Thursday, December 31, 2009


One of the things I used to enjoy doing was baking. I haven`t done much for a number of years now, for various reasons, but recently I`ve felt inclined to again - and here is the result of this afternoon`s batch of baking.

It was the perfect way to spend a cold dull winter afternoon.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Where did 40 years go?

Where have the last 40 years gone?   Realising, as I wrote yesterday, that I`d been working in the same place for that number of years, has set me thinking about my life.

It`s a frightening thought to realise that those years have gone by as quick at that [clicking my fingers].  It doesn`t seem anywhere like as long.  And, even more scary is to realise that over half my life has gone - well, unless I live to be 112 !

What have I achieved in that time?  
Not a lot really.  I still live in the house I was brought into as a baby.  I`m still single.  In fact have never had a boyfriend.  I`ve only worked at one place (disregarding school holiday jobs) - although I have worked up from being on the shop floor, to being on the check-out, then on to the cash office, and now finally to the head office.  Leaving school early, I lost touch with my friends from those days, and haven`t a close best friend, in the way lots of people seem to have, and, actually thinking about it I guess that my Church family are the closest I have to friends, although the vast majority of them are a lot older than me.
I`ve not travelled outside this country (but have no desire to), nor really far in the UK.  I think one of the best things I did was learning to learn to drive about 14 years ago.  That has made quite a difference to me.

But, am I contented with my life.  

At the moment - YES!


On this day, the twenty ninth of December in the year nineteen sixty eight, I walked for the first time as a very young employee nervously and apprehenively into the retail establishment where I was to work.   It was in my home town and only a short walk from my house. 

I was greeted by the manager, Mr. C.....  a fairly elderly (or at least elderly to me) gentleman, and introduced to the other staff.   Yes, in those days managers were shown respect and call Mr. ....  and not by their first names.  It would have been unthinkable to call him Jack.  In all the years that I worked there with him, no-one ever called him by his Christian name.

We worked from 9 a.m. - 5.30, closed for an hour from 1-2 for lunch and at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays as it was half-day closing in the town.  A 41 hour week.  Everyone started and finished at the same time.  There were no different shifts, as today.  And, ofcourse definitely not open on a Sunday!

Now, 40 years on, I am still working in the same building in the same business.    What changes I have seen in that time though!  Some for the better and many not.   During these years I have seen at least 9 different managers come and go.   Some through retirement, some moved to other branches, one for dishonesty, another `asked to leave`, and so on.   The business has been owned by at least 6 different companies at various times through those years too.

I can`t say that all the time has been happy, most of it has, but there have been times and with certain managers when I have seriously felt like walking out and not coming back.    But, I stuck it, and in the end the manager/s went before I did! 

There have been amusing incidents with staff and customers,  sad ones too, as someone once remarked, we really should write a book about life in a store.   Maybe I`ll share a few of those on here in the coming weeks.   (it will give me something to blog about!)

Little did I know that when I walked in the door in 1969, that I would still be there 40 years later.

One thing I do know for sure, ........ I shan`t be there in another 40 years time!........ well, unless the government raises the retirement age!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Lucky Numbers

Having commented on Z`s blog the other day about a box of chocolates I remember from childhood and which used to be a favourite of ours, but which few people, if any, seem to remember I thought I`d see if I could find any info on them on Google.   Just to be sure that I wasn`t dreaming them up!   Although I well remember the delicious No. 6 (or 9 if you turn it the other way round), it was a round domed chocolate with a gorgeous soft caramel filling.  Yummy - my favourite out of the box.

So, I typed in Cadbury`s Lucky Numbers and here`s what I came up with

Lucky Numbers

In 1958 Cadbury launched a new assortment of chewy sweets, some covered in chocolate and some not. These Lucky Numbers each had an individual number on the wrapper, hence the name. The brand was retired in 1968

and even a site had the tv advert words for them

Cadbury’s Lucky Numbers: Late 1950s
Lucky Numbers, Lucky Numbers — chocolate and chew.
I’ll be lucky, you’ll be lucky … they’ll be lucky too!

and then -
I came across this one, with memories of all kinds of sweets and treats - what memories that stirred up!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Finding Peace

So, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day (wonder why we call it that), have come and gone for another year. 

I sat pondering last night over what had been my favourite part of those three days, this year.   
Was it .....

.....the delicious roast goose, which despite my uncertainty over whether it was cooked, or whether it was going to be tough, was cooked perfectly and very tender.

......or opening my presents - lots and lots of toiletries this year, plus a nice cheque from my Mum as she was unable to go shopping on her own without me.

....or spending time with my Mum

....or  enjoying having the day off from work on Christmas Eve and being able to make mince pies and other items.

....or the Christingle service, the Sunday before,  or the morning one on Christmas Day.

No - none of these, although I had enjoyed all of them.   

The best part of Christmas to me was..... coming home from the Midnight Communion service, and sitting in the dark in my front room at 1a.m. in the morning, the curtains open and with just the light of the streetlight outside giving slight illumination to the room and the Christmas Tree, and in the absolute quiteness and stillness thinking about the wonderful service we`d had, of what Christmas was really all about and feeling an immensely deep sense of peace. 

Friday, December 25, 2009



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas or Easter??

I couldn`t believe my eyes at work this week.

Invoices and charges for a recent delivery of Easter Eggs - no, not from earlier this year, but for 2010  !

Can`t we even get past Christmas now, before the shops start stocking and selling Easter eggs?  
Do they want us to buy Easter eggs to give as Christmas Presents??

What is commerce and business coming to?

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Wintry morning

We`ve had more snow here these last few days than I have seen for many years.  It started on Friday and we had quite a covering that day, which didn`t melt much before more fell in the evening and overnight.  The temperatures kept low and by 4p.m on Saturday it was already freezing, so again not a lot of thaw that day.  Sunday was another repeat of Saturday. 

 I was very apprehensive walking to work at 7.30 this morning, it was icy, but the snow was frozen so was crunchy underfoot and felt to give a bit more grip, and I got to work safely.  I stopped once or twice on my way this morning to take some photos of the scene.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas tree

I`ve been doing one of my favourite part of Christmas preparations.    Putting up my Christmas Tree.  The decorations are a mixture of old and new items.  Many going back 50 or more years.   Some new, as each year I tend to buy one new item to join the others.

Here it is.

The star on the top, is one my Dad made, it`s just kitchen foil covering a piece of cardboard and fixed on with a thin wire - but I wouldn`t swap it for anything.   I can still picture him sitting drawing with a compass to get the perfect 5 pointed star, carefully cutting it out and making it for me.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Singing Christmas carols by candlelight, I always feel is very special somehow with the atmosphere it creates, and last night was no exception.   At the end of the Carols by Candlelight at our church last night, I just had to take a picture of these candles glowing on our communion table.     But a photo can`t really do justice to them.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A radio star?!

I got pounced upon this morning.

No, don`t get alarmed, not literally. 

From where I work, I have to during the course of the day, come out of my office front door onto the pavement to go into the adjoining part of our premises.   Ok, in nice weather, not so good if its raining - but I digress.  This morning I opened the door, stepped down the step onto the pavement and a man dashed up to me.  He had something in his hand, and I assumed he was going to ask directions.

But, no.  What he had in his hand was a microphone and small recorder.   I`m from Radio North Norfolk he said, would you say a short piece of  who you are/where you are and greetings/ christmas wishes / etc to anyone you like for our spot on the show on Saturday morning. 

I stood there totally taken aback by it.

But, I found myself agreeing and the mircophone was held in front of me - talk about having to think quickly!  Still I managed to utter something and he seemed happy with it.   It will be on, on Saturday morning he said. 

I didn`t think to ask what time.   So now, I ponder do I listen all morning or am I better not to hear whatever it was I gabbled off?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Christmas Trees

I went to see a Christmas Tree Festival at Fakenham this afternoon, so thought I`d share a few photos of it with you.
The Church was totally filled with 75 trees.  All decorated differently.   Some had professional decorations, others had handmade ones.  It was a real sight to behold.

Each of the trees was in aid of a different charity and each had a collecting bucket alongside it, for their particular cause.  And during the week of the Festival several thousand pounds are given - people are so generous.

It was a very moving experience, reading the information and seeing all the many, many different charities, both local, national and for aid overseas.   These ofcourse just a fraction of how much need there is in our country and world.

At the very front of the church were 4 huge Prayer trees.  Visitors to the festival were able to write any prayer requests they wished on gold stars and hang them on the trees.  To see the way in which the four trees had been filled in just three days was very emotional.  To think that so many people who had been into the church had prayer needs, or wished to pray for people and situations they knew, made me feel very humble.

It was a very inspiring and moving afternoon.

Friday, December 04, 2009


Walking to work yesterday morning something strange happened.

It was a dark morning, well, it is after all 7.25 a.m. when I set off, and a rainy day.   As I walked along the road it suddenly went darker, and I realised that the street light I had reached had gone off just as I got to it.  I continued walking and as I got to the next street light, that too went off.  Another few steps along the road - and - yes, the same thing happened again.    As I got to each street light it went off.

Now - was that just coincidence - or was I putting a jinx on them by walking past them?!!