Friday, 30 April 2010

Friday frustrations

Well, Friday already.just a hasty update. Not a very exciting week really. I can't even remember much about what I did on Tuesday, probably because I have been getting to bed far too late and  consequently am tired Husband had that troublesome tooth extracted, so worked from home. I never seem to get on the same when he is at home. He was quite subdued afterwards, refused lunch and I had to rethink dinner as I don't think he could have coped with sausage. I made cottage pie with some left over beef.
He hasn't had much in the way of soreness thank the Lord. and has coped ok with work.
I have been feeling a bit Bolshie lately, is it old age, Meldrewism? I don't know. On Wednesday I had just arrived home from Sainsbury's dumped the shopping bags, and was on my way to the bathroom urgently, when the doorbell rang. I had to pass the door so answered it. Oh no! Jehovah's witnesses. I was as polite as I could be, but they seemed to want a long debate on the Holy spirit. I pointed out I had been on my way to the bathroom, and they said 'Oh we mustn't keep you' but then carried on talking. I said I really HAVE to go to the toilet, and cut them short.
I don't know whether I should bless or curse my weak bladder, at least I got away quicker,but if I had ignored the doorbell and they had seen me through the glass it would have seemed very rude.
I was on duty at parent and toddlers, we were quite busy, but someone put the musical instruments out and we couldn't hear ourselves think. My head was ringing when I left.
Yesterday I got a bit Bolshie again. Our phone hardly ever rings since our family flew the coop, but it rang. You can always tell can't you by the tone,' hello I'm Jason' Your brain just says 'Oh no! sales call', anyway he asked to speak to Mrs Hackett, who is actually my neighbour. In full grumpy old woman mode I said, 'well you could if she lived here' He was abit taken aback, but recovered and asked me how long I had lived here. I was on the point of pointing out that we are on the telephone preference list precisely  because of people like him ,but as he thought I was my neighbour I might have confuse him further. It turned out he was selling will services, so I said 'Oh wills, got those thanks' and he went.
Maybe it's all the politicians talking that are getting me down. last night when they replayed Gordon Brown  saying I know how to look after the economy, I could have fallen off my seat laughing. Wasn't he the one who was doing away with boom and bust? Not too keen on Cameron, or Clegg, who is an atheist, but as I vote for the local candidate whom I think will do best for us, I think I may have decided.
Well another Bank Holiday weekend, another forecast of rain, why am I not surprised? Well Husband home now I expect he wants his computer back.

Monday, 26 April 2010

A load of old junk

I've just realised it is week since I last blogged, I didn't mean to leave it so long. I had to go to the endodontist in Borehamwood on Wednesday, my appointment was 10, and I have such a horror of being late that I set off just after 9. The rush hour was over however, and I sailed along. I arrived so early that I popped into the local flea market to use their ladies' room and have a coffee.
The dentist was running late, and I went through the poking, prodding, cold sprays etc, and the consensus was, yes we will do the root canal filling, but it may not entirely cure the problem. Why she said that I don't know.
I got back in about 19 minutes and went straight to Sainsbury's for my weekly shop.
On Wednesday night I hardly slept, too hot, too uncomfortable etc etc so when I eventually woke in the morning I decided it was time to bring down the summer duvet from the loft. I did so and unpacked it but decided it needed a wash in case of dust mites lingering.
After my morning walk, lack of sleep, and lunch, I fell asleep and missed ladies' meeting. They were filling Christmas shoeboxes, so I hope that there were enough people there. Afterwards I bundled the duvet into the car and set off for our local launderette. I took a couple of magazines with me (and a Kit Kat), and passed the time quite pleasantly, with interspersed chat from the launderette supervisor who was bored as it was so quiet.
I then brought home a lovely fresh duvet, which I spread on the line to air. I swapped it for the winter one and slept really well that night.
On Friday I decided to get my newspapers from somewhere else, so walked up the hill across a playing field path to the shops near to the primary school which my family attended. There are more signs of Spring, and everywhere is looking  so fresh and green. I used to do that walk every day, only using the car to bring them home as they were often tired. Or if we ran late I would bundle them in the car to go up the hill.
I had a chat with Son on Friday evening and he said they might pop over on Saturday.
We didn't hear from them, his phone was off when I rang, so we decided to pop to the garden centre for more slabs, only to get a text to say they were on their way over. Fortunately they still have keys.We spent time chatting and they returned something to husband. They wanted to borrow something. However it could not be found, so eventually I went to the garage to look.I thought that it might be behind the old trailer, which stands on end, so summoned help. The upshot was that we didn't find it, but are throwing out 2 old dog guards, and 2 or 3 roof racks for cars we no longer own. We haven't had a dog for about 6 years, and our estate car went about 5 years ago. Guess who is going to the dump today?. Whilst I'm at it I will get rid of some old shelving that has been standing in a corner in our bedroom for about 8 years.
However not much gardening was done.The back is looking quite good although my daffs are dying off, must go and get some bedding plants soon, although husband has some seedlings coming, but he forgot to label them.
Yesterday we had a visiting preacher  whose sermon was shorter than our pastor's, so we were home earlier. we had a lovely bit of beef, from M&S, which didn't shrink much in cooking. Couldn't eat al fresco as the promised hot sunny day turned out patchy rain with bright spells. I had to come home during the evening service as I forgot my inhaler and was wheezing. Got back in time for most of the sermon. My asthma is not good and my catarrh awful. I have a pain over one eye, but couldn't find any Olbas to do a steam inhalation.
Daughter and Son in Law came after their church service so that was lovely too, Daughter had been to a 'hen' weekend with uni friends. She is quite an old married woman these days, nearly 4 years, but is the first in her group to have a baby, all being well.
Well I must get on. I will try at some time to upload some pics of our old dog, he was a funny old mutt.

Monday, 19 April 2010

A Monday Miscellany

Well the weather has been a bit strange lately, we have had some lovely sunny days, but at times, like this afternoon it has clouded over, and underlying even the sunniest days has been a cold wind. Our numbers were down at ladies' meeting on Thursday, we were a very select few. One lady went out to pick up our oldest member, who had been missed because her normal lift wasn't there. The school holidays were still on, so the young mums were busy entertaining their offspring.
I was late as I had been making cakes for the church to take to the opening service for the new evangelical library. Eventually we were all assembled and the pastor was able to begin. Continuing our series on women of the bible , he spoke about the widow of Zarephath; as usual he brought out points that we may not have considered before.
On Friday I managed a longer walk than usual, but then that leaves less time for housework. On Saturday we walked down to town, bought M&S sandwiches again and sat in the Water gardens again, the seats were all full so we sat on the edge of the grass. We both had abit of difficulty getting up again, old age you see. In the afternoon we popped out to the garden centre, for acouple of things and ended up bulk buying bark chippings for the front. We are getting there very slowly.
Husband also potted some flower seeds and put them in the mini greenhouse. 'Our' blackbird has been very vocal lately, so much so that folk who ring me are commenting on his song. He is getting very territorial, as when the robin landed on the bird table on Saturday, he swooped down, so that the robin flew off. Not that long ago, when it was very cold and snowy and they were very hungry they would be on the table together.
This morning when I went out to the front, something, presumably a blackbird had been at one of the pots for insects and I had to clear up compost which had been scattered.
Yesterday was a quiet day, we ate in the garden for the first time this year and very pleasant it was too. it's so much better having the patio, as the plates no longer try to slide across the table. We have installed more solar powered lights , in particular 2 strings, so after dark the garden still looks pretty, (or naff, depending on your point of view). I managed a walk along the canal and at one point saw 9 swans all together, I thought of the old Christmas song, but then realised that says seven swans a swimming.
I don't think I am sleeping too well, I seem to wake very easily. On Saturday the blackbird was in full song at about 5 am, he was so clear, and the window was shut. My weight seems to be fluctuating at the moment, but at least it is not on the up and up.I can still get into my summer wardrobe, but too much gain and I wouldn't.
we had 2 very good services yesterday with communion in the evening. The pastor is very challenging in his preaching.
Thy family were travelling back from New Word Alive yesterday, they had had a good time, but not a very good journey back. It's good to know that the Lord kept them safe, and they made new friends too. I just hope they don't come down with too much of a bump.
I must get some weeding done soon, one of the beds with daffs in seems overrun. My excuse is that I can't find my kneeler and as I have knobbly knees weeding gets painful.
It's nearly home time for husband so I must away. Got to think of a title for this post.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Little secrets.

Well it's gone pretty cold here again, blame me for getting the summer clothes out! On Monday I couldn't get warm, but in the evening had to pop to Daughter's to take some stuff of theirs, I put a sweatshirt on before I left, plus fleece and felt warm for the first time. Their boiler has been fixed, a valve that had been fitted the wrong way round has been reversed and at last they have decent water pressure. Their flat actually felt warm too.
Yesterday they went for another of their appointments. I now have permission to tell you that it was for a 20 week scan. We are to become Grandparents in August, DV. It was all very secretive at first because of  last year's disappointment, and trauma but everything is ok this time, there was a scan at 6 weeks to check that the baby was in the right place.
The other week when we went to MK it was for maternity clothes, and we had a jolly good browse in John Lewis  baby department too. We had a slight good natured disagreement over what are now called 'Travel Systems', but in my day were prams or carry cots.
Daughter's husband is still taking his driving lessons and she has warned him she will not drive herself to the hospital. Unfortunately we no longer have a maternity unit in our town, we did have a birthing unit but that was closed too. If the Tories get in they have promised to try and reopen our hospital but I don't think they will achieve much before August. there are still clinics there, a walk-in GP centre and a rehab ward but that is about all.
Personally I get a bit sick of the politicians rabbiting on, but there are a couple more weeks to go yet.
Nothing much will change, we just swap one bunch of sinners for another.
Husband's tomato seeds are beginning to shoot, so he's excited about that. We have a 'mini' greenhouse now, and hopefully he will soon be able to transfer them from the window sill. When Daughter was here she commented on how lovely it was to have the sun on the living room in the mornings, they don't get much sun where they are. It is nice, but in a heatwave it can be unbearable. Well Husband will be home soon, so I'd better move, and download the e-mails.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Of leaks landlords and lodgers

I am really enjoying the spring sunshine, and have twice sat in the garden for a while, simply in the interests of topping up my vitamin D you understand. 'Our' Blackbird has been in our garden a lot lately, singing away, looking for food and scattering soil onto the path as he scavenges.
We had a very brief visit form our Son on Thursday evening, he and wife were on their way West as they were going to a wedding, the next day I think, he wanted to borrow something from his Dad, but it was a very brief visit. We had a much longer visit from the other two.
When Son-in-Law arrived home on Thursday, their boiler was leaking so badly that he had to turn the water off altogether. Eventually their landlord responded and sent a plumber. The plumber decided it needed a new part or failing that a new boiler, but it was too late in the evening to get it fully sorted, so I offered them a bed here for the night. It was bad enough them being without hot water and heat, but to not have any water, they would not even have been able to flush the loo. So I quickly made up the double in the spare room, and I think they slept. At least they had the use of the loo and a hot bath or shower whichever they preferred. I did not sleep too well, overtired I think.
Yesterday the plumber came back, the new part was not successful, so there was a 3 way discussion going on, the plumber who said it was easier to fit a new boiler, the landlord who obviously didn't want to pay for it, and Son-in -Law who just wanted to get something done. They decamped to ours again and lodged here for a second night.
Today daughter had to go into London to meet friends as someone had a Birthday. Son-in Law volunteered to stay in for the plumber, a different one, a friend of the landlord.  The last I heard the boiler had been stripped down, descaled and a new part was being fetched form Luton. Oh well the bed is still made up if this all doesn't work.
We have been otherwise leading our usual quiet lives, I have been trying to step up the walking, and have succeeded a little better this week. I have my appointment booked for the cardiologist, plus a 24 hour monitor beforehand. I got the appointment for the echocardiogram, but realised it was the same day as my appointment with the endodontist in Borehamwood. When I rang up they seemed to be short of appointments, so I now have to have the echocardiogram 15 minutes after having the 24 hour monitor removed. I have had these monitors before, the only painful bit is when they use an emery board on the skin to make sure the electrodes will stay on!
I have finished, (or should that be Phinnished) my Gervaise Phinn book, not quite so many funny stories this time, and one that he told has been doing the rounds for several years as an 'urban myth'. Daughter has borrowed it. We also finished watching 'Our Mutual Friend' on Tuesday; quite enjoyable. When I went to the ladies meeting on Thursday I was able to take 3 scarves I had knitted, but they are now short of men's hats. I don't have a men's hats pattern, I wonder if there is one I could download?. I should have looked on the market stalls today, but men's hats might not sell too well in sunny weather.
This morning I dragged all of the summer clothes out of my blanket chest and put away most of the joggers, sweatshirts and winter skirts and pyjamas, keeping a few back just in case, so if the weather changes you know who to blame. We did our market shopping then bought M&S sandwiches and ate them in the water gardens, quite pleasant apart from the constant beeping of the Pelican crossing.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Pansy Potter lives!

Just to show some of my weekend efforts

A puzzling mystery

I forgot to mention that the jigsaw was finished last week, well as much as it can be as 2 pieces are missing. It's the hardest one I have ever done I think, and I have done 3 circular Lord of the Rings Jigsaws.
When Son and Daughter-in-Law did it it was complete, so I can only imagine that the pieces are lurking in some dark corner in my living room. P&E don't mind as it came from a charity shop.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Not much eggstra to report.

Well it has been a fairly quiet weekend, husband's Birthday was on Friday. He opened his cards, and we went to the 10am service at church. We called in at a newspaper shop and had a look round our local Homebase. We spent some time potting things, husband planted some tomato seeds, he has got a growbag which he wants to put on the patio. We haven't grown tomatoes for years. My memory is of picking green tomatoes late in the season, and desperately trying to skin them to make green tomato chutney. I complain that come summer, if it does, we won't have room for the table and chairs on the patio.
Daughter and Son -in-Law popped in with a gift, then left for Bexhill to see Grandma. Later Son and Daughter -in-Law popped in for a while on their way to Cardiff. Husband did not want to go out anywhere for a meal. I'd offered him afternoon tea somewhere, or our local Michelin starred restaurant, but he settled for home made fish pie and Sainsbury's raspberry trifle. I had got two number candles, as at our age if you put candles enough for our years, you would not see the cake and the icing would melt with the heat. So we had a piece of the small chocolate Birthday cake, then afterwards settled down to watch the first instalment of Our Mutual Friend, which daughter and Son -in Law had brought as part of my Birthday present.
Saturday was a slow start but we eventually got going. We spent a while at Discount tyres getting a tyre fixed, as the Focus had a slow puncture.Who I wonder scatters all these screws on the road? The manager told us they had fixed 50 tyres that week. He was very good and bought us a coffee from their machine.
Then into town to do the boring shopping, getting sandwiches from M&S which we ate in the garden centre car park. We had to go to the garden centre again as husband needed something, and I found a nice blue pot to put some flowers in outside the front door.
Back home we did some more potting and pottering, then after phoning my sister, and spag bol, it was more 'Our Mutual Friend'; the plot is beginning to unfold.
Yesterday was church twice, lovely rousing Easter hymns, Roast lamb and an afternoon doze. I didn't get out for a walk as when I woke up I was so zonked that I thought it was an hour later than it actually was, if that makes sense. I had bought husband some mini eggs and a Lindt rabbit. I think he felt guilty. I always say no eggs for me please they are overpriced and they do my waistline no good. He did give me a creme egg, which someone had given him, I did eat it but find them too sweet these days.
I regretted the nap later as I could not sleep. I also regretted the piece of M&S foccacio which husband had thoughtfully heated up for me. It was lovely to eat but too much after church and before bed.
Today we walked to Sainsbury's together, picked up a few things, had a salad lunch, then more gardening. I have been pulling up Spanish bluebells, which we accidentally planted about 28 years ago. the packet said Canterbury Bells but we were deceived. Every year now we pull as many up as possible as they spread like wildfire. Mum-in-law had them at the bungalow when they moved there, but gradually managed to get rid of them. Weedkiller does not work. Our friendly blackbird came down whilst I was working and was chatting away, I filled the bird table again, and then watched as he found a nice fat juicy worm I had unearthed and devoured it. Happy days. The robin came to visit too, I think Mr Blackbird had spread the word that we were digging.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

No time on my hands.

I don't know if I mentioned it on my blog, but I had two watch straps break on me just before we went to the Lake District. this meant that I did not have a watch to take away with me. In Kendal on our anniversary I popped into a jewellers and bought  a watch, so that I could keep track of time whilst we were there; I would have hated to miss dinner.
For some reason this watch has stopped 3 times in the last week Whether it didn't like going forward an hour, or whether it got wet in the water tank last week I do not know, but it is supposed to be water  resistant. I had better have the old spare Timex fitted with a new strap, I bought that one when I worked at the hospital part time and as I was arranging Transport for patients needed a watch to check if  driver was late if a patient complained that they were.One morning I had forgotten my Rotary watch so slipped into a jeweller's and bought the Timex.
It is easier to replace the strap from that one. I do like the Rotary straps,and when I need a new one the conversation in H Samuel usually goes like this: Me: 'I'd like a Rotary watch strap please.' Assistant; 'our range of watch straps is over there' 'Me: do you have a Rotary watch strap?' Asst: 'our range of watch straps is over there'. Me:'Yes, but do you stock  Rotary watch straps?' Asst: 'Ooh no, we don't stock those we have to specially order them, they are expensive' . Me: 'Yes, but I would like to order one'. Asst: 'just a minute I need to talk to my supervisor' Me: (silently) Aaaaaaargh!
My husband who also has a Rotary among his collection  managed to order one online. Maybe I should try, but last time I googled them I didn't get too far.
It has been a fairly uneventful week, the usual mundane stuff, but I did have late night visitors last night. Daughter and Son-in Law brought the missing DVD from my Birthday present, a Dickens DVD. 'Our Mutual friends' Husband and I have been going through a Dickens phase recently. We tend to watch the videos together, then I read the book..
 He has been struggling to read Martin Chuzzlewit for ages, and reckons he needs to watch the DVD to get him into the book. We had an Austen fest a while ago when we bought several of her books and swapped them about. It's funny, but I could never get into North and South (Mrs Gaskell) until I'd watched the series on it, then it was plain sailing, although most of the references to God and religion were omitted from the TV series,
 The weather has been pretty awful lately, rain, wind and more rain. Pleased to have my new line I hung out 7 shirts the other day, but had to rush out and grab them as it suddenly poured. It has been so cold here I have reverted to a winter nightie and bedsocks. I cannot sleep with cold feet.
Today dawned bright and clear, a blue sky, sunshine and daffs nodding in the breeze. I whipped the towels out of the machine on to the line.
Just before lunch I went out to Sainsbury's there was a biting wind and gathering grey clouds. I was glad of the gloves in my pocket. I came in the back way, and noticed that the towels were nearly dry, but felt an odd spot of rain. The daffs were looking a bit beaten down too. I made a quick stir fry, and then looked out and it was pouring. The towels will now need finishing in the tumble dryer.
I have somewhat neglected the housework as I have been poring over the jigsaw again and knitting scarves. I did pull out the sofa though to look for any stray pieces, and vaccuumed under there whilst I had it out. It never ceases to amaze me how pristine the carpet is under there, whilst the rest looks grubby. Note to self ' If and when weather improves hire a carpet cleaner'
 My Birthday chocs are now finished, but there is further temptation afoot. It is husband's Birthday tomorrow and I have bought a small chocolate cake. He does love his chocolate cake. Once upon a time I baked him one every week, but then as his 32in waistline began to expand I stopped baking them.  Now not even I have a 32in waistline! When I joined Cheshire police at 21 I had a 25 in waist, but not for long.
Well it's good Friday tomorrow, church at 10.00 am. It's just the two of us this weekend, and we are hoping, weather permitting to do some gardening. At least we haven't got snow. It's more likely at Easter than Christmas apparently. My poor sister in North Wales had been without electricity for about 24 hours apart from 10 minutes. It is being blamed on the weather, but I don't think they have snow. Daughter still has not had her boiler fixed. Landlords!
Well I hope you all have a lovely Easter, and try to remember it's not really about chocolate and bunnies. It's about the death and resurrection of Christ. Happy Easter.
PS Just reset watch to correct time and gave it a slight tap on desk. It is now working