I enjoy Wimbledon and I am not ashamed to admit it. Whilst I dont always get to watch every game I watch as much as I can. I used to enjoy playing and was in the junior team at school but then ponies took over and took to squash instead. Sadly I don’t play either of these games today but maybe one day. I still have my squash racket which will probably snap from lack of use.
Whilst I shall have to do all my major chores in the morning and after dark I will still be able to knit and do my embroidery whilst watching. And there is always the pause button so I can make tea! and the mute button to shut the commentators up while they make up things to say.
A major sufferer of hay fever it will give my breathing tubes a break from the garden.
I do feel sorry for people who don’t enjoy sport (I am not a football fan) because this time of year the television is swamped with it. But it is a break from all the terrible things that are happening in our world.
So like sport or not enjoy the next few weeks either in the garden or sat in front of the idiot box.
I was lucky enough to have one of my chosen brothers to stay last week end. I don’t see him nearly enough as he lives up North. Luckily he was down South judging dogs in Devon so there was no excuse not to stop by. We have no spare room at my mothers but he is happy to kip on the sofa.
I have been cataloguing my mothers dog books which are numerous so his help was greatly appreciated and we managed to complete the task. I now only have the sporting books to do which are many.
It was nice for my mother as he has been a family friend for a long time and they have a great deal in common.
The house is quiet now he has left to go back up North but I am sure we will see him again soon.
This week my task is to teach my new program Dragon speaking so it will be quicker than typing(some hopes).
A Door to All My Rooms is an affectionate and nostalgic tour of a much-loved childhood home, rekindling memories of the characters who peopled it, some sad, some very funny.
Invaluable as a piece of social history, this is a fascinating step back into the past, providing an amusing insight into family life in the Berkshire countryside of the 20’s and 30’s.
Accustomed as we are nowadays to the machinery of modern living it seems incredible that people lived civilised lives without telephones, refrigeration, TV or central heating. How did people fill their time and cope? Read this and find out.
The author, who has been writing since childhood, is an International Championship Judge of dogs and ponies and contributes a highly popular weekly column to the dog press as well as writing extensively for other journals.
Do you just follow anyone? or are you selective and do a bit of research first?
One hears so much about abuse through social media and I am wondering why. Surely not everyone is so gullible or click happy to follow or friend everyone who makes a request to connect. I can understand the younger generation making bad choices but the older age bracket certainly should click with caution.
If you get someone following you on Twitter you don’t have to follow back if they are undesirables it wont hurt their feelings as they are just fishing to find another person to vent their spleen at. Its easy to see those who are blatantly unpleasant so its not difficult to block or ignore. To reply to these people only ignites them so best to leave well alone.
The word friend and love have changed their meanings over time and now are what I refer to as throwaway words.
The dictionary suggest the word friend as a noun is:
A personwhoisongoodtermswithanother;apersonwhoisnothostile:Whogoesthere?Friendor foe?
And the word love as:
So many mixed messages here between the way we use these words and their true meaning.
But getting back to friending and following, why do people want so many especially as many of them will be unknown until the request is made. I can understand following if you have an interest in that person say an author, entertainer or a business in which you are involved but why do people want to have thousands listed? Less is more especially if you are going to read everything that these connections post. Surely a few select ones will be more beneficial.
At last I have started to fill out my blog pages. I have now added some text to the writing pages and there is a short story and a poem so far. Hopefully more will follow. I have also added the next stage of the cross-stitch I am doing. This week I managed to get a knitting pattern I have been looking for and I purposely only bought the pattern! Have a look and click the links to the updated pages. More to Follow
My father always said ‘strive on you have all eternity to rest’. It was his favourite saying and he meant every word. I don’t know where it came from but as he was an actor it was probably from a play he did, I don’t think it was Shakespeare but would be interested to know if anyone can enlighten me. I am my fathers daughter and like to fill every minute doing something and feeling worthy. I also inherited multi-tasking from my maternal grandmother as I can sit and watch the television, eat my supper, embroider or knit and read the newspaper all at the same time. She, bless her could drink brandy suck a mac cough sweet and smoke an un-tipped Players cigarette as well. She lived to 94 so one of these must have kept her going.
As a family we have always been busy and a day with no accomplishments makes a worrying bump in the road. This past winter has caused a bit of a one with long grey and never ending wet days. I am sure I am not alone with feeling wearisome and down in the dumps. But thankfully now although chilly the days are longer and the sun is not afraid to shine.
Business is inclined to go quiet between The New Year and early Spring which is another little bump, but it seems the road is beginning to smooth itself out.
I am at an age like many of my friends querying whether to keep on keeping on or take the bus pass (while its still available). However I am a person as I have said earlier who needs to be busy and feel useful so I shall keep on keeping on until the wheels wont go over the bump in the road any longer.
I have many friends who do a lot of Networking. I have never subscribed to it although have attended the occasional meeting. My personal view is that its a nice diversion from slogging away in the office but does it actually yield enough business to cover the cost of membership, hours not working and the cost of travelling there and back. I remain sceptical.
Several friends in business seem to be always just off to or at a meeting and it can be any time of the day and in some cases quite a distance from base. In business we want clients and mixing with people who are after the same conclusion seems perhaps a little pointless. It is obviously enjoyable to meet with people in business but maybe not during the working day. Do those who network actually sit down and calculate the benefits. I do admit that they have some good and motivational speakers at some of the meetings that are beneficial.
Preaching to the converted in all things puzzles me and it is done so frequently in all walks of life and in all spheres. Surely we need to get it out ‘there’ rather than circulate it within our own bubble.
Networking at events where possible clients are is more positive and even in the local pub or family gatherings can yield work and contacts.
I have been involved with the dog showing and breeding world for a very long time and my mother and grandmother before me and this is a case in point. Although the powers that be are trying to get the right words out to the general dog owning public they still waste a lot of time preaching to their own kind.
Social networks and blogs to my mind are more effective as you reach a wider audience and people in different walks of life who may find what you are doing is interesting and worth following. By encouraging followers and friends you build up a good base of possible clients.
So my message to you is how much are you benefiting from Networking?
I always get excited when I have a new gadget. Today I received in the post something to help me frame my embroidery. I love stitching but can’t afford the exorbitant cost of framing. Its an art to get it looking just right. There is nothing worse than a wrinkled bit of stitching that’s sitting crooked in a frame. After being quoted nearly three figures to have a 12″x 5″ piece framed I searched on the internet to find help. Amazingly I found plastic teeth that fit round a board and you can stretch the work over it and then frame it. So I speedily ordered it from America to be emailed back to say they had a supplier in the UK. So after cancelling and reordering I was ready to receive it. Posty brought it today and guess what all the instructions are in French! But I have done it now – just have to buy a frame that’s the right size.
Having saved myself so much money is brilliant, unfortunately I have to pay the man who has come to mend the hole in the roof because there isn’t a gadget for that!
Here we are at the weekend again, where does time go? I am sure like me you can remember how time dragged at school and we were always told that as you get older everything speeds up, did we believe it? no we didn’t. I used to put it down to the fact I lived by my diary and in my business everything happened in six weekly chunks. But not now, I pack as much as I can into my week but there is always a little bit left over.
Now with the weather hopefully improving I can add the garden to my weekly duties but after being stung by a queen wasp this last week I don’t mind if I leave it all a bit longer. We have a very helpful neighbour but sadly he only does half the job so making more work. He had an idea we would like strawberry plants last year so he constructed a makeshift trestle in the fruit cage and planted strawberry plants in grow bags. He also planted veg seeds in the beds with no further activity, consequently we had only three strawberries (the rest went rotten) and the vegetables were strangled by weeds where they hadn’t dried up due to lack of water. My mother is no longer able to take part in the gardening process so its up to me to try and keep everything tidy. I mentioned if it were up to me I should probably cover the lot in gravel! Don’t get me wrong I love a garden and have always had one but not when you have a thousand and one other things more important as I do these days. Mother is telling me she wants to grow tomatoes again this year as she has always done so, she does not acknowledge the fact she not only unable to get down to the greenhouse but she has about one tomato a month due to her IBS and arthritis. We still have bags of them in the freezer from last year.
Yesterday saw me in Hampshire having lunch with a friend and then off to the crematorium to say goodbye to my second mum. She was a marvellous person a real mum always there with a kitchen full of good smells a spare bed and a comforting word. She had a passion for life and family and was an amazing vegetable gardener. There are few of her like still around and so it was so lovely to see the chapel overflowing with so many friends from times past. What a shame the vicar gave us a lecture, but it was cheered at the end with The Wurzels rendition of Combine Harvester.
So we head on catching up this weekend and getting ready for another week, lets hope this brings the builder to mend the hole in the roof, life can’t get better than that!
‘An early bird catches the worm!’ Eugh I hope not.
Up and at it early this morning as domestics to do in double quick time so I can head out to a customer in Oxfordshire this morning. And things in the diary for the next couple of weeks. Including my first Networking meeting with the lovely ladies of ‘I am Woman’ in Swindon. It will be my first evening out for four months so a double plus.
Yesterdays sunshine made all the difference to me and I feel a little more motivated. About time I would say. The winter has gone on far too long for all of us and its now time to hunt for the green shoots of spring.
The daffodils are about to come out in the garden and our neighbours have crocus on their lawn.
As a friends father used to say ‘Forward the colour is Blue!’ (don’t ask me why.)
In these times of endless emails and digital information it’s not always possible to read it all. Constant battering from groups, clubs and companies can be a real turn off. Like unwanted mail coming through the letterbox so often its deleted without a second thought.
Trying to unsubscribe to some sites is a life’s work and in the end the only way to get rid of it is to spam it. What happened to less is more?
Working on some websites recently it is noticeable how many words are written. What do they all mean and is it really necessary? So often its a repeat paragraph of one earlier or a page earlier. Because you have a website you don’t have to put everything and every gadget you find on it. A few well chosen words with links to more information is all that’s needed.
Emails sent from companies also have a lot of words, don’t get me wrong I like words, but not so many of them.
The gobbledegook written and said by politicians in the nineties is happily over but still you get a clever person wrapping up a basic fact in all the synonyms from the Thesaurus they can find.
So its off back to working on my new photography site and to see how much I can cram on to it 🙂
I have had a very stressful week so far, but also things to look forward to. I never seem to have enough time for everything and everything has happened this week! I am not one for reading manuals,its always been a failing of mine. If I can’t work it out for myself then its a pretty poor show. Since taking up computing about 20 years ago I have learnt a lot mostly by teaching myself. I have taken various courses and have a mountain of how to do books, mostly unopened. For some time now I have been helping people with websites, rewriting them adding things and taking away. I enjoy doing this and find it very rewarding. A friend of mine referred to me as a website doctor the other day, another tag to put on the end of my name.
After spending over an hour with my hosting server I thought it was all fixed, but guess what, it ain’t!
So things to look forward to. Another day tomorrow, working on other peoples websites. Next week I am off to a networking meeting (my first) so I must find time to collect some bits together to show I am available for work.
I may drop by here tomorrow but if not have a great weekend and stay dry.
Well another week nearly over, where does time go. So what’s happened this week? Rain, rain and more rain with gales added in places, nothing new there then!
The media have only two subjects this week, Russia’s Winter Olympics and the Weather. While the reports coming from Sochi would be funny if they were not so disappointing. The pictures on Twitter of the accommodation does ask the question, did they have a building programme and a deadline? As the area was chosen for its cold weather it seems strange they don’t have somewhere warm and comfortable to live.
The flooding is as we know a major issue but I have always been lead to believe that the Somerset levels are prone to flooding. This is exceptional weather as we know but like the sudden snow we are occasionally subjected to nobody most of all the country is prepared. As a child I lived in an area that was flooded every year, in fact when we moved in the removal van could not get down the lane and all our belongings had to be transferred on to a trailer pulled by a tractor! Did we jump up and down and shout at our local MP or ring the local media. No! we just got on with it.
News today that William Roache has been cleared gladdens my heart. What kind of people make these allegations? Can I remember in detail what I was doing over 30 years ago and if it was so terrible why wait until the so called perpetrator is an octogenarian with a long successful career in the public eye. I can only think its money. But my biggest irritation about all these cases guilty or not why is the victim or victims given anonymity makes me think they dont have the courage of their convictions. They should be named, why is it the innocent has to take all the flack?
Monday started on a not so good note. My little spaniel hurt herself while we were out on a long walk on Sunday and she woke me in the night crying. A quick trip to the vet and all was OK. She had sore muscles at the base of her tail from jumping in and out of cold water (she loves water!) its more likely to be found in Labrador’s and is I believe called dead tail syndrome. She is a great tail wagger so to see her with it tucked down close to her side was very worrying. She has some anti-inflammatory medicine to take for a few days then she should be OK. It is a good excuse though to have lots of cuddles.
I am a great learner of things and always like to take on new challenges. I was never very interested at school and preferred to be out with my animals and riding my pony. I left school without any academic qualifications, it was never suggested I try for any! But as I crept into my thirties there was no stopping me. I did courses in accounting, fashion and design, human management, computing and creative writing. Today I am researching website building which is something I have been doing on a small scale but now want to improve this skill as I really enjoy doing it. Its a big subject so will take it in steps.
There is a lot to be said for learning new skills when you get older, it is much easier and less frenetic. When you are younger you know it all and try to rush through it so not taking on board the complete subject. Once you get to your middle years and beyond learning has a different meaning and gives you a better sense of achievement.
So if you have time on your hands learn a new skill the benefits you get from it are enormous and often can be used to meet new people, give you an income and make you feel better about yourself. Go on give it a go.
Things have been a bit busy lately so blogging has been put to one side. Having gone back to doing a bit more secretarial and website work together with my usual caring duties time and the weeks have been flying by.
I am trying to put all my little websites into one instead of having lots of bits, which is all time consuming added to which my domain server resolutely refuses to accept WordPress as a server! So for the time being if you go to https://stormgrayson.wordpress.com you will find all my new pages, some yet to be filled.
I have also been learning on the job with a clients two websites so lets hope I shall be up to speed if someone else comes along wanting help.
I am now going to put up some pictures on my other pages and some blurb so don’t forget to check back later.
I don’t know about you but I am fed up with Christmas starting in September its all very well to collect Christmas presents for people during the year but I don’t want to see Christmas cards and decorations in the shops before we have changed the clocks. Many years ago when I visited Italy at this time of year Christmas wasn’t allowed to start until 15th December, I wonder if this still happens.
As you get older the year goes by quick enough without foreshortening it with all our yearly celebrations melting together. Because you can be sure as eggs is eggs (its a pun) Easter eggs will be in the shops by the middle of January.
When I was a little girl Christmas was always very exciting for me unlike today. I don’t have any children of my own or any close family so as the years have gone on Christmas has meant less and less. The real meaning of Christmas I enjoy as I like to go to church to sing carols and celebrate the birth of Christ. When I was small my parents worked tirelessly to make Christmas special even though money was tight and we may not have had as much as other people. All the animals were given treats and the pony at the time had a card on the door with frilled edges! I have many funny stories about getting the turkey in the oven and the candles on the tree setting light to the branches.
My maternal grandmother lived with us when I was young and she always spoiled me.Christmas presents were easy to find for her as a bottle of Brandy would always do the trick. When I was about six mum took me to Ringwood market, and in those days they had an auction for household and garden effects in the town square. This is were we found my first proper bicycle. It was a purple colour and well used, it was so exciting but I wasn’t allowed it until Christmas morning where it had been wrapped up. Learning to ride it was great except we had a silage heap in the cattle yard and it was the only way I could stop in the beginning! Another memorable present was a wheelbarrow for the stables this was also wrapped up!
However you spend your Christmas I hope it is peaceful and enjoyable if not there is another one in twelve months time and you can try again!
About six years ago when I was visiting friends in West Wales I was introduced to a small green Macaw. She was housed in quite a small cage which was on a shelf between the workshop and the living room of a very small dark Welsh cottage. The living room was not used much maybe a little in the evenings and there was a glass window separating her cage from the workshop. She was such a sweet little bird and very sad and I came away from there thinking how lonely she must be. I visited a few more times as my friend had horses of which I was very interested in and I got to know the little bird quite well. Some weeks later I had a telephone call saying that the little bird needed a new home and my friends had decided that they didn’t have much time for her and she was being neglected. This was very apparent with my visits and it must have taken them three years to discover this as that is how long they had had her. They in turn had rescued her from even further west in Wales but I knew nothing about the circumstances for the family.
A couple of weeks later I took the journey west to collect my new bird, she was not the first bird I had owned as in the past I have had budgerigar’s and finches but she was the first Macaw I had owned. I came away with my little bird in a tatty smelly cage I had been given and she talked to me all the way home. She had many versions of hello in many different voices the most comical was her posh telephone hello.
At that time I was living partly in Wales amongst the builders refurbishing my new home and Wiltshire where I was staying with my mother to help look after her and to work locally. I was given strict instructions that my mother would on no account accept a bird into the house so while I was away during the week she stayed with friends in Wales but she proved to be a little noisy so bravely one weekend I took her back to Wiltshire. I did not warn my mother but just arrived on the doorstep.
During the short time I had had her my little bird was named Ladybird as it seemed that her last owners hadn’t even bothered to give her a name. After my mother coughing and spluttering and saying she didn’t want the bird in the house I knew it would not be long and sure enough she then more or less took her over and they became best buddies.
Ladybird became a great favourite with everyone particularly our neighbour who had taught her to say ‘Hello Peggy,’ (my mother’s name) this is how I was greeted most mornings when I took a cover off her cage. With a new cage and a new home she settled in to our household very easily, she had a few annoying habits such as answering the telephone very loudly and for joining in when you were laughing or sneezing. She picked up on the different phrases we used calling the dogs in and out of the garden and fascinatingly when playing in her cardboard boxes which she loved to do she used to have lengthy conversations with whoever she thought was in there with her. We think she must have spoken Welsh as we never understood what she was saying and often she would stop talking rapidly around 5.00pm when I think her original family must have come home from work and I think one of them was called Sheila because this was the only word we could ever decipher.
She became a very sick bird over the last few days and with the fact she was nearly always oven ready where she used to pluck her chest out as soon as she had a nice thick green jacket. I noticed she had lost quite a bit of weight and she had not been out of her cage playing on the table with her boxes as she would normally do all day. I took her in yesterday to the vet where he diagnosed respiratory problems and possible liver disease. For such a sick little bird I thought it unkind to put her through tests and moving to the specialist vets so with heavy heart we had her put to sleep. It has only been 24 hours but the house is very quiet. In time we will get another bird but for the time being we will remember our little Severe Macaw with love and happy thoughts and remembrances.
I was full of good intentions today but sadly things have gone awry. Life recently has overtaken everything else but, maybe tomorrow I shall be able to write in more detail on some of the thoughts I have been having this week.
So much is happening in our world at the moment it might be interesting to put my opinions down on paper and see if anybody else agrees with me or not. From today’s autumn statement to the gales and dreadful weather they are having in the north of our country and everything else in between, will, I am sure bring up something of interest for everyone.
For myself I have at last started to concentrate in my new office which used to be my mothers, sadly she can no longer read or write due to the lack of sight. She has written many books and thousands and thousands of words for articles, plays, poems and reports on horse shows, dog shows and other activities. I am still surrounded by most of her dogs books and in the sitting room her horse books, some of which I must admit our mine. I am sure others would agree with me when you move into somebody else’s space the vibes stay there for a while until you can overcome the fact it used to be somebody else’s. Already I am thinking of the New Year and hopefully will be able to get back to my writing which I am desperate to continue.
So until tomorrow I will leave you with these thoughts:
Happiness lies in liking what you do, not doing what you like.
First let me welcome new readers and followers, thank you for being there, I hope you find some of my ramblings of interest.
Small, neat and discreet that is what I hope is a good description of me.
I am, truly small in height I like to have everything neat and tidy as well as dressing to match the situation so yes small and neat. I cannot work unless my desk is tidy and my kitchen has to be just so! I am not pernickety but I know how it should be for my peace of mind. I have just taken over my mother’s kitchen due to her failing sight and she cannot now find anything, she was not a fan of worktops so it was all a bit cluttered, but a place for everything and everything in its place.
Yes, discreet has been a must in my work over the last several years and I think it should be a necessity in most cases.
Some of my work has involved handling large amounts of money be it in numbers rather than physical coinage and at times legal documents. In more recent years I have cared for very sick people whose lives and situation had to be handled in a very discreet and private way.
So much is laid bare these days either in discussion or on the internet and lets not forget the papers, I think it is covered up by the word transparent. Nothing seems personal or private any more. We need to guard against everybody knowing everything and anything otherwise we lose being our own person.
Where were you when Kennedy was shot? that was such a regular question and due to the anniversary will it be a popular question again?
My memory is vivid (giving my age away now!) I was at boarding school in Lewes, East Sussex. We were a very small contingent usually about seventeen in all and a few were from overseas. There was one in particular her name was Nancy McClave and she was from New York state, she was particularly kind to me in my first term as I was dreadfully homesick having never been away from home and being only eleven years old. I soon got over my homesickness and was at the school for four years until I left my education behind and Nancy went back home. Sadly we lost touch and I have never been able to find her.
The day the news of Kennedy being shot reverberated round the school and Nancy was inconsolable, this was a new emotion to me as I was brought up in a house with a stiff upper lip and you never showed any emotion if you had any. My crying when my ponies were sold or when a guinea pig died were not acceptable even for a child, so having a friend weeping and wailing over someone they didn’t know was completely alien to me.
So now if someone asks me what was I doing when Kennedy was shot I have no difficulty in remembering. Poor Nancy I hope she got over it eventually.
We are born and we die, two sure things in life, when the later happens we have no idea. For some it comes all too soon and for others it drags on while there is a fight with failing health and faculties. For those who have lead an active life this is a tough experience, dare I say a learning curve. There is no text book that tells us how we cope with old age or failing health, we just have to battle on as best we can. Dignity has to be preserved and from what is written in the newspapers this seems pretty low on some peoples list, until it comes to them (maybe!).
Although not a nurse but many other things so far in this short life, through no fault of my own I have been destined over the last few years to care for others in declining health. All along I have thought this puts me in a good position to look after my own when the time comes. Well the time has come and I can assure you it is easier looking after someone else’s family than it is your own.
We can imagine what it is like to be frail and hanging on but this is the key word imagine. Its very easy to say I know how it must feel but you can’t unless you have experienced it. My heart goes out to families with children who are suffering from incurable problems this must be so hard. An old friend of mine used to work at Treloar’s looking after the children there, I always said to her I couldn’t do that, I don’t mind looking after people who have lead a good life even if shorter than it should have been, but children with no future, no.
I remember vividly when I first lost someone I knew. It wasn’t a family member and it wasn’t anyone I knew really well but it stays with me to this day. Back in my late teens I used to frequent a country club (night club really) where we danced to live bands, played bar billiards and drank too much. I remember the records were being played while the band was having a break and it was the Beatles ‘all you need is love’ and ‘Hey Jude’. There was a scuffle at the door and someone rushed in to say a young couple who were regulars had gone off the road at the end of the lane the car had gone into the ditch and as it was going so fast the low branches had sliced the roof off, it was obvious there were no survivors. Now if these records come on the radio I have to turn them off as it takes me back to that night and those vivid memories.
I wonder where my life’s journey will take me in the future and will I be treated with care and dignity when the time comes. Perhaps I shall never know.
Life it seems changes daily as you get older. I have always been one to keep active and busy and as I advance in years nothing seems to change.
With an alteration to my working day due to ending of contracts etc., (we wont go there) I am forced to reinvent myself again. This is nothing new and in fact it always motivates me and gives me a new slant on things.
A few years ago before I was caring for my ladies who have now sadly passed on I ran my own freelance secretarial and computer business, now with an interlude working back in medical admin I am now starting afresh with private secretarial/pa work.
As I am now looking after my aged mother this will fit in well and means I shall be based in North Wiltshire. I have worked in many different businesses giving me a broad range of experiences to put on my CV.