Saturday, 20 December 2014

Christmas Greetings Everyone.

I've had a very hectic few weeks as we've had to travel 17 miles to a hospital in a neighbouring city so that Harry can be assessed by a neurologist for tests with a view to having a shunt in his head to drain off the excess fluid that is pressing on his brain. This might help him to balance better and improve his quality of life.
He has decided to go for the possible operation and has signed the papers already.
However, in order to qualify for this, he has to have further tests done which might mean an overnight stay in hospital beforehand. However, because we haven't any transport and he cannot get into any vehicle unaided, we have to reply on the NHS ambulance service which does make a very long day when we have to go to these appointments. They are always very kind, though and I don't know what we'd do without them.
The possible operation is a ray of hope for us to cling on to.

I've also been to my granddaughter's nativity play at her school where she had an angel part this time. I really enjoy going to these Christmas activities and I also attended a concert that my daughter in law organised for all her pupils (adults and children) she teaches. They all were very high standard flautists (flute players). Some had not been learning for very long at all. 
Millie, my youngest granddaughter recently did very well in her grade 2 examination. (Well, being a grandmother allows one to brag about the grandchildren, doesn't it?).
I'm looking forward to the Carols By Candlelight Service at Church tomorrow evening. 

 We want to wish you all a very Happy Christmas. We're determined to enjoy ours and look forward to my daughter and grandsons spending a good few days with us over the Christmas period.

Merry Christmas, Peace and Goodwill to all men, women and children.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Dual Carriage (way)?

My two granddaughters are of dual heritage (Anglo/Japanese) and strangely enough, most of their favourite friends over the years are also of mixed race, in various forms. They obviously feel akin to people whose parents come from two different lands, even if it seems to be at a subconscious level.
It really doesn't seem to have bothered them in any way, but as my youngest and her friends are now nearing ten, there are obviously some questions being asked.
My friend, Audrey, recently told me that nine year old, Ruby, who is a beautiful coffee colour, began to ask her, "Mummy, am I black or white?"
Audrey explained in depth about Ruby's mixed heritage and thought, well that was that, as she seemed satisfied with her answer.
However, Ruby was later overheard to be saying something to her sister that included the remark, "......after all, I am dual carriage."

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.........