Sunday, November 19, 2017

Just because it's a cliche

It's a family tradition that I buy Daughter, and now GrandDaughter1, a personalised Thorntons chocolate heart for their birthdays.

This year, inspired by all the life mottoes that people insist on sharing on FaceBook, I thought perhaps I should choose something different, a slogan for GrandDaughter1's life. So I had a ponder.

First thought: You can be whatever you want to be

Trouble is, that's not true, is it? For example she can't be Queen. Not unless an awful lot of people were to die suddenly. I do have royal blood somewhere in my genealogy but they're mostly Welsh kings - and they don't include the one that counts i.e. Henry Tudor. Of course she might have royal genes on her paternal side but it would still take a disaster on a world scale to bring her to the throne and then people probably wouldn't want a Queen anyway.

So scrap that one. 

What about: Every moment matters?

No, no, it doesn't. Not on the grand scale of things.

Much later
I got distracted looking at sayings on google so I think I'll settle for Happy Birthday, and just show you these:
mottoes to live by




Making a butterfly

GrandDaughter1 is growing up. She will be eight on Thursday but that's not exactly what I mean. She was explaining something to me the other day and I suddenly realised she wasn't using little girl language but something that is more akin to teenage speech. She is growing and developing and making friendships that will help shape her in many ways. But I am pleased to say that she is not easily swayed or led into things. She knows her own mind and isn't showing any signs yet of having a 'going with the crowd' mentality.

I am so enjoying being a granny. For loads of different reasons but partly because of the slight distance that allows me to watch and observe the changes that occur. I think when I was rearing my own children I was so concerned with the moment, so busy, so wrapped up in timetables and development charts and who's taking them to cubs this evening and who is coming to tea, that I missed the subtle changes. They were babies, toddlers, children, teenagers, students without my noticing the cocoon stages.

Somewhere along the line the butterflies emerged and new generations began. I'm grateful for the second chance.



A little under the weather

At times of illness Husband favours the 'do nothing' approach, as in sitting down playing Civilisation on the computer. He says scientific research has proven that rest is the best cure.

Not that I'm ill. My tummy has recovered and apart from a tender nose - well, something that big takes a while to heal - I am not suffering following my sickness debacle earlier in the week. But I do have the snuffles, a dry mouth and throat, and a niggling headache.

I am inclined to take Husband's advice and I would like to take it. But when I do all that happens is that I sit around feeling sorry for myself. I'm not convinced I get better any faster. But I excel at feeling sorry for myself.

So today I went to the Green Fayre and Sainsburys with Younger Son, Nuora and GrandSon4. That was fine; it wasn't until I watched two episodes of Grey's Anatomy, including the horrendous one where Derrick dies, that I began to feel proper poorly again. 

So I've come on here to blog and take my mind off things. And this photo will help ...

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sanctimonious bullshit

sanctimonious bullshit
I was lying in bed one night and those were the words that came to me. (It was that sort of night: I'd been lying awake for ages amongst other things composing a depressing blog post about perspective, family favourites, dead cousins, Nazis and quashing of the spirit.)

If I were asked for a dictionary definition for sanctimonious bullshit I'd be hard-pressed to come up with one but it just felt right for what I'd had to listen to. So I'm going to store the phrase behind my ear and next time it happens I'll bring it out and let it bob happily on a sea of calm until my anger passes.

P.S. According to Mr Chambers to behave in a sanctimonious way is to simulate holiness especially hypocritically. Rather like the pharisees.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I have two problems ...

when driving Alfie Porsche.

Problem Number One: he doesn't have a rear view mirror. He has one but it's in the glove compartment. Husband has tried numerous times to stick it back on - including with a professional glue - but it keeps coming off. That shouldn't be a problem as Husband says, 'Use the wing mirrors.' But they're adjusted for his driving position and you know what these German Italian European car manufacturers are like: they like to hide things. So they're really difficult to change. It's not just a case of twiddling something.

So basically if you see me driving Alfie Porsche, especially if you're behind me, give me plenty of room as I probably don't know you're there. (I don't drive Alfie very often, don't worry.)

Problem Number Two: when driving Alfie I turn into Mr. Cool. Which would be okay if I weren't a sixty-five-old slightly-less-than-cool (but only very slightly) woman. I need Aretha on my hi-tech music machine (okay, cassette deck as Alfie's quite old) thumping out, 'R E S P E C T' and I'm the man. 

And obviously it was thus I appeared when a youth, a learner driver, pulled up outside me at the traffic lights on his 175cc motorbike. He glanced down at me, revved his engine, and I thought, 'Think you can challenge me, eh?'

No, I didn't. I mean I thought it but I didn't take him up on it. Tempting though it was. And, sadly, judging by the way he pulled in front of another car shortly afterwards I fear this young learner may not live to pass his test.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

One lovely black eye

Shoulder's much better today but I'm still taking it easy. 

Husband said, when I was in the toilet, he heard a door being slammed. I pointed out that what he heard was actually my head butting the door as I fainted. It's a good job I've got a big nose: it took the brunt of my collision with the door thus saving my fragile brain.
My 'black eye' looks much more impressive in real life ...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Loving and losing

My latest article for The Bay has now been published. It's a special Christmas/New Year bumper edition, and I think my article is rather good!

The Bay is delivered to lots of homes mostly in Swansea west I think but you can pick up a copy at some libraries or you can read it online.

The royal progress

Have made it from bed to the computer via the shower - without mishap.

batman with a broken nose
I had visualised myself in A&E having x-rays for my broken shoulder and nose but that may have been overly dramatic. Standing in the shower under the warm water doing shoulder rolls seemed to help but there are still things I can't do.

On the plus side, my snuffle and tickly throat seem a bit better.


To find myself lying in a pool of blood

When I went to bed last night the last thing I expected was to wake and find myself in a pool of blood.


Everything was fine when I went to bed and stayed fine until about four am. That's when I woke up and started vomiting.

Sitting on the floor in the smallest room hugging the toilet isn't a good place to be. I went back to bed only to scurry back to the toilet. After throwing up again I began to feel very hot and woozy. That was the last thing I remember.

Next minute - or possibly later - I opened my eyes, wondering where I was and why there was blood coming from my nose.

Today I am in bed and feeling very sorry for myself. I appear to have bruised not only my nose but my back as well. How I managed to hit both side at once is a mystery to be solved.

With my extensive forensic knowledge gleaned from years of watching Morse, Lewis and Midsomer Murders, I deduce from the blood stain on the door that I hit my nose on it - and presumably caught my back on the wall/door post. To be fair, in such a small room, there's not much else I could have done.

But I am in great pain and would appreciate much sympathy.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Another birthday present

Fresh veg, including a white carrot, from the farmers' market, in a basket made by Younger Son.
willow woven basket

Foraging for coal

From late August on I become a master forager. 

First it's blackberries, closely followed by conkers. (Remember that tray of conkers I baked? I put them Somewhere Safe and now I can't find them.) Then it's sweet chestnuts and currently it's pine cones.

The trouble I'm finding at the moment is that I don't actually know what sort of trees produce cones. Coniferous ones obviously but they're all different and not necessarily the ones I want.

Does collecting sea glass count as foraging? I had a nice little haul today.
And while I was gathering that George foraged for a lovely lump of coal that he happily chewed upon.

Mountain boarding for Darby and Joan

mountain boarding
Me before I break my hip
Yesterday morning walking in Clyne before it rained I noticed they were running a free mountain boarding session for children. I was very tempted to ask if they had one big enough for a sixty-five-year-old on her birthday but then I thought, 'I might break my hip.' And that would put a damper on my birthday celebrations.

I've never had that thought before; it was turning sixty-five that did it. Suddenly I became aware of the frailties of my body. 

Actually I'm fairly confident that my hips are in good shape. I'm flexible and exercise and I eat lots of cheese. Or did before The Diet. And as Husband said, 'You have plenty of padding.'

Although I've been getting my pension for two and a half years approximately for some reason I still think of sixty-five as real pensioner age. I don't feel old of course but does anyone ever?

Darby and Joan. My gran used to go to the Oystermouth darby and joan club. Who or what were D&J? Time to google.

It turns out that the first Darby and Joan club was opened in 1946 by the WVS (women's voluntary service) as a meeting place for older people to enjoy companionship, a cup of tea, a game of cards or sometimes a hot meal. The first one in Lincoln was followed by clubs all over the country many of which still exist today. The name, Darby and Joan, comes from an 18th century poem by Henry Woodfall about a happily married couple.


Sixty-five and all's well!

Great trip to Cardiff; shame about the result (something like 22-29). Still the boys looked promising. Clumsy but promising. And we sat next to a really nice Australian couple over here on holiday. And Cardiff when it's getting ready for Christmas is exciting and pretty.

We always park in roughly the same place, about a fifteen-minute walk from the stadium. Husband is always very focused and just wants to get there but yesterday we were early so I forced him to slow down so I could 'ooh' and 'aah' at all the pretty lights. And I was rather taken with the various snowdogs scattered throughout the city.
snowdogs in cardiff
I am sorry you have to turn your head to look at it. Photoshop is playing up and I can't do anything with photos at the moment.

Husband said he could understand where the grandchildren get their 'easily-distracted' trait from.

* * * * * * * * * *
Yesterday: the Great Day! Otherwise known as My Birthday!

Husband had to go shopping in the morning (for food - and a card!) so I took George out for a walk. It was lovely when we left the house but very soon began to rain. 'That's okay,' I said to George. 'It's going to be one of those nice and nasty days. It'll be nice again soon.' Sadly Nice can't have got the memo as it didn't turn up. 

We sheltered under a tree in Clyne. It didn't help. By the time we got to the beach I was soaked through (must get myself a waterproof coat) so decided I might as well continue. At least we had the place to ourselves.
Home and showered and warm afterwards for a family tea party. 

He may have been late getting a card but Husband knows me so well.

Daughter made a beautiful meringue birthday cake for me.

And GrandDaughter1 made this very special book: The Seasons of Grandsons and Granddaughters, filled with drawings of our fun times during the year.

And you may remember that a few weeks' ago I bought my own birthday present from Husband. Today they were revealed in all their sparkly glory!

A very lovely day in which I only ate six fun-size packs of Maltesers! (Back on the diet today.)



Saturday, November 11, 2017

A busy week

That's not new or news but I haven't even had time for thinking about blog posts. Let's see, what have I been doing?

Picnic on the beach in the sunshine with GrandDaughter2, Nuora and GrandSon4 on Wednesday. I only have photos of the grandbabies so I can't post those but we had a lovely time.

Wednesday evening achieved my half stone award in Slimming World. It took a while but I got there.

Thursday women's bible study at Zac's. Good study about Jesus and the barbecue on the beach. 

Friday messy play with GrandSon4 and Nuora. Granny wearing a white shirt probably wasn't the best idea but, again, good fun.

Today it's been Sainsburys and will soon be off to Cardiff for the first of the autumn internationals, Wales versus Australia. Usually a highlight of my trips to the Millennium Stadium - as well as the rugby, the atmosphere, the excitement and the usually thwarted hope - is the pie I get to eat. Sadly that will not be the case today. It's my birthday tomorrow so I must save myself!

There must have been other stuff but I'm feeling slightly brain dead. A lingering feeling of failure haunts me.