Friday, 21 November 2014

Good Neighbours

Photo copyright: Maggie May


Aren't Spider's webs beautiful? When you come to think about it, they are so cleverly and laboriously made, considering they come from a creature that causes so much distaste and fear, to some, anyway You either love them or hate them, especially if they accidentally brush right across your face when you walk through the garden.
This one was noticed before I loaded my washing on the rotary one early morning when the dew was still on it.

We're still having mild weather and I have roses out in bloom which seems really weird in November.
I have seen on TV the havoc that parts of USA are having with heavy snow falls at present and obviously the weather is really being affected by Global Warming. No one seems to be getting their normal weather anymore.

I have some good neighbours and every bin collection that is due, Karen's husband kindly wheels my whole assortment of bins and recycling boxes out to the pavement on the evening before collection. I also wheel out my other neighbour's bin because he keeps forgetting to empty his. This struck me as rather funny. The one with a bad back having her bins moved to save her from being injured, who then wheels out another neighbour's bin because he keeps muddling up when he has to put it out. Between us, though, everybody seems to be happy. 
Have you got good neighbours?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Ancient and Modern

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

I recently went into our city Cathedral on impulse on one of my Thursday afternoons off. I hadn't been there for a good while and although I had to be careful walking in a dimly lit building because the floor levels seemed quite uneven in places with unexpected steps going up or down, I did feel that the windows were so spectacular and luckily I had my camera with me. 
I'm sure my photos don't do them justice but I was overawed by the magnificence of the large windows in the traditional style of Bible illustrations and I was also taken with this small modern one in a corner that I found by chance.
The whole place had a kind of aura of peace and I felt quite small thinking of all the generations of people who had worshipped there and walked before me.
There were memorial stones underfoot wherever I went and tombstones in recesses.
Do other people have these sensations when they go into a very old building/church/cathedral?

Our weather seems to be really muddled and we have experienced sunny days followed by constant rain. A bad day can follow a good one and then it goes back to the bad. The temperature of each day is very varied too from mild to decidedly chilly. I should think the flora and fauna would be really baffled by it.

I was very moved to see the thousands of ceramic poppies that were put around the Tower of London, in a place that used to be the moat. It was meant to be a sea of blood, to represent the soldiers lost in all the recent wars, from WW1 to the present time. Although I got to see it on TV, I wasn't able to go to London. There were thousands upon thousands of individual poppies that were *planted* there, each one representing a soldier who was killed. Even viewing it on TV gave me a really moving feeling of all the suffering that had been caused in the past and is still being caused through war today.
I think you could still Google the Tower of London poppies if you haven't seen this spectacle that was created by an artist for Armistice day on 11th November.

I am amazed/almost dismayed at the amount of Christmas things that are already filling up the shops. Apart from vaguely totting up whether I shall have enough Christmas cards, I haven't given it much thought.
I have some important Birthdays to get through first.
Is it too soon to be thinking of Christmas?

Saturday, 1 November 2014

My Least Favourite.....



I think I can honestly say that November is my least favourite month.
However it started in a really strange way, being unusually warm and sunny.
There was a BBC News announcement yesterday, saying that Halloween was the warmest ever recorded. We were walking around in short sleeves and this was unheard of when I was young and probably in all the years that I can remember and that's quite a few.
I've recently had my daughter and the two grandsons staying for the best part of a week. It was really lovely to have them. The youngest one is now over 6ft tall and almost knocks his head when he goes through the kitchen archway.
Now they have left, it is quiet and Harry and I are getting into our routine again. He loves routine and I suppose it helps me to get everything done in some kind of order. 
I organised the helper to come on Thursday even though I had visitors and I was really pleased that I was taken to Clevedon, a small seaside resort fairly near to Bristol but too far for me to normally go in the allotted time that the sitter is here, in my daughter's car. That was a lovely treat, especially as the weather was so pleasant. I noticed I was not as good at walking as I was when I last went there a couple of years ago. Cranky hip and knee pain and a numb foot slows me down considerably. Oh well, what can you expect at my age?
I thought I would just mention that I'm having a bit of a problem leaving comments on some blogs, so I'm sorry about that. It is mainly when people use Blogger+ and I've decided not to use it. I also find that some other types of blogs won't let me comment either. I wonder if there is some kind of button that some of you haven't pressed to let ordinary bloggers in?
One other of my blogging friends has also noticed this. Have any of you had problems?

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Village Wedding


Anyone who's visited my home over the last six months will be able to now say, "Well, thank Goodness you've got that done at long last."It has taken me all of that time to complete this 1000 piece jigsaw. I did have a good rest from it over the summer but family and friends have seen it lurking about in the front room (lounge) in various stages of being put together, but definitely incomplete. 
I was quite inspired by the figures inside the picture but what was so difficult was the large volume of sky and the country path that are not seen in the photo as I sort of zoomed in a bit on the centre.
In case anyone is wondering, the original picture was painted by Sir Samuel Luke Fildes (1843-1927). I must admit that I'd never heard of him but it's the kind of picture that appeals to me.

I am grateful for the way that I can get absorbed in a jigsaw the same way as I can read a book, tackle an easy crossword or a do simple sudoko but I think the jigsaw is more creative and meditative.
I must admit that I do shut myself into the front room quite often. How people can live in a small flat or house with their *other half* around them all the time, I shall never know. All I can say is that you're a better person than I am if you can do that.
Do you like to live in each other's pockets or do you like to spread out? What type of person are you?


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Weather For Frogs Maybe.......

Photo Copyright: Maggie May


There's a real feel of Autumn in the weather now and we've had much cooler, shorter days and our share of rain and high winds too. I guess that is fine for frogs and ducks..... but I like it a bit warmer.
I'm glad of the new central heating that we had installed during the summer, though I'll have to ask our son, Sam, to show us how to operate the settings as I am a technophobe about such things. For the time being, though, I can work it manually, which is sufficient for now.

For those who are wondering about the slugs coming into the kitchen (look at my last post), I think I've solved the problem. I have put cardboard in the gaps between the bottom of the units and the floor. It was such a small space that I wouldn't have thought that a slug could make itself that small. They will eventually eat through the card but I have lots more. Of course, it doesn't explain how they got in under the units in the first place as I can't see any possible place from outside. Other people tell me they're having the same problem, which helps a bit.

Harry's health is much the same. We get good days and bad but on the whole, we're still in a good routine. If I can keep things ticking away like this, we'll be fine. 
Today is my day off, when his carer comes to sit with him. It's not quite so appealing to be out in the colder weather, but I guess I'll find plenty of indoor things to do and will wrap up warm.
I have some shopping to do and then I'll have a little think.........

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Not In MY House



Slugs have always given me the creeps but I have always left them alone outside.
I haven't used slug pellets because of the frogs, toads, hedgehogs, birds and other small creatures who might be affected by eating the poisoned slug.
However, my patience is fast running out. 
For the past week I've noticed small brown slugs crawling up onto my work bench after dark. At first I couldn't believe my eyes and the offensive first few were carefully removed with tissue and thrown outside. I sprayed the tops with disinfectant which I left neat on the counter tops, feeling sure that they'd be killed if they came back. That proved to be no big deal to them and they just travelled around it.
I've searched high and low for a hole or entry point. How would a slug get into my kitchen? Or to be more realistic...... how would an army of slugs get in?
They don't give me a trail to follow to an entry point. That in itself seems strange.
In fact they seem to be very clever in evading detection.
Last night, I thought I'd get the better of them and I left a sprinkling of salt on the floor near the place they seem to choose to climb up to the tops, thinking that would surely finish them off but no........ I went in there late in the evening and saw them just skirting round the salt and seemingly unharmed by it.
Tonight I will be forced to put down slug pellets on the floor. 
Can't think what else to do short of napalming the whole area!
Any ideas?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Summer Break!



We continue to have beautiful weather and it looks like we are experiencing what we call an Indian Summer. Our weather seems mixed up, probably due to climate change, as August was not a good month at all. We are continually being surprised.

Harry and I are settling into a good routine and we seem to be growing accustomed to each other's needs.
Obviously there are good days and there are bad ones but to keep on an even keel like we are at present, seems good.
I just went into the garden to drink a mug of tea while I sat in the sun. I heard a bit of a crack..... fortunately I noticed the metal seat was giving way on one side before I reached the ground. I know I'm a bit overweight but didn't think enough for a metal seat to break. I noticed it had corroded with rust underneath on one side so I'm let off rapid dieting.
Now I have to think whatever to do with the cumbersome thing, as it's wrecked beyond repair!

I'm quite enjoying having the upstairs all to myself and am getting the bedrooms in some kind of order.
My new cleaner comes in for the first time next week and I feel I have to get everything tidier.
I wasn't sure which room I actually did sleep in as I seemed to have things spread over in different rooms because Harry was needing a room to himself so I was moving about a bit while we were in a state of uncertainty.
Now I've decided, I'm back in the front and I'm slowly moving my things there.
In the meantime, Harry really loves his bedsit downstairs and we both seem to get a reasonable nights sleep.
So it seems we are both benefitting from the new arrangement.

Millie our youngest granddaughter still comes for breakfast most mornings before school. Amber, her older sister started secondary school this term so I don't see much of her now.
However, I was coming home from a shopping trip in town the other afternoon and I saw a person who was taking up a double seat because of a musical instrument and I asked if I could sit there. What a surprise when the person smiled and I saw I'd sat next to Amber. She looked so grown up in her school uniform and the instrument was a trombone that she is learning to play.
We had a lovely chat and she got out her music to show me. She is most fortunate to get into a very good school where music is predominant.
I wonder what the chances were, of me getting on that very bus in our busy city, at just the right time and attempting to sit on that very same seat next to Amber?