!

I`ve not a lot of time to write today, so a few questions...

Why are cream crackers called that - there`s no cream in them
Why is toad in the hole so called - it doesn`t contain toads!
Or why is Shepherds pie, so called - there`s no shepherds in it
Or, cottage pie? it`s not made from cottages!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Unusual Breakfast?

Sitting eating my Rice Krispie sandwich this morning (Yes, you did read that right) - not for me the toasted rice cereal made soggy in a bowl of milk, I like my Rice Krispies sandwiched between two slices of white bread spread quite thickly with butter - I wondered if anyone else eats their cereal like that.
I know I`m an odd creature, so maybe its just me that doesn`t like soggy cereal, or anything else soggy.
That set me wondered too, what other odd or unusual things people enjoy for breakfast.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Thoughts on food (1)

How many different foods do we eat in a day?
Well, today, I`ve had:-
Tea, with milk and sugar,
Dream Topping (more milk involved here)
Sponge cakes
Orange juice
Chocolate Cake (with cream in)

Just looking at that list, and that`s just in one day, how long would the list be if I continued it for a whole week?! How lucky we are to have such a variety of food in just one day.

More food thoughts tomorrow!
No, not another list, so come back to read again tomorrow.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Surprise Gift

I received this beautiful surprize gift the other day. It was very touching and unexpected. It was not only me that received this gift but several of us where I work.
One of the people we work with had recently had her father quite poorly and he had gone into a home and within a few weeks died. She bought us all one of these to thank us for all the support we had given her during that time. Yet, we, or at least I know that I had done nothing special to deserve it. I`d enquired most days how he was, how she was and maybe offered a few suggestions of things that might help but I hadn`t done anything much.
To be given a Thank You gift that I didn`t feel that I deserved was so moving. Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 18, 2006

Tranquil gardens

The sun drew me out this afternoon, instead of getting on with jobs that I should have been doing indoors, I got in the car, drove a short distance to some gardens with a maze, and had a lovely walk in through the gardens. Not formal beds of plants and flowers in these gardens, but natural borders with grassy paths, a stream running through, forming ponds and the sounds of running water.
Not being a person to like feeling enclosed and trapped, I didn`t venture into the maze, but enjoyed the freedom of walking in the open air, feeling the breeze on my arms, seeing the unusual plants and flowers. There were very few people there, so it was really lovely, peaceful and a place to pleasantly spend an hour or so, a place to escape to. Here are a few pictures I took there.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Different Scenes

Do you get tired of looking at the same things? I know I do very often.
Well, incase any of you, my readers, have got fed up with lookingat the same pictures that scroll along the top of my blog, I`ve given you a change today. Instead of a random selection of my photos, as it`s summertime you can take a walk along a cliff top by the sea and watch the sun go down.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Birds in Storms

The weathermen - (or to be politically correct, should I say the weather people?) are predicting more heavy rain and storms for this week.
One thing I often wonder when we have such weather is - what do all the birds and animals make of it? After all, you can`t tell them what`s happening. Does the sight of lightning and the sound of thunder frighten them? how do they cope with it? And how do they, especially the birds manage to keep dry because the rain goes through bushes and trees.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A marvel of nature

Something that I always marvel over when I touch them, is feathers.

Here, in the picture of some from my little bird - No, before anyone gets worried, I didn`t pluck them from him, so there`s no need to call the animal protection societies! These he lost quite naturally.

To gently run my fingers along each one and I feel their absolute softness and silkiness, the way each individual strand clings to the next one, the soft curl on some of the small ones and the delicate colouring at the tips of them. The contrast in the stronger firmer wing and tail ones, which have such a distinct silky almost waxy, yet strong quality about them. The way that if you separate some strands on the wing ones and then smooth them back again, they just seem to lock back into place as if they`d never been disturbed. How wonderful. Who could make or invent such a thing of beauty as that today?

I wonder too, how many feathers does a bird have? Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Price of Fish

Having written about the fish I cooked last week, here`s another fishy blog!

I wonder how many readers are like me, and really just take it for granted that one can just go to the fish shop and buy fish, maybe even complaining at the price of it. I wouldn`t say I`ve complained about the price, because I`d always buy fish, my favourites being dover sole, brill or turbot.

But having watched the series of programmes on BBC the other week all about the trawlermen who go out deep sea fishing to bring us these delicacies, makes one realise the danger they put their lives into to catch the fish, and the hard times they have when the nets come up empty. It really makes me really appreciated the fish all the more. And give thanks for those who go to sea.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Resolution keeping

I`m pleased with myself today!....I`ve succeeded in at least making an attempt to keep one of the new year resolutions that I made. I know its been almost eight months since I made them, but at least I`ve made the effort before the end of the year.

What have I been doing… I`ve made a start on finishing the cross stitch picture which I started at least five years ago. I`ve been meaning and meaning to get on with it, because it should be a lovely picture when it`s finished and I want to see it hanging on my wall. So, as it was a nice sunny afternoon I took the canvas, on its frame, along with all the cottons, pattern and my needle and scissors out to the summer house. No telephone to disturb me, no one to talk and distract me, and I spent a peaceful couple of hours on my own stitching away at it.

The picture is of dolphins and coral under the sea, when it`s finished (not for a while yet because of the size of it), I`ll put a picture here for you all to see. Maybe if you all jog me at times, it will encourage me to make sure I complete it now that I`ve got going on it again.

Blogging mystery

I wonder if anyone else has come across this problem, and if so, how do I solve it?

I`ve posted daily blogs on here using Firefox, which I`ve always done, yet since Wednesday`s one they`ve not appeared when I go into my blog to look at it. Yet, if I open Internet Explorer to look at it, the blogs for Thursday and Friday are there.... why is it?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Fish & Chips

One of my favourite meals has to be fish and chips. Maybe its because I live by the sea and it’s a traditional dish. Today I did something I hadn`t done for a long,long while, and that was go to the wet fish shop and buy some fish, then over the road to the greengrocers and get some nice big potatoes.

Home I went with them, peeled the potatoes, cut them into chips and put them in the deep fry. Then I got out a mixing bowl into which went some flour and water and a tiny bit of bicarbonate of soda. Once that was well mixed to a smooth batter I dipped my whole plaice in it, thoroughly coated it, then gently lowered it into the deep fry. After the necessary time, it came out, golden and beautiful. How I enjoyed my tasty dinner today! I`m by no means decrying the usual Friday dinner of fish and chips from the chip shop, but ohhh what a difference home cooked has. I must do it more often. Anyone want any?!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What, that time already!

It`s summer, its the beginning of August, it`s a hot sunny day, and the postman trudges up to the front door, and pushes something through the letter box. It lands with a solid thump on the floor. That sounds a bit more interesting that junk mail leaflets which usually flutter to the floor, so I went to pick up the envelope that had landed on the door mat. Well, I say envelope, it was one of those transparent sealed wrappings, a catalogue.

From the back it looked just like a normal catalogue, turning it over to look at the front I discovered that this charity catalogue.... was their Christmas issue! Whatever next? Will one for Easter cards follow in a couple of weeks?

This is only August, Christmas is 19 weeks away, over 4 months away. That`s a whole 147 days, over a third of the year still to live through before then. So why does anyone think I want to do my Christmas shopping now?

Needless to say, it will remain unopened

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Taken for Granted

How quickly we seem to have taken using computers, photocopiers, calculators and other such items for granted. It really makes me wonder how did we live a few years ago without all these items!!

And, even more questioningly and worringly- will children of the future know what to do with a pen or a pencil? Or will it be an item in a museum, to be wondered at?!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Questions & Answers

A colleague passed this on to me, so I thought I`d share it on here......

The day finally arrived. Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven.

He is at the Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter himself. However, the gates are closed, and Forrest approaches the gatekeeper.

St. Peter said, "Well, Forrest, it is certainly good to see you. We have heard a lot about you. I must tell you, though, that the place is filling up fast, and we have been administering an entrance examination for everyone. The test is short, but you have to pass it before you can get into Heaven."

Forrest responds, "It sure is good to be here, St. Peter, sir. But nobody ever told me about any entrance exam. I sure hope that the test ain't too hard. Life was a big enough test as it was."

St. Peter continued, "Yes, I know, Forrest, but the test is only three questions.
First: What two days of the week begin with the letter T?
Second: How many seconds are there in a year?
Third: What is God's first name?"

Forrest leaves to think the questions over. He returns the next day and sees St. Peter, who waves him up, and says, "Now that you have had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers."

Forrest replied, "Well, the first one -- which two days in the week begins with the letter "T"? Shucks, that one is easy. That
would be Today and Tomorrow."

The Saint's eyes opened wide and he exclaimed, "Forrest, that is not what I was thinking, but you do have a point, and I guess I did not specify, so I will give you credit for that answer. How about the next one?" asked St. Peter.

"How many seconds in a year? Now that one is harder," replied Forest, but I thunk and thunk about that, and I guess the only answer can be twelve."

Astounded, St. Peter said, "Twelve? Twelve? Forrest, how in Heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?"!

Forrest replied, "Shucks, there's got to be twelve: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd... "

"Hold it," interrupts St. Peter. "I see where you are going with this, and I see your point, though that was not quite what I had in mind....but I will have to give you credit for that one, too. Let us go on with the third and final question. Can you tell me God's first name"?

"Sure," Forrest replied, "it's Andy."

"Andy?" exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St Peter. "Ok, I can understand how you came up with your answers to my first two questions, but just how in the world did you come up with the name Andy as the first name of God?"

"Shucks, that was the easiest one of! all," Forrest replied. "I learnt it from the song, "ANDY WALKS WITH ME, ANDY TALKS WITH ME, ANDY TELLS ME I AM HIS OWN. . "

St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates, and said: "Run Forrest, run."

Give me a sense of humour, Lord.
Give me the ability to understand a clean joke,
To get some humour out of life,
And to pass it on to other folk.

Monday, August 07, 2006


My frustration today, is living with someone who is so slow in everything they do. I feel that it holds me back so much, and wastes so much of my time, just waiting for them - to eat a meal, to get ready to go out, to do a job which I could do quicker on my own.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I had a calamity out in the garden this afternoon. I went out there to have a quiet sit in the sun, well I should say in the shade, a simple enough thing to do, take my book, get a chair out of the summerhouse, then get the garden umbrella to put up.

I first checked all round the outside of the umbrella when I got it out of the shed incase there was any spiders on it, but no, all clear. But, then on starting to unfold it a largish spider dropped out almost on me, so I instinctively jumped quickly out of the way and made sure it ran in the opposite direction to me!

Then, as I got the umbrella partly opened, I spotted a bee in the inside top of it, which suddenly dropped off - again I jumped to avoid it getting on me and in the same instant I got a downpour of water over my foot and skirt!, for a second I couldn`t think where it had come from. Then I looked down and saw there was a fair size hole in the base of the umbrella stand, and I realised, I must have jumped on the base which was a kind of plastic and I suppose had got brittle over the years it had been out in the sun, and my foot had gone through it breaking a piece off, and hence the water shot over my foot.

So there I ended up sitting with the umbrella propped on its side, more like a wind break, but at least it kept the sun off, with a wet foot and skirt! How glamorous!!
(Still, I`m not a very glamorous person anyway, so it didn`t really matter.)

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Something I enjoy seeing and taking photos of, are sunsets, so here`s one I took recently.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I know I`ve given short measure in writing blogs this week, but I haven`t known what to write about. As well as feeling helpless to help the situation I wrote about on my last blog this week, I`m also feeling helpless as to how to help a work colleague who is going through a very difficult time at the moment. Obviously I`m not going to write about her problems here, but suffice to say that a tragedy that happened to a member of her family about eight months ago, now seems to have come to a head and is causing her untold grief and heartache again, and with additional problems. How I wish I was better at knowing what to say to help.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Rain, rain and more rain

After weeks of hot, dry, sunny weather, things have suddenly changed and its rain, rain, rain. I know we badly need the water as they say the reservoirs are low and there may be water restrictions in some parts of the country, but it`s very alarming the power effect that heavy showers of rain can have.

For the first time in as long as I can remember a Carnival has had to be cancelled because of the weather. (Not, I hasten to add that I`m a great fan of carnivals. But, I do feel sorry for all the people that put so much time and effort into preparing their costumes and floats).

But more seriously than that, it’s the way it`s the way it can damage peoples homes and possessions. I wrote the other day about the way I`d found a friends house that I was keeping an eye on, had had water in, well yesterday it was even worse for that person,. Again we had torrential storms and torrents of rain water which went into his house, to such an extent that he had to have the emergency services to pump it out. I feel that I want to reach out comfort and help, but feel so helpless to know how to, or what to do for the best.