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Friday 31 December 2010

Time for reflection and expectation

new years non~animated

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
(excerpt)Minnie Louise Haskins 1875 – 1957 God Knows, from a collection, The Desert, First published in 1908. Part of George VI broadcast 1939

These words sum up my feelings as another year ends and a new one approaches.

Dark days dwindle into the past; taking with them friends who are no more...
Each year Christmas and birthday cards become fewer...tempus fugit. But I shall not turn this post into maudlin memories. Far better to concentrate on new beginnings...

I finally summoned up the courage to attempt studies at level 3 with the Open University. 'In for a penny, in for a pound'! 60 points to be gained hopefully.

Unlike years ago I shall not party my way into the New Year...but treat myself to some Irish Whiskey whilst watching Jools Holland host his 18th annual special.
new years non~animated

I'm hoping there won't be too many loud bangs from fireworks as the younger dog doesn't like them.

new years banners

Thursday 30 December 2010

Day 30

If anyone had suggested to me I might blog for 30 consecutive days, I would not have believed them. Needless to say "here's day 30".

OH should have been going back to the GP tomorrow, until we had a phone-call from the surgery. Dear GP is in need of a doctor himself and has called in sick. No wonder, as when we saw him he sounded in a bad way. Result? OH admitted over the phone that he's okay on the lower dosage meds. Would he have ever told me that? No, he wouldn't have considered it to be necessary. So, no early get-up tomorrow morning and no trip to the surgery. Phew! But there's no way they'll let OH go another however many years without visiting the GP.

Next, am thinking of dubbing the postman Scarlet Pimpernel lol
"They seek him here,
they seek him there,
they seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That damned elusive (postman) Pimpernel."
why? because with Christmas falling at a weekend, Monday and Tuesday became Bank Holidays and therefore no post. In fact ti was today (Thursday) before we had sight of him. He delivered two errant Christmas cards. At least they weren't brown envelopes (bills).

Keeping with a theme (fiction) an online retailer's having  a sale so have ordered a DVD 'Oh what a glorious war'. Saw the film many years ago but never got my own copy. Next, having watched and thoroughly enjoyed a TV programme celebrating 'Les Miserables 25 years' I think I might look up the sale site and order a copy.

Wednesday 29 December 2010


Before Christmas I visited the opticians. Having become fed-up with my regular place I went to one recommended by a friend. They were most welcoming and the optician was very thorough. I'd already promised myself I'd go for something new. When you've worn glasses for many years and recently 'needed' reading glasses as well as everyday ones...I decided it was time for varifocals. No need to take off to read, but three seamless areas to allow me to see
  • distance
  • middle distance (computer screen)
  • reading
Not content with that (grin) I opted for lenses that react to changing light levels. So, today's the day and now to become accustomed to a new way (to me) to view my world.

Tuesday 28 December 2010


what to post about today...taking my inspiration from Faye at Summit Summit Musings. In her post she mentioned decluttering! Shock! Horror! As an habitual magpie, collector and long-practiced clutterer (grin) the idea of decluttering is an anathema!
Yes, I'm a hoarder! What do I hoard? Anything useful?
  • Yarns of many colours, weights and textures, crochet hooks and knitting needles. These range from fine to chunky. My latest acquisition - a set of bamboo knitting needles.
  • Patterns - knit and crochet
  • Technology - gadgets - 4 laptops of all ages with connectors, plugs and assorted wires. 2 tower pcs hooked-up and a couple of elderly ones in the attic.
  • CDs and DVDs
  • books and magazines
In fact the only thing that regularly gets decluttered is clothing. We have charity collections every so often. So I fill a large 'bin' bag with clothing, leave it outside the gate and it's collected. But I only for certain registered charities.

new years banners

Monday 27 December 2010

Fun Monday - reminiscence

As the end of December and 2010 approach, Jill's theme is:
"Give us a holiday update or an update on your year in general. Where does this year leave you, or where are you going? What do you look forward to, or look back on, with anticipation or joy?  This can take the form of your annual holiday letter, a letter to yourself this time next year, a comparison of last year to this, or whatever you feel comfortable with. Pictures encouraged!"

Dublin's fair city

Where languages co-exist and names are lyrical
Where statues abound
Old and new side-by-side
Sailing ships, new bridges and a new port in the distance

Poignant memories
Fun sculptures
Skillful Irish dancers

Folk tales, 'craic' - Molly Malone (the tart with the cart)

and of course...
the magically beautiful 
River Liffey

Many thanks to Jill at Life is not bubble wrapped for hosting 
Fun Mondays December 2010

Sunday 26 December 2010

Boxing Day

and the freeze goes on...
Weather and travel still make headline news, but top news is the Sales. Checked out a price on-line for neighbour who has an unwanted present. Buyer paid £20 to get it in time for Christmas, sale price now is £10. Neighbour told buyer (year on year) that she neither wanted nor was going to give presents. Not because she's mean or anything like that, but because she isn't flush with money. I appreciate her honesty.
Seems some folk were buying on-line yesterday! I must admit on-line sales are tempting...
I've begun to think of forthcoming birthdays in January. So have looked on-line but not yet come across anything that appeals to me, so no purchases made today. Instead have reviewed my finances, which although a tad 'battered' by Festive expenditure has not been excessive.

Guess I ought to thank my upbringing for instilling in me the value of money!

So, gnome-like am going to save the pennies for another day...

"Pennies are made round to go around, but made flat to pile up"

Saturday 25 December 2010

Today's The Day

Merry Christmas!

I've even been answering the phone with that phrase!
Both lovely neighbours have phoned up with Christmas Wishes for all. So lovely to hear from them and know they are okay.
We won't get chance to meet up for a couple of days as each has family events to attend. Yesterday we had a get-together in the afternoon and what a happy time we had. 'M'2's house rang with laughter. She treated us to some special biscuits and they were delicious but too moreish. 'M'1 asked if I like marshmallows? Someone had bought her a huge tub of them and would I like half? I didn't need asking twice.
OH has just had a good idea...we have tins of chocolates (he always buys in for Christmas). Neither of us like a certain blue-wrapped chocolate, but we know M1 likes them. So we'll pass them to her in exchange for the marshmallows.

'M'2 is delaying going out until this afternoon. She's taking with her some contributions towards the meal.
'M'1 is booked to go out today and tomorrow to spend time with family. Tomorrow she'll take her dog 'R' with her and Auntie will have a Christmas meal and cup of tea ready for 'R' to share in the celerations.

Goddaughter and extended family will today have an enormous family 'do' at the house of one of her uncles. Apparently, he has the largest house, so the 3 brothers, sister and families spend the day there. Each family provides part of the Feast. 

However you choose to spend today...hope you enjoy this Special Day...

Friday 24 December 2010

Xmas Eve!

Wassail - 'Good Health!'

 Here's hoping tomorrow brings joy, friendship, fellowship and laughter.

May we all experience the Joys of Christmas.

Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ •。★Christmas★ 。* 。*From Here To There!!!

° 。 ° ˚* _Π_____*。*˚★ 。* 。*。 • ˚ ˚ •。★
˚ ˛ •˛•*/______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛★ 。* 。*★ 。* 。*
˚ ˛ •˛• | 田田|門| ˚ ˚ ˛ •˛•
And a Happy New Year...One and All...!!!

Thursday 23 December 2010


Across the miles
Through the ether
Along cables
Winging thro' cyberspace
Words fly to and fro

Messages of
Love, compassion, empathy
Joy, sadness, sorrow...
Connecting continents in the blink of an eye.

Hopes voiced
Thoughts shared
Congratulations proffered...
Chatting, hugging, smiling, laughing...

Cyber friends at the click of a mouse
Welcoming me to their world as I do them to mine...

Thank You
Being There

joanygee Dec. 2010

christmas banners

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Dec 22

A wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Those were the days...

We've been sent this great photo of a frozen milk bottle... on Twitpic

I like social networking and follow Twitter, this image is courtesy of our local news channel Granada Reports.
Looking at it sent me back in time to schooldays.
H&S would have a fit, but the crate of milk sat in the classroom by the radiator (junior school). At Grammar school the crates were in the yard. Imagine the fun on icy cold days trying to drink frozen milk!
Today's a special day...Winter Solstice (shortest day) from now on the days lengthen and lighten. Also, apparently we had a lunar eclipse. Yes, I was up and about with the dogs at the right time to view it...but...thick cloud obscured the view.
and tonight's the Full Moon!

Monday 20 December 2010

Fun Monday Dec

"coughs and sneezes spread diseases!
trap your germs in a handkerchief!"

Jill (Life is not bubble-wrapped) our gracious hostess for December, wonders "When you have  a cold, when you have the flu, what do you reach for, what do you do? What do you want? I want…"
  • Chicken Soup - is a must soothes and seems to work a treat.
  • Zinc - to boost the immune system
  • Vitamin C - traditional remedy
  • Paracetamol or Aspirin as a last resort
  • Inhalants - to help breathing

'Feed a cold, and starve a fever' is an old maxim. When full of cold I like to retire under the duvet with tissues and inhalant close at hand...and sleep...zzzzzz

Now some thoughts from my Open University studies...
Colds are caused by a plethora (over 100) rhinoviruses, so a 'cure' is unlikely, but symptoms can be alleviated.
Viruses live, replicate and change genetically inside the cells of an organism.

They "lose their virulence quickly if they dry out, and so must be transferred in droplets of water, which is why sneezes are particularly effective. The runny nose and sneezing produced by a cold are not caused by the virus particles themselves, but by an inflammatory response of the immune system to the infection." Open University, Milton Keynes, S171 'Empire of the microbes'  Cockwell, C. and Brown, A.

Sunday 19 December 2010


9 Ways to Connect With Santa on the Web

Time to lighten the mood! I follow Mashable on Twitter usually for updates on tech and must know 'how tos'...

"You don’t have to head to the North Pole to hook up with Santa this  year. There’s a sackful of online options that will let your little ones  connect with the Claus from the comfort of your own home."

Links to NORAD's  Santa tracker and others I'd never come across before.

 So thank you Mashable for lightening the mood.

Saturday 18 December 2010

signs of the times

News headlines this morning

christmas snow globes

"Northern Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are all braced for more wintry weather, while some parts of England may see up to 20cm of snow." BBC news

"The north west of England has been badly hit by snow, with reports of up to 10in falling in places."

Christmas post delays
 People complaining Christmas purchases haven't arrived...go figure

Cancelled flights 
"British Airways cancelled all flights out of Heathrow from 1000 GMT to 1700 GMT and all short-haul flights from 1000 GMT to 1600 GMT at Gatwick." "BA advised all passengers on BA flights during times affected not to travel to Heathrow on Saturday, and warned of severe disruption at all London airports."

Cancelled rail services
"Transport operators were warning of severe disruption to bus and rail services on Saturday."


Friday 17 December 2010

day 17


Another visit to the GP for my med review. OH's comment 'once they've got hold of you, you can't escape 'em'. Now he too has another appointment next week! 17 years since her saw a GP and now he's back and to like a yo-yo. But, then GPs get top-up payments per person seen?
OH's next appointment's on Wednesday morning, can't be Thursday as that GP doesn't do Thursdays...
Hoping the results of the 24 hour monitoring will have arrived. OH is in an NHS inspired 'Catch 22'. GP has no information from the Cardiologists, neither have we. GP looked up records and Cardiologist has no further contact scheduled, yet OH needs monitoring and meds sorting...go figure


T arrived this afternoon, we only see him once a year when he calls in to deliver a Christmas card. Youngest dog took an instant dislike to him, yet has never met him before...What a good judge of character youngster has turned out to be! lol

At least, stray cards permitting, I've posted mine for this year.

christmas dividers
I must admit that just now am feeling very unchristmasy

christmas glitter

Thursday 16 December 2010

cards and so on

Glad I photographed the knitted Santa as dear GD called in on her way home and took him with her. He was made for her anyway, but I'd grown used to seeing him on display.
Now I'm on tenterhooks waiting for a text message to say she's home safe.

She also took with her another of M's makes a small Christmas tree made from recycled Christmas cards, dowel rod and recycled pieces of kitchen cabinet doors.
If you use Facebook, and go to the Bradbury Fields pages...take a look at the photos and you'll see the Christmas trees being put together.

At long last I can say I've finished writing my Christmas cards, there weren't many, it was more a case of feeling like doing them. Tomorrow I'm seeing my GP (review) and as there's a post office and letterbox across the road it seems a good opportunity to send the remaining cards.

Jack Frost has reappeared so there are renewed weather warnings. Typically the routes across the Pennines A57 Snake Pass and A528 Woodhead Pass are closed to traffic. They've only been open a few days.  
This video of a fairytale icy lighthouse Cleveland, Ohio is amazing...

Wednesday 15 December 2010

modern day Nativity tale

December 15th NaBloPoMo

Gosh, I've never managed to blog for so many consecutive days! Time to stop the rant lol
Looking forward to some Christmas music. And I don't mean the popular muzak that's in shops and malls.
I'm looking forward to 'Carols from Kings' service of nine carols and readings - a Christmas tradition. And for me 'real' Christmas

Tuesday 14 December 2010

let the rant continue?

"Since its launch in 1948, the NHS has grown to become the world’s largest publicly funded health service."
Okay I know the NHS was taken for granted and we were apparently 'envied' for having access to medical services 'free at the point of use' (with some exceptions).

Prescription charges are:
  • prescription - £7.20 per item
  • 12 months prepayment certificate (PPC) - £104.00 
  • 3 months PPC - £28.25
But, today's incarnation is far different from that envisaged by its founders and those who remember how it used to be.
Receptionists stand guard over GP surgeries making access to GPs difficult. They are the first barrier between GP and patient. GPs chase 'targets' set by the government of the day as do all areas of the NHS. They hunt money because of monetary incentives given for seeing patients, offering 'services'...
"The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing" aka "There is no joined-up thinking"
Money is wasted because people are incompetent...and it's the way the NHS is set up that makes it so.

Too many Generals and not enough Squaddies.

The only good news is that at long last Pharmacists are allowed to do more for patients (taking some of the workload off GPs???)

Our NHS has a scale of charges and because of a money grabbing ethos expect funds to be raised for them in addition to Government funding. It seems we are now paying over and over and over again for our 'free' NHS.

Obviously the NHS is a 'work in progress' and today's announcement of more reforms beggars belief.
This quote from a satyrical web page puts it into perspective...
From the 'Daily Mash'
Mr Lansley said:
"The key problem is the primary care trust system which has reduced hospitals to being nothing more than a lot of doctors and nurses in a big building treating people who aren't well.

Pardon me whilst I...


Monday 13 December 2010

Fun Monday December

Jill writes
(our lovely hostess from Life is not Bubble-Wrapped)

I’m hosting Fun Monday yet again. I woke up the other night with the perfect topic, and didn’t write it down. I can’t remember what it was. Go figure.
So, on to today’s topic: Your biggest gripe of the year. Anything goes.

and the Bee Gees sang...
'Cos we're living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be' 
Time for me to rail many things...what to choose?
I'm fed up of being in a society that's too fond of political correctness, too keen on human 'rights', hidebound by Health & Safety and that's forcing pensioners to live in penury.

Profligate MPs of all shades and opinions happily wasting ££££££s throwing money at committees, reports and investigations. Showing that singly and collectively they have not one grain or jot of common-sense between them.

Poor old (Blighty) England...
England is not flag or Empire
It is not money it is not blood
It's limestone gorge and granite fell
It's Wealden clay and Severn mud
It's blackbird singing from the May-tree
Lark ascending through the scales*
Robin watching from your spade
And English earth beneath your nails

So here's two cheers for a place called England
Badly used but not yet dead
A Mr. Harding sort of England
Hanging in there by a thread
Here's two cheers for the crazy Diggers
Now their hour shall come around
We can plant the seed they saved us
Common wealth and common ground

part of the song 'A place called England' by Maggie Holland from her Album 'Bones' 
Recently Scotland and NE England had some snow...Now the Midwest US has snow and what a difference! 

20 inches in the Midwest and it's business as usual.

Here (pardon the hollow laughter) they launch an inquiry!!
"Transport Secretary Philip Hammond launched an urgent review of how the UK's transport systems have coped with the early wintry spell.

Health & Safety closed schools, airports and roads...go figure

* Lark ascending

Sunday 12 December 2010

Cities and...

History channel is showing Cities of the Underworld - a look beneath cities such a as Moscow, London, New York and Dublin to name but a few.

"From a hidden Freemason tunnel and secret world of the Sandhogs, to mobster hideaways and gang escape routes, we're uncovering the secret societies that built New York - from the underground up."

Throughout my schooldays I 'coped' with history, but never got into it. Geography was far more fascinating. At grammar school history became lesson after lesson of dictation, until Miss Glisbey turned history from boredom into sense. GCE General Certificate of Education (O level) and History of Britain and Europe1789-1830. Okay so reform of the Poor Laws and things like the Windows tax (yawn) left me cold but...then came Napoleon.

 Most of his campaigns (yawn) passed me by...
Towards the end of our studies came the Unification of Italy with lovely sounding names that tripped off the Risorgimento, Count Cavour,  Mazzini and Garibaldi
Garibaldi was easy to remember because of?
They even have a page on Facebook!!!
At last there were maps that made sense and names that resonated.
Otto Von Bismarck and the unification of Germany with speeches like hie "blood and iron"
Dates too made sense in an odd mathematical way...

1864 - Schleswig-Holstein

1866 - Venice added to Italy after Prussia defeated Austria in the Seven Weeks' War, Italy sided with Prussia 

1870 - Rome becomes capital of Italy

So, my ramble draws to a close...

Saturday 11 December 2010

seasonal thoughts

Christmas is the time to send - receive cards and presents.
Round robin


Some don't like round robins (letters summarizing the past year). I look forward to finding out about friends and their comings and goings. Similarly, I hope they like my letter too. Also, I think it does good to put the year into perspective. Writing round robin letters can also be cathartic helping me to file away experiences. I can stand back from myself and take stock.
One of the signs of aging is the increasing number of folk I've lost touch with. Some are inevitable and unavoidable...the folk who are no longer of this world, those who have passed on. It makes me want to cling onto the folk that are still here.

Having OH diagnosed with irregular heartbeat is worrying because I feel so helpless.

On a lighter note...I'm feeling rebellious...why? because I'm not ready to file myself away into 'middle age' let alone 'old age'.
It's bad enough realizing I now fall into the cosmetics category of having mature skin. I find it puzzling at the checkout to be treated as an older person. Then I realize I'm having difficulty with things like socks and shoes which seem to have developed a life of their own.

Day 10

Finally the ABPM is over! No more whirring, buzzing and clicking noises every half hour. We were both beginning to find the noises wearing and the wearer was even more worn out by having his arm cramped repeatedly. So, now we wait...

Time too to wish M next door a Very Happy Birthday!

Only a short post today, but at least I have written something...

Thursday 9 December 2010

Cardiology again

9 am we arrived at the local Health Centre...for OH to have his ABPM ambulatory blood pressure monitor fitted.
11am and he still had not been seen by anyone! He was waiting (impatiently) with other people. In the meantime the various NHS personnel had been  to and fro making several brews. I waited at reception, dozing on and off. It was midday before we arrived home. Okay so the consultant and technician had apologized...and so they should.
Now that the ABPM has been fitted it buzzes every so often as it tightens its grip and takes a recording.
Tomorrow we return the piece of kit to reception and aim to do the stuff we couldn't do this morning.

Wednesday 8 December 2010


The last few days have been nothing but appointments. Fortunately, unlike last week so far the weather has not intervened to stop us going to any. Not have any had to be rescheduled apart from OH having his brought forward and made easier to get to.
Today, it was my turn..OH has been grumping on the I ought to get my eyes checked...So, I went to a different optician. Okay it was more expensive, but it was worth it for the care and attention to detail.
Good news £10 off the cost of £28 eye test. Until I reach 60 I still have to pay. Another £10 each for me and my theatre going friend because they're the ones she goes to.
Not so good news:
Yes, I am very short-sighted and the thorough tests revealed a possibility of glaucoma. Now that's some news I did not want.

However, they'll phone me when my glasses arrive and make an appointment with the optician to run another glaucoma check at that time.
I forgot to say that the phoned me at home yesterday evening - courtesy call about my appointment.
In this day and age, courtesy like that and a thorough eye examination are much to be desired.