08 October 2013


I'm as proud as punch because, at last, I’ve done it. All my work is now in book form, eight books in total. I think I mentioned before that I am donating some to the WI auction on Thursday, it will be interesting to see members reaction, if any. The Townswomen's Guild (henceforth referred to as TG) has asked me to read one of my stories at the birthday meeting. I’m honoured to be asked but it poses a problem ... which one shall I read? Decisions, decisions! 


Joe came out of hospital last week and we have a district nurse coming in once a week to do what's necessary. 

On Saturday I took him out to lunch. He paid, of course, but I took him! We had a lovely meal and it was great to be out together in a pleasant environment instead of talking by a hospital bed. We treated ourselves to starters of soup (him) and spinach and cheese etcetera (me), followed by a sea-bass meal and exotic desserts – a mess of fruit compote and meringue for him and panna cotta for me, with floater coffee to die for.

Our table faced the lake where experienced and novice sailors navigated their yachts. Although the sky was filled with heavy clouds the sun’s brilliance showed on the water. I tried to get a decent picture of it but window frames and half drawn blinds were an obstruction. I’ve cropped the pictures in an attempt to show the scene rather than the restaurant windows. Foolishly I'd gone out without thinking I might get some good photo shots so I only had the phone camera with me ... yeah, I know, I’m an idiot.

See what I mean about obstacles!

See the glistening water. ... it positively shimmered
Mel, you will be pleased to know that I’m sticking with the cleaner. She’s GREAT, well at half my age she should be, don’t you think? Last week I asked if she would concentrate on my work room/office, which is always the last place to get much. Before I knew what was what, the girl had the nets down and was cleaning the windows. That was after she vacuumed throughout the bungalow, mopped the kitchen floor and my rather large laundry room. Oh to have youth at one’s side! I love her to bits. 

I am now a dab hand at ordering groceries on line; just had my third delivery. It’s great that I can have it all delivered when I want it and not have to wait for them to decide. If I forget something it’s no sweat to pop out to the local store and at least I don’t have to break my neck to do it.

Any more tips, Mel, and I’ll be pleased to consider them... yeah! 

It always takes a while to get into the swing of things when joining a new outfit but after a year’s attendance I now feel at home at the TG monthly meetings. What is noticeable is the difference in people. The last meeting I attended is a case in point ... after telling one or two about Joe’s medical condition the word spread and lots of women came to me at the end to give their best wishes. That’s more than they do at WI. Members there are a lot more reserved.

For several years Joe has played a part in the local institute by checking their books at year end and giving the benefit of advice, so I guess something will be mentioned at the next AGM. He hasn't exactly pulled out but it has been suggested by letter that it might be in their best interest to find someone else, purely as a just-in-case situation.

My eyes have been opened lately, surprisingly so. I have been a member of the WI for 21 years, a comparative newcomer compared to some, and always thought the organisation was the be-all-and-end-all of establishments for women. That is until I met Marion, an old WI colleague who had also joined the Townswomen’s Guild. She invited me to go along. After retiring as WI County Chairman I was at a loose end with regard to outside commitments so I took her up on the idea.

Marion was with a different WI for many years, until it was closed for lack of officer support. The usual story, nobody wanting to take office and run the institute so it had to be suspended and then closed. Not wanting to lose out on WI altogether Marion and a few others joined another local institute and invited me along. And you should hear them complain: it’s cliquey, nobody speaks, we can’t hear what’s going on, this isn’t for me, are complaints thrown around every month ... and I thought it was only me that noticed!

It is said that fame goes before you. One thing I’ve discovered is that an ex-County Chairman doesn’t fit in easily. Joe said that would be the case but I didn’t really believe it. The President of the WI in question, who was once very friendly, now keeps her distance and if I dare make suggestions (requested) about, for example, raising much needed funds, she responds with a look which I interpret as a sort of ‘who do you think you are’ attitude.  Perhaps she thinks I might dictate rules or something. Well, far be it from me to do such a thing. It’s all very off-putting but there's some consolation in knowing that other ex-chairs have experienced similar things. I cannot see the TG ladies behaving in that way... they are much more relaxed and waste no time bending a few rules if the mood takes them. 

It’s a shame, because the WI is a fantastic organisation that does a lot of good for communities far and wide. Maybe in time, with new and younger blood coming in, things might change. Maybe younger members won’t learn how to whinge or constantly complain about rising fees, or maybe they will pass on their untainted views and teach the oldies a thing or two. We can but hope. 


  1. oo i like the sailboats....
    your books look great too val....and getting to read one of your stories, what a treat...glad joe is out...the meal together sounds wonderful....

  2. This is the first time I have been able to get on line as I am using my niece's wi-fi connection and after a week of merriment celebrating her wedding, we are finally slowing down.

    Good to hear that Jo is out of the hospital and your meal sounded like just the ticket. I like how you cropped your photos and enjoyed reading the news about the W I versus the T G.

  3. Okay, first I want to say, CONGRATULATIONS on getting all EIGHT of your books published, Valerie!

    *clapping and cheering*

    You GO, girl!

    I clicked to see the books enlarged and loved the book covers on them. I like the photos you chose and also the color of each book. The look so professionally done!

    I think it's so cool that you're going to read one of them at the WI meeting. I say read "Feline Capers."

    So glad to hear that Joe is home and doing well and that the two of you were able to get out and having a lovely day together. I cannot believe you took those photos with your phone camera!? They're awesome! Sometimes I see photographs taken with a phone and I think they're just as good as using a camera, especially an iPhone.

    Glad to also hear that the cleaner is working out and that ordering groceries online is too.

    Have a terrific Tuesday, dear lady!

    X to you and Joe!

  4. Good afternoon, Ron. I must admit I was quite pleased with the say the covers were printed. I decided on a different colour for each book since there was no title on the spine of the smaller books. Colours make them easier to identify. Okay, Feline Capers it shall be. Thank you, my friend.

  5. Hi Brian, I like the sail boats, wish I could have a go in one... smiles.

  6. That's some colorful sailboats! So glad Joe is out of hospital. I hope he has a speedy recovery. So nice you could go out to a delicious lunch together!!

  7. Oh well done on the books and I'm so pleased to hear that Joe is home. Sounds like you had a lovely lunch and the photos are great, despite the windows being in the way. x

  8. Hi Pearl. The homecoming will be short lived. Next post will reveal more. Those windows are a nuisance for photographers but the cropping facility comes in handy.

  9. I am glad that things are better. You place to eat is wonderful. We use to eat a place off of a Minnesota lake and you could see things happening and water fowl too.

  10. YEAH!!! I'm betting that man is soooo grateful to be home and I'm glad he bought you lunch in appreciation. ;-)
    And I'm gladder than glad you've found a keeper of a cleaner. I can hope you've already got someone tending to the yard and garden...that's the first thing I made the brother-in-law give up when he had to care for the sister...that and I lined him up with a place that prepared meals for him a week at a time. All he had to do was slip them in the oven or microwave. Anything you can hand off or whittle down, will be good for you and for Joe, yaknow?

    I love the bold colour books and you GO girl!! Knock their socks with the Feline Capers. And you just say or do what's right for you with that other group...sometimes we outgrow others around us and a change or at least an introdoction to a new way of doing/ a VERY good thing. ;-)
    A big hug and a welcome home to your Mister...we're still praying for the both of you! (LOL...still a wordy one, I am!!)

  11. So glad to hear that Joe is out of hospital! ...and that he was treated to a nice dinner. I'm sure that helped to perk up his spirits!

  12. Herman, he would have liked it better if I'd paid... grins. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  13. I like the sailboats too, especially the one with the shimmering water!

    congrats re: your books, well done Val. that's a lot of work.

    and so glad your Joe is out of the hospital and you were able to get out for some r and r, together. Sounds good!

  14. Nice sailing boat shots, Val! I wish Joe well! I'm a bit out of touch but read back a little on your blog! Hopefully everything on the UP!

  15. Congrats Val .. the books look

    You always write the best descriptions of your meals ..
    makes me hungry every time I read
    about your dining experiences.

  16. Thanks Paul, we've all got fingers crossed that things will be on the UP.

    Thanks, Faye. I am quite delighted with the way the books have turned out.

  17. Thanks, Geraldine. Forthcoming surgery should give Joe a brighter future. Today should see if any books will be grabbed at auction.

  18. I'm so happy Joe is out of the hospital. Your lunch date looks lovely. Your pictures are lovely. To heck with the obstacles, you captured the moment beautifully.

    Very exciting about your books. You are a very neat lady.

  19. Hi Pal. I confess, I am a terribly organised person, perhaps neat comes into it somewhere.... grins. Thank you for your kind remarks about the pictures. Appreciated.

  20. I wish you much success with your books and I hope you'll have a great time at the meeting. Good to read about your husband coming back home too. Have a great weekend.

  21. Loved to hear about all of the good news and the great photos. So awesome about your books, and even more awesome about Joe. Hope everything continues to go well. Take care Val, and still sending positive thoughts your way.

  22. After being stuck 24 hours a day in hospital, having a meal out in the real world always seems to underline how nice it is to escape! (though I am always grateful that we have access to decent modern hospitals when we really need them.)

    Well done on your books!

    And I must say that the WI seems to be just like other voluntary organisations, hotbeds of teacup politics, as I call them.

  23. Well done Valerie. It sounds like all sorts of things in your life are getting sorted! So glad to hear that Joe is out of hospital now.

  24. Star, definitely a lot going on here. Unfortunately though, Joe has to go back in hospital.... see latest post.

  25. How exciting to have 8 books of your work!!! That is awesome, Val!
    Love the photos, glad you got to go out.
    I don't know how many stores offer it, but I know of one grocery store in particular where you can go online and put in an order, they fill it within a few hours. When you arrive at your pickup time, you pull up out front and a clerk comes to your car with the order and helps you load it. My sister has used the service and it sounds quite interesting. I think I'll try it sometime.
    Shame to have that drama going on with the WI. I suppose the potential for that is in all organizations, unfortunately.

  26. Mary, yes I'm thrilled about the books, more especially that people actually bought them.


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