Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Me on Monday - Hugging and kissing grandchildren

This was what I did on Monday this week. Can you think of anything better than cwtching (like hugging but with a Welsh accent) your newest grandchild on a Monday evening after an afternoon of delight with her big brothers? I can't.

Did I learn anything? oh yes, seeing how much the boys have matured since I last saw them, seeing how much they delight in Mr M and how they stay close to him and soak up every word he says.

All this after a weekend meeting the newly discovered cousins and finding out how spookily alike we are. According to Mr M, who watched us for more than half an hour, "You two are like peas in a pod, You were moving your hands and wearing the same expression..."
What we were actually doing was trying to find the birth registration for an elusive ancestor so we were in front of the computer and trying to think of how else to word the searches.
There were many hugs and loads of laughter, lots of coffee a few snacks and then a chippie supper. What a wonderful weekend! what marvellous people. I can't wait until they come to visit us

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me coming back to write more

Monday, 15 August 2016

Me on Monday - Sadwich?

Several new things to report on this Monday. You'll have to hope I remember to mention them as we go through.
We like a treat on a Saturday and mostly we go out for breakfast and then find somewhere to aim for in our meanderings. I would tell you where this cafe is situated but we intend taking the Lord Admiral and Lady Bluefunnel there on the next day out. If I say that I couldn't eat all of my breakfast and Mr M left a suasage and a slice of bacon you can see how much they give you. Delicious!
New cafe for Saturday breakfast
 We headed kind of northwest-ish, I think. I forget now. We avoid motorways because you can't play the legs game and we went up a road we have never been up because the person driving in front of us was a............. nincompoop! Mr M said "I am not following him any more! I will just want to shake him warmly by the throat" We finished up in Builth Wells which is more northish than westish and we took the Llandovery road even though we had already said we weren't going there. We went to the Cambrian Woollen Mill. Which is for sale and I wish I had the money to buy it.
Bacon what? Should I tell them or just photograph it and laugh
 It is the height of the tourist season and we had almost driven past because it looks closed when Mr M saw the twinkling of the "open" sign in a window. We stopped for a cuppa because we prefer to use local places rather than chains as we like to keep our money in the area. That's when I saw the blackboard. Now forgive me if I am being old fashioned but does that look good to you? no, nor me. I think it shows that the people who are running it are tired and they just haven't got the energy any more.
New technology
We moved on, discussing what we would do if the place were ours and then we needed another "rest" room. We decided to get something to eat to save having to cook when we finally got home and the choice was services food or MacDonalds using the new electronic ordering boards. No choice really, Mr M loves trying new electronic technology. The fact that he didn't have his glasses so I had to read the instructions and press the right bit of screen wasn't a factor. This was New!! and it was fun and we haven't had MacD since ooooooh Wednesday last week. What can I say? I am nearly 70 I can, to quote my father, eat what I like at my age!

So there we have it, new cafe, new back road now travelled and new technology and all on Saturday. On Sunday we did very little except talk about stuff and sleaze around.

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Me on Monday - Still excited

Bernard, Veronica and great grandson Oliver
On Monday I was a little distracted - We had Cousins in our house!
Kind of sounds like we were infested but it wasn't like that at all.

Sandy and  Bob are over here for a family wedding before going on a cruise. They came to our house to look at the family tree and to read some of the information I have dug up about those elusive actors in the last 20 odd years

Sandy, me, Miss Boo and Bob doing the Pat Duckham Pose.
 Thats a whole other story
Miss Boo just love "uncle" Bob and watching him talk to her shows us just how lucky his grandchildren are to have him as their grandpa. My Cousin Sandy is still just as sweet and gentle and kind as she was when we were children and my Dad would take us to visit her Dad (brothers) and us kids would be outside playing. My mother would take extra clothes for me because she knew that I would be the one to get wet or muddy while Sandy seemed to stay pristine clean and only needed to wash her hands before we sat down to tea. Sandy's Mum always seemed a little overwhelmed by our family. Probably, now I think about it the reason would be that when my Dad said he was going to see Steve there would be other siblings that would want to go and as the only ones with a car they would come with us, all piled into the back of whatever van my Dad was driving at the time. No need for seat belts as we were packed in like sardines.

Anyhoo, I put the word out and Bernard and Veronica responded. I have always looked up to my cousin Bernard as a kind of older brother figure and when he married Veronica - way back in the mists of time - I just knew she was right for our family. There is absolutely no nonsense with her. If you are being an idiot she will tell you, if she disagrees with you you will know and you can defend your position or shut up, she doesn't mind. She is happy to disagree and will accept it and move on but if you lie to her or are rude or disrespectful then you will cease to exist as far as she is concerned. I love her honesty and her strength.

Miss Boo is now old enough to learn about all these people. She has met them before at family reunions but having just a few in the house gave her the chance to learn them. She was also totally enamoured of Oliver. She took him all over the house and told me afterwards that she just wanted to hug him and cuddle him because he is sooooo gorgeous. UNfortunately he is two and hugs and cuddles are rare gifts from him at this age.

So that was me on MOnday. Laughing, we do a lot of that at family gatherings, talking, sharing the old family stories so that they can be handed down to the next generation

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Misc Grey Bits - a Story

This is Louisa. She died of a brain anurism ten years ago and she was my cousin. At one time she worked in a laboratory that tested water. She could really tell a story. This is one of hers.

The storage room where they kept all the glassware and equipment for the lab was very untidy and so Louisa and the cleaner began to sort it out. They had a bin for broken or damage stuff, they cleaned off the shelves and decided that alphabetical was the way to go. In each catagory they sub divided by size. This was fine until they came upon items that had to be in the store room but were not for use in the lab - they were unidentified.

Louisa designated a box at the end of a row of shelves as "The Miscellaneous Box" and they put all the unidentifiable bits in there. Most of them were grey. It became the Misc grey bits box

Can you see where this is going?

I knew you would.

The box remained at the end of the row of shelves for the next five years, until the lab was closed and the testing moved to another part of the UK. By this time there was a phrase that had become part of our family language.

"File it under Misc Grey Bits" and we still do.

Today Louisa has been in my mind because I was sorting out a drawer in the kitchen and thought to myself  Where shall I put this? oh I'll file it under Misc Grey Bits" and there she was with that wicked grin and the droll sense of humour that would leave your ribs aching from laughing.

Missing you girl

Monday, 1 August 2016

Me on Monday - pictures

 You have probably realised by now that Mr M's hobby is driving and mine is being with him so most weekends we go out to do something - deliver books to a grandchild, find some mixed herbs, look for new sandals because mine fell apart in Amroth. That sort of thing and usually we travel for a while to achieve this.
Then we are free to do what we want and usually this consists of Mr M saying "Where do you fancy going?" and me replying in a whining voice "I don't knoooow" Then he will say "Hurrrumph" or something similar and point the car in a random direction. Then he will suddenly say "We haven't been up this road before" and all hurrrrrumphing is forgotten as we are embarking on an adventure.

We went out for lunch on Saturday. To the Oyster Catcher in Penarth Marina - well not exactly IN the marina that would be silly - and wet - but close enough to watch the boats in the river and the people all around. The traffic was horrendous so when we had eaten we went up to the roundabout and headed for Penarth sea-front. We knew we wouldn't be able to park at that time on a Saturday but we had to drive slowly anyway because everyone does so I could take pictures.

 The Balmoral was moored to the pier! How exciting! She is one of two paddle steamers that have regular runs in the Bristol Channel during the summer. She goes from Penarth or Barry or sometimes even Newport if the tides are right and she travels across the Bristol Channel to Ilfracombe (in this house for reasons that are now totally obscure it is pronounced Ill - frack - comm - bee) So there she was and I got all excited and suddenly there was a parking space so Mr M parked and said "Someone playing by water - loads of people fishing" and I had the chance of another scavenger hunt picture so I nipped out of.......... ok I clambered slowly out of the car and tried to scurry down to the lifeboat
ramp so I could take pictures.

There she was. A Mum playing with her child by the water. As I raised the camera she threw a large stone into the water and I thought "Please do that again and let me catch it" and she did!

We then headed kind of north west -ish and Mr M asked the satnav to find a Morrisons so we could get fuel. It took us to Porth. We had never been there before so that was interesting. The Morrisons there doesn't have a fuel station so we stopped to use the loo and have a cuppa and learnt that the people in Porth don't use the trolley cupboards either. You know those huge things that you can put your trolley of shopping into while you go for a cuppa? well, in Porth they are actually in the cafe so Mr M started to laugh and told me to look. Outside the row of cupboards were four trolleys full of shopping. By the time I turned and picked up the camera it was too late, the little old ladies had scurried down the aisles and reclaimed their shopping. The disappointment was lessened when we were nearly home and Mr M said "look a car with astroturf" I managed a picture of that.
Apparently it has been parked there for several days and Mr M had seen it when he came home from work.

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Memorandum Monday - sooo busy

We took a few days for ourselves last week. We had a day or two going out and seeing stuff and then we went to Amroth Castle for three days in a caravan. What a lovely site. The caravan had three bedrooms and a view out across the sea. There was a swimming pool but we didn't get that far.
I don't cook when we go away. I am on holiday and what I want is for someone to cook for us. Mr M can cook but his reasoning is that when he is home he does the clearing up and the dishwasher so he doesn't want to do that on holiday.
We have bread and butter and tea and coffee so we break our fast with a cuppa and a piece of toast then we find somewhere for a late breakfast/brunch. we can then eat a dinner around 4/5pm and then spend the rest of the time in the caravan sleazing and watching TV or reading.

We found a super farm shop on our way home so we stocked up on cheeses and home cured ham.

The caravan did not have wi-fi and there was no signal for our phones so ever time we reached the top of the hill out of the village our phones would ping away like mad as the messages came in.

I love the immediacy of modern communications but it is nice to be relieved of the decision-making about whether to answer or not.

This set me thinking about why we have this need to be constantly connected Some of my Grandmother's siblings left this country over 100 years ago to make a life in the New World. They had only letters to keep them connected and it took sometimes more than two months for a letter to travel from Ohio to The midlands of this country. Then came widespread use of the telephone but that wasn't until the 1960s when the post WW2 baby boomers began to set up their own homes and there was more money to spend.
These days everyone expects a cell phone as though it is their right to have one and internet access is the same as a daily newspaper (and with just as much rubbish in its confines). My children are in daily contact with me and make no mistake I love it, being a part of their lives is just fabulous but ...

And there it is. BUT. Do they really need me to be there all the time? will it be harder for them when I am gone? Are they doing it out of duty? ( don't believe so) Do I need them to be constantly in contact? (um, yes?)

Is this technology a blessing and a curse?

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing

Monday, 18 July 2016

Me on Monday - What a weekend

The only thing better than live theatre is Live Youth Theatre and on Friday evening Mr M and I experienced the full, unadulterated, enthusiasm of a talented buch of teens and pre-teens as they performed that most difficult of musicals Bugsey Malone.

They have rehearsed on a Sunday afternoon for the last 12 weeks and Miss Boo did do extra evenings with Haydn (a marvellous Bugsey) to ensure that the word-heavy part didn't defeat him.

If you have seen the movie then try to hum or whistle any one of the tunes and you can see how unforgiving this musical can be. The players of the main parts, and I am sorry to say I lost my copy of the programme somewhere in the 100 yards between the theatre and my front door, so I don't know their names were all confident of the words and as soon as they started to sing they lost the shakiness in their voices and sang their hearts out.
The chorus players were also darned good and word perfect. Miss Boo began as an undertaker, picking up the bodies of the splurged gang members then she was a flapper dancer ( not a slapper dancer as her mother kept saying) after that she did a quick change into an English Reporter, then to a down and out and then back to the undertaker - or was it the flapper dancer? by that time I was so caught up in the events of the show I was no longer trying to see her but carried along by Fat Sam and Dandy Dan and the splurge guns.

The finale when we all got splurged was amazing and as it was the last night they got to use up all the silly string cans - that was a lot of splurge.

We came home marvelling that in this increasingly electronic age we could still have a fantastic evening out, see young people really enjoying themselves and be made aware of just how much talent there is in these kids today.

Did I learn anything today? yes. Never give up hope about the youngest generation, they are still human and still have talents even though they accept this modern electronic technology as part of day to day living.

My Thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing