Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday - the week vanished.......

Housework and I do not make a happy couple. I say this after walking through the house and estimating the amount of dust to be roughly equivalent to the Sahara desert. Give or take a bucket or two. Then I looked through the window out onto the grey skies and noticed that some rogue bird had been doing target parctice and had decorated the glass with gently cascading poop. A new touch of elegance. One I can do without.

So I sighed and sat down at the computer like all intelligent people. Maybe if I wear sunglasses indoors no-one else will notice. Note to all local people: 1.There is dust. So what. I am not sneezing yet. 2. It is cold because I am not switching on the heating, so wear fleeces if you are contemplating visiting. 3. I do make coffee or tea. That will warm you up.


I actually picked up the remote control this morning, and then looked in horror at the clean patch where it had been lying. What do you think I did? Huh? Well, I could have grabbed the polish and duster immediately. I should have. Or grabbed the magic dusting mitten. But that was upstairs. So I very gently put the remote back in exactly the same place. And left the room.

You can tell I am all fired up and ready to leap into things around here, can't you? Exactly. There is more to life than a clean house. That is my motto. Along with the old ones:

  • A tidy house is a sign of a mis-spent life
  • Please don't write in the dust

Last year, in October, I joined in with the Nesters's 31 day challenge, and it was great fun. I did 31 Days of Memories. I made the commitment to post every day for the month of October, along with hundreds of others around the globe. I have been thinking about this October. I see many of you are joining in, and I am going to do so too, but I am not linking because I can't remember how to do the button thing, and Hello, David, answering your mother's attempts at contact would be splendid now and then. And also, I am quite happy to try to do it again here. There is the picture issue which I am still trying to sort out and also the topic. It will be 31 Days of Something, but I am not sure what yet. Pop over to the Nester and check it out. Monday should be a stellar day for blogs so link up to join in with the bloggy fun!

Right. I do believe my son is sending signals from outer space. I will be back.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday and a call for prayer for a friend........

Monday has rolled around again, bringing with it torrential rain and definitely winter-like temps. We seem to be skipping Autumn entirely and are heading for the cold. So, I have been buried under the blankets snoozing. Hibernating. Yes. Hibernating.

I have had a couple of appalling leg weeks but I don't want to talk about that. It just makes sitting at the computer difficult. Make that sitting, standing, walking, sleeping, anything. You have no idea.

However, I am still alive, if not kicking. And the leg is still not working, but the brain is a little bit. And we don't need legs here now, do we. Right. I want to talk about Christmas. About children. About the way people make messes of things. About blankets. About gifts. About windfall apple cakes. About kind words. About ..........

But they all require me to think and I am not doing well in the thinking department either. That is why I picked up the crochet hook, a few balls of wool from the giant stash (the wool stash, as opposed to the fabric stash.) (There are two.) (And a scrapbook supply stash.)

And started another ripple blanket. I can just ripple away and I can put it down, pick it up and unravel to correct mistakes. Crochet projects are very forgiving, aren't they? They are. Thank the Good Lord. There has been a good deal of unravelling going on around here in the past 2 days, believe me.

I have just been on Facebook and my friend Dawn, from Call me Grandma Dawn 's husband is critically ill in hospital. They need your prayers, people. Urgently. So if you can, please pray for his healing, her strength and everything else you can think of.

That has focused the mind. I have been talking to her on messenger on Facebook and she is struggling. The disbelief that it is all happening so fast. From not well to critically ill in ICU. And then there is the dilemma of what to say. How to help. This is familiar territory, and she knows that. I just told her I was there, with Geoff. All the time. Nothing else matters right now. She just needs to be there. I also told her to say everything in her heart right now. Say the words. He will hear them.

On that awful night, I just talked to Geoff almost non stop for all those hours. How many? I can't remember, but 4 or 5. All the things I wanted to say, didn't want left unsaid. I believe he heard me. He knew. Believe me, he probably wanted me to stop talking and give him some peace and quiet. I, however, needed to speak. And I am so glad I did. Had he recovered, I am quite sure he would have known exactly what I had said, and that would have been great. I just pray Dwight recovers and remembers all the things Dawn is telling him right this minute. My friends, never - NEVER leave anything unsaid. Not today, tomorrow, the next day. Say the words. Just keep saying them. That way you will never be in the position of regretting the fact that you didn't say them. Nothing could be worse.

Aiyaiyai. I need to go and think a bit. And do some more praying.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

There is a chill in the air.....

It has been a while. Well, a few days. Isn't it easy to get out of the habit of writing? The longer I stay away from the blog, the easier it becomes to let it go. And there are times when I am so tempted to do just that. Or start another one. Or something.


My head hurts. According to the BBC this morning, taking too many painkillers can induce headaches. Somehow I don't think that applies to me, but just to be certain, I started lowering the number I have to take each day slowly.

Result? My head hurts. And other extremities.

So we will skip merrily over that one.

On to more cheerful things. I have made the bunting "In PINK, Moreglanny!" for the smallest one in the family. That was fun. It was just a couple of 3m lengths and a 2m length, so it went very quickly. It quite took me by surprise after the many hundreds of miles I have been doing in recent months. 8 metres? Pah. A doddle. So that can be ticked off the list.

AND the good thing is that all the fabric came from the stash. Not that you would notice any holes in the piles, of course. I jammed it all into those shelves so tightly that I would have to sew about 10 miles of bunting to notice any gaps. But it is a start. Next on the list is crocheted stars. "In PINK, Moreglanny!"  Right. PINK. I have the message loud and clear, Missy!

Thank heavens there is a while before Christmas yet. Has anyone amassed their Christmas gift collection yet? Has anyone started making things yet? September is always the time I start to think about what I am making and this year is no different. There are so many great ideas out there. My Pinterest boards are bulging, and my bookmarked blogs are overflowing from the bookmark list, and my head is full of bits of each of them and now I can't think straight.

I need chocolate.

David is settled in at uni and seems quite at home, if the Skype conversations are any indicators. His course starts next week, and that is when he will meet all the others doing the same Master's course with him. He is so close to the sea - I think he is going to love being able to walk down to the waterfront as often as he likes and just breathe in all that sea air.

Until we moved here in 1990, I had always lived near the sea. Cape Town, in South Africa, and Plymouth in Devon. I still love being near the ocean. I love the feel of real sand between my toes. Sitting on a rock and watching the waves roll in. My grandparents used to go on drives in the afternoon, in Cape Town, and always ended up parked in Sea Point, or Bantry Bay, watching the sea. I don't remember them getting out of the car much, but they used to sit and watch the rollers coming in, and the ships anchored in Table Bay, waiting for pilots or a spot in the harbour.

Having said that I have not lived near the sea since 1990, at times I forget that I spent some time on the ships with Geoff and the children when we could, over school holidays. The sea is not the same when you are floating about on it, however. It is seen from a different perspective.  I think there is a certain magic in being on the shore, and watching the tides move. In New Zealand, I used to get up really early, and go and sit on a rock and watch the sea there too - and the sun rising over the ocean is truly beautiful. Or setting. .

Maybe you can't take the sea out of me. Or the mountains.

In England, I miss the mountains even more than the sea. The solidity of them. Towering peaks. Shadows of  immovable rock. The sense of direction you learn from knowing the mountains. But at least I get to be in the mountains in Switzerland. And Switzerland has the lakes too, of course. Water. Mountains. It is good. The mix.

I am quite sure that there is a great deal I meant to tell you all, but I have forgotten the lot. I got side-tracked by talk of the sea and mountains........

Getting back into the swing of things may take a while, I suspect.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blogger and limits and pictures and technology........

Ok. Help. I have reached the limits of my free Blogger picture space. Charming. A friend has told me she uses Flickr to upload photos. So my question to everyone else is this - what do you do? I seem to remember Vee talking about this a long time ago, and I merrily carried on my own way and didn't listen much because I had plenty of space. Oh, foolish me. I do not fancy paying a couple of dollars a month with all the resultant conversion costs which I don't want to think about because my head will hurt more. Why on earth can't we pay an annual fixed small sum? Maybe I will just start another blog on Wordpress or Typepad. Or think about finding out how to have my own domain. Because I do not want limits.


So any suggestions and I will be so pleased, I may even try some. Mind you, I opened up Picasa and nearly had a heart attack when I saw it uploading everything on my computer. No! Stop it! So at 12.30 am I was googling how to stop it doing it and so, it appeared was half the universe because heaven knows there were a great many similar queries, and a great many frustrated people out there.

I like things to be the same. Life can change, but things? No. I need to be able to do things. Without thinking.

And while we are talking about "things" let me tell you that wireless printers are dead to me too. Bring back long dusty cables. My old printer had a cable. I clicked on print, and it whirred into life. Well, it may have creaked and groaned a bit, but it did get up to speed eventually, when it had ink in it. This new one? Hah. Click on "print". It stays silent and "offline". So after much uninstalling and re-installing by the resident geek, the son, it works. But only if you click "print" and then click on go off line and then unclick it again and then click on something else and I can tell you, its days are numbered. Bring back cables, I say. Dusty and long and a pain to shift around. But they worked. I will be hooking my printer up to something. It may be a flagpole.

We seem to be a trifle technologically challenged today. Put it down to the attic dust. David and I (well, David mostly) got the last of the boxes into the attic with some toys and bed slats, and sundry other things. The attic is now full, but the Christmas boxes (half the attic) are now in line next to the hole, so will be ready to be taken down once December rolls around. Other seasons have been banished to the far corners of the attic. I dream of organised rows of plastic boxes all labelled and easy to find. Not in this house, sadly. The boxes are plastic and that is about as far as we go at the moment.

And then I tried to fix his favourite Tshirts which are decades old too and in total disrepair. This was not a successful endeavour. Ripped holes under the arms - not along any seam, are not fixable and wearable. He can leave those here for when he comes home. The lab coat poppers - well, I used velcro instead. And wrecked 2 needles in the process. Tick another box. Not many left to tick now. Nor much time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It is autumnal around here today............

I forgot, during my relating of the garden woes of 2012, that my gem squash have thrived. More than thrived. I have a bumper harvest. This pleases me (and Glynis and Peter) hugely, as we are all great fans from our South African upbringing. See? There is always something to be thankful for. The butternuts are slowly emerging as well, so I have high hopes for them.
Yes, Vee - we have wonderful gardening programmes on TV. I love them. We were advised back in the days of water restrictions, to plant a garden for drought. So some did, and nothing grew because drought loving plants do not like rivers of the wet stuff day after day. And some, like me, planted things which I thought I could manage to control like the godetia, which grew 3ft, searching for the missing sun, instead of cascading gently over the edge of the pot in glorious abundance like last year. And then as soon as the flowers started opening - eventually - the long tall stalks keeled over and lay down like sticks. Sigh. The hanging baskets did the same. They failed to grow, never mind cascade.
My garden usually has a lot of cosmos in it. Some I grow from seed and plant out when bigger, and some grow in the ground from seeds which fell last autumn. Well. The ones which spring up in the garden have reached the dizzy height of about a foot and have one measly little flower on their very fragile stems, and the ones I grew from seed are 15ft tall and have only been flowering for the past month. And there you see the problem. It is all wonky. But that is the nature (hahaha) of gardening, isn't it - and the roses have been beautiful.
There is s distinct chill to the air this morning - it feels like Autumn. I love the autumn. In fact, I think I love all the seasons for wildly differing reasons. Autumn, though, with the shorter days and golden colours warms me. There is still a whole lot of cooking and freezing to do as the apples start piling up, and crumbles to dream about as I smell cinnamon and start planning slow cooker meals in my head. Gone are the cooler colours of summer which I had in the house, and now we have the oranges, the russets and the chocolate browns, and out have come the crocheted blankets and  little acorn people and if the sun happens to sine through the windows, it creates a glow. I love it.
 If I had the energy, I would go in search of Autumn with my camera. But it is now raining, so I will make do with some photos of the inside of my home.
I am amazed by how many orange or autumnal bits I have to play with. I have a basket out waiting for inspiration to strike and my mind is turning to crochet, sewing, quilts, scarves - cool weather pursuits. Books too. There are so many I want to read and all we lack around here is the ability to remember what we read in order to follow a plot. Maybe I should go and play with my Amazon basket again, and remember to include the things I need. Not want! Like printer ink, for goodness sake. I keep forgetting it. Amazon means books to me. I have no idea why I am talking about ink......
There is another pot of tomato/onion relish bubbling on the stove. The tomatoes had given up waiting and were about to decompose, so it had to be done. It reminds me of my grandmother. And 11 apples are off the tree too. Their neighbours had already started rotting, so it was time.

Coffee. I need coffee...........

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I remember.................

I started writing this post at 4pm. I thought it was 1pm. And now it is 7.30pm. This is all totally useless chatter, but just so you know the brain is clearly addled already before I start on anything else. I seem to have lost all conception of time.

Oh well. 

I have lost a lot more and survived, so we will poddle on. 


We have had a sort of Indian summer and now it is nearly over, I have decided that the garden can fend for itself. Mostly. The beans and tomatoes will still be watered but I have given up on the rest. So the summer garden is, for me, over for another year. Yes, I know it is just September, but somehow, this year has not been the year of the garden. Anything but. Not for want of trying, though. I did all the right things, but Mother Nature didn't oblige. Hmm. I sound like a seasoned farmer with acres to watch over. It feels the same though. Part of me feels that I failed this year, and the other logical part says don't be ridiculous. Everyone had the same problem. I do have a freezer full of beans and tomato and onion relish though, so we can, at least tick that box, and the apples will be ready very soon. 

Actually, my friend with the orchard tells me that the apples have started dropping, so maybe I will go and get a couple of bags full to cook and freeze and then I will feel a great deal better about 2012 in the garden. 

I have been going to my aquarobics and aquazumba classes every week, and I still love them. I have to say that my leg has been a huge challenge and on days like yesterday, I got home from the gym and sat in the rocking chair for the rest of the day. There are 28 steps to the top level where the changing rooms are, and 28 more down to the pool and back up and then down again. And today, when I went to Glynis and Peter's place to let their dogs out, I fell asleep on their couch for an hour. I do not like feeling week and feeble, but hey, that is the way things go, so I am slowing down drastically and sleeping. It hurts, dammit. And pain, as we all know, is exhausting. 

So here I am. Family fed, dishwasher running, and nothing on TV to watch yet. It is the 9th day of September, and I, like everyone else, think back to that terrible, terrible day in 2001, and I just know that I will never forget it. Nor should we. It is a day which changed the world. And subsequently, so many have died in an attempt to halt the evil in this world, and so many more still will die, and it breaks my heart. The evil. The waste of life. The stupidity. The way some men and women follow ideals which are so so wrong. The darkness. 

I just don't get the dark side of life. The need for destruction. The way bad people worm into my ordinary world and turn it upside down. Call me an idealist - you would be right. I see the goodness. The promise of life. The cleanliness. The way dreams can come true. The evil side I want nothing to do with and yet, look at that day in September so long ago. One day. Countless tears wept. Oceans full. Lives wrecked. Families torn apart and for what? For what? 

Is it worth it? Was it worth it? 


My mind is dancing about again - from Andy Murray's amazing win at the US Open - tennis - yesterday. A miracle. We thought no Brit would do it - it is 76 years since the last MAN (not woman -  they have won majors since then. Thanks, Isabelle!) won a major - and he has proven us wrong. Well done, Andy - this seals an amazing sporting summer of triumph for the British, and it has lifted spirits here amazingly. 

Back to the mind - to ways of pain control. To things I need to make for Christmas gifts if the body, hands and sewing machine combine to work in harmony, of course. I have Ideas. Thanks to Pinterest and tossing scraps of fabric in my hands and deciding whether or not to keep them. My granddaughter wants pink bunting for her bedroom, and crocheted stars. In pink. She is in the pink stage, and more girly and blingy than I could have imagined and I love it all. I can do pink. 

I should be flying to France to a wedding tomorrow or the next day, but the leg is not working, and my head is bursting, and skin is crawling, and gee, life is just peachy around here. I want to be there. But how do I drag the leg there. I need one of those teleporting things from Star Trek (Beam me up, Scottie) so will someone please invent one immediately for me. 

I am now going to download? Upload? all my photos from the camera, and make some more coffee. And maybe I will stay awake long enough to pop around and visit you all. Please excuse my lack of comments - sitting in one place for long is not an option at the moment. But tomorrow will be better, I am sure. And I a, really looking forward to reading about all your exciting lives, so make sure there is something exciting out there, if you please. 

I will be back............

Friday, September 07, 2012

In which my view of politics may be discussed.....

Times flies.

Actually, it is not so much time as a distinct reluctance to post anything I may have written. Plenty has been written, believe me. Thank the Good Lord a Canadian friend voiced what I, and , it appears, so very many friends around the globe, including the USA, have been thinking re the appalling vitriol which is spewing out over the Internet waves about the US election. Specifically on Facebook. By some of our Christian friends. It has saddened me immensely, and has left me incapable of rational/coherent thought here. That is, I may well have posted what I wanted to say and that, I know from long and bitter experience, could have unleashed the hounds of hell.

I don't need the hounds of hell.

However, what I will say is this. We are all unique. We are all individuals. We all have our own opinions. We are all entitled to freedom of speech. Freedom of thought. We are all intelligent adults. We are all entitled to respect. And hopefully, we all pray for our leaders, whoever they may be. And we are still friends, despite any differences. Maybe because of those differences. Differences make the world interesting.

Now, before my American friends think that I may not know or understand what is happening in the USA, let me just say that I have always followed American politics and news. I read widely. I check out different opinions. I know how to follow exactly what is happening in Congress and the Senate. I read BOTH sides of the House. I love facts. I hunt them down. Politicians intrigue me.

And, I am impartial when it comes to other countries - I can stand back and assess dispassionately.

You see, I come from a country where politics WAS our life. It shaped who I am, and I have been in  the midst of real political strife, where there was a very real danger present. I have written about that time before, I think.  I now live in a country where all my friends have very diverse political opinions, and we laugh and tease each other, we may campaign for opposing parties, we discuss things at length, disagree vehemently and, guess what............ we walk away friends.  We may even persuade each other to change our minds. Miracles happen.

Here in the UK, we live under incredibly tough austerity measures right now, and we all moan loudly, and worry, and boo the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he arrives to hand out medals, and he laughs and keeps going. He knows he has an impossible job. Actually, we know that too. No-one would want his job. We do not like what he makes us do, but no-one would call for his death, or wish him personal ill.

It is like when you discipline a child - you don't tell him/her that he/she is a terrible child. You tell him he did a bad thing. The thing, not the child is the important part.

But calling your president Satan? Wishing he was dead? Hate-mongering? Really? Seriously?

All leaders globally, who took office after the banks wrecked the global economy and forced everyone in the world into appalling austerity measures, took on what one could call the poisoned chalice. I would not have wanted their job. They had to try to steer huge economies around in a wide U-turn to try to rescue us all. (Do NOT get me started on the banks though.) The damage was done, not on their watch, but done, nonetheless, and had to be dealt with one way or another.

So, to save our countries, in came austerity measures which every single one of us have to suffer through. They hurt, believe me. Life cannot be what it was for anyone until the books balance. And the poorest hurt the most. I know. Believe me, I know. However, what are the options? Look at Greece. Spain. Portugal. Ireland. France. And many more. Life is tough, people. Tough. We are all paying. And will go on paying for the rest of our lives, in all probability.

We are taxed here way beyond the level most would think. Our VAT (sales tax) is 20%. Our petrol/gas price is the highest in the world currently £1.39 a litre, and a huge part of that is tax. Bottom income tax rate on individuals is 20% for earnings effectively over £8,105. Earn over £34, 370, you will pay 40% tax. And over £150,000 you will pay 50% tax. You can check out the tables here if you like. And on top of that, we pay a minimum of a further 12% in National Insurance (which covers the National Health Service etc). So, we do pay for our free health care system. Most of us live in small houses, and the banks won't lend to anyone, and.......

See? Tough times. We wail and gnash our teeth and wonder if the powers that be understand or know how much it hurts. We count out pennies, pop them in pots and try to get by as best we can. (I could write a book on frugality and cash economy and cost-cutting austerity measures for families which would make the Chancellor's budget look like a charming fairy tale.)  And so we get on with it, and produce the best Olympics and Paralympics EVER and we party and cheer and absolutely love the way the sun is finally shining and the way the nation is celebrating and the feats of pure magic we see all day on the TV screen. And forget all about the woes of the economy for a while. There is plenty of laughter and elation about right now. I love it.


Knowledge is the key. Facts. Figures. Check. Re-check. I am intensely interested in world affairs, you see. I have been since I was a child, actually. President Kennedy's assassination was the start and I was just nine. My oldest son inherited the same fascination. Fortunately, our schools definitely taught global geography and history back then. And then I studied world history and politics at university and African History was my second major. My focus was on American History and 20th C politics. The two cannot be separated at all. And the fascination remains to this day. I remember phoning the New Zealand embassy in London once, before the advent of the Internet, because my friend and I could not for the life of us remember the name of their Prime Minister. See? I love facts. We needed to know. The embassy staff may have thought we were crazy but that is just fine.

 I have a clear view of different countries and the way they work. Different systems. I can separate the personal feelings from the facts. Even here in the UK. I vote strategically. But there is one thing which worries me a great deal at the moment. Two things. The rights of women. That is key. I am a woman. The other is the erosion of the freedom of choice. That should not be happening in the 21st C, and in no way constitutes progress. Isn't progress what life is all about? Freedom of choice. Go here to read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 It is not my place, or yours, or anyone else's to judge others. Or their decisions or choices. That is central to my Christian faith. It is not my place. My place is to love. To love even my enemy. To treat everyone as though they were my beloved brother or sister. And by enemy, I am not talking only about warfare. I am referring to the person who cuts in front of you as you drive, the neighbour who campaigns for a different party, the smelly homeless man begging, the mum who always has perfect kids, the team that beats yours. Ordinary people. Bad people. Evil, even. Prime Ministers, Presidents, Nominees, Chancellors, Pastors. I may not like them, but I am commanded to (try to) love them. Hey. I am human too. It is tough at times. There may be are plenty of times when I have to remind myself with gritted teeth. Haven't you ever yelled that at your kids? "I may not like what  you are doing but I still love you"?? No? Am I the only one? Hmmm. I try to remind myself of how Nelson Mandela has lived his life. That gentleness and love which shines from his face. A remarkable man. I in no way resemble Nelson Mandela. I need to work on that bit.

So. How do I round this off.....

I have no desire to enter politics. Mind you, the pensions and perks are staggering even after just one term, so who knows. I will always be interested in different viewpoints. But civilised discussion or debate is what I love, not mob hysteria. (I have seen what the very literal interpretation of the words "Mob Hysteria" can do. I come from Africa, remember.)

And should I ever choose to talk about politics in more depth, I will be acting on my right to freedom of speech. Should I comment on foreign politics, ditto. Freedom of opinions.

Should I EVER get to the point again where I worry about alienating people who pop over here to visit, who I see as my friends, then I will shut down this blog. I have paced and groaned and moaned and deleted and written and worried and............ ENOUGH. This is my corner of the Internet. All rights of expression here are mine. Whatever they may be. Whoever may be offended challenged.

And you know what? I don't mind what any of you say or think - I still love you all, and respect your wildly differing opinions, and will read avidly, no matter which party/ideal you support. Whether or not you choose to write about politics. I am fascinated any way.

Just please, please distance yourselves from the hate, because that worries me sick.

And here endeth Linds' State of the Globe Address.

Normal service will resume after I have had a hot coffee and some chocolate under the apple tree to recover.

In the sun. It shines on....................

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Saturday, sport, sisters and more.......

Morning all - the Paralympic swimming heats are on as I speak so I have one eye on the screen and one ear on the TV. You know how it is. Just so you know, America won 2 golds in the pool last night. Canada one one gold, and NZ bagged a couple of silvers. There were many more, but I was trying to update the world-which-was-not-watching-because-their-TV-bosses-didn't-think-the-paralympics-were-important. My facebook status feed was a one women commentary. Here is the Medal Table as of this minute. It is changing rapidly. I so wish everyone could see and hear it all. The roar of the capacity crowds is deafening. The excitement is contagious. The flags waving everywhere. And the athletes are outdoing themselves. Just fabulous.

I woke up this morning, thinking it was about 6 am. It was 8.55am. So we are sauntering slowly through the morning at snail's pace, because we can. I was so incredibly tired last night that I kept falling asleep wherever I was. Maybe it is all the sport. I am running/swimming/pedalling the races with Team GB and the blood pressure is in Olympic mode.

(Good grief. I just tilted the computer screen and I can see what I am doing. A miracle.)

A while later......

I keep racing out to see what is happening. Golds. Silvers. Heats. Sigh. I love it.

I should be changing the house to Autumn today. In my world. I declare Summer over at the end of August. I go with months. Autumn will be September, October, November. Winter = December, January and February. Spring = March, April, May and Summer = June, July, August. It makes things easier to remember. Actually I had totally forgotten until Peter popped in yesterday and asked when the house would change. Right. I need to think. I may make an exception this year and keep the patriotic/marine stuff out until the Paralympics are over. That seems appropriate. I don't want to take down the red white and blue bunting outside until it is finished.

Now for something completely different.

10 Things I love:

  1. Technology - the ability to communicate with the big wide world out there with relative ease. I say "relative" only because I have an iffy computer! Where would we I be without it? Inspiration. Ideas. Events. Learning. Writing. Teaching. Sharing and more.
  2. Fresh vegetables grown in my garden or allotment. I LOVE being able to go  out there and gather enough for our supper, and plenty to freeze as well. The little bit of effort in spring and regular watering, and all those seeds I saved from last year produce a plentiful harvest. The apples are next...
  3. The swimming pool at gym. The laughter and fun we have while doing our aquazumba dances in the water. Being one of the girls and managing all the moves as if there was nothing wrong with the body at all. Being normal. The way hard work makes me first exhausted and then exhilarated. No sign of a Twiggy like figure, but I am feeling fitter, at least. 
  4. My car. Old though it is, it is high enough for me to get in and out of with ease. It goes. It is comfortable. It gets me where I want to go. That reminds me - I must go this instant and put the new tax disc in the window while I remember it. Done. 
  5. Hair straighteners, without which I would look like a poodle. Not a desirable look. 
  6. The written word - whether in book form or as ebooks. I don't have an eReader yet, but I have downloaded so many free books onto the computer through a Kindle app for computers, and one day, they will be on an eReader too. For now, the computer is great. I can't tell you how many hours in the evenings I spend trawling through Amazon, playing with books and wish lists and baskets, taking things out, putting them in, saving for later - and I rarely push the button to buy, but I love the playing about. Am I weird? It is all the possibilities, especially as I have a gift voucher I could spend if I wanted to. I love being able to almost tease myself with all the possibilities. I love books. I love the worlds I enter as I choose. I love knowing there is a pile of books waiting to be read. I can't pass a book shop. Groan. Yes. I am weird. I have always loved reading, only now it is different. I find reading fiction so difficult because I cannot remember the plot, and yet non-fiction is easier for me. Not to mention all the Chicken Soup books - their stories are just a page or 2 long. Perfect. I will read anything. I just wish I could remember plots.....
  7. My camera. Not fancy or smart, or big or complicated. Just small and neat and it does the job, allowing me to capture memories to take out and relive as I please. Digital photography has SO enhanced my days. I want to learn more, and graduate to a big camera one day, but right now, mine is perfect. 
  8. Peanut Butter KitKat chocolates. DIVINE. The best. At long last I have found a British chocolate I really like!
  9. My sewing machine. Which enables me to make things for my home, my family, my friends. Making things is part of who I am. Creating things is what I love. Add to the sewing machine, the embroidery machine, the cuttlebug, the scroll saw.... all tools with which I can make stuff. Gifts. They may all need servicing, but they all go, i love them and I am deeply thankful for each and every one of them. I have a shelf of works in progress (WIPs) and UFOs - unfinished objects. And I am thankful for the shelves of fabric awaiting inspirational thoughts too! I LOVE knowing I have the tools in place. And I love using them. They are not ornaments. I am just sorry my overlocker (serger) died after being worked to death. It was the second one I worked into the ground. One day I may have another. It is on The List. 
  10. My home. Small though it is, it is still home to me and my family. And I love changing things about,. and using simple methods (and those tools - see #9)(and inspiration #1) to make it warm and welcoming. People smile when they see me change things about - little things. Home. 
I could go on, but I just wanted to talk about some of the things I love. Not people, just things which make my life that much better. Easier, more fun. And enable me to feel that I CAN do stuff, achieve things too. Now here is the plan - why don't you tell me about the ten things which you love too? I would love to hear your ideas! I may do this every week, because heaven knows there are way more than 10 things I really love!

I am now off to plot my Rio Paralympics plan to star in some sport or other. Archery? High jump? Marathon? 

You have a great weekend, wherever you may be! 

Especially my beautiful sister. It is her birthday today and I wish I could be there with her right now. She is working today, but I cannot begin to tell you how special she is, how much she is loved by us all and how thankful I will always be to know she is there. For a little sister (who is taller than me)(who is prettier than me) ( and who was totally annoying as a small girl)(who is MUCH smarter than me)(who was a trial to live with in my school days)(who got to live in my dream place - Switzerland)  she is more than OK. Of all the people in the world, she would still be my first and only choice as a sister. I love you, Marge. Here is a huge hug through the screen for you. {{ }}(Yes. Your sister who is not good with hugs sent you a huge one. You may remind me about this in person soon.) 


You are catching me up. YES!!