Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Me on Monday - Late but so glad to be back

I've been a bit ill. Cellulitis is a nasty insidious thing that sneaks up on you and wham, bam! you are suddenly a gnat's whisker away from admission to horsepiddle because your temperature is heading skywards and your legs are glow-in-the-dark neon red.
Thanks to the marvellous nurses from Rapid Response and the kind receptionist at the surgery not to mention my own GP who all went that extra innings to get me better.

So that's what I have been doing for six weeks.

Now, Christmas........ Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. What did you have? We had no hot water or heating and a British Gas engineer for our Christmas.
 I was well enough to stand up long enough to get the vegetables and the beef in the oven. My lovely daughter was slaving away in her own kitchen and sending Biker Boy up to ours with food in dishes and on plates.
Before that, at about 8.30am I shouted up the stairs to Youngest Son that we had no hot water and could he do the "thing with the boiler". He said yes. a few minutes later he came down for a bucket because the boiler was leaking and it wouldn't respond to the "thing" he does.
Mr M tried the plumber/boiler lady and it went to voicemail. He then rang British Gas and set up a contract with them - took about 20 minutes and around 11am an engineer arrived.
"I don't carry the spare part that you need, I'll have to come back tomorrow" he said.
So three of the six people around the table were a little bit smelly because we all refused to cold shower in a house with no heating.
Mr M reminded us that when we were living in the previous house we didn't have heating either but he just got "the Look" from me.

The engineer arrived around 5pm on boxing day and within the hour he had fixed the boiler checked the gas and the water and the heating system and gave us the clean bill of health we craved. Yes we did line up for the shower.

The rest of the holiday was great. I am still spending most of my days elevating my legs but the walking about is getting more frequent. They played games and we ate, boy did we eat. Eldest Son and family arrived on Sunday for a brief stay. I had loads of hugs and kisses from the grandsons, including a whispered "I love you, Grandma"
Life doesn't get much better
My thanks to the lovely Sian for inventing this way of blogging. I am glad to back amongst you all.


Monday, 16 November 2015

Me on Monday - out for a ride

It's been a go out for breakfast and stay out all day kind of a weekend.
We are still sorting the contents of F-i-L's house and after taking five boxes of china and glass to one charity shop on Wednesday last week and then three bags of clothes to another one AND the four bags of trousers and jumpers to the night shelter, well, I thought we deserved a bit of a break so I packed up a large bag of books and we got up eary-ish on Saturday and went up the A449 to Whitchurch, near Ross and stopped at Jo's for breakfast. She has bookshelves and for a donation to charity you can take books home with you. I totally filled up the shelves and decided that we will take another bagful when we take S-i-L on our adventure in two weeks.
We could have come home after breakfast but we felt in need of a little "Us time" so we carried on up past Ross and headed along in the Ledbury direction.
It soon became obvious that Mr M had a destination in mind so I sat back and watched the rain splashing on the windscreen and we talked and laughed and suddenly we were at Clive's Fruit Farm near Upton on Severn. I took the picture last year when it wasn't raining. We sat inside the coffee shop this year.
I bought enough apples to make several crumbles and tried to remember what else it was that I thought I would have a go at when I bought some apples. I probably won't remember until next year now.
We headed back a different way and it looked as though Mr M was heading for Gloucester. Then I connected the dots in my head and realised that when he said "Oh, no pumpkins" he had a reason for wanting one and the next obvious place to get one was Over Farm Market. I was right.
He chose a small pumpkin. I raised my eyebrow. "Pumpkin soup" he said, and all was made clear.
One of the things from his Dad's house is a soup maker. It had never been used and I had to ask the manufacturer for a copy of the instructions. Now, it seems, Mr M is keen to have a play.
Saturday night we sat in the front room and I knitted while he snoozed. He has been having sciatica pain recently and can't sleep for long while lying down so he has to keep changing where he sits and sleeps
I have stopped loudly nagging him about going to the Dr and just do it with looks and eyebrows. As my eyebrows seem to have decided that long enough to obscure my vision is their newest ambition you can imagine how effective they are as semaphore flags.
Sunday we sleazed all day. Moving slowly between computer and chair and lunch table. I cooked the pork chops we bought at Clive's and they were delicious. YS came home from his weekend away and scoffed his dinner then went to bed and we sat again while Mr M snoozed and I completed the sweater for Miss Boo and started a cowl/hood for the craft fair - not the Frost fair as I keep calling it - on Tuesday.
That's me on Monday. Thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for creating this Meme and encouraging me to write something every week.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Me on MOnday - really tired

It was a wrap this ornament in newspaper and put it in a box then repeat kind of a Saturday. It was a register these three boxes of books on Bookcrossing.com and then sort into piles for different destinations kind of a Saturday evening. It was a nip sharply to Costco for a Christmas present for Daughter-in-Law and then rush back to FiL's house to meet with the siblings in law and sort out more stuff.
I managed to keep the grin for the whole afternoon before we filled the car with stuff for sorting at home and went the pretty way through Usk for dinner with the Bluefunnels.

Some of the ornaments are going to family, some are destined for the charity shop. I'm not sure how my B-i-L feels about this because he keeps saying that he would take it all to the tip. He is not a "stuff" person so we have to keep explaining that the shelving unit that he "can't wait for that to be emptied so I can take a hammer to it"could be the exact thing that someone just starting out wants to put their few ornaments and their clock onto.
"Do you know how old that thing is?" he asked me and my mouth was in gear and moving before my brain had really registered "Yes, I muttered and it will be an antique by the end of the year".
He grinned at me and turned away, leaving me wondering if he really meant it or if he was just winding me up.
When we got home on Saturday I started registering the books on Bookcrossing. When I started my overall total of books registered since I joined was 842. I was sure that all these books would take me over 1000 so when I registered the last book I looked at my total

999

Try to imagine how frustrating that was. I even dreamt about it so it was with great pleasure I saw the box of books under the table on Sunday.

Dinner with the Bluefunnels was, as always an evening of conversation and laughter. I do love my cousin dearly. He is the younger brother I never had and when he met LAdy Bluefunnel and brought her to meet us she and I found ourselves immediately on the same wavelength. They celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary last weekend. Isn't that marvellous?

So this is me on Monday. My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this way of making me write.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Me on Monday - Wicked Uncle Cliff

It was a Friday night on tenterhooks until he arrived, Saturday lunch and a trip around our lovely country and coast and Sunday lunch in Morrison's sort of a weekend.
Wicked Uncle Cliff
" Let me explain........... No, is too much, let me sum up" (Inago Montoya in The Brincess Bride)

Cliff is a friend from waaaay back when I had a games shop in Newport and he worked for a supplier. We lost touch for a while - circumstances that are no longer important - and came back into our lives one Friday afternoon when he knocked on the door and was overcome by the welcome. He is now firmly back in the family and Miss Boo calls him "Wicked Uncle Cliff". Mostly because he encourages her into mischief.
So he was arriving on Friday evening "the train gets in about 9.40" he said. Then he texted from a stationary train outside Bristol to say there was a delay. When he got here there was much talking and lots of laughter and he brought chocolate!
On Saturday he went shopping with Boo and her parents. She needed a halloween party dress and she wanted him to share the experience. He bought a Panda mask and wore it all around the town.
Then we took him to lunch at the Oystercatcher in Penarth Marina. and after lunch we went to the seafront and walked on the pier because you cannot go to the seaside and not walk on the pier if they have one.
The light was fading and the western sky was washed with pink when Tsar Alexander and his Tsarina walked to the end of the pier and started taking selfies. I took a picture
Tsar Alexander taking a selfie on the pier in Pernath
 By the time we had visited the rock shop and he had bought sticks of rock for the girls in his office - that's what you do on your holidays - and sent a postcard, cos that's what you do... it was getting dark and we still had to go to The Knap and show him our fossil beds and that's when he said he had heard of Barry Island but never been there. So we went.
Barry Island! with Uncle Cliff
We stood outside the fairground and let the late season Saturday night at the seaside swell all around us. All too soon it was Sunday morning and he would be leaving in the afternoon so we went to Morrison's for lunch - another first for him - and did a little shopping (just what was on the list) and then dropped him at the rail station after hugs and kisses goodbye then came home and slept for a long while before going to bed early.
That was our weekend. We won't see Cliff until just after Christmas when he will be visiting for new year. We have already decided some of the games we'll play and we'll sit and talk and laugh - something to look forward to.

My thanks as ever to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this way of keeping me blogging all year

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Bad things come in threes

Several years ago ... Um, ... gosh I'll start again. More than ten years ago I used to make stuff and sell it at craft fairs. Then things happened. My parents moved in with us and then I fell apart and couldn't leave the house and couldn't sew anymore. Add to that some medication that was instrumental in the anxiety attacks and you can see that back then was not a Good Time.

Last year the medication was changed, the world was a much more friendly place and I bagan to knit again and then crochet. I went to the Frost Fair at Miss Boo's school last year and said to my daughter that "I wouldn't mind knitting a few things for the next one". She said she would help me and when the forms went out she booked a table. I have spent the year knitting hats and scarves and crocheting booties and I suddenly remembered that I had a container with the dried lavender flower heads from my garden and from my neighbour.
"I'll make some Lavender pillows like the ones I sold at craft fairs" I thought, and went to look for the card writer thingy that goes with the embroidery machine so I could do the same lovely font. In my mind I could see the bag that it was in, together with the instruction book and the CD to install it on the computer. I knew they were all together because that's what I do - keep everything together in one place so that when I go back after five or ten years it will still be there. Everyone does that right?
It wasn't there.
The bag was there but it had a dance mat that I had never seen before in it but no PEDesign card writer. I took our study apart. I emptied the drawer with all the installation CDs in it and carefully went through all of them. I moved books on the shelves, I rummaged in the drawer that contains only envelopes. It was GONE!
"Perhaps I gave it away when I was in a Not-long-for-this-world mood" I thought. Mr M sighs quietly when that hits me because anything that hasn't been used for more than a year is fair game when that mood strikes. I couldn't think who I would give it to, and more to the point I couldn't think what I would say to them when I asked for it back!
Common sense, that tiny pale-pink voice in my head that gets ignored most of the time, told me that it was here somewhere but I continued to niggle about it and to get mad at me for doing such a daft thing when I still had the embroidery machine. I could still do words because the machine has three basic fonts built in but I wanted a script one. So I pouted a bit and found something else to do as the sewing mojo came back with quite a lot of energy.
On Tuesday several things happened. We took several bags of clothes that were FiL's to the charity shop and when I came back I realised that the bag of cards I had made for them was still in the study. I picked it up and as I did something slid out from behind the box of printer paper. The PEDesign!
I put it on the table intending to use it as soon as I had made the Lasagne for tea. This I did straight away. Then I discovered that the boiler had stopped working so I couldn't wash up. I put the Lasagne in the oven and took my cup of coffee into the front room and sat in my chair for five minutes. I woke up an hour later to find that the Lasagne was ... overcooked. Two strikes.
Youngest Son came home from work and fixed the boiler by twiddling things - very technical sorry so I went to wash up the bowl and grater disk from the food processor and promptly took a littl gouge out of the tip of my finger. It would not stop bleeding so YS drove me to the doctor's surgery. The receptionist informed me that "Doctors don't deal with wounds, you'll have to go to A&E." Three strikes
By this time, with constant pressure and holding my hand higher than my heart I had managed to slow it down a lot so I made YS take me home. I muttered something about "If it is still bleeding when Mr M comes home at 8 o clock he can take me. The evening rush should be over and the drunks won't be there yet"

As you can imagine all this negativity quite took the shine off finding the PE stuff so I didn't install it on the laptop until today and I only managed one practise run with the program. It does mean that I was able to re-download all the designs I bought and tomorrow I will be doing a few more Lavender Pillows to sell at the Frost Fair next month.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Me on Monday - sorting and distributing

It's been a sorting out clothes for the night shelter, putting books in boxes, rummaging in kitchen cupboards and most of all missing our girl kind of a weekend
waiting for food
We all went to F-i-L's house on Saturday as the emptying process continues. Trying to ensure that things don't get thrown out if they can go for some charitable use. All the jackets and jumpers (sweaters for my American readers) trousers and the socks that are still in the wrappings from new will go to the night shelter here in town. The shirts and tops can go to the charity shops where someone will find them. Mr M has nabbed all his Dad's ties and when he has sorted through them I intend doing a quilted something out of the rejects.
The reference books and all the murder mystery books are now in boxes in my sitting room to be sorted and bookcrossed and at least one box will be going to Jo's cafe just south of Ross on Wye where she has shelves of books available for a donation to one of the charity boxes.
We also sorted out most of the cupboards in the kitchen, threw away all the food dated 2007 or before. I brought the food processor home and discovered that it had two of every accessory - how did he manage that I wonder. Found the hidden cutlery in a large tupperware box on top of the cupboards. I suppose you only need knives and forks for a couple of people when you live on your own but that made the drawer empty???
Most of all I have been missing Miss Boo. She has gone to Gibraltar with Mummy and Daddy to visit friends and to seek out her ancestry. My ex-husband's father was born on Gib and his mother was born there as were her parents. Boo was interested to see where they lived and where great, great grandmother Ana was buried.
We are told that Boo has an ear for languages and has decided to become a famous photographer and travel the world - I just want her to travel home to her Grandma please as I have emptyarmitis and need lots of cwtches

And that's me on Monday. My thanks again to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this way of keeping me blogging.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Me on Monday - filled up with laughter and good food

It was a get the fridge, freezer and sofa from FiL's house. It was a surprise family meal kind of a weekend with a bit of game playing and lots of laughter. It was a sleazy Sunday that segued into dinner at the Bluefunnels where we laughed a lot and reminisced a lot and Mrs B railed against her new knee because it has "been three months and I still can't bend it enough to ride my bike." 
the ticket Officers

gamers ready for action
One of the things we did at Dragondaze, apart from sell a lot of tickets to people who wanted to be inside gaming, was we bought a game. It is called Halfling Feast. It comes in a neat little wooden box and an A4 size sheet of rules. We like simple games. Miss Boo likes games too, however she isn't too fond of the fact that ALL the adults around the table on Saturday insisted on doing sound effects when "emptying belly spaces" - I mean the card that releases 10 belly spaces is called Mighty Fart so what is a gamer supposed to do?
We spent Saturday morning moving the fridge, freezer and sofa from FiL's house so that my granddaughter Ms H can have them in her flat. Her first home of her own. Her partner coralled his dad into using their car and they took the freezer and sofa while Ms H's Dad took the fridge and the contents of the larder in his car. Being a prewar child FiL tended to keep a few supplies in the cupborad just in case he was snowed in.
I also sorted a bag of clothes for the night shelter and my next job is to collect all the bedding - my MiL hoarded bedding - because you never know - and make a few cot sheets for the baby and then see if I can make some single sheets for the other great grand kids as well.
We were supposed to be going out for a meal on Saturday evening but none of us could be bothered sso we stayed home and Miss Boo brought her parents to ours. She announced that Christmas dinner will be "At this table, it is a tradition". So even if it isn't a tradition it is going to be.
Sunday we were really indulgent and had a fry-up of the veggies left over from the night before together with some bacon and a few mushrooms. Mr M had an egg. I don't like egg and I have decided not to eat stuff I never really liked. I am 69 now so I don't have to eat things I hate.
Sunday evening we went up the hill to the Bluefunnels. I love all my cousins and I wouldn't swap any of them they are all very precious to me. However, Admiral Lord Bluefunnel is the closest thing I have ever had to a younger brother. We spent many happy hours together as kids, playing monopoly or just lying on the floor while I read out loud to him. as we grew and I had the horses he would be there with me and these days we still have that rapport.
The best gift he ever gave me? oh that was the day he brought a young lady to meet my parents. We looked at each other and smiled politely but within half an hour we had, several times, come out with exactly the same words at exactly the same time. They have been married for 45 years now and our brains still work the same way. Don't get me wrong we do disagree about things and have been known to glare at each other occasionally but these minor disagreements have never got in the way of the ability to read each other's minds. We put the world to rights, we ate a wonderful meal and we would have played Halfing Feast if we had remembered to take it with us.
Today is an inset day for Miss Boo's school so she is watching TV and reading her David Walliams book and I will be joining her to sleaze away the afternoon because this morning I made four peg bags for the frost fair at school next month.

So that's Me on Monday. My thanks to Sian over at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this way of keeping me blogging why not go and read about her weekend too?

Monday, 12 October 2015

Me on Monday - new starts

"no biscuits Grandma"
It's been a Brownie Pack Holiday, sorting out kitchen stuff, knitting cowl-hoods, congratulating YS on yet another new job, watching TV and sleeping kind of a weekend

Friday saw Miss Boo dragging her weekend bag off to Brownie Pack Holiday. Was she excited? oh you betcha! Ten years old and she was out through the door and already in holiday mode, without so much as a backward glance. Her mother, on the other hand, was in bits and really didn't know what to do with herself.
Mr M and I spent an hour or so gathering some of the kitchen untensils and cooking pans from FiL's kitchen and going through cupboards for towels and teatowels because one of my granddaughters has just moved into a flat with her partner and baby. There will be more stuff as Mr M and his brother and sister get to grips with it. Everything is still a bit raw.

I knitted. I am taking a table at the frost fair at Miss Boos school to sell knitted and crocheted stuff. It all helps school funds. I am also crocheting and knitting for the Donkey Sanctuary. While doing this I congratulated YS on being offered another job, still driving but for the company he was driving for a year ago when he moved across the bridge to England and changed his job so he wouldn't have to pay the tolls every day. Now he is back home and was paying the tolls to go the other way. A friend told him this job was on offer and as the other new job turned out not to be what it said it was - all complicated stuff to do with how and when he got paid - he said yes and has gone off to work today with a smile. The first real smile I have seen on his face for weeks.

Mr M watched Dr Who on Saturday, YS watched the rugby, I watched something but can't remember it - I was knitting. Mr M came and joined me in the sitting room after he watched Dr Who and immediately fell asleep in the chair. He doesn't sleep very well when lying down because his hip hurts so I popped a pillow behind his head covered him with a quilt and carried on knitting.

Today Miss Boo has just left for five days at an adventure place somewhere in darkest Wales, where, we are told, the highlight of the week is to be Mr R (one of the teachers) dancing. No cameras allowed so we await the verbal report. He mother is as usual missing her already and it's a good job she has a really heavy week in work to take her mind off it a little.

So that's me on Monday. My thanks as always to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this neat way of keeping me blogging. Was it invented for me? Yes, of course.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Me on Monday - melancholy

waiting for breakfast at Daisy's

trying not to be caught with my mouth wide open as I laugh
It's been a stay at home, knitting for me and computer games for Mr M sort of a time, interspersed with a back of the mind niggle about Youngest Son starting a new job on Sunday night and the funeral looming at us on Tuesday.
I ordered the prints of some of the pictures from our Devon break and they came this morning so I was able to spend half an hour in the craft room doing a couple of the pages. These two pictures made me smile so I thought they would make you smile too.
Youngest Son had been harrassed at work and his life was becoming quite miserable because of the person doing the harrassing being in a position of power. Then he went for an interview with another company - he drives articulated HG vehicles and with the new regulations that make drivers jump through even more hoops to be legal his qualifications are rarer than hen's teeth. He got the job and we took great delight in composing his letter of resignation and managed to fit in such phrases as "Continual harrassment" and "Incessant bullying" and "After consultation". He thinks he will like the new job even if his first shift was a round trip of Cornwall.
My knitting is a baby blanket and it will be winging its way to the Donkey Sanctuary to be sold in their visitor centre. Next I have a cowl with ears to make for a granddaughter or two and some dragon scale slippers too.
I will start them after tomorrow

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this idea it keeps me blogging.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

My Father-in-law

 One of my most favourite men in the whole world, my Father-in-law.

He passed away from an Aortic Aneurism last night.




Monday, 21 September 2015

Me on Monday - still high on Dragondaze

the Dalek at the ticket desk

playing games - serious stuff
It was a convention running, Dalek watching, money counting, old friend hugging, event post mortem talking kind of a weekend.

Having roped in YS and two of his children and their partners to help it was also a chancce for Grandma to get to know her granddaughters a little better. Youngest son had volunteered to run the raffle and the tombola. He had help in the morning from my ex-DiL and then his daughters arrived and their partners were set to work with him, selling raffle tickets and Tombola tickets. The girls spent a couple of hours ensuring that photographs were taken of all the Cos players and the various activities in all the rooms. Yes we took over the whole of the Newport leisure centre except for the fitness suite and the swimming pool.
The cafeteria once again ran out of food - it seems that no matter how much you stress the numbers some caterers think they know better. That's one of the joys of organising something. The Dalek successfully scared the bejaybus out of lots of small children. It's always good to give them something real to have nightmares about. We had a Moslem youth group doing ticket duty on the doors into the main hall and helping the traders to set up and take down their stands and those young men were marvellous
This is the third incarnation of Dragondaze, the name was invented by me for a Dungeons and Dragons tournament way back in 1984 and I am thrilled to have been involed with all of them over the years. This means that I have seen a lot of youngsters begin their involvement with Role Playing games and war games and live role play so having a handsome 40something come up to the ticket desk and introduce you to their 20+ year old son is both wonderful and aging, but it did mean that I got an awful lot of hugs from some really gorgeous young men and that's always a bonus.
Sunday we got up slowly because a whole day of standing and walking about makes your bits ache and pretty soon the main organiser arrived so we could froth about the day over several cuppas. The faults and successes were noted but not discussed fully and ideas for next year were also put onto the list - yes next year we might have a murder mystery live roleplay game running if I can write it in time.

The initial count of the proceeds suggests that we have made around £2000 for Barnardo's Young Carers charity. So I had a great weekend and today I am sleazing in my chair and crocheting slippers for Christmas presents while my brain cogitates on the sort of murder mystery game to run and the plot is already forming
My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this here meme and keeping me blogging

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Dragondaze - No I'll never be too old

Saturday was not only Talk Like A Pirate Day - Arrrrrrrrr it was also Dragondaze. This is a Games convention run to raise money for Barnardo's Young Carers. My personal thanks to all those family members who were able to be there and help. My grandchildren were so useful and this means that the next, next generation are getting involved - always a good thing.

this Dalek scared the bejaybus out of a noxious kid. I know I shouldn't have but I laughed.

just one corner of the hall. The lovely Allie in the foreground - her hair was amazing! she had it done in forties style with the victory rolls and her clothes were ........ well let's just say that she looked fantastic. Oh and yes that is a pirate with a violin

The Pirate is playing the theme from Star Wars to the Dalek. It soothed the Dalek and stopped him exterminating small noxious kids. The handsome guy in the purple staff shirt is my Youngest Son. We had a tombola and a raffle and there were prizes donated by nearly all the trade stands. 
I have said I will be deeply involved until I am 70 so they have me for one more year as an organiser and then after that I might just be there to do the raffle. I love it because I invented the name and I get to meet loads of people who came into my shop 30 years ago and now they bring their children to meet me! Several have adopted me as their parent of choice so I am blessed by friendships that have lasted AND the honour of being treated like a Mum - life doesn't get much better.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Me on Monday - visits

It's been a Day out with Mr M senior, defeated by a titan Naan, sleaze for a while and then dinner with the Bluefunnels kind of a weekend


Mr M needed trousis so we decided to go to Kevin's in Westbury because they cater for the wider man. We asked Mr M senior if he fancies a day out and he said yes! I do love my father-in-law, he is a very special man. Kevin's didn't have the sort of trousis my Mr M was wanting so we pootled through the countryside. Mr M senior used to love to drive and was always going somewhere. These days he likes other people to drive so my Mr M delights in taking his Dad out for the day.

We stopped for lunch at the Seven Springs, a Hungry Horse pub. I had the oceans a plenty which, much to my disgust, they insist on serving on a sheet of paper on the plate. I intend going to the hungry horse website and telling them to stop being precious. Mr M senior had the gammon and Mr M had the Chicken Tikka Titan Naan. Mr M senior was the only one who ate all of his food. I left the chips and a couple of prawns and Mr M was defeateds by a Naan. he ate the chicken tikka and the onion bahgees that were on the top of the naan but he had to leave a third of the naan and all his chips.Oh the horse shoe you can see in the middle of the table had onion rings on it but we wrapped those in serviettes and brought them home. Mr M ate them for tea

Sunday we sleazed most of the day until we went up the hill to the Bluefunnels a fabulous roast pork dinner together with lots of laughter and non-stop talking. We brought home a complete dinner that Mr M ate today and three portions of rhubarb and apple crumble.

So a pretty quiet weekend really, almost mundane one might say - except that on the way home from the hill we encountered two horse boxes thrww police cars and a woman walking along the road leading a horse with a bucket..................... the woman had the bucket in her hand not the horse, it didn't have hands......... it was nine o clock at night and nearly totally dark and there was a queue of traffic behind the horse and the vehicle in front was flashing its lights to slow us down. and then a little further along the road an ambulance flashing its lights went past us. I will tell more if I ever find out.

My thanks to Sian over at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this here aide memoire, why not take a look at her Monday now that you've seen mine

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Great Grand-daughter's Birthday

Yup, Great Granddaughter had her birthday recently. I have to record this now so that it doesn't get forgotten, She has inherited the "one-liner" gene - and so it goes on from genreation to generation. Marvellous! Now here's the story.

When we arrived at the house she was waving to us through the window and was very pleased to see us. Then another car arrived.
"Oh," said I, "Lots of people are coming to see you on your birthday."
"Actually," she said as I raised the camera and focussed,"Actually it's because I am six and I am taller!"

She's not wrong.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Me on Monday - Super Grandma

It's been a buy a new phone for Mr M, let's do the blankety blank shopping to day and get it over with, roast pork dinner with home made trifle for supper, a thank you for my new cowl/hood grandma kind of a weekend.
We went to Carphone Warehouse and talked to a very nice young man who explained the pricing - I mean three different prices for a phone? He then looked at Mr M's choice and checked to see how much cheaper he could make it. So one upgrade and a bit of faffing later amd Mr M now has a touch screen pay-as-you-go phone for less than fifty quid - very nice. I nipped across to M&S cos I needed bras and they are my favourites and came out with two new sets of pyjamas as well - they had a £5 off lingerie voucher which was very nice and then they gave me a 20% off sleepwear voucher with my change... be rude not to I thought and as the backside was hanging out of my old PJs the timing was perfect.Mr M stayed in the car and played with his phone so he was happy and so was I

We decided that as we were already out that we would do the grocery essentials shopping. By the time we got home we were both fed up and grouchy so we made a cuppa and then sat in companionable silence playing Farm Heroes Saga and chatting on Facebook.

Sunday I cooked the roast pork early and left it to rest as this makes it easier to slice. Youngest son was starving when he arrived home from work so I piled their plates high with meat and green veggies and carrots and then remembered that I had only half made the trifle in the morning.
They were happy to eat it a little later I finished the experimental knitting of a hooded cowl for Miss Boo and when she came home from school today I gave it to her to try. She has gone to Brownies wearing it and I was called Super Grandma when I said yes she could keep it. I think it will work better in thicker yarn so I am off to Loveknitting now as they have a 10% off sale on chunky and superchunky - gotta go!

That's me on monday. My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this way of keeping me regular. You can take a look at her Monday now that you've read mine

Monday, 31 August 2015

Me on Monday - Mundane? Hahahahahaha


Its been a "I quit my job" "OK now they've listened I won't quit", shopping at The Range, lunch disappointment, Oh, so this is Marshfield,  see the dog out the window, sleaze all day Sunday.

My friend's neighbour once asked us how we coped with such a mundane life. I often think of that moment when the mundanities pile up in a messy heap and threaten to overwhelm me.

Youngest Son arrived home of Friday and told us that he had quit his job because the transport manager (he drives 40ft articulated lorries delivering frozen stuff to stores) had seemingly ignored the fact that YS had booked Sunday off and had scheduled him to do a 15 hour shift on Saturday, knowing that if there were any delays it would mean a night out when he ran out of driving time. As YS hasn't had a weekend off in six weeks he was a bit peeved. Several hours later and his depot manager had rung him as well as two of his fellow drivers and he had agreed not to quit - yet.

Saturday we went to The Range. We were looking for Chinese five spice. We bought a magnifying sheet to use for the family tree, a new handbag for me, a flat cap for Mr M - the picture will follow later, Something for The Birthday, tape for the label machine and then we left, no five spice in that bag of goodies.
We went for lunch more about that here and then decided to go up to Ebbw Vale to the Festival Park. We went via Marshfield, because we could. I bought two more handbags - BOGOF so it would be rude not to and Mr M was able to buy two fly swatters for a pound. Still no five spice. on the way home - via the Heads of the Valleys Road we saw this dog hanging out the window of the car in front. Now call me a worry wort if you like but the woman was on her own in that car and the dog was loose. What would have happened if the animal had seen something it had to chase, or something it recognised, or something that terrified it. We could have been involved in a traffic accident caused by her stupidity and the dog could have been hurt. I wanted to drive along side her and scream abuse but Mr M shut our windows and stayed back

So it was another normal weekend then? oh yes, quite mundane really

My thanks to Sian for inventing this little bloggy meme

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Why are they so pretentious?

An example of good presentation of good food - not a cast-iron platter in sight and no paper on the plate for fish dishes
This is a bit of a rant. Mr M and I decided to have lunch out. We had been to The Range where they had several things I desperately needed and as we drove away I said shall we have lunch? We went to a local hostelry.
Mr M ordered the Gammon with fries and egg and stuff and I ordered the Surf and Turf - nine pieces of wholetail scampi and a steak with a flat mushroom half a tomato and fries. Please note that there is no mention of onion in that list. I also had a decaff coffee and Mr M had diet Pepsi.

The coffee was so weak it was waving a white flag in surrender. It was awful. I said so to Mr M who said it was "one of those Nescafe sachet tube things".

The food arrived and I will say right now that the steak was cooked exactly to my liking. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the food. The fries come in a separate bowl. The rest of the food was on a cast-iron platter with ridges on it, the whole thing balanced on a piece of old floorboard... at least that's what it looked like.

Serving food on a ridged plate is wrong in so many ways but adding to this crime the fact that no matter how hard you try you cannot get cast-iron to look clean. It is rude to the customer and totally un-necessary.

How many people can you name that would say "let's go to X restaurant because they serve the food on red-hot, cast-iron platters?" I don't know anyone.

The scampi was so dark brown it was almost burnt and when I bit a piece all I could taste was the bitterness of burnt breadcrumbs, not a hint of scampi taste at all. The mushroom was soggy the tomato only partly cooked and there was nearly a whole onion, soggy and unappetising under the steak. I don't eat onion unless it has been caramelised and is in a sauce. I specifically chose the dish because it didn't say onions. Unfortunately yesterday was not a day when I could send the food back, my brave was still at home with my other handbag. So here I am ranting on about something I could have fixed.

Mr M said his gammon had been so over cooked he could have mended the soles of his shoes with it.

So if ever you are in Newport and want a good meal do not go to The Stonehouse on Lighthouse Road.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Horticultural that's me

It is more than thirty years since I did any real horticultural stuff. I worked for about six years in a nursery/garden centre and my boss was determined that all his staff should be able to talk to customers about their garden needs. He was adamant that we should NEVER try to sell something to a customer that wouldn't work in their garden so we simply had to know about all the stuff we grew and sold. We took cuttings, grew seedlings, grafted fruit trees and in the winter we potted up to 8,000 rose bushes that came in bare root from Holland. In a huge shed with the doors always open for the tractors and no heating - the joys of youth eh. When we moved here the garden is so tiny it was a five minute job to weed and sweep once a month. Now, after all this time I have planted runner beans and tomatoes, strawberries and herbs. Take a look.
My herb garden. I have Sage, Rosemary, Oregano, Chives and Lemon Verbena.
As they grow I cut them and put the excess into containers in the freezer. They are easy to chop when frozen, you just crush the little bag and throw them into the food - without the little bag of course.
I use the Lemon Verbena as a table centre because it smells so lovely

I bought four strawberry plants and had loads of fruit. Then they started throwing runners out so I had to Google exactly how to deal with them. This is the result. I have ten little pots that I hope will take and the bigger one you can just see has a runner that has already filled the small pot with root so I had to pot it on.

There are six bean plants here. So far we have had more than 2 kilos of beans and there are loads still forming and growing.

Three tomato plants. The middle one is Sungold, an F1 hybrid the fruit was quite small but I suspect that was  because of the lack of root space. Next year... The teeny tiny one on the right is a patio tomato. The fruit was pink and actually quite tasteless. the one on the left was supposed to be the sort that doesn't throw sideshoots, they lied. It has the biggest fruit and have taken the longest to ripen so I can't tell you what they taste like - yet.

This is the flower bed under the Wisteria. I have lavender, two plants that were on the cheap table in a garden centre. They were the remnants of the previous season's plants and looked as though they were going to die soon. At 50pence a plant I bought that four that were there. Two are under my washing line so that my washing smells faintly of lavender when I bring it in and the other two are where they get brushed against as I "garden". There are also Fuchsia Jasmin, Clematis (the slugs love it) and something else that begins with C but I can't remember it today.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Me on Monday - Thunder and rain and family

It's been a crazy golf, sleazy Saturday, Costco shopping Sunday and Dinner with the Bluefunnels kind of a weekend. Leaving me with a write down the experiences and order the prints for some pages Monday.

We managed to spend most of Friday with Eldest Son and family before they travelled home to North Wales. Here Miss Boo and the football ace are playing that last hole of the crazy golf. Amazingly their scores were identical. I am not sure if this was because they took the same number of strokes or because Miss Boo is very.....................fair and wouldn't like it if her favourite cousin were to lose too badly.

The exercise on Friday meant that us oldies spend Saturday snoozing. Youngest Son was supposed to be on a rest day from work but once again they changed his shift so he was out all day.

Sunday we got up and took our list to Costco. We have to take a list because they always have really great stuff that we desperately need. We found a Christmas present and something that goes towards "the Birthday". We did have to play supermarket hide and seek for a while and eventually asked a staff member to get the glue sticks because they had moved them totally away from their usual spot.

I managed a few pictures for the scavenger hunt and when I download them from the camera I will blog them

That's me on Monday. My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this way of ensuring at least one blog post every week. Why not go and read hers now that you've read mine?

Monday, 17 August 2015

Me on Monday - sun-kissed and replete with family

attempt one at a panoramic view

Cousins, They do love one another
It's been a sleazy Saturday then out on Sunday for "A little trip to buy some compost"

A chance to try and get a University picture and a panoramic view from a high place - faile miserably because by the time I thought to switch the camera on we had descended from the high place and all I got was --- you guessed it - HEDGE!

The trip was great, we found a little garden centre that is not part of a big chain and we bought our compost and also another component for "The Birthday Present"
More of that next month.

Monday saw a bit of an extension to our weekend. Eldest Son has brought his family to South Wales for a beach holiday. This might seem like nothing out of the ordinary until I tellyou that he lives 400 metres from the sea in North Wales and the boys regularly get to play on the sand. However, coming to Porthcawl is a big deal for them because, and I quote, "We get seven sleeps in a caravan, Grandma. Lokk at my loose tooth!"

Taking Miss Boo down to see them was such a great idea. First they had a whale of a time in the water park then they played on the bars and slides and stuff in the play park. Then we went down to the beach.
Because we are on the Bristol Channel, as this bit of the Severn estuary is called, we do get a certain amount of estuary mud mixed into the sand but what we noticed most is that the beach no longer has the coating on grains of coal swept there from the coal docks at Barry and Cardiff. There are also more rocks exposed where the sand dredgers out in the channel have stolen sand and it has been lost from the beaches.
Sea, sand, icecream, sun lots of running, great excitement when Uncle Mark and UNcle Micheal (Daddy to some of them) brought a crab in the bucket to show them before releasing it back into the incoming tide. Miss Boo splashed her way back to the caravan in her soaking wet dress and wore her zipper top and a blanket to come home. A great day was had by all.

So that's Me on Monday. My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky

Monday, 10 August 2015

Me on Monday - Doing it better

It was a surprised by a panic attack, curled up knitting, waking up on Sunday feeling better, going out for breakfast, then home again, home again jiggety jig - but going the pretty way - a total of 200 miles kind of a weekend.

We were going to go out on Saturday to do the trip we intended to do when the car got sick. I was fine right up to the moment............... no I was worrying right up to the moment when Mr M said "Ready to go?" I was so not ready. My heart suddenly started pounding and I couldn't breath, my eyes leaked all down my face and I just shook my head and crawled into my chair. This is what happens when you allow your mind to over think something. I stayed there knitting and watching TV until it was time to cook dinner for YS and Mr M.
Sunday the black dog was gone from my back and even though the weather was cloudy and humid I suggested that we should go out for breakfast. We did. We went to Jo's in Whitchurch and then moved on to a special shop just outside Ross. It is called Bailey's and they have the most marvellous stuff there, perfect for wedding presents and birthdays that have a zero in them - really good stuff, some antique some recycled some brand new but none of it mass produced. As there is a very special birthday (with a zero in it) coming in this family we had to go and see what was there. Did we find something? well you will need to be here and reading in October to find out.

When we go out for "a little ride" as Mr M calls it there are a few things that govern where we go.
1) we rarely have a final destination in mind when we set out
2) There are driver and screwdrivers. Which is in front of us at a junction can decide which way we turn.
3) Where can we get to from here? We stop to look at something or to get a cuppa and Mr M consults the map in his head to see where he can go to from there.
4) It is not possible to get lost in this country. You are never more than 75 miles from the coast so if you forget exactly where you are it won't be long before you see a signpost or reach the sea.

From Bailey's we headed somewhere else, changed direction because there was a tractor just up ahead on the road we were going to take at some point we went through Upton on Severn - it was shut - and found our way to the Staunton Garden Centre in Staunton and Corse. We also passed by The Hop Pocket - lots of overpriced pretentious sh*te stuff in there and finished up in Leominster - gosh that's where the OK Diner is,yes? Yes. We looked through the doors as we pulled into the carpark and there were at least six people waiting to be seated so we came straight out and went to Morrison's just up the road. They have free crisps with the sandwiches so we stopped there. Once again the coffee machine wasn't working - this seems to be the thing in Morrisons at the moment. Lunch time and the milk runs out.
We then pootled through into Powis and came home the pretty way, Waving to Cousin Andrew as we passed by his house. We always wave and say hi, rude not to really.

and that was Me on Monday. My thanks to Sian over at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this neat way of starting the week. You could go and read hers now that you've read mine

Monday, 3 August 2015

Me on Monday - muttering


Its been a OMG there's a RAT!!!, shut all the doors! Can you come and help us we've bought a bike for Miss Boo? what shall we have for dinner? I just have to finish blanket stitching this camp blanket kind of a weekend.

The rat was spotted first in the garden of my lovely neighbours Debbie n Joe. Isn't it odd that whenever I mention my neighbour that's the name, not just Debbie but the whole thing even though the most words I have exchange with Joe have been three hellos and a "Isn't the weather good today". Anyhoooooo. Mr M looked out of the kitchen window to see if the sparrows were still stuffing their faces on the bird feeder and to his amazement there was a rat on there filling him self up with suet balls. This morning I saw a rat outside my back door so I rang the council and guess what? They no longer have a pest control department. What sort of a council thinks that getting rid of the pest control department is a good idea? We think the rats are in our gardens because the factory just across from us has dug a trench in their yard - probably for the drains and this has disturbed the rats - Now we have to find a private pest control firm and arrange a price.

My Darling Daughter and Biker Boy have bought a new bike for Miss Boo. She had her bike stolen from their locked back yard last year so now she has a lovely new bike that is locked into the shed in the locked back yard. Miss Boo is delighted and spent most of Sunday riding up and down the pavement between her ouse and ours

We have a freezer full of food and nothing for dinner. Youngest Son was out all day on Sunday, playing golf. He has filled his holiday with doing things for other people and especially doing things for me. He has watered the tomatoes and the beans, carried things up and down stairs, done shopping in Farmfoods - that's why the freezer is full at the moment, He drove us to places when Mr M wasn't driving because of his stitches and has generally been jolly helpful. He will need another holiday to recover!
I have completed the camp blankets for my youngest grandsons. I will put pictures on here after they have received them.

Mr M is feeling much better after a week of recovery and went to work this morning. I hate it when he is out of my sight and my mind is constantly hoping it is time for him to come home - daft but true. It seems that things are back to normal here at Macey Towers.

So this is Me on Monday My thanks, as ever to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this idea and allowing us to share

Monday, 27 July 2015

Me on Monday - relieved to have him home

It's been a getting Mr M to the hospital for his minor surgery, worrying most of Saturday until I got him home, sleazing on Sunday until Dinner with the Bluefunnels sort of a weekend.
Mr M has been waiting for six months to go in for a small operation that for anyone else would be a day case and home. Because he has diabetes they have to ensure that they cover their asses and make sure his sugar levels don't spiral out of control and stuff like that. He had to go in on Friday after work. He didn't finish work until 8pm so YS took him down - his own plan was to drive the car down there and park it in the car park and then when he came out drive home. We persuaded him otherwise, thank goodness and so I woke up after a fitful night's sleep and from 5,30am and was NOT worrying.
He sent me a text saying he was second on the list and then what seemed like days later he texted to say he was waiting for the discharge papers and his phone was dying. I changed my shoes and collected my handbag and went to the hospital, found him and this got things moving so that I could text YS and he came and collected us.
It was decidedly good to have Mr M home and as YS and the rest of the family were all out celebrating a 50th birthday we ordered chinese food and sleazed.
On Sunday I checked my tomato plants and picked four - yes four! lovely tomatoes. A message from Lady B asked if we felt like travelling up to their house in the clouds for dinner. YS had never been up there so we all trooped up the hill and enjoyed a really relaxing evening with good food, good company and a huge amount of laughter. There was gravy so Mr M asked for his bib before he started his meal but it was me that ended up with the dinner medals all down the front of my shirt. This reminded me why I don't eat gravy.
Lady B is recovering well from her knee replacement - well according to everyone else she is way ahead of where she is expected to be in her recovery but as far as she is concerned it is too slow, much too slow. It is four weeks since her operation and she still has swelling and she can't run yet!! Everyone else is gasping for breath at the speed of her recovery - ah it is so good to see that some things never change. She never did like waiting
So that's Me on Monday, invented by Sian over at FromHighInTheSky why not take a look over there now that you've read mine.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Me on Monday Injured and hurting

It's been a fixed the car, shopped at Costco, shopped at Morrisons, read hurtful things about me on a forum, made sunday dinner and cut my finger, allowed both hurts to get to me sort of a weekend.

The car has been fixed so no more water is escaping through grotty pipes. This is the good thing. We shopped at Costco and forgot some essentials but bought a fly zapper - one of those blue light thingies you see in food shops. Mr M has wanted one for years so it sits up on the top of the cupboard and glows bluely. I sneakretly like it too, it is a gadget and I do crave gadgets.

Saturday YS went off to his school reunion - I am not sure I understand these things other than that they are a place to show everyone you hated at school how well you have done in the intervening years. If you haven't made the effort to keep in touch then those people will probably not find a niche in your real life. But there you are, even though family history fascinates me, looking back into my past is not something I do very often .... unless there's a good story and then I can reminisce with the best of you. I walked out of school at the earliest possible moment and never looked back I kept in touch with one person afterwards but even that link has gone now.

I posted some useful information that our local FH Society had on their website onto a genealogy forum. I said that Parishchest.com had sent out an email to all the traders on their website telling them that PC would be closing down on 10th August. A lot of people who didn't know this immediately emailed PC who f*cking denied it and went onto another forum to tell people not to believe the rumours! Then a member of the forum where I put my post - in all innocence I might add - had a go at me for spreading rumours and untruths. It was explained to them that I had posted and 9.22pm and they had posted on the other forum the change of mind that they were now looking at selling to someone else and not closing at 7.01am the following day.

Did I get an apology? of course not, one of the posters on the other forum even went so far as to hint that I posted out of spite. I have not and will not post on the forum where I originally posted and I am not allowed to post on the other forum because they refused my membership - because of what the woman from PC said about me. This festered over the weekend and was not helped by cutting my finger on the grater-plate of my food processor. I don't do things like that. I rarely cut myself but I had successfully grated carrot and stuff for the coleslaw and when I was washing the plate it turned in my hand and cut my ring finger on my left hand just on the edge of my nail. BOY did that hurt and I bled like a stuck pig, all over the sink and the drainer and the floor and the tea towel and the roll of kitchen paper and the table and Mr M as he was being the ministering angel and sticking a plaster on it.
Feeling a lot better for having got that off my chest so my thanks to Sian for inventing Me on Monday. and Thank you for reading this

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Car saga revisited

It was losing water!!! This caused overheating which made it go into "limp mode"

The problem was that they could not find where it was doing this losing of water. They had it from Wednesday to Friday and Mr M brought it home - he was sick of driving the courtesy daewoo because his knees were bruising his ears and Mr M is not built for folding.

When he arrived home he did the usual three-point turn at the top of the street and when he got out he could clearly see the trail of water on the road surface. He discussed it with Youngest Son who said "Let's go and have a look." so they did but they could not see where the water was coming from, no puddle under the engine.
Mr M said he would do another turn around and see if that helped so YS stood and watched and as the car pulled forward it revealed a large puddle - under the BACK of the car. The pipes that take the hot water to the rear heaters were leaking like a sieve! A quick call the the garage and at 8am today they took it down and showed them exactly where it is leaking. It is being fixed as I write

Who would think to look at the rear of a car for a water leak on the cooling system? Well not them or us obviously. Thank goodness that YS began his army career in vehicle maintenance before changing trades.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Me on Monday sorry Tuesday. - sick car

It was a weekend of good ideas thwarted, staying home knitting and unknitting and having to dry uniforms in the house because it is raining.

Mr M had a really good idea for one of the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt pictures so on Saturday morning we set off, stopping for fuel and a bottle of water on the way. We were, to quote from The Blues Brothers "Heading north to put the word on the streets".
Well, perhaps not literally.
Anyhoooo, off we went. Along the A4042 heading for Abergavenny then onto the bypass. As we passed the turning that leads back into Abergavenny the car began to slow down and there was no vrooom when Mr M pressed the accelerator - sorry to get so technical - so we turned into the road that led back and kind of coasted into the first layby. We waited a few minutes then Mr M tried again but still no vrooom. I rang the AA and the very nice lady took the details and then said "the time is now 10.10am and the patrolman will be with you by 11.30am"
So we waited. We opened the back of the car and had a good sort out and then fixed the very back seat - it's a seven seat Kia Sedona and the back seat can be pushed forward to make more luggage space. Somehow it had got itself half pushed forward so it flopped about when we were travelling, very irritating.
We got back into our seats and waited.
We had a little snooze and then waited some more. Then the nice man rang me to make sure he knew where we were.
He arrived. turned the key, the car started but we knew that would happen. He pressed the accelerator and it vrooomed!!
They kept the engine running and stood by the open bonnet (Hood for my American  readers) and had what looked like a serious discussion. I was sitting in my seat working out how to strangle a car so I couldn't hear them.
He filled out the form, I signed it and off we went. By this time it was too late to go where we intended for the picture so we headed for Paige's Fish and Chips in Cwmbran and b****r me if the car didn't do exactly the same thing again. We decided to go have some lunch then get the thing home and talk to the garage on Monday.
brainstorming it with son and daughter and son-in-law later we decided that it has to be something to do with the cooling system because Mr M assured me that what it did by losing vrooom and allowing us to pootle along in first gear was something called "limp mode"
I know, it sounds kind of vaguely like we ought to snigger when we say it but it's not that sort of limp apparently, it is the lame kind of limp.
I have been informed by those who know these things that with electronic acceleration (and who knew we had such new fangled shi stuff in our car) if things get overheated then the vroom cuts out so it could be either the thermostat is not working or the water pump. Mr M has his fingers crossed for the thermostat
The rest of the weekend was quiet. I knitted and unknitted the same piece four times before I got it right and I did manage to get the uniforms for youngest son washed and dried.
The car goes to the garage on Wednesday and should be back on Thursday - Mr Ms shifts get in the way of collecting it any sooner and then who knows, perhaps we can try for that picture again. It will be worth it

That's me on Monday Tuesday 

Monday, 6 July 2015

Me on Monday - meals on wheels

It was a nip out to take the tetrapacks to the tip and buy birdseed and find nice yarn instead, a let's get fish and chips and take it to the Bluefunnels for dinner because Lady B is incapacitated, put two loads of washing on the line and stare in amazement as rain falls like (as we say around here) stair-rods, a let's get the tomatoes watered even though said stair-rods should have been enough, a "Mum remind me to buy milk" "we have a cows nest in the fridge so take two from there" kind of a weekend.

Mr M suggested that we should take the bagful of tetrapacks to the tip before they do him permanent damage. The bag hangs on the side of the cupboard and as it fills it sticks out enough to catch his shoulder every time he goes to the bathroom downstairs. I don't notice it as it is over my head. He added that we could go to "Buyology" where they always have stuff we desperately need and get a bag of seed for the wild birds. So we picked up the bag and off we went. We remembered to take the used batteries too. Buyology only had peanuts. Sparrows don't really care for peanuts, the last big bag we bought went mouldy. we moved on and I managed to get anoth contender for 6. A Metal Bridge in the Summertime Scavenger Hunt - our lovely Transporter Bridge.
We had arranged with Lord and Lady B that we would pick up Fish and Chips and take it up to their eirie because Lady be had a new knee just two weeks ago and while her recovery is happening it is not going as quickly as she had scheduled. Lady B cannot bear to be idle so the enforced rest is driving her insane and yet her trauma to her body is not going away even though she has shouted at it. I am sure that she thought she would be able to cope with the pain without the major league pain-killers and now feels she has failed because she has to take them. I have probably said this before when talking about Lord and Lady B but as an only child Lord B was and is the closest I have to a baby brother and when he first brought the girl who was to become his wife to meet us we found an instant connection that has continued for the rest of our lives. We are not the same, oh no but we think the same thoughts and laugh at the same things and if I called her and said "I need you" she would keep me on the phone while she was running for the car - new knee or not.

I put the washing on the line while Mr M did a grocery shop on Sunday and I was so proud of myself for getting two loads of washing out onto the line. As he returned with all the bags of groceries the heavens opened and dumped a river onto the road outside the front door.
Later that evening I went down to see if anything was dry enough to bring in and on checking the tomato plants I discovered that they were really dry.
My daughter popped in on her way to play tennis with Miss Boo and mentioned that she would have to buy milk. For some reason we haven't used as much as usual so I told her to take a couple of bottles from the cows nest - there were 11 pints of milk in there and only the two of us this weekend.

So that was me on Monday. This was invented by Sian at FromHighInTheSky so why not pop over there now that you've read this.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Me on Monday - limping again

It's been a good grief where did the week go kind of a weekend. A hugging unexpected visitors, avoiding cooking, going grocery shopping and taking painkillers for that darned twanged muscle kind of a weekend. It has also been a strawberries from my own plants eating kind of a weekend and a counting the tomatoes forming on the vines too. Also it was a finding out that my cuz was already in hospital and had her new knee while I was thinking she would be going in this week kind of a shocking weekend

Coming home from our weekend on a Monday threw everything out of kilter and it was Wednesday for three days. We settled in on Saturday morning to a I'll-just-get-this-washing-out-and-then-we'll-go-out kind of a day when I got a message on FB from someone we dearly love. Would we, he asked, be available for some visitors?
I conveyed the query to Mr M who gave me a delighted smile and said yes. I sent the message and we waited. I did other things like eat some strawberries off my four plants and check the tomato plants for sideshoots and the bean plants for signs of flowers. Then suddenly they were here and we were hugged and even though Pax Draconis really doesn't hug he had to submit. His partner, Doberman A, does hug so that was great. We did the teabag experiment* and tried to cram as much talking about stuff into as short a time as possible.
The twanged muscle keeps re-twanging itself, this is such a darned inconvenience and I prepared to have a real good moan and be a bit of a martyr about it. Then I discovered that my cousin had her operation for a new knee last week and is now recovering and that put my pain into perspective, so I rubbed the offending area with Voltarol Gel and I will be elevating my legs just as soon as I finish here

*Teabag experiment: Where there are unidentified teabags in the same tin as the airtight bag of green tea and you know you only bought one pack of green tea so they have to be brewed and tasted. They were mint tea

MeOnMonday was invented by Sian over at FromHighInTheSky why not pop over there and read hers now that you've read mine

Monday, 22 June 2015

Me on MOnday - The Ninja Cat of Ilminster

It's been an Anniversary celebrating, five days on our own, Wolf Hall costumes, Ninja Cat experiencing, laughing till I fell out of bed,  Donkey sanctuary visiting, Gift wrapping a Castle kind of a weekend.
Wolf Hall Costumes
Barrington Hall was the second property on our list of places we wanted to visit. the first was Lytes Cary Manor (say it fast and see what we call it). Barrington Hall is wonderful and weird and was the setting for several scenes in the Wolf Hall series and there is a display of the costumes from the series. The stitching is just amazing. All the visible stitching is hand done and I believe that the costumes were made according to the way they would really have been done in Tudor times.

Anniversary Dinner at a Hungry Horse The Stone Gallows at Taunton. The food was fabulous and my medium steak was done to perfection
but they don't tell you how much they charge
OK so now let me tell you about the NInja Cat of Ilminster. We were staying at the Travelodge at Ilminster, on the ground floor. The windows only open a little way so that unwelcome intruders can't get in and unsacoury people can't throw the furniture out of the windows and make off with it. We had been out all day visiting places and eating and came back to the hotel about 8pm - dirty stop-outs that we are. We read our books and kindles and talked. We listened to the cast of Riverdance practising upstairs and eventually we settled down and went to sleep. We were woken at around 2am by loud Miaowing outside it was only for about half a minute and it stopped. We dozed off again and around 2.30am the miaowing began again. Mr M decided to have a look and shoo the cat away. He got out of bed and went to the window. Now the curtains in the travelodge hotels are pretty effective at blocking the light so he reached for the curtain to pull it open and pushed the cat back out of the window! Somehow it had managed to wiggle itself through the little gap into our room.
Mr M was so shocked he stepped swiftly back before grabbing the curtain and then shutting the windows. I started to laugh and sit up and fell off the bed. Fortunately I landed on my feet or it would have taken a crane to lift me up again.

Donkey sanctuary
We visited the Donkey Sanctuary and confirmed in my mind that when I win the lottery I will have a place where we can foster some of the donkeys

 We visited Killerton Court and gardens and on Sunday went to Castle Drogo and Finch Foundry

Castle Drogo is 2 years into a 5 year programme of conservation and repair which is seeing the roof removed and a special membrane put in and then the roof put back. To do this they have to remove part of the walls too and the stones are numbered and mapped and then stored. it was so interesting even though we couldn't see the rooms as they usually are just learning about the work and how it is done was fascinating.
We liked it so much we had it gift wrapped

 To finish our break we came home via Tiverton where we visited Knightshayes - designed and built by William Burgess who also did Castall Coch and Cardiff Castle. amazing, although a long walk from the car park to the house when Mr M has poorly knees and my twanged muscle was making my tendon click. All together a fantastic weekend and just what we needed.

Me on Monday is the brainchild of Sian at FromHighinTheSky why not pop over there and take a look at hers now that you've read mine.


Monday, 15 June 2015

Me on Monday - The Bluefunnels

 It was a day out with the Bluefunnels and the Black Country Living Museum, buy a harmonica for Miss Boo, play the legs game on the way home, stay in because of the Velathon on Sunday sort of a weekend.

Mr M once said that there are very few people that we could spend 10 or more hours in the company of and still be speaking and planning the next excursion. The Lord Admiral and his Lady are two of that exclusive band. We travelled on the Trolley Bus at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley. It was great and the "clippie" was brilliant.


Mr M sitting at the trolley/tram/bus stop. His knees hurt - as do the knees of Lord and Lady B. I am the oldest and the only one that is pain free!

We did enjoy the shops and the houses, the pub with sawdust on the floor. Expensive but well worth a visit. As it was quite a journey from our home town we stopped at Jo's Place for breakfast and that set us up and kept us going so that we could travel the pretty way and play the legs game. Lord and Lady B were in a dead heat with 12 points when we arrived home. I came last.
We stopped in our favourite eaterie for a burger, well burgers for me and her Ladyship while the two Cs had the "All the Way" Hotdog. free refills for coffee for me and afterwards we slumped in the car and had to work hard to keep alert.

A brief stop at a garden centre for me to buy a new watering can as my old one had developed a squirt - no way it could be called a leak as the water was squirting across the garden as I was trying to fill it.

I grudgingly bought a plastic one this time. Now I am convinced that I will fill it with water and then drop it and break it. I had only had the old metal one for 40 years

Thought you might like to see my view when we are travelling in the Bluefunnels car. In our car I sit behind the driver - what? why? well, because that's the way we have always done it so that the longest legs are in the front. OH and their car has a glass roof which makes things really light but does strange things to your brain when watching the rain drops on it at 60 mph

So that's Me on Monday. This was invented by Sian at FromHighInTheSky why not pop over there and read hers now that you've read mine. This weeke she has fishlips kissing ... go on you know you want to