20 July 2018


Have I mentioned Charlie lately? Answers on a postcard, please. Ooops, don’t got carried away.

The fight for the rocking chair has developed into a minor war. A normally placid cat when at home (I can’t say what he’s like outside) he is beginning to state his claim on MY chair.

I use the chair at certain times of the day and the sofa at certain times. Depending on what I want to do whilst sitting down. One chair is for TV viewing, the other for complete relaxation. I am definitely one to abide by rituals and, evidently, so is the cat. I told him this morning that I only use the rocking chair three times a day and he should respect that. (1) take breakfast sitting in the chair, (2) eating dinner off a tray sitting in the chair), and (3) all evening sitting in the chair. The alternative is to eat dinner at table!

This all came about when I disposed of the dining room table and rather than walk into another room, where there is a dining room table (country cottage design, which I love). I could sit with tray on lap and feast my eyes on activities in the garden (birds, squirrels, foxes) and then I would be in the sitting position that suits me best for watching TV.

Why not use the dining room table, I hear you ask!

Well the answer is that I have been taken over by laziness. You’ve no doubt come across it on occasions. It was late getting to me. It had to wait until laziness took hold of my brain and body. Having to set up table, carry in crocks as well as lunch was harder than flopping in a chair with a plate of goodies and telly to watch. So, no thanks to Charlie, I am back in the dining room where I can watch cars go by and maybe one or two neighbours. Okay, I got the cars right, but neighbours? Seldom see any activity in that area. They’re probably eating lunch or watching TV. None have cats so their home is their own.

Today, I got sneaky. I had lunch in the dining room and when finished I noticed that Charlie, bless him, was nowhere to be seen. My guess was that he was out sunbathing. As I still had washing up to do I devised a plan. I piled everything to hand on the rocking chair. I’ll show the selfish creature who’s boss. 

17 July 2018


(another photo courtesy of the photo store)

Surprise, surprise. Young Luke (a helpful young man who does this and that to earn a few pennies) made a discovery. In an attempt to tidy the back garden, the bit near the house that has lots of cotoneaster, plus ivy growing where it shouldn’t. It’s been growing where it shouldn’t since my Joe did the gardening. It looked quite attractive but when the ivy threatened to take over I set Luke to work on it.

It transpired that the two plants mentioned had completely taken over what seems to have been a flower bed. Neither Joe nor I knew it was there. Presumably the previous owners had created a bed for flowers and surrounded the whole with house bricks. I must be going back a long time because we moved in about thirty years ago and the cotoneaster was well established then. I don’t recall ever seeing a flower bed so the cotoneaster must have been very busy before we arrived.   

Someone has their work cut out to make it look presentable again.

14 July 2018


I am still having a good clear out, sorting this, removing that, and destroying the rest. Most of my Women's Institute papers have either been moved elsewhere  or destroyed. Today, I  came across this oldie which circled round the WI for many years. 


There is nothing the matter with me,
I am as healthy as can be.
I have arthritis in both my knees
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak, and my blood is thin
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.
Old age is golden, I’ve heard it said
But sometimes I wonder as I get into bed.
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,
My eyes on the table until I wake up.
Is there anything else I could lay on the shelf?
How do I know that my youth is all spent?
Well, my get up and go has got up and went.
But I don’t really mind when I think with a grin
Of all the grand places my ‘getup’ has been.
I get up in the morning, and dust off my wits.
Then pick up the paper and read the ‘obits’.
If my name is still missing , I know I’m not dead
So I have a good breakfast and go back to bed.
The moral is this, as this tale I unfold,
That for you and me who are now growing old
T’is better to say “I’m fine” with a grin
Than to let them all know the real shape you’re in.

08 July 2018


1.   Rubbish! We have a good collection system. One week it’s garden stuff, another week it’s household waste. And I never lift a finger, except to fill the bins. I used to print off the date schedules for collection but now I just look out of the window to see which bins the neighbours have put out. It doesn’t matter which date it is, since I have what they call assisted collection. One of the pleasures of old age!

2.   People complain about the state of the roads which, when I drove a car, I always found to be okay. They should try using a scooter on pavements! Workmen do good jobs filling holes they made, but when there are several (by several I mean lots and lots) they should get together and make sure the surface is flat and even. Sometimes I have to drive over so many it’s like being on a switchback.... scary!

3.   Found a gardener!

4.   Isn’t it a waste of energy when you rush into another room to do something only to find you can’t remember what it was you rushed for?

5.   New visitor on lawn: a young fox. As I write he is surrounded by three magpies and an audience of two, e.g. Charlie and me. Foxie made out he was sleeping, leastways he lay for a long time with his eyes shut. Cunning or what? We left him in peace.

6.   Just booked another grocery delivery. Maybe this time I will have remembered everything, unlike the past few weeks when I had to add an item to my on-line order.

7.   Late June/early July and a heat wave in the UK. Definitely worth recording since we were still cold when we should have been boiling hot for most of June. Not to worry, we’re told it will all end next week. Now where did I put that woolly jumper…

8.   I am now the proud possessor of a water meter which should reduce yearly payments by about £200. Also got a refund! Not sure why my late husband didn’t want one.

9.   A wet flannel was always used to help cool down during summer months. That was years ago which proves what lousy summers we’ve been having. Until now!

10. Gave up having milk delivered. Got fed up looking for change to pay and having to wait for milkman to knock the door when I should have been out and about. Neighbours have milk delivered and the roundsman makes enough noise to wake the dead. Three o’clock in the morning! On a Friday, he can be heard shuffling empty bottles and cranking crates. Why Friday? That’s when he gets his money. Neighbours put it in a special hiding place so why does he need to wake the entire neighbourhood?

04 July 2018

The W.I.

This was my badge

As you all know I was a dedicated member of the Women’s Institute but it always comes as a shock to find the WI mentioned in novels. I don’t know why it should be a shock, after all we’ve been around for almost a century and we do exist in all walks of life. 

I recently read a detective story by Peter Robinson concerning an investigation into the identity of a skeleton. Examination of the bones revealed that it was female and that she was murdered.

The search for answers led the detective to a woman who once lived in the area and who knew the suspected identity of the long time deceased. It seems the victim was a girl who flaunted her assets at all and sundry.

In conversation with the detective inspector the woman revealed how she herself, being a year older and a woman of the church, vehemently advised the victim to adopt a healthier lifestyle, join a club, maybe mix with a better class of people. The conversation went like this…. and I quote from Peter Robinson’s book In A Dry Season:
  • Inspector: Do you know if she had any enemies?
  • Woman: Not what you’d call enemies. Nobody who would do what you have just described. Many people, like myself, disapproved of her. But that’s quite a different thing. One would hardly murder a person for not joining the Women’s Institute.

Oh, I don’t know! Think of the rise in membership if women were threatened with certain death if they didn’t join.