Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Christmas Letter to Santa

I went to a Christmas Tree festival the other day - again a very moving experience seeing all 40 well decorated trees brought a tear to my eye, as it made me realise again just how many charities and good causes were in need of money.   And, really forty is just a tip of the iceberg of how many there really are with great needs both in our local community, as well a nationally and internationally.
Some of the trees were decorated with commercially produced and purchased decorations, others with handmade decorations and items relevant to their charity, and others with photos of their aims within stars and other shapes.

As another visitor said, it`s an expensive place to visit! - although the entrance is free, you want to give a donation to all the collecting buckets because they are so worthwhile.

I think my favourite part of it all was this tree and it`s letter to Santa.

  (click on the photo to enlarge it to read the letter)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Full Names

I wonder if others have noticed what I noticed when working the other day?....

I was addressing a lot of envelopes - no, not my Christmas cards yet - but envelopes as part of my work to post off invoice payments.   Copying from the firms addresses on their invoices I discovered that, whereas we used to abbreviate the county, such Nottinghamshire to Notts., Berkshire to Berks,  and Cambs., for Cambridgeshire etc..etc...  they all now put the full word, as well as the postcode.   And it set me wondering why. 

In these days of text messaging; of shortening of peoples names, some even to just initials (I know somone who just likes to be called CJ instead of the full name); of the short versions we use of so many words in everyday language to what they used to be - all to save time, I suppose,  it seems odd that the counties have gone back to the full names, especially as we have the postcodes by which I think the mail is really sorted.   

In fact I did an experiment a few years ago and when on a holiday sent myself a postcard with just the house number and postcode on to see what would happen....... and, it arrived as quickly as a fully addressed envelope!    Wonder what would happen if I just did that for all my Christmas cards?!  It would save a lot of time!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Birthday Cake

Better late, than never! 

Having written about missing not having a birthday cake on my birthday, I decided to make a `special` cake for tea today with my Mum.   So yesterday out came the mixer, tins, ingredients and I got baking.... and this is the result.    Not as professionally or artistically decorated as it could have been but time was short. 

The sponge, with a thick layer of chocolate buttercream filling and chocolate on top, was delicious, and thoroughly enjoyed by both my mum and myself!   Anyone fancy a piece?!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

No Birthday Cake

Today is my birthday, and after spending the morning working as normal, I took the afternoon off. 

It was a nice sunny autumn afternoon, so I took my Mum out for a ride along the coast to Burnham Overy Staithe and we sat in the car by the water.  Very surprisingly for a sunny afternoon there was only one other car on the whole of the car park, so it was very quiet and peaceful.  As the sun went down there was a beautiful sunset.

Funny enough the one thing I missed this birthday, was not having a birthday cake - I don`t mean a highly decorated iced one with candles, but not having a home-made birthday cake of any kind.   Obviously as a youngster my mother had always made me a cake, and then when she became unable to stand to cook, I always made myself one.   Not a fruit cake, as I`m not fond of fruit cake, but usually an orange chocolate chip one, with chocolate on top to decorate it.    But, this year I`d not felt inclined to  bother to do that. I`m getting older and I didn`t think I`d miss it - but when it came to tea time - I did.
It`s strange isn`t it, how a small thing like that, which has been a part of the pattern of life, can be missed so much.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ring, ring!

I was sound asleep and dreaming, dreaming something about a piano being delivered and they`d then got to the front door and were ringing the door bell.

 The sound of that bell was so real.

And I awoke, and could still hear the bell ringing, it sounded like my front door bell.   It couldn`t be.  I looked at the bedside clock it was quarter to three in the morning.  It was dark.   Then I heard it again, yes it was my door bell.

I was alone in the house, I felt alarmed.   Whatever it is, I`m not going to answer the door I thought.  It must be teenagers on the way home playing about.   It went again.    So I stumbled out of bed and went into the other room to look out of the window and down to the front door.    I couldn`t see anyone there, nor anyone in the road.   Did  I imagine it?   I looked at my car, yes that was still there ok.    I went back to bed.

A few minutes later my phone rang.    What to do?   Should I answer it or not.   By now I was feeling more alarmed, I could feel my heart thumping,  perhaps something was wrong and someone was really trying to get me.   I looked at the number showing on the phone, it was a mobile number, so that didn`t tell me anything. 

To answer it or not?   I decided I`d better answer it, so I picked it up and said a very curt  `Yes`, not my normal way of answering the phone.   I somehow expected to hear no reply, but a voice said, It`s Xxx...... I`m so sorry to ring you in the middle of the night, but I`ve just driven all the way up to here (the house next to mine) and I`ve been trying for half an hour to get my key to open the door and it won`t, can I bother you for the key you hold. 

Putting on my dressing-gown I went downstairs and got the key for him.   So relieved that it wasn`t bad news or anything like that.    Then I went back to bed, but sleep was a long while returning.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

All Saints Day

Today is All Saints Day and is the day that was also my Dad`s birthday. Tonight our church held its special service for All Saints Day and the coming All Souls Day.

As we entered the church we were all given a stone. During the service we were encouraged to think about that stone as our loved ones who were no longer with us and to think of the journey of our life that they had shared with us. We then brought these stones to the front of the church and built them together into a cairn.

Following the very moving sermon by our minister, we were invited to come and place lighted tea-lights on the cairn in memory and giving thanks for our loved one. The church lights were then dimmed and we sat as long as we each wished before quietly leaving the church.

It was a very special, emotional, meaningful and moving service.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

What is Life?

I was very challenged today, when a friend, who was obviously feeling a bit "down" on having discovered that something he had hoped for most possibly wouldn`t be able to happen for them (and I`m not refering to material things), suddenly said a very serious "What is Life?"

How to answer?
- I thought for a moment and then said "that`s a very deep question".   I sat and thought, but I couldn`t find words to really answer it, and I ended up saying "that`s something that very difficult to describe and to put into words".  

I felt that I had let him down, by not being able to give a better answer.  And that he was probably expecting a better answer from my faith.

I wonder what answer others would have given or what any of you would advise me to say if a similiar situation arises again?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thank God for a bus

One of the memorable things about my recent holiday was something that happened on the second morning there.

Living in Norfolk we have few, if any steep hills around where I live, so although I had been to North Yorkshire several years ago, I`d forgotten quite how steep some of those hills were.

When I arrived I safely navigated my way down steep hills to the flat where I was staying.  The next morning deciding to go out for the day, I ofcourse had to drive up the hill, so knowing the road I had come down was steep and twisty I decided to try the other one out of the village.   But, that was just as steep and I found myself stalling the car and struggling to get up it.

So, the next morning I was very apprehensive about going out with the car, as which ever way I went I had to go up a steep twisting narrow road.   I knew I couldn`t stay in the small village for every day of my holiday, for one thing there was no grocers or butchers and I needed some food!  And common sense said to me, you`ll have to go up the hill when you leave on Saturday and the longer you wait the worse you`ll get about it.

I got into the car, praying that I`d get up the hill ok.  

As I left the driveway of the flats, a bus was just pulling away from the bus-stop in the road, `Oh, no`, I thought `I`ve got to follow that bus I just hope he doesn`t have to stop at a bus-stop on the hill`.   But, as we began the ascent of the hill, I found myself thinking `Well, if he can get that bus safely up the hill, and he`s much bigger and heavier than me, I must be able to do it`.   And I did, very easily!     I found myself then thanking God for sending that bus to guide me up the hill that morning. I think it`s something I shall always remember of God answering prayer.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Holiday favourites

Here are a few of my favourite scenes from my holiday

Yes, the sky really was that colour, and shortly a heavy shower fell!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Memories of bygone days

An old village street.....

An old village store and post office.... 

....inside the village store......

....what memories it even brought to me of some of the items on the shelves. It made me feel quite old!  All the village from the chemist shop with all its wooden drawers and glass fronted cabinets full of pills, potions and equipment, the dairy with its churns and butter pats, to the wash-house with its old mangle and dolly tub was an intersting insight into how different life was years ago. How much harder even the ordinary everyday tasks were.

And, at the bottom of the garden was ....Lila Cottage.....

So named, it was said, as lilac bushes used to be grown all beside it, to try and mask the smell !

No. I don`t remember using one of those!  

To see more of this fascinating place click here

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Steps and more steps

One thing that came to me during my holiday was a great admiration for the people of past generations, for how fit and active they must have been, to have lived daily climbing all the hills and steps of this small village. 

And, as to the workmen who had built all the cottages and houses in such a hilly location, bringing their materials up and down the hills and the narrow passageways, what muscles they must have had.  Or, did they bring the stones, tiles, wood and other materials by sea to build with.   Yet, either way they would have needed to either go up or down the steep slopes.

What, I wonder made them decide to build where they did.  And to build such tall thin houses.   No planning rules and regulations in those days! 

It was a lovely, quaintly beautiful place to stay for a holiday and to explore with all it`s nooks and crannies - but would I want to live there all year, especially in the winter, with snow and ice on those hills - no thank you!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I`m Back

I`m back, and once I got used to driving up and down lots of hills and climbing steps and hills (!) I had a great holiday.

On arrival at the place where I`d booked a flat to stay in for the week, I opened the downstairs outside door, and immediately wondered if I`d done the right thing, it smelt musty and was rather dark.  I couldn`t see a light switch (and never did the whole week!), but I climbed up the twisting carpeted stairs to find the door of the flat, opened it very dubiously.  On entering I was faced with four closed doors, again it didn`t feel welcoming and my immediate thoughts were, I want to go home.   But I opened the doors one at a time, and found the rooms to actually be light, bright and big and airy.  I propped all the doors open and immediately it felt better.

I enjoyed the freedom of staying in a flat as opposed to a B&B or hotel, which I`d always done in the past, especially on one morning when it was very windy and rainy, so I just stayed in and relaxed with a book and didn`t fell obliged to go out, in the way I would have done in more formal places.  The whole holiday was very relaxing and just what I needed. (except for all the many, many phone calls from my mother!, but more of that another day)

I kept my camera busy all the holiday and have taken lots and lots of photos - will post some in the next few days. 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Just One Day to go!

Just one more day, and I shall be off on holiday.   

I eventually plucked up enough courage on Sunday afternoon to tell my Mother - at first I thought she hadn`t taken it too badly, she seemed interested and asked me several questions, but as I left her that evening she began to get tearful.

After getting home, she rang me full of tears and full of "reasons" why she didn`t want me to go - didn`t want me driving all that way on my own, and couldn`t I at least not go so far;   who was going to look after my little pet bird (I`d already arranged for a friend to do that!) etc...etc...

Monday was much about the same with her.   On Tuesday I went over to see her, and she seemed more like her normal self.   That`s good, I thought, she`s accepted it.

But, come Wednesday morning I had her on the phone early in the morning full in tears again, this time I think a combination of worry about me, and also her carers had told her that a blood test and water test which she`d had taken a week of two ago had got lost so the needed to do it again.   She ofcourse didn`t think that they`d lost them, but that something was wrong with her so they needed another one.     I tried to convince her that it was probably right that they`d mislaid them, but she was full of "I`ll be in hospital when you`re away, and you`ll be a long way away....." etc.  
She still sounds weepy today.

I`m not looking forward to having to go and see her tomorrow and especially of the reaction I`ll get when I come away.    I`ve promised her that I`ll ring her every day while I`m away, but have warned her that because it will be mobile phone, she must realise that in some area`s of the country there isn`t a good signal.

So wish me luck!

Monday, August 29, 2011

High Tide

Yesterday evening, being a nice sunny evening, I took my Mother for a ride to Blakeney, to sit by the water there for a while.

As we approached the quay, I said to her `I think the tide`s going to be in` as I could see as we went down the narrow hill into the village the water in the distance, which last night looked to be have something disticitively different about the view.    (Usually the tide nearly always seems to be out whenever we go there).   As we reached the car park, it was still quite full of cars, and driving on we could see why - the tide was in, and very high, but we managed to find just one parking space left away from the water`s edge.

I got my camera and got out of the car to take some pictures of the sights before us.

And, along with the vessels normally in the water was......

  Obviously parked too near the tideline when the tide was out, and the occupants gone off for a walk.  Quite a crowd of people gathered watching it as the tide continued to edge higher

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Plucking up Courage

A week today I`ll be heading off for a holiday in North Yorkshire.   The first holiday I`ve had away for three and a half years. 

But.... before that, I`ve got to pluck up the courage to tell my Mother that I`m going away. 

I didn`t tell her when I booked it months ago, as I know she`d try to put all kinds of obstacles in the way and get wound up and worried.    I know she`ll still do that, but at least for a lot less time, only 7 day instead of weeks and weeks.   She always imagines that something is going to happen to me, like an accident if I`m driving anywhere (not that I`m a careless driver, but it`s all the others on the road she says! yet she loves getting the car and going out with me).    
I`m sure it`s more a case that she`s thinking of herself and what she`s do if anything did happen to me, she keeps saying I`m all she`s got.   Which is so possessive and selfish.  Where she lives she has carers on hand 24 hours a day so she`s well looked after.

I`ve never found it easy to tell my mother anything, and I`ve been trying to analyse why.   It makes me now wonder if I`m actually afraid of her, and always have been in some way.  Not that she`ll physically hurt me, although as a child she was the one who would hit me at times if she thought I`d done something wrong, I can never remember my Dad hitting me. 

I know envy is wrong, but I do so envy those daughters who have such a good relationship with their mums.  I`ve never had that. 

So, wish me luck as I pluck up courage today, or tomorrow, or the next day......

Friday, August 26, 2011

First Harvest

At last I`ve got my first Harvest of the year.   As I wrote in an earlier post all I`ve managed to grow this year is a really, really good crop of weeds, but yesterday my patience was rewarded and I got my first vegetables from the garden for this year......

Yes...just 4 runner beans!

but there are others forming on the plant - but I guess they`ll all be ready to eat on the week I go away on holiday - so I`ll miss out again.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Floral sea

Today was Sea Sunday at our church, and yesterday was my turn to do the flowers for the weekend, so of course out came the crab pot and net from our storage shed.

On starting to unroll the net (an authentic fishing net from years ago), in front of the pulpit, I suddenly looked down at the floor, and there marching across the carpet were a whole army of woodlice!.... they`d obviously got into the net whilst it had been in the shed.   So what to do about them before they got loose and invaded all the church, I could just picture them creeping on everyone during the service!  The quickest solution  was to stamp on them.  Anyone looking in the church must have thought I was doing a war dance!    

Thankfully, I remembered that the caretaker was on the premises cleaning, so he came through with his hoover and helped me unroll the rest of the net and hoovered them all up.  I kept my eye about whilst completing the flower arrangement, and during service this evening, but thankfully didn`t spot, or feel(!) any.

Here is the arrangement, I don`t think you can see any woodlice there!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Hunt the vegetables!

Earlier this year, full of the feeling of spring I set to work on my vegetable patch and set carrot and beetroot seeds and some onion sets, looking forward to being able to enjoy home grown produce during the summer.  A few weeks later, there were tiny green seedlings beginning to appear.  Something I always marvel to see.   As the weeks went on I realised that the tiny green stems and leaves which were appearing weren`t my vegetables but were weeds.    So, a dilemna, do I pull them out and risk loosening any baby vegetable seedlings which may be starting to grow, or do I leave them until I can see what is what.    I decided to leave them.  After a few weeks still no carrots had appeared, but the beetroot had.   So I very carefully, on my hands and knees, picked out all the weeds. 

But, after a few days I looked again and the weeds were back twice as big as before, but the beetroot had got no bigger, and still no carrots, and the onion sets weren`t showing much signs of life either apart from about half a dozen of them.     I again went to work on the weeds and removed them.

After the third or fourth time of doing this, I got so disheartened that my veg weren`t growing that I gave up - so here is my veg (weed) patch!    At least the runner beans which I started off in pots and set out later seem now to be doing and have some flowers on them, so hopefully I`ll at least get a crop of them.

Somewhere in among there, should be a few onions and a few beetroot - anyone want to come and find them?!

The patch is fenced in to keep neighbourhood cats out, because they caused damage last year to my vegetables by scapping and leaving `little messages`, the fencing has kept them out but -  how do I keep weeds out??

Monday, August 08, 2011

Earliest cooking memories

I`ve a friend staying for a few days, so I did a batch of baking on Saturday, something I`ve not done for quite a while. But I found myself really enjoying getting into it again.  I made some sultana scones, a cherry cake and an apple pie, the apple pie we had for lunch yesterday.

Eating the scones and some of the cake for tea tonight, we got round to discussing our earliest memories of getting involved with baking and cooking.   And I found myself remembering when I was very little (and that`s many, many years ago now!)  how when my Mum made pastry, she would always give me a little piece of it to roll out with my little rolling pin, then I had a tiny (I think it was a silver thimble) to use to cut out little rounds, and place on a tiny tart tin, then put a minute amount of jam in them and she would bake them.  When my Dad used to come home from work I used to give him the little tarts I`d made for his tea.   Only as I grew older did I discover that he didn`t really like jam tarts!

I wonder what any readers first memories are of cooking/baking?   


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Building space

What a difference a few bricks make.  My front garden wall and fence over the past months has been getting worse and worse.  Pieces of the fence were beginning to come loose and fall off, depite me trying to knock them back in, the bricks were flaking along the top.   So the time had come to do something about it.

Having measured up the wall, I ventured into the unknown (the local builders merchants, feeling very unsure of myself) to buy some bricks and coping stones.  A very helpful salesman there helped find what I needed, and the materials were duly delivered.

Last week my special builder, Dave, arrived, and set to work to remove the fence, the old bricks and rebuild me a smart new wall with a pillar at the end to finish it off nicely.   What a difference it makes.

As I drove my car into the drive the next day, something seemed strange..... No, I didn`t drive into the wall !.....  I seemed to have a much wider entrance.   It`s not physically possible to be any bigger because the wall and pillar are in exactly the same place, but it does seem a bigger entrance, so it must somehow be an optical illusion.  

I`m really pleased with the new look it gives as one comes along the road to my house too.   A job very well done.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bird watching

Sitting in the car on a cliff top carpark having a picnic tea the other day, I spotted a flash of colour as a small bird sped past the car window and settled on a branch of the straggly bushes infront of it.   I quickly realised that it was a bird I don`t see many of about here, so out came my camera.   It was a goldfinch.  Such pretty little birds.    But, I think quite camera shy, as this one sat facing the sea, so all I could get was sight of the back of him.

 But eventually my patience was rewarded and he turned to look at me

It makes me admire and realise the many, many, many hours of patience and time that the cameramen for nature programmes must spend, to get some of the wonderful pictures and films which they do.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Back again

I guess it`s time I started to keep my blog up again, somehow I got so inundated with jobs both before and after a large Flower Festival that I`ve not had time to post anything - so just to start it off again, here`s a couple of pictures of what kept me so occupied for most of July.

The overall theme was "A World of Colour"

and this is depicting the "The Colour of Stained Glass".

Friday, June 03, 2011

A murder has been committed

Looking out of my back room window after tea yesterday evening I was very sad and very angry. Why? There on the grass (I can`t call it a lawn there`s more weeds than grass in it!) were a large scattering of grey feathers and at the top of the garden I glimpsed a cat.

I ran out, but the cat (as usual) must have heard me and had dived over the fence. The feathers obviously came from a pigeon, but there was no sign of the body. So whether the pigeon had managed to get away from the cat and these were just a few feathers from the struggle, or whether the cat had taken the bird, I don`t know. But it`s so sad. I think that`s why I don`t really like cats.

Now, sitting here, looking out of the same window, I`ve become aware of some starlings pecking around the grass where the feathers are. I thought they were looking for food, but no, they`re picking up beakfuls of the feathers and flying off with them. Their chicks are going to have nice soft nests!! I wonder if they realise they come from other birds?

Phone update.....As promised, a BT engineer rang me early yesterday afternoon to say he was coming to sort out my telephone fault.... and a quarter of an hour later....he did! and within minutes my phone was working again. So well done BT, but why did it have to take 3 days?!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ring, ring ????

I`ve now got another problem!....
My internet connection had been cutting in and out all morning and went off completely. I was waiting for a phone call as I had a friend coming to stay for a few days and they were going to let me know about what time they`d be here. So as I hadn`t heard by dinner time, I picked the phone up to try it and and found no dialling tone.

I tried all the phones in the house incase one hadn`t been replaced correctly, but nothing. Looking at the Phone book for a number to ring BT I followed first their instructions to disconnect every phone from the socket and then replace them one by one starting with the main phone socket. Still nothing.

So I rang the number, got the message saying it was expensive to ring from a mobile - great help that, what else could one do if the landline phone wasn`t working! I hung on and then the automated voice said from a mobile ring a different number and gave the number, so I dutifully rang that. But that then repeated almost the same and gave yet another different number to ring if one was ringing from a mobile. I obediently did it.

Again it was answered by a machine and gave options, I pressed 1, then more options, 1 again, and again, and again, in the end it informed me that they were very busy and I was in a queue. I could either remain in the queue (and I thought it was going to say ring back later) but, to give them their due it said one could give them another number including a mobile number to ring me back on, within an hour. So I did that.

They rang fairly quickly, more questions and then they checked the line and found there is a fault on the network. They will get the engineers to work on it and it should be done by 3 working days!. That means Friday. But, to be helpful they could divert my calls to my mobile if I wished. I said yes please and gave them the relevant number.

I`ve just got my Mum to try it, as I`d had no calls, and.... it didn`t divert to my mobile! My home phone gave a couple of feeble dings and stopped and nothing else happened. So, I made another phone call to them, followed all the same automated steps, and fairly quickly a person rang me back, checked all the info they`d got, tried to set up the Call Divert and found that the type of problem with the line is preventing them being able to set it up! She`s going to try a different way in the morning and ring me then. I wait to see!

But, funny enough after the first phone call to them, the Broadband connection has come back and I`ve had a connection all the rest of the day and evening...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Plucking up courage

Well, I`ve plucked up the courage, and I`ve done it.

After weeks,, after months

.......well, to be truthful after a couple of years really

I`ve done it!

Well, I`ve done really the easiest part, I`ve still got the most difficult part to come and I`m not looking forward to that.

What on earth am I talking about, you`re probably saying to yourselves.....

Actually probably nothing out of the ordinary to the majority of you, but to me a big thing.....

.... I`ve booked myself a holiday away for September! Oh, not abroad, I`ve no wish to go abroad, but up to Yorkshire.

I`ve not been away for a holiday for the last three years. We used to have a regular annual holiday, until my mother went into where she currently lives - but she is the big problem - she doesn`t like and doesn`t want me going anywhere. Doesn`t even like it when I go to the city just 26 miles away occasionally for work. Yet she`s perfectly well looked after where she is, with people on hand 24/7 to care for her.

So after all this time of agonising with feeling I wanted to go away and have a break, but knowing how she`d react I haven`t done anything about it. Now, I`ve decided enough is enough and I`m going this year. And, I`m going to do something we`ve never done, and that is go Self-catering, which I think will suit me better.

But..... I`ve yet to tell her, but I won`t do that until much nearer the time....and doing that is something I`m dreading.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Amazing perfume

My favourite flowers are now in flower in the garden - Lilies of the Valley.

I took my scissors and cut a small bunch of them to bring indoors to enjoy. It always amazes me the strength of perfume that comes from one very delicate stem of such beautiful tiny white flowers.

And one this small vase of them, - yes, ever since a child I`ve cut small bunches of them and put in this little green glass vase - fills the whole room with perfume, its quite amazing.
Another of the wonders of God`s world and creation.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Confused viewing

I wonder if anyone else experienced the same confusion as I did last night?...... I began to think I was going a bit strange and hearing things.

It was about 5.45 p.m. and whilst sitting eating my jacket potato with lashings of butter, I was idly watching the tv for company.  It had got to the break in the programme on ITV for adverts when suddenly I thought, those words and jingles seem strange with those pictures.   I watched more closely, yes, they were definitely advertising the delights of a certain slimming breakfast cereal, but the picture was showing a cat eating a bowl of cat food and then the tin with the brand name on.   (I`d better not advertise here, had I?).   I continued to watch and all through the adverts the sound was different to the pictures!  

Then it was back the last quarter of the programme I`d been watching, and the peoples mouths weren`t moving in time to the words they were speaking.    Was it me, was it my eyesight??

As the programme finished and before the next adverts I heard - at least I thought I heard them say, showing the Anglia news desk, `and next the news from `Calendar`.    Did I hear that right, I wondered.

The adverts did exactly the same as before totally different pictures to sound.  Quite amusing at times!!

The local news started - on the screen were the words of Anglia News and the presenters in the studio, but the commentary speaking just didn`t belong.   The voice was saying, "here I am standing on the docks at Grimsby", but the picture was showing a chap at a sports stadium.    

Yes, I was watching Anglia pictures and hearing Yorkshire news.   Was it my TV I wondered.    So, I rang my mother, a few miles away, she put her tv on and got exactly the same!    That was a relief, it wasn`t my set.   I then decided to try something else - tried the other channels they were all ok.  Then I switched it from the Analogue aerial to my Sky dish for the ITV..... and..... no problem! the sound and picture matched and were Anglia region. - switched back again to the other and the problem still went on.

Very odd.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It`s Easter

Happy Easter

Monday, April 11, 2011

A crab on the beach

Walking along the promenade in the sunshine yesterday afternoon, I suddenly came across the most enormous crab I`d ever seen on our beach.......

and there facing it, looking ready for action was an equally large lobster....

Yes, the stone artist had been at work again, piling up beach stones to make these wonderful sculptures using just the beach stones artistically gathered and stacked, with nothing else to hold them in place.   Just using the uniqueness of each stone`s shape and colour to form these art works.

Isn`t that a bit like how God, can use us? - all individual and different yet all having a place in his world for his purpose

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Cross in the Sky

Opening my curtains this morning, I looked up at the beautiful blue sky, and there saw a Cross.

It seemed to be saying to me, God is with you, he is all around you.

So I just had to grab up my camera, run out into the garden (yes still in my dressing gown - what any neighbours thought if they saw me I don`t know!) and take some pictures of it to share.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


I`ve just got out of the shower, and whilst I was towelling myself dry I noticed a black mark on the pink towel I was using. How did that get there I wondered and what was it.

At first glance it looked like an ink spot. But I`d not had ink or paint in the bathroom, I`d not used marker pens there for anything. What was it? Where had it come from? Looking closer, I discovered that it was a spider! It was nestling among the fluffy fibres of the towel. And I can`t bear spiders! To think that I`d had that towel wrapped all around me and been rubbing myself dry with it, with the spider that near to me...ugghhhhh.

Eeek!... still perhaps it`s dead I thought, but on a closer look from a distance I saw it`s legs move. What to do?.... I tried shaking the towel in the shower away from me to try and dislodge and get rid of it, but no it wouldn`t fall off. I couldn`t touch it.

In the end I dropped the towel into the shower tray and got the hand towel from the rail to finish drying on. The bath towel with spider will have to go in the washing machine as it is, and hopefully that will get rid of the beastie.

What a start to a Sunday morning!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rock Band

Walking along the prom here in the sun this afternoon, I came across an unusual art form.

I`ve seen sand art before on the beach before,where characters and scenes are made totally of sand.  But I`d  not come across Stone Art, until today.  (Click on the pictures to see them larger)

There, on our beach is a rock band with audience, all made of beach pebbles.  They are not stuck or cemented together, but just cleverly stacked and their natural shapes, markings and colourings giving inspiration to the young man to build these works of art.

The drummer....

...the pianist...

Talking with the young man doing these, we discovered that he`s homeless, but has been walking all round the coast of the country doing these works of stone art, starting at Brighton, going up the West Coast of Englad, all round the coast of Scotland and is now coming down the East Coast. He is aiming to raise money from this and from writing a book about it, to help other homeless people.  To read more about this chap, click here 

It will certainly make me look more carefully at the pebbles when I walk on the beach and realise they are all individual - just like us!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The last farewell

 Yes, our shop closed for good last Sunday, and the last couple of days the staff have been empyting shelves, loading goods into huge cages, which now stand in the deserted shop awaiting transport to other branches.

I`ve just come back from a little farewell do that our "boss" kindly had for the staff,  including a fish & chip supper, gathered together in the middle of the stop.  Memories of times and people were laughinghly shared, and then.... it was all over and we left to go our separate ways.   Ok, I know that in a town like this we will still come across one another from time to time, but I`m feeling sad at the moment on having walked out of there for the last time, after over forty-one years, and more so in a sense the loss of a “family”,  we`ve always been there for each other, through good times and bad.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rules for Hymn Singing

I`ve just discovered something I didn`t know.

No, I`m not saying that I know everything, far, far from it.

But, looking at details of the new hymn book to be produced for the Methodist Church later this year I was just surprised to find that John Wesley had written a set of rules for people for singing hymns.  

Rules that particularly caught my eye were: -

3. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a single degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find it a blessing. 

4. Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, then when you sung the songs of Satan. 

5. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound. 

7. Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven. 

The full list of rules can be found and read here

I think it would be good if they printed the list in the hymn book when it`s published.   Wonder if they will?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Mystery parcel

On entering our Church on Friday morning, I found on the table there a smallish brown parcel box, and on the top of it was written my name.

Full of curiosity I opened it, and inside was a book.   I was mystified.   I hadn`t ordered any books.  Maybe it was meant for our church Christian Bookstall I thought.  So I looked again at the top of the outer box, no, it was clearly hand written addressed to me care of the church, I could see that the original postage label had been removed and my details written, so it must be for me.  

It wasn`t my birthday, nor any other occasion of link that I could think of.  I continued to puzzle over it.  Looking at the cover of the book I saw the words "World Book Night 2011".   I pondered, who had left this for me or had it been left for me to do something with.  I tried to recognise the writing on the box, but couldn`t pin point it to any for certain, and I couldn`t see anything else with it to give me a clue.

Taking the box and book "Half of a Yellow Sun" home with me, I took the book out again and opened it, and the mystery was solved! - there inside the first pages of the book was a note from the kind person who had left it for me.

I`d heard about World Book Day and World Book night, but had never imagained that living here in Norfolk I would be part of it to receive a book (big events and things seldom seem to happen outside of cities).  So it really "made my day", and especially as the person who had left it for me, is my blogger friend from Finland.

Thank you Lorna.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

How to use bread crusts!!

I`m on holiday this week.  I`ve not gone away anywhere (lots of problems if I do that), but am having a week off of work at home and having time to do what I want to do.

Finding some spare bread crusts in the bread bin - Yes, I know I sould eat the end crusts of a loaf, but I don`t very often - I decided to take them for a ride with me along the coast to where there are some wildfowl on a stretch of water.

They enjoyed the crusts far more than I would have!!

Then along came these little furry creatures to eat the crumbs left......

.... I guess they are probably rats - but they had such cute sweet faces I just had to take a picture of them!

Friday, February 25, 2011

National Chip Week

This is National Chip Week.

I love chips and often cook them, so I thought I`d share some with you today.

 And, here`s the piece of haddock I battered and fried with them .......


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Single Difficulties

At times it`s difficult being single.  

For instance, the other evening on hearing that a colleague was going to be on his own at the weekend, I said to him, "would you like to have Sunday dinner with me as you`re on your own that day".  

He declined.

Thinking about it afterwards, I realised how it could have seemed - a single woman asking a married man to lunch when his wife was away!

In no way was it meant like that, it was just an automatic friendly gesture, to help.  And, although throroughly enjoying living on my own, it is nice sometimes to share a meal with someone and have someone to cook for.

It made me realise as I thought about things, just how much everything seems to be geared up for couples or families, and how difficult it is for a single person to make friends or socialise.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Closing Down

No, although I`ve got out of the habit of writing posts as regularly as I used to, it`s not the Blog which is closing down, its sadder than that.

I`ve got some sad news here,  it`s something I`ve know about since before Christmas but had to keep it to myself, but now it`s come out in a way that we didn`t want.  

Because of the way things have been going for the store where I`ve worked and we`ve been losing money for a long, long time, J (the owner,) reluctantly decided that he`d have to sell the store here.   He intended telling the staff once things were finalised and he could tell them definitely what was happening, as he was trying to find jobs for some of them in another store.   He`d got a buyer in the process of buying it (a totally different multiple store, not grocery), so all was going ok.   Then one day this week the staff found out through someone, we don`t know who, leaving purposely for the staff to find, one of the Estate agents business for sale leaflets on the premises early one morning.    It was the worst way for the news to have got out.  

I`m lucky in that it doesn`t affect my job, as I now do the office work for all his stores, but I feel so sorry for the girls as the shop, especially those who have been there many, many years, and I also feel very sorry for J, because he is so caring for his staff and he didn`t want them to find out like this, he wanted to tell them properly once things were certain.  

It`s also sad for the town, in that it`s always, as far back as I can remember as a child, been a grocery store in the middle of the town, and having worked for them 41 years it will be sad to see it no longer exist.

So its sadness here today.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Waiting for chips?

The sun shone the other afternoon, so, a ride along the coast brought me to this spot.  Normally there is a whole row of cars parked and lots of people walking about, but at this time of year, despite it being a nice day, we were the only ones there.    I think these seagulls were all sitting wondering where the people were as they areno doubt used to being fed with chips as people stand by the sea wall eating them.

It was just us and the birds, the sea was a beautiful shade of blue, it was quiet and calm and perfect.