Home thoughts from the office

Everything Stops for Wimbledon



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.


Useful visitors

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).

People We Pass Along The Way

How many of us ponder the people we pass along life’s path. Whatever direction that is taken we mix with a variety of different people. From nursery school (or in my case kindergarten) and childhood friends, to teenage escapades to college or university and that’s before going to work. There are family members that come and go, either elderly relatives who pass away or ones that simply just disappear. Out of all the connections made with people it is only a small number that stay with us through life.

As one grows older our criteria changes when it comes to friends, because that’s when we realise we need good friends who will stick by you and not turn away when a crisis happens or advice is needed. How many friends can you count that you still know from the age of say 10? here I am talking real friends not those you would class as ongoing acquaintances. With real friends you don’t have to talk every day or even every month but you know they are there and when you meet up or pick up the phone its as if you saw them only yesterday.

During a working life particularly if you have had different careers or jobs you come across all walks of life, good and bad. And how about all those people you met in your teenage years going to clubs and parties.  Varied  interests conjures up different people, many long forgotten. But like dreams you can be minding your own business and suddenly someone who you hadn’t thought about or seen in decades suddenly comes to mind, giving cause to remember the good or maybe the bad times.

So just sit and think how many people have touched your life so far, hundreds, thousands or millions? Its a thought!


How Selective are You-Social Media

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 person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?

And the word love as:

profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
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.


Check Out the Writing and Needlework Pages

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

Hitting a Bump in the Road!

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.


Is Networking Cost Effective?

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?

Out of date and out of Fashion!

I am not referring specifically to myself here. Although what prompted my title was the fact I am sniffing on a bottle of Olbas Oil which is thirteen years out of date. It still smells the same and still makes me sneeze! Before I took over my mothers kitchen the cupboards were full of things pre 2000. In particular the spices and herbs. As for the fridge well there where a few green jackets. I could blame it on her lack of sight but then I am not so sure as its not something new.

What is fashion? is it something we all like at the time or is it what the media tell us is popular. Everything it seems comes full circle including flowery material, mini skirts and bell bottoms. If only we could keep the same weight and shape through life we would always be in ‘fashion’.


New Gizmo for my Needlework

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!

Time, Garden and My Week.

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!




Music, Music Everywhere.

Are we fed up with the Olympics yet? They seem to have been going on for longer than 10 days. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy watching sport but the endless talking of nothing interesting and the constant repeats is making me a little annoyed. The other thing which happens in everything media outlet now is the background music – and SO loud. If you are hard of hearing as my mother is then you will understand what I am talking about. Music has infiltrated into everyday life and for some its very unnecessary. Even programmes on wildlife have it. Interesting documentaries are spoiled by loud music meaning you miss hearing all the interesting bits. I know I am not alone in mentioning this but they never take any notice. Its lovely when you have an old television programme because unless they have dubbed it with music you can actually here what everyone is saying.

Even shopping you can’t get away from it. Perhaps they could issue ear plugs in some stores for those who don’t want to hear the latest rap music while shopping for groceries.

Early Bird


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‘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.)

Fighting with technology!!

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.

Monday Post

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.

Christmas needs a makeover #blog

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Dear readers
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!

A Little Bird Story #blog


A little bird story

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.


A #blog plan

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.


My memory of the Kennedy Assassination #blog

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.

Life’s Journey, we cannot predict #blog

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.

#blog What do you do at home?

A silly question you might think, but not in my case. I spend a greater part of my time camping at my mothers so I can care for her, and work nearby so that she doesn’t have to have strange carers. Not that she would pay for one anyway!
This means my own home which is some 70 miles away only gets an occasional visit. Recently when I had arranged to go home for a couple of days I was asked ‘you are having two days at home, what are you going to do?’ This question doesn’t surprise me as I was asked the very same question by a friend some months ago.
What does anyone do at home? For me there is the usual cleaning, cooking, laundry and meeting with friends, who I rarely see these days and of course I do have a small courtyard garden that never gets enough attention.
I also have an office there as well as one at my mothers. The former is filled with all my cd’s reference books and my better computer, not to mention all my files. Another ‘treat’ when I am home is the television, I record my favourite programmes so I can watch them uninterrupted whenever I like.
I don’t have children but I do have a dog and when I take her home we have lovely long walks up the Welsh mountain outside my backdoor. She doesn’t always come with me as she is great company for my mother and does a wonderful job as a substitute carer!
So like most people home is home and the same things have to happen.

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#blog of catchups at a snails pace

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Sometimes I liken myself to a snail. I am just about as speedy but get there in the end as long as someone doesn’t tread on me! Other times I pack my day without a minute to spare and get a similar result.

I have recently gone back to being a freelance secretary after a spell doing other things, which means a daily search for more work and driving around to different customers doing all the jobs they either don’t have time to do or don’t want to do. It can be interesting work and I am used to going into strange offices without any knowledge of their business or life (private secretarial work) as I have done a lot of temping in the past and worked in various places. I am hoping things grow a little more but not too much as I now find I don’t want to work ‘that’ hard for someone else.

I am looking forward to getting back to my writing and photography which is what I would really like to waste my time on, but having an aged mother it’s not always possible because of the interruptions. But determined I am.

My first mission in the next week is to book my trip to America to see friends who I have not seen in ages. I love America and used to travel there every year sometimes more than once. I am lucky to have good and longstanding friends so am able to call from the airport or turn up on their doorstep and not get turned away.

I have had some amusing trips through immigration especially with a name like mine and will blog them at another time as they make a good story.

I have been sorting out papers at my mothers and came across my old school books and looking at the one for composition (that’s what it used to be called) I see even at the age of ten I had good marks, the spelling was a bit off so nothing new there. But I thought it would be rather fun to rewrite some of the stories as the subjects look quite interesting.

Well, its Sunday so must do things like prepare a lunch. I hope you enjoy this read and come back another time. Thank you for being there.

Time Fly’s on the #blog



This was taken two years ago this month, it seems like yesterday. We are always told that as you get older time moves more quickly but when you were at school waiting for the holidays you never believed it. These days I live by my diary and so weeks and months seem to fly by. Can we remember what April and May were like this year or even March come to think of it?

As a child when you were waiting for something exciting counting the days and even the hours seemed to be on a go slow. I am always reminded of the saying ‘a watch pot never boils!’ and in fact it doesn’t because as soon as you turn your back to pick up the tea towel its boiled all over the cooker.

I am sure – in fact I know – when in later life you are unable to do the things you used to time again slows as it did when young. Waiting for the next meal or visitor or even a television programme always takes so long. Days drag when you are on your own and in my mothers case with poor hearing and eyesight days can be never ending.

Most of us rush through life without a second thought to time but when we look back do we remember half of what happened?

So lets stop and smell the roses once in a while.

# Blog A more Positive Year Ahead

Happy New Year to all who are kind enough to read my ramblings.

I am glad to put an end to 2012 for many reasons, mainly due to the loss of several dear friends who have left for the other side. It is never easy and when in some cases particularly for me this year you have nursed people through the last months it makes it doubly difficult. It is also a sad time for me as my father passed away some fifteen years ago this coming week and I know although I have come to terms with it there is a sad part of me to stay with me for ever. When the time comes for me to say goodbye to my mother (who is 93 and pretty much up together) it will be a very tough time as I have no relatives to lean on. But, saying that I have close friends who I know will be a support.

ENOUGH! it is now 2013 and I am looking forward to picking up on all the things I have let lapse in the past year and to install some new ideas and projects. I am lucky in that I have lots of interests and I am never short of ideas to fill my time. Boredom is for the dog who cannot go for her usual walks, not me I can always find something to do. Before the upsets of last year I had started on two writing courses both of which I have let lapse, but I am determined to complete these and to sign up for more. I had a small amount of success last year with my published writing and am positive of future success.

I am a keen embroiderer and knitter and am doing a detailed cushion at the moment. I have several more pieces lurking in the bottom of the wardrobe waiting their turn. I love creativity which I have inherited from my grandmother. She was a great maker of things and had the first hand painted lampshade factory selling her wares in places like Marshall & Snelgrove, Queen Mary’s favourite shop. More on this in another blog.

New challenges will face us all in the coming year so lets brace up and face them head on.

#blog Other Peoples Lives!

My day job has many avenues but one of them is looking after people and their homes and animals.  This means I live in so spend some weeks sleeping in several different beds. What I find interesting is the way we all live differently but essentially the same. Most have family both older and younger, luckily they all have a roof over their heads and gardens or larger grounds.  Thankfully I am able to adapt to wherever I am, I couldn’t have done it when I was younger but as I have got older I learned to accept no two days are the same and no two people are the same.

Some of my people are medically unwell so I have more tasks and plenty of driving to do and at the present time this is my main occupation. Learning to accept that while you are doing the job you do not have a life of your own is a learning curve, I am sure many would not be able to do.  On arriving I am now used to quickly settling in and finding my way around the kitchen and picking up the routine of the household.  Sometimes its my own routine as the person I am caring for is not strong enough to have one. This suits me well but I have to remember its not my house and need to make any changes with the agreement of everyone. Although on a few occasions when helping them to move house it is my task to do the kitchen which does not usually change when I have left.

After a spell away from home its great to get back to my own life but usually its only a couple of days. I have tried to get a better work life balance in recent months but this is dictated by my regulars.  It is always 24 hrs before I can settle back into ‘my’ life but often thats all I have! Along with my care work I have other regular jobs involving computers, accounts and secretarial work.  This also is a window into other avenues of life as I am often there for a whole day and involved with other duties while there.

On top of this my mother now in her 90’s still lives on her own or should I say she shares her life with a dog and a parrot. She is fiercly independant so although she likes me there to stay over and help out I sense I am crowding her space sometimes.  Again she has her own routines which I have to respect. Being my mother it is tempting to try and change things for the better for her but again I have learnt this does not work as her way of life is not mine.

I am now back at home for a few days and have a friend to stay a night as she has an early meeting nearby, we shared a house (her house) for several years and again although we shared many thing (except boyfriends) her routine and life was different again. We are completely opposites but it worked.

I shall now get back to ‘my’ life thanks for reading.

# a non riotous #blog. Please miss can I have my towel back? and other gardening matters.

I live in a mid terrace property in the Welsh valleys. We have great neighbours and wonderful views of the mountain from the windows. Our back yards are back to back with an alleyway between and are small in size. When I moved in the yard was mostly concrete but there were two small arears that had at sometime been flower beds. They had been covered over in thick blue plastic and then hidden with copiuos amounts of road grit.  Fine if like the last owner you are too frail to descend the suicidal steps from the backdoor and cannot manage to weed.

Wherever I have lived I have always managed to grow something even if its 20 cacti plants and several orange trees which attracted sticky white fly. So I set about tidying it up. Apart from the affor mentioned plastic and grit there was an enormous Fuchsia ‘tree’ they have self seeded along the terraces and we all have one of different sizes.  I used to cut it down every year and every year it came back bigger than ever and shield the exit from my suicidal steps and blocked off the cellar door.

Separating me on one side from my neighbour was an old privet hedge, neither of us had the will to keep it trimmed and as it was a bit thin along the bottom something had to be done before the arrival of small paws. So we set about pulling it up and managed to get away with making a bonfire of it without burning down the houses. In its place is a nice wooden fence.

I booked a man with a truck and a saw who arrived complete with family and they removed the ‘tree’, grit and plastic. I now have a burgeoning herb garden  but on the otherside in the shade I didn’t know what to plant.  A friend of mine who used to be something important at a garden centre suggested potatoes, what a terrific idea that was, I have managed to grow a splendid crop in shallow soil fifty percent of which is coal!

I recently had to have my porch taken down as a new back door and kitchen window have been fitted.  This has left me with a small walled veranda where I can sit the clothes dryer.  I did this today but while unattended one of the towels made its way into next door.  It lodged on a plank of wood but stretch as I may I couldn’t reach it and it landed on the ground. Well, Casper and Ellie live next door and they thought this was rather fun, so when their owner returned I felt like the neighbours boys from next door who want to retrieve their many footballs from my patch. There is only a small chew on one end and as they are guest towels and as they match the décor in the spare room they will have to do for a while.