Thursday, November 30, 2006

Aroma

There`s a lovely smell in our kitchen this evening and a feeling of satisfaction.

Why? - I`ve made the Christmas cake. I love weighing out all the different dried fruits, sultanas, raisins, a few currants, some peel and of course lots and lots of cherries. I must confess though that with the cherries it`s a case of two in the bowl and one in the mouth as I do it ! Plus some of the sultanas find themselves getting eaten too and not put in the cake.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Name change

I wonder how many of us are content with the name we were given by our parents. I know that when I was at school, I disliked my name as it was different to everyone else`s. Most names you heard you knew more that one person with, but there was only me with my name, I suppose thinking about it now it made me feel isolated. I couldn`t even use my middle name, as I disliked that too, and that was also a name that no-one else seemed to be called!
How I wished I`d been called Mary or Susan.

Your Russian Name Is...

Kiska Laryssa Kuznetsov
What's Your Russian Name?

I`m glad I didn`t have to learn to spell that as a child !


I should add, that now I`m older, I`m pleased that I carry my two grandmothers names as my name, although I didn`t know either of them.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Multiplying fruit !

We`ve not got an apple tree in our garden, so a few weeks ago our next door neighbour gave us some of the windfall apples from her tree. I made an apple pie from some of them for lunch the next day, which we enjoyed with some cream, and put the rest of the apples in the fridge to use another day.

A couple of days later the lady across the road from us, brought a bag of apples over, she`d been given some and thought we`d like some. We appreciated the thought and the apples.

A week later a bag of apples appeared on the back door step, a couple of days later a bag of apples sat on the front door step. These also were turned into apple pies and two frozen and one eaten.

On the Sunday, at church, "Would you like some apples, I`ve had some given me and I don`t do any cooking now" said an elderly lady. So as not to hurt her feelings or generosity we said "Yes, please". In the fridge they went, to join all the other apples already in there.

Another week passed, and one of the neighbours brought us another bag of apples..."there`s so many on the trees this year, that we don`t know what to do with them all, and thought you might like some more" "Thank you", we replied taking the bag. This time, there was no more room in the fridge, so they sat on the kitchen work top.

Coming home the other day, what do we find?..... yes, a bag of apples sitting on the step. And then the next day at church, the elderly lady says "I`ve brought you another bag of apples" !!

Now, sitting in my kitchen are 8 big apple pies which I`ve made this afternoon, and there`s still a big bag of apples sitting there looking at me as if to say, do something with us......

......but what?!

(all of them are cooking apples)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Dreaming of Birds

I had a strange dream last night, and it`s still haunting me. It`s seldom that I dream, or should I say it`s seldom that I remember a dream, because don`t they say that we all dream every night?
And, do dreams really have a meaning, and... if so....what does this one mean?
Anyway, on to my dream......

.... Something thumped on the window of the room I was in, and looking up I realised that it was a bird that had flown into the window. I could see it on the ground outside obviously having stunned itself. I went and opened the front door to go out and see if it was badly hurt. But as I stood there at the door instead of staying there or flying away, the bird, a seagull, quickly hopped and fluttered its way to me and jumped into my arms. It had only one leg. It looked trustingly up at me.

I hurridly thought what can I put it in, I hadn`t a box handy, so grabbed a red plastic storage type basket and set it in that, found something to put some water in and set that in the basket too. My parent by then had appeared on the scene, and said "you can`t keep that in here, it will make a mess and a smell". "But the poor thing may be hurt", I said. She repeated what she`d said, so I went to carefully carry the bird in the basket out to put in the shed.

What happened after that...... I don`t know.....the alarm clock work me up!

But, I can still somehow see the trusting face of that seagull as it jumped into my arms. Odd, isn`t it?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Nice Day


A lovely autumn day today, the sun shone, the sea was beautiful shades of blue just gently lapping on the sand, sea gulls were whirring overhead, the sky going pink and orange as the sun began to set, so I took a photo of it, and here it is.

But, it doesn`t really capture how lovely it really was. You needed to be there to really appreciate that, the sheer expanse of the sea as far as you could see looking right, left and straight ahead, the colours ever changing in the sky as the sun dropped lower and the atmosphere of the place.

Really, that`s made me think, its so much like life isn`t it? You have to experience things for yourself to really know what they`re like. You can imagine and picture from what others tell you, but it`s not the same as knowing for yourself. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Secret number?

One of my birthday presents yesterday was a digital photo frame. I unpacked it from all its packaging yesterday evening, plugged it in using an adapter as another plug was also needed in the socket. And reading the instructions, switched it on, inserted my memory card and started to watch my photos changing one by one in the frame.

Then.... all at once they stopped and it went black. I tried switching if off and on....several times, but no it wouldn`t work, I checked the plug was in, yes that looked ok. I re-read the instructions, yes I was doing it right. In the end I gave up and thought, it must be faulty.

So, today in my lunch hour, found the receipt, rang the number of the large multiple store where it had been bought, and grrrrh... got press 1 for..... press 2 for.... press 3 for.... press 4 for..... None of which seemed to have any relevance to what I wanted. I just wanted to speak to the store to see about them changing it for another one which worked. Anyway I pressed one of the numbers which sounded the most likely, and got press 1 if you`re a business customer, press 2 if you`re an independent retailer, press 3 if you`re........ So I put the phone down, and tried again the number and a different option. What did I get?.... press 1 for computer..... press 2..... press 3..... all for computer problems. I tried again and eventually I managed to get someone answer the phone - are you the Norwich store, I asked, oh no he said, in a deeply foreign accent, it`s the call center. I tried to explain what I wanted and he said oh you want our techincal staff I`ll put you through.... now I`m getting somewhere I thought, and what did I get..... back to the press 1 ,2, 3 for computer problems. I gave up.

Ah, I know I thought, I`ll look in the local phone book that will give the store number. Out came the phone books, yes there was the store and the address, and the phone number....the same phone number as I`d been dialling. Why, oh why, don`t they put the actual store number, how are people expected to ring the store about anything. Why be so secretive about the number? By then my time had gone and I had to rush back to work.



I`ll give it one more try this evening I thought, I`ll try it plugged straight into the socket and not into the adapter.... what happened....it worked!! Am I glad that I didn`t manage to get through to them after all !

Friday, November 24, 2006

Another day older


Another day, or I should say year, older. Thought I`d share with you some a picture of some of the 17 cards I received and some of my presents.

Update on the birthday cake.... it`s not ready..... so it`s cream cakes for tea tonight instead. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Cake making

This, I think, is the first time I`ve had to make my own birthday cake, and it`s sad in a way.
Not that I mind the baking, I enjoy making cakes and biscuits.

It`s sad though to realise that my parent has got so elderly that she`s unable to stand for the length of time it takes to weigh out and mix the ingredients. So it was with mixed feelings that I mixed up the recipe for the "traditional" cake, an orange chocoloate chip one that we always make for birthdays and special occasions, and baked it this afternoon. Thankfully it looks to have turned out nicely. But, whether I will get it finished with it`s coating of chocolate in time for tomorrows tea, I don`t know.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Morning sky


I just had to run and grab my camera as I dashed out of the door to go to work this morning, to capture this beautiful unusual red sky and cloud formation.
Just hope it doesn`t live up to the rhyme - red sky in the morning, shepherds warning. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More autumn colour

Enjoy another scene of some autumn trees turning colour.
I love to see all the different shades, and how beautifully they seem to compliment one another at this time of year.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What a day!

By lunch time today I was wishing I could go back to bed, wake up and start the day again. Guess we all get days like that occasionally, but this morning nothing went right.

It started when I plugged the kettle in to make the breakfast cup of tea. There was a big flash of light and a bang! I quickly turned it off, unplugged it and then, because I didn`t like the kind of burning smell there was, put it outside the kitchen door - just to be on the safe side.

Time to spare before going to church, so I merrily did some typing on the computer, one neighbour arrived for his lift to church then I waited to hear Mother`s "boyfriend" arrive. Suddenly I remembered that I`d put the car in his garage last night, so had to dash round there to get it and pick him up. On getting there, there was no sign of him waiting. I rang the bell, got the car out of the garage, by which time he`d usually appeared, but today, no, I had to ring again. Typical, just because I was running late.

The service went on, and on, and on this morning too, finishing much, much later than normal. I kept thinking about the chicken I`d left cooking on timer in the oven. Eventually we got out for service, and then as I was about to leave the building an elderly lady, a regular attender was looking for Mrs. C to take her home as the people who brought her had dropped her off that morning as they were going to another church. As by then most of the congregation had departed, I ended up offering to run her home, which ofcourse was in the opposite direction to where I live. That added more time to get home to resuce my poor chicken from the oven.

On eventually driving up our road, what do I find..... a visitor at a neighbours house had parked partly blocking my drive entrance, so more hold-up while I waited for him to move his car. Once parked I dashed straight to the kitchen to take the chicken out of the oven and put the vegetables on to boil. Now to get the chicken out of the roasting tin, the poor thing had coooked so well that it fell apart as I tried to lift it out. Then the potatoes boiled all over the stove.....aghhh.

Then, to crown it all, over lunch her "boyfriend" dropped the news that he won`t be going to his daughters for Christmas. So, no doubt assumes he`ll join us for the day. Without sounding selfish, I don`t want him for the day, it`s about the only day now in a year, that I can spend with just my Mum without him present. It`s a special day in that respect. No consideration is given to how I want to spend Christmas. I could scream.

Can I start the day again!?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Autumn Colour

Between heavy showers of rain yesterday, I managed to get some photos of the autumn colour at one of my favourite spots. So here`s one of them for you to enjoy.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Success

I decided to continue my search today for the bulbs that were proving so elusive to find the other day.

So off I went along the coast a few miles to another garden centre in the opposite direction to the one I`d tried earlier in the week. I wasn`t really very optimistic about finding any bulbs, but the sun was out and it was a nice morning to go for a ride.

As I wandered round the garden centre there were plants of all kinds, some winter pansies and cyclamen, maybe I`ll have to be content with them, I thought, but then turning a corner, I spied on the end of a shelf a few packs of tulip and crocus bulbs. My luck was in.

They`re now planted in pots and sitting in the garden ready to delight me with their blooms in the spring.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Grouse

I`m going to have a grouse, a grumble today - so, as they say "you`ve been warned" before you read this.

As anyone who reads this regularly may have realised, I`ve got a parent who is not able to walk very well at all. Infact she can go nowhere without a wheely walking aid, not even around the house, and if we go out anywhere she has to go in a wheelchair.

Having lived for many, many years in the same town lots of people remember her and ask me when they see me, "how`s your Mum?" My answer is that she`s alright apart from not being any good at walking or getting about, unless I take her out in the car. And, they almost all reply, "oh, she`s like me then, I can`t get around much"....

You may wonder why that annoys me - it`s because they`re obviously able to walk unaided around the town, probably even to the town, some are not even using a walking stick let alone a wheely walker, they`re able to do their own shopping, go for walks etc. So why do they compare themselves to being the same as someone who can`t get out without assistance.
They don`t know how lucky they are.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bulbs

I`ve been searching for the elusive today!... All I want is some bulbs, I don`t even mind what sort or colour they are, so it should be simple enough to find them, shouldn`t it?

I`ve been in the town, I`ve been out of the town, I`ve found light bulbs, torch bulbs, countless different forms of Christmas lights bulbs, but can I find the bulbs I want? No. Even the likelist place, the place you`d expect them to have them didn`t.

What am I searching for? Spring bulbs for the garden, I`d be happy to find either daffodil, tulip or even some crocus bulbs. OK, I know most people set their bulbs in September or October, but I just didn`t feel like doing them then, I just felt I couldn`t be bothered, couldn`t feel any enthuasism for the work of setting bulbs, so I didn`t get any. Now today, on a very mild springlike day in November, I thought, yes I really must set some bulbs, if I don`t do it I`ll be disappointed when spring comes and I haven`t any to look at. I do enjoy watching them grow and bloom. I really must make the effort and get some and set them.

But, I`m thwarted, and it`s my own fault. So, I suppose that teaches me the old lesson `never put off till tomorrow what you should do today`.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Difficult Question

I`m pondering over a very difficult question at the moment. It`s my birthday in 10 days time and my parent keeps asking me "What do you want for your birthday?". The simple answer is "I don`t know"!

So, I wonder......
What about a Satelite navigation gadget? - yet a) do I travel far enough to need one, b) are they distracting in a car?, c) are they reliable? d) would I really use it much?

Or, should I ask for a small pocket tv that I could have in my bedroom or anywhere? - yet would I really watch it much.

Jewelllery? - no, I don`t wear much, just my favourite pieces

Clothes? - no, she couldn`t choose those for me!

So, what do I suggest she gets for me? I just don`t know!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Two Minutes

Having observed the two minutes silence, both yesterday and today to remember those who had died in wars, I wondered - why 2 minutes?

Why not one minute, three minutes or some other number of minutes?
Who had first decided it should be two minutes, and why, was there some special significance to 2?

What a long time that two minutes seems when one stands silent, how different to when one has just two minutes to catch a bus, or get to work, or complete a job, or do anything, then it seems to fly by, yet it`s exactly the same length of seconds. Odd, isn`t it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Armistice Day

At 11 a.m. today, the 11th. day of the 11th. month, we all observe two minutes of silence. Televisoion programmes, news, newspapers and magazines will have pictures of soldiers, airmen and scenes of fighting and war. Of bravery of men and women of the forces.

Now, I`m not saying that we shouldn`t think of them...

....BUT - what about the "ordinary" men, women and children who died in the war - not fighting, but those living their lives at "home", working to keep their country running, and as safe as they could? Like the air-raid wardens, firemen, policemen, ambulance and medical staff, shopkeepers, farmers, housewives, school teachers, milkmen, ...the list is endless. All those hundreds and thousands of innocent people both English and German and other nationalities who got killed. Surely they deserve just as much to be remembered today.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The tree

Well, if you didn`t guess what I was talking about yesterday, they were Christmas Trees. And here is one of them - a shocking pink Christmas Tree.

Now, who I wonder would want one of those in their room? I know I certainly wouldn`t. (and it looks worse in real life than it does in this photo). What the price was I don`t know, I didn`t look but I`ll guess it was probably very expensive. Me, I wouldn`t give you 10p for it!

As for the black ones, how dismal can you get, on what should be a happy cheerful time of year. Ok, I know that Christmas in some ways may not be a good time of year for a lot of folk, but the real reason for Christmas is one for celebrating.

What colour tree will I be putting up (not yet ofcourse), a green one ofcourse. So, who wants this pink one?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pink & Black

Idly wandering round the large seasonal section of a garden centre and craft place this afternoon, I turned a corner and there was a large, at least 5 or 6 ft high tall black one. It didn`t look at all right, why on earth would anyone want a black one? It was conical in shape but it was black. Going futher I then came across a shocking pink one!, this one was more the right shape for the natural object, but ughhh it was pink.

What`s wrong with the natural green colour? Wonder what I`m talking about?.... will tell you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

To print or not to print?

I wonder if any of my blog readers can enlighten me on this?...... I was looking at a general web site this evening which was interesting and thought to myself I`ll print that off to sit and read, then at the bottom of the page I spotted that there was a copyright sign, and the words not to be reproduced without written permission. Now, I thought, do I print it or don`t I? I`m not reproducing it for any commercial purpose, just to read it in the comfort of an armchair, so am I allowed to do that or not? It wasn`t anyones blog or personal information, it was just an ordinary interest site.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Something for Nothing

I was observing people at a sale at a church the other day.

The stalls were piled up with all kinds of goods - there were gifts for Christmas, attractive cards, handicrafts of all descriptions, all good quality items. People milled round picking this up, picking that up, looking at the price, putting it down again. Yet everything was very reasonably priced, low priced infact to what they would cost in the shops. Many things not even being sold for the price of making them, and certainly no charge for the time it takes to make them.

Talking with some of the stall holders towards the end of the event, they all said the same thing, people seemed to want "something for nothing" they expected to pay about 20p for things no matter how much work and materials had gone into them.

Why is it that when people come to a church or charity event they just expect everything cost next to nothing?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Service Time

Working on helping to planning a songs of praise service with someone the other evening, suddenly took my mind back to something I used to do, and it shook me to think that it was about 40 years ago. I really had to ask myself was it really forty years? Where had those years gone to, it didn`t seem that long.

It was at the time when our church Circuit was short of local preachers, so it was agreed that a group of us teenagers, about 6 of us, should, under the leadership and guidance of one of our Sunday School leaders (who was a local preacher), and her sister, should be formed to meet, plan a service/s and go to some of the village churches. I well remember the evenings we spent planning the theme, the readings, the hymns and between us discussing and writing out combined thoughts into a sermon. We then used to sort out who would do what, the sermon was usually split into three sections.

One in particular that I remember us doing was that of the Good Samaritan, where we each took one of the people that walked past the man who had been robbed. And, instead of instantly criticing them for not stopping to help, we considered each of the people and thought about the legitimate reasons they may have had for not stopping, as well as why they should have.

We did several services over a year or two, then gradually the group got smaller until it ceased to be. But it`s a time and experience I shall remember. None of us continued on to be preachers - whether that was the hope, I don`t know!!

So, it actually felt quite reminiscent and a priviledge to be involved with the planning and participation this week. The person I was doing it with had a lot of good ideas, and it went off very well this evening, and seemed to be appreciated by everyone there.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Where`s Guy?

There`s bangs, whoosh`s, cracks, whizz`s and all sorts of unusual sounds going off outside to night. Yes, they`re fireworks, a day early.

It set us pondering a while ago and remembering - what`s happened to all the guys for Guy Fawkes night. You used to see children with old prams, pushchairs, barrows, each having a guy in it - made maybe of sacking stuffed with straw or other material, an old battered hat on its head, and various other clothing on it. And there`d be an old bit of cardboard beside it saying "Penny for the Guy". There used to be a bit of rivarly between children as to who could produce the best one, but for several years now, not one`s to be seen in this town.

I wonder if they`re still made and the tradition carried on in other places?

Friday, November 03, 2006

More Lights

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What is a Dad?

What is a Dad?

From earliest memories, he`s a person who`s always there for you.

The one on whose knee you sit to be read stories to
Who you correct for mispronouncing the name of Heidi in your favourite story.

The person who takes you to Sunday school with them, even when they are teaching a class of much older boys and you`re the only girl!

The person who taught you to say your prayers at night.

He`s the person who shares time in hobbies and making and doing things with you.
And as you grow, you share in doing activities and things with them.

The person you look for to come home from work each day, and who you enjoy walking along the cliffs with.

The one who does the washing-up when you do the cooking.

The person who teaches you so much,
and from whom you learn so much without realising it, until you later look back.

He`s the person you feel safe and secure with,
who you love and who you miss so much when he`s not around any more.

Who was this Dad? It was my Dad. The Dad that I give thanks to God for.


Why have I written this today?.....because today would have been his birthday, and I wanted to share some memories of him.