Sunday, 25 September 2022

Car Reliance

 

I’m going into work late today. Bluebell is playing up and I’m waiting for a man with the van to get her going again. 
I’m hoping it’s something simple. 
I have some time owed to me and there are enough trained staff to cover my absence until things can be sorted.
I’m lucky today, that this is the case.
Relying on a car is given to country people. 
It’s also a pain when things go wrong. 
I work 23 miles away from Trelawnyd which doesn’t sound far, but depending on traffic it’s a 40 - 45 minute commute one way on a bad day
Twice last week I caught pub quiz Claire walking to Dyserth to catch a bus to Rhyl. The walk on grass verges with long grass and no pavements next to a busy A road is difficult and potentially dangerous. She was waiting for her new car to be delivered and as there is no public transport available until later morning she just had to walk to work….I was happy to give her a lift, even though Dorothy never stopped barking.
I remember just a few years ago now when Aunty Gladys was in her late nineties and starting to get a bit confused she once set out on a dark winters morning to walk to the doctor’s surgery on the same road. 
Luckily two “ delightful “ policemen picked her up and took her home before disaster occurred 

Bluebell has her main service and Mot next week. 
She has served me well for the past few years 
And I hope she will last me a few more





Saturday, 24 September 2022

Mrs Harris and Other Stories

 


I bought a second hand book online last week and it arrived yesterday. Paul Gallico’s The Snow Goose. The novella was written in the 1940’s and read by me when I was eleven back in 1973. 
It haunted me then, 
The visuals in my head of the snow goose circling the little boat in Dunkirk

I have not read it since although one of Gallico’s later novels The Poseidon Adventure is still one of my most favourite and perplexing reads. 
Gallico’s seems to be haunting me a little for after seeing this trailer I’ve booked to see Mrs Harris Goes To Paris at the Storyhouse 
It’s a gentle movie,I know I’d like 


I didn’t know until recently that Paul Gallico wrote the novel 



Friday, 23 September 2022

Pond



 The velvet voiced Linda and I had our first Pond Open Day meeting last night over one of her lethal gin and bitter lemons . The other members of the TCA have done all of the hard work clearing the land and planting and setting up the decking and the like. 
Our remit is just to sort out the open day which will, I’m hoping include the school children who I suggest will be conscripted into a competition to design a pond logo.
Flintshire council will have a whole plethora of environmental experts we may be able to use on the day and with the promise of free home made cakes and cups of tea, I’m sure we will have an impressive turn out. 
I didn’t stay too late. I’m mindful of not outstaying my welcome as Linda and hubby Nick are such good company so it had just turned properly dark when I left their cosy cottage which overlooks the pond and original village green.
It’s one of my favourite places in the village and one of the oldest. A square boarded on three sides with houses and cottages. The fourth side, the pond and lane leading to the Livery Stables and the ruined Siambr Wen 
Youth club Bridget and her family, Boffin Cameron and his , the Manley’s , Mr Poznań  all live on the quadrangle and each house ,was cheerfully lit up behind Living room curtains and small door windows. 
I walked over to the pond and stood watching the bats flashing in black shadows over the water for a while. 
And I feel grateful I am home


Cack Handed

 Many years ago now, a doctor who was neurologically assessing my patient paused and watched me draw up some medication into a syringe. 
Because I am clumsy I always draw up meds in a certain way which may look conspicuous to those clinical staff that do it day in and day out. 
The way I do it minimises the chance of me dropping the glass vial but does look somewhat ham fisted to others. The doctor asked me if I had a tendency to drop things.
I was intrigued and told him that I often dropped items at work and when cooking 
Do you know a millisecond before you drop something that you are going to drop it?” he asked and that was a lightbulb moment. For this strange phenomenon has happened for all of my life.
When I was a child I was called cackhanded
As a teen, I was just gauche and awkward. 
I cannot dance, I am often awkward in my own skin and I fall over when others don’t.
My fine coordination can be lacking and at choir when Jamie feels he wants to push his chorus to some movement to accompany the singing, it is universally amusing that I cannot do both
I am, also well know for food stains down my t shirts

“I think you have a mild form of motor Dyspraxia” the doctor told me and I felt so much better after decades of being called clumsy and by association a bit dim .

I repaired the back door handle today. It was fiddly, especially as  there was a tiny Allen key to negotiate, one   which I must have dropped a hundred times. But after an absolute age I had drilled new holes, matched up the handles with the spindle and got the handle working well.

I’m meeting someone for lunch and have just realised I’m almost late…..
Check my T shirt 
Yeap! 

There’s breakfast egg all down the front of it.



Thursday, 22 September 2022

Dreary Day

 

What a difference a day makes.
The weather is miserable, it’s wet and very damp and the dogs are restless.
Dorothy woke me up at 7 am- gently occluding my airway with her throat until I woke up…it works like a dream.
I’ve walked them now twice in the rain, shopped bought a new back door handle ( it broke last night in Trendy Carol’s husband’s hand) and cleaned the cottage . 
By the time I’d bleached the kitchen floor and hung damp washing next to the thermal store it was almost two in the afternoon and I’ve decided to do no more.
Feet are up on the couch 
A Victorian thriller on the tv.

I’ve heard we have a Ukrainian family living in the village . They have children in the school. It would be nice to meet them and say hello. There is a coffee morning on Saturday on in the hall they may well be going to , but I’m working 

The interest rates have gone up today. 
I’ve held off lighting the fire until later
I’ve put a jumper on

Ps in Roger’s Aladdin Crate cave of Stolen goods tonight
Another flip flop, a lurid purple microwaveable bowl ( my soup tea) one dog lead, 
One paperback ( thankfully now chewed) “ Basics of counselling” 
And my best reading glasses with the arms chewed off

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

The Welsh Orient Express



 Nu and I had a table to ourselves in a coach that looked as though it had been plucked directly from the set of Murder On The Orient Express
It was quite lovely


The train left Chester just after 9 am and we were tucking into a glorious brunch soon after we skirted Oswestry and followed the Welsh border south towards Cardiff. 
The staff couldn’t do enough for us.



A friendly middle aged lady sat opposite us with her elderly parents. They were from Whitstable and it was the parents anniversary . She quipped that she knew that Nu and I were not married and were friends 
“ you never stop talking to each other” she said
It was true , we have talked for twelve hours straight.
The train went through Hereford and entered Cardiff around one and we walked up to Cardiff Castle where our guide showed us through the Victorian house, through rooms King Charles held private meetings in only last week.

The quadrangle at Cardiff Castle

The beautiful roof garden on the top of the Castle’s Tower


We finished at the Castle, had a drink in the sunshine and mooched around the city centre before catching the Northern Belle home.

The five course dinner which was served in the deco dining car was truly lovely and by the time we came to a final halt back in Chester Nu was sipping the last of her port and I had just finished my coffee as the 1930s singer ( complete with spats) sang me happy birthday

I’m so lucky to have Nu
The day was perfect





Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Northern Belle






 It’s too late to play around with blogger. I have Uni every Tuesday evening until 9 pm and tonight blogger won’t even let me comment at all on my own blog after I eventually sat down fifteen minutes ago.
I eventually gave up the ghost

Tomorrow Im off with Nu on the Northern Belle,
It’s her birthday gift for my 60th…
She’s always come up trumps in my life….always has

What larks Pip



Balancing The Books


 It’s autumn and with yesterday all done and dusted the passing into another season feels so much more poignant. 
I’ve dug out jumpers and made pea and mint soup this morning and walked the dogs at 7.30 am when it felt cold and quiet and darker than I expected. 
And the day has an anticlimactic feel to it, which is exactly what I didn’t want to happen
And so I’ve taken my coffee upstairs and opened the office again.
Roger is happy in the kitchen, where I have hidden tiny bits of dry bagel around his bedding and under the table . He is happily searching for crumbs with satisfied nom noms when one is found.
Mary is asleep on the reading chair.
I am behind on paperwork today. 
Of looking at the bills,
Of checking for the best deals, of balancing the books.
There are other things that need sorting too. 
Online mandatory training for work, the Village Pond open day 
Updating the village website
Organising a meal here for my family ( it’s been over 5 years since I hosted anything) 
A super dinner party for friends, promised and overdue.
My friend Nigel hasn’t visited for a few years too, he needs a date to come over

I haven’t made lists in ages. 
Spare time is wasted on tiktok, YouTube, day dreaming, going out!
I need to make one today.
The filofax is ready.

I feel I need to be worried more about money too
The electricity bills need checking
Bloody hell the website says I’m 700 quid in credit ! 
There’s a turn up for the books! 
Shit, I’ve just remembered Bluebell needs an MOT and service 
Bollocks I need to get dog wormer too! 

11 am and 16 things ticked off so far
Just 15 bigger things to do






Monday, 19 September 2022

Happy Days Again

My nephew went to London yesterday, he’s been a bit low recently 
He went to soak up the emotion and experience of the “Queen’s Weekend”  and also met up with his daughter who lives there .
He sent me this photo last night after meeting up with her and her boyfriend,
They were scootering through central London

I love it so much


Funeral

 

I think broadcaster Huw Edwards explained the pomp and traditions around a State Funeral to me better than anyone else has.
He said a few days ago that a State Funeral is designed to be SEEN .
That resonated with me 
It makes sense.
The lying in state, the Grandchildren’s vigil and the Queue ( which was a phenomenon all of its own)  all had a theatrical, visual and ceremonial power of their own and in the case of the “ the queue” allowed the public to give a nod or a curtsy with their own faces joined in the spotlight.



I’m watching the tv now and will add to today’s blog as the morning progresses. 

Justin Trediau has just arrived who , apart from King Felipe of Spain, must be one of the most attractive world leaders.


The gun carriage has just left WestMinster hall amid a blast of bagpipers 
The hair on my neck , stands up.




142 sailors pulled the gun carriage through the streets from Westminster Hall to the Abbey








I’m glad it’s all over now 
But I’m proud to say , it’s all been done incredibly well, 
I have my highlights……Princess Anne and Sophie, Countess of Wessex have shone out as did the grandchildren’s vigil, not an easy undertaking in anyone’s mind and Charles will be a safe park of hands as king and has already stamped his way forward with his impromptu walkabouts and blustery pen gate.

It’s been a funny old week all told 

Like I said, I’m glad it’s all over

Ps I hope Charles keeps the Queen’s personal bodyguard Major Thomson has proved to be a bit of on line celebrity 





Sunday, 18 September 2022

Chewer

Dorothy is just about coping with Roger’s wayward ways 

I went to stock up on “ funeral food” for tomorrow and wish I hadn’t. 
It was worse than bloody Christmas and Tesco’s was packed.
I got my nibbles, bought faggots in gravy for my tea and added pigs ears to my final items.
Roger needs to chew on something.

The new man in my life is a chewer and a hoarder, only this morning I ventured into his crate to find the following items hidden under his bedding

1 hairbrush
1 flip flop
1 small plastic container of olive tapenade
2 pencils
One sock 
I chewed plastic clothes peg
And oddly the red cloth lobster given to me by Mrs Trellis but with its antenna chewed off