Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Daylight Robbery!

There was daylight robbery going on across the street from where I was today.

I watched it from my office window. Yet, I don`t think anyone else saw it, as they busily went about their everyday business.

It wasn`t a job for the police.

For several days now, I`ve been watched two collared doves trying to build a nest on top of some poles under the eaves of the building opposite. The poles go onto a ledge around the building. These birds have been so busy, back and forwards, up and down picking up bits of small twigs. I`m intrigued to see if they will succeed, because as fast as they take up the building material, pieces seem to drop off down again. Then, I became aware of a different bird on the ledge - a pigeon, and it was "thieving" the bits of twigs as they dropped and flying off to a building about two futher along, and I guess using them to build it`s nest there. I had to admire it`s resourcefulness and cheekiness, but I felt sorry for the doves losing their hard earned bits.

Whether the doves will ever succeed in building a secure nest, I`m not sure, but I am so impressed with the persistance they have, and the amount of time they`ve been trying to do it. It made me realise how hard they do work. I`d love to see them have a nest there and watch it`s progress.

I got to thinking too - how many people had walked by on the pavements below, all totally unaware of what was going on above them. Just how much do we miss by being so busy with things that we don`t make time to look all about us. Ofcourse - when the birds dropped unwanted twigs onto the pavement, they may landed on a passer by who might look up and wonder where it had come from!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Spring beauty

Looking out of my kitchen window the other day, I spotted a speck of white amongst the dead leaves in the border. Going out to look, I discovered to my joy, that they were very tiny snowdrops.

I always marvel at the way something so small, fragile and delicate looking can push its way up through the earth. A real sign of hopefulness and of the coming of spring.

They are one of my favourite flowers.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Help!! wanted!

I came home from my parent`s the other evening, unloaded the car, put the light on in the hall... and then I saw it.... a big, and I mean big, black spider. Now, as I think I`ve said before I hate spiders. I felt myself shake.

What on earth shall I do? I went in the front room and shut the door, but reason said to me, that`s no good, even if you wait for it to disappear, it might then go into the bedroom and climb on me during the night.... ughhhhhhhh. There was no one I could call.

I peeped out of the door, it was still there, looking menacingly at me, from its place at the top of the wall in the hall over the stairs. It had ofcourse, got in one of the most inaccessible places. Trembling, I went and got the hoover, fixing on the dusting pipe attachment, I hoped it would be long enough. I looked at the size of the diameter of the pipe, then at the spider. Would it fit in? I had dreadful visions, that instead of going down inside the pipe, it would end up running down and onto my arm.

Plucking up courage I made a quick, sharp thrust at the spider...... and..... the hoover sucked it up. Was I relieved! I stood there for about 5 minutes with the hoover still running and the pipe still held up straight above my head, just to make sure that it didn`t climb back out again. Then I hoovered all around the house, to make sure it was well and truly secure in the bag.

I just hope it hasn`t got a family that will come looking for it!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Sign of Spring

I bought this bunch of daffodils a fortnight ago when then were in the pencil stage (buds straight up) and have watched them gradually bend their heads and slowly open to reveal the beauty of their flowers, and this is how they look today. They really brighten up the kitchen, and cheer me whenever I look at them. Not that I`m sad, but they somehow just can`t help but lift ones spirits even higher.

Why in the kitchen, you may wonder - well for a couple of reasons. Firstly that I spend quite a bit of time in there, secondly because it`s cool, so they last a long time and I can watch them as they change from bud to flower, a small change every day, until they come to their full potential and beauty.

What joy a single bunch of flowers can give.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Treasure? (2)........

In the very back of the cupboard, I found this very old pot. I remember seeing it years ago but had forgotten it was there. It`s about 9 inches tall (22-23cm for those who don`t use `proper` measurements! It`s a kind of glazed earthenware as far as I can tell - glazed inside as well as out. It`s got a fancy kind of china - not fine china, lid which just lifts off and sits on a kind of ring of the pot.

All around the side is a deep band of pattern, almost hieroglyphics, looking as if it`s trying to replicate an Egyptian feel about it, - or at least, that`s how it seems to me.

I know it`s a family piece and not something we`ve bought. I think it comes from at least my grandparents era, on my Dad`s side of the family, who were fishermen. But - I`d love to know more about it. Was it perhaps used as a salt jar; or for salting and storing fish; was it for flour..... or what would be its purpose? And, what would be it`s age? And is it unusual, rare even?
Guess, I shall never know. But, it remains an interesting item.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Are your feet cold?...... How about trying these?!

Emptying out seldom used cupboards ready for my decorator the other day, I came across a few "treasures". These are two of them.

Can you imagine having these in your bed to warm it, and to warm your feet on. I shudder to think how many bruised toes one would get in the night, hitting oneself against them.

Wonder if they`re valuable or rare? Not that I`d sell them anyway, they`re part of our history, but it would be interesting to know.

Look out for another, even more unusual object tomorrow!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Refund, please.....please......!!!

If you buy something from a store that doesn`t work and isn`t suitable for the job, you return it and get a refund - right?

Not so!

I decided on Friday that I needed an additional indoor clothes airer to dry my washing on. So off I went to our nearby Argos store, having conveniently reserved the item online first. Bought it and brought it home. Good, I thought, now I can put it up and put my laundry on it.


It had come in shrink wrap plastic, so I carefully cut up two sides of it, removed the Airer, removed all the plastic metal ties on it, and the label. No instructions on the label as to how to put it up. I spent over 30 minutes trying to get the thing assembled. It was like one of those children`s metal puzzles, but whichever way I tried, it just wouldn`t stand up, like it should.
I gave up.

Next day, I took it back to the store for a refund, as it clearly wasn`t suitable for our use.
I was told in no uncertain terms by the young man on duty that I could not have a refund as it was not in its original undamaged packaging! I pointed out that one could not get an item out of shrink wrap packaging without opening the packaging. He still refused to give me a refund. And said that I shouldn`t have opened it if it wasn`t suitable.
"How can we know it`s not suitable if we don`t open it to try it", I said.
"We cannot resell it because its been opened" he said, "so I cannot refund it".

Eventually after a lot more to and fro of comments, I had a brainwave
"Can you show me how to put it up then" I asked.
Cockily, he said "yes", taking it from me, he then proceeded to...... try and erect it....."it goes like this" he said, lifting the top rungs - "yes, I got that far" I said.

He struggled with it for a few minutes, turning it this way unable to get it erected, and by this time some of the connecting bits were flying off of it!
"I can`t fiddle with this" he said giving up!
"So, it must be faulty", I commented.
"I can replace it, if it`s faulty" he eventually said.
"OK," I replied, "but with a different model please".
To do that, he told me, I must go to the cash desk with my receipt (which I`d ofcourse got) and get a refund then order the one I wanted.

I went and got my refund........ and left!

I have however, written a letter to their head office, to complain about their Refund policy. It will be interesting to see if I get a reply.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

I shouldn`t laugh.....

I shouldn`t laugh....... but I just couldn`t help it.....

The postman`s just been and I`ve just opened my mail. In it I received an article for our next church magazine. It was quite a normal thank you to put in after someone had died, that is - until I got to the last line which was about the sum of money donated in the persons memory. I`m sure the writer didn`t intend to be interpreted the way I read it.

It said "the money will provide farm training and a local cow in memory of L...."

Having known the person.......... I`ll say no more!!!!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Just in case.....

I wonder how many items others have that they`ve kept "just in case"... they might be useful or needed in the future?

After the pleasure I got from having my front room redecorated last year, I`m now going to have the back room done. This afternoon I therefore set to, by starting to move items in readiness for the chap to come on Monday morning (assuming we don`t get snowed in again by then!).

On diving into a couple of cupboards, because I need them painted inside too, what a load of junk I`ve found, things that have been kept `just in case`. -
Eight or nine empty biscuit tins, some starting to go rusty.
Another tin with a selection of odd, old kitchen tools - many now past their best, as the cupboard was a bit damp.
Some very old discoloured stumps of candles, which were once white. (plus some whole ones, which I have kept `just in case`)
An assortment of little empty cardboard boxes.
A tub with some medicines in - some pre-decimal days by the prices on them.
A large spider..... thank goodness it was dead! (I did panic until I was sure it was deceased)

What will I be doing tomorrow?... making a trip to the local tip!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


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English Genius

You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 80% Expert!

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Living in the Past

I feel at the moment that I`m living in the past.


I`m having a boil a kettle to get any hot water! .... I`m not just talking about making a hot drink, I`m talking about having to boil the kettle to, have a wash, do the washing up, and all the other tasks that one needs hot water for. Having a bath is out of the question!

My hot water immersion heater, which heats the water for my house (I`ve not got central heating so haven`t a boiler) packed up working on Saturday. It couldn`t go wrong on a `work` day, so that I could get a man out, could it? Oh no, it had to do it at the weekend.

It`s taken my memory back though to my childhood, when I can remember how Mum used to carry jugs of hot water upstairs for her bed & breakfast visitors so that they could wash on the washstand in the big china basins. No, bathrooms in those days.
I can well remember bath night - the washing machine put on to heat the water, and then being transported in metal buckets into the old tin bath in front of the coal fire in the living room. Later, a bath was installed in the kitchen. Yes, in the kitchen, covered when not in use by a big wooden top, which doubled as a kitchen work top........ What would health and safety people say about that today!!!!! But, we survived.

My first job today...... ring the chap to come and mend (hoping it can be repaired), my immersion heater. Still, it`s made me appreciate and be thankful for one of the things I normally take for granted.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Time is a Great Healer

"Time is a great healer"... I lost count of the number of people that said that to me on this day seventeen years ago, and in the following weeks. And I disbelieved it. Infact, it hurt me when they said that. In someways it felt uncaring, unsympathetic. I was feeling devastated - my Dad had just died - my world had fallen apart.

Yet, today I can say.... they were right. Time does heal - slowly, very, very slowly.
Today, I`m not feeling sadness. Time has eased the pain. Time has brought back many memories of happy times with my Dad. Memories of things I`d not thought about for years and years come back at various times, of times shared together, things he`d said, thing`s we`d done together, things he`d taught me - nothing can ever take them, and him, away from me.

I shall take some flowers up to his grave later today, and will be Thankful for having had such a dear and wonderful Dad.