Monday, 29 April 2013

Come in and have a cuppa!

Once a month Abi invites us to sit down and share a morning cuppa with her. A chance to have a bit of a natter before getting down to the rest of the week. Why not take a look at Abi's blog? But not until after you have read mine ok?

 Let's meet in Morrison's cafe. I love that they only use free range eggs in their cafes - I told you I have rescue hens in my back garden didn't I? Well I do. I support the work of the British Hen Welfare Trust too because they rescue battery - sorry caged hens after their useful commercial life is over and these hens are given to people like me to look after into their old age.
I started in 2009 and while those girls have now gone to the big free range in the sky I still have my three girls in my little back yard.
The BHWT lobbies food manufacturers and commercial outlets to encourage them to use only free range eggs in their products and it is good to see that Morrisons are doing this.
I also like their coffee. As the store in our town is very new I feel it is important to support them - and I can do some shopping for essentials while I am here.
This is the point in the conversation when I kind of run out of steam. Usually because I have chattered endlessly about my chickens and suddenly seen your eyes glaze over.
They haven't? you want me to tell you more about them? did I mention that the lighter evenings might be wonderful for some but it is impossible to get the chickens into their house at a reasonable time. They seem to think that as long as it is light they should be out in the yard scratching at the dirt. I am afraid that the fox will also be out in the late evening and having already lost one chicken to him I like my girls to be in their small run with the bolt secured by about 6pm. The last two nights it has meant that I have spent half an hour persuading three chickens to go in for their supper. I tried ordinary corn and I have tried cake crumbs but I think tonight it will be the big guns and I will thaw out some sweetcorn, that should get them. They can't resist it and climb over one another to get at it.

Oh my! Look at the time, I must get a move on I have to bake a raisin and walnut loaf today and find something for dinner tonight. It was lovely to see you again - same time next month?

Sunday, 28 April 2013

I'm In - are you?

The Phhotographic Scavenger Hunt I mean. Rinda has just announced here that it will start on June 1st and run until September 21st.

The list of 21 things will go up on June 1st so there's just over a month to prepare the mini album/pages or whatever else you are going to use to display the results of your efforts. I made an 8x8 album last year and even though I didn't get all the items it was the greatest fun for us and for my daughter and her family.

I don't know if you can read the ribbon on the side of the album -( it's amazing what a bit of ribbon can hide when you make a mistake in positioning the post holes!)..... where was I? oh yes. The word on the ribbon is Highgrove. (shameless name dropping now) My cousin was a toymaker before he retired. He used to make wooden toys. Rocking horses and camels and motorbikes and all sorts of beautiful stuff. There is a Highgrove shop in Tetbury, before that opened there was only the shop actually in Highgrove where the visitors to the gardens - only garden clubs and such are allowed to go so you can't just drop in - could buy souvenirs and stuff and all the items are sourced from crafts people. Anyhooooo, my cousin used to be invited to the annual shindig for suppliers and the ribbon comes from a chocolate box or something that he bought. Gosh how's that for digressing?

The title page has the complete list of items from last year and I made a basic design for the pages so that there was a continuity through the album. I used 8x8 because it meant that a 6x4 picture sat nicely onto the page and there was room for journalling. So many of the items gave my memory a nudge and I felt it was important to get those memories written down - as always. I mean, that's what we scrapbook for isn't it? It's not really about the pretty paper or the embellishments it's all about the memories.

So I am definitely in this for the summer - are you?

Friday, 26 April 2013

Seeking the sympathy vote

Two people I regarded as friends, face to face friends, have unfriended me on FB. Now that happens, I know it does but the circumstances leading up to it told me it wasn't an accident of clicking on the wrong box this was a deliberate act and it was done because I didn't throw my cap in the ring with theirs when they were up in arms about something on a forum we shared. I asked one of them "why did you unfriend me?" and the answer was
"What have I done and how am I supposed to have done it?"
Wrong Answer

That doesn't cut it with me. The social worker training says "Hmmmm, not denying it outright. Going on the offensive straight away, guilty conscience perhaps? Anyway things have since deteriorated and my former friend has cut me off the Christmas card list for sure.

I feel really upset by this because they have made the whole thing my fault and my crime was to disagree. I know that people can be really funny-peculiar sometimes but I think I am most upset because I have thought for the past 20 years that this person was my friend and now my judgement is shown to be wrong.

I feel fragile and insecure and unwilling to trust myself at the moment. I know it will pass but it does make you queasy.

Just realised that this would have been a really good time to use the simple moment thingy and really look at my feelings and stuff... That means I am getting it into perpective and soon I will stop feeling sick.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Simply a Moment - April

I pause. It is exactly 12 noon. I am sitting at my computer going through the pictures I intend using for some pages in this year's album. This is the first time in a while I have felt the real need to get into the craft room and do something other than make Christmas cards for the charity shop

 I took some pictures of my Great Grandson at Easter and at four months old he is just beginning to take notice. He has another Great Grandmother so he is used to ancient faces looming over him and he has practised the tentative smile so he does that perfectly now. I pause for a moment, with a smile on my face as I stare at his picture and think how lucky children are these days to even be able to know their Great Grandparents. Mine were all long gone before I was born. Two of them had left for foreign parts when my mother was a small child so she didn't even know her Grandmothers. Both of her Grandfathers died before she was born.
My children have good memories of one of their great grandparents as my Grandpop lived with Mum and Dad and he survived into their earliest memories. I wonder if it is bad to envy them their good fortune. I start to think that I would have asked so many questions about our family history and then stop myself because at their age I wasn't in the least bit interested. I decided that I must continue to ensure that our family history with all the stories must be written down and given to each Grandchild before the end of this decade. I pause and consider. I decide that it must be done before 2015 so that I can deliver them before I need to reapply for my driving licence. This makes me chuckle and breaks my chain of thought. Now I need a cuppa.

Simply a moment was created for us by Alexa at Trimming the sails. I will link this to there when she has posted

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Storytelling Sunday Three: Pick Your Precious

Storytelling Sunday happens on the first Sunday of every month. Created by Sian at From High In The Sky
we enjoy telling our story and reading everyone else's. Why not go over there and take a look, AFTER you have read mine, of course.

UN shoulder flash

Two berets, a shoulder flash, a rank insignia and a UN helmet cover
More military stuff this month. This time from my youngest son. Both my boys joined the army. They are very close in age, just 13 months between them so it happened that the weekend we travelled to Richmond in Yorkshire for Eldest Son's Pass Off Parade was the weekend that Youngest son travelled to the now notorious Blackdown Barracks in Aldershot to begin his basic training. ES went on to spend time with the bomb squad and to be with the American 1st infantry (as liaison) in the first Gulf War. YS was in Germany while ES was in the gulf and the job for YS was to watch the casualty lists as they came in and then pull the files for his CO to write the letters to families. He worked four hours on and four hours off and told me several years later that he was dreading seeing his brother's name and number on his computer. Hows that for stress eh?
Then he was posted to the Royal Welch Fusileers - oh he was a clerk, or a blanket stacker as that branch of the force is so eloquently called by the rest of the army. He arrived with them and in Quick succession he spent six months in Northern Ireland, six months in Canada on training exercises and then he went to Kosovo. During the time he was there several of his RWF mates were kidnapped and held for a week or more. An IED blew up the vehicle in front of the one YS was travelling in and a couple of the boys were killed and more injured and he was under daily attack with mortars and guns. Then he came home.
His marriage broke up acrimoniously and his children were kept away from him, and after a pretty traumatic time he finally let slip that he was having flashbacks - from there it was easy for the "army experts" to diagnose PTSD. 
He had done 12 years by this time so he left the army and gradually rebuilt his life. He gave me these things because he couldn't bear to look at them but didn't want them to be lost because "When I see my kids again I want them to know the real me." I have them safe in my box so that my grandchildren can see them when they are ready. They have found their Dad again and they are building new relationships, a delicate and slow process but one that gladdens my heart. These things are reminders of very dark days but I am very lucky because both my sons came back home and they both now have settled happy lives and that is more precious than gold (or inkjet printer ink).

Take a click over to Sian's Place and see what other precious things are talked about on this Storytelling Sunday.