musings (201) fun Monday (76) friendship (64) K9 (13)

Sunday 27 March 2011

welcome BST

British Summer Time +1 from GMT Greenwich Mean Time. How odd that this Spring forward hardly raises any comments, yet the reverse in Autumn always causes a brouhaha!
I love words like that one! Is it I wonder onomatopoeic? Another lovey word.

Studying English Literature 'A' level many years ago I became enthralled with words, their sounds, usage and meanings. Forward in time to Now and my English studies are a mixed blessing. Why?
As a result of (some might say) over-taxing the speech processing areas Broca's area and Wernicke's area and aging; nouns have become a particular problem. They disappear literally leaving me 'lost for words', or a different one sneaks in turning sentences into gibberish. Of course the more I struggle to rectify, the worse things become.
Add on anxiety and you quite literally panic stations. 
Did you know that when anxiety strikes it doesn't have to be 'dramatic' as portrayed by actors?
I can quite literally go 'tharn'. like one of the rabbits in Richard Adam's 'Watership Down'.
Better still she says ironically my eyes shut to block out the World.
And the 'cure'??? Remove the source of the anxiety or by very, very slow steps and techniques learnt from studying psychology regain control gradually... 

Saturday 26 March 2011 frontier...not

Happy to report the piano has gone, friends removed it yesterday. Another reason for the feeling of elation was meeting up with friends as it's the first time I've seen them this year.

As I look thro' the window, the fuchsia is 'alive' with birds dunnocks in particular. Checking the RSPB website they are apparently...unobtrusive! In that case the ones here haven't read that! I've been watching them threading their way acrobatically from branch to branch.

OH isn't at his best and hasn't been for a couple of days. He thought his sore foot was because of bruising. Now it seems it may be gout. So it's a list of foods to avoid and to use cold compresses.

No sign of M or M today and the weather's clouded over.

Friday 25 March 2011


who'd a thowt it!!! a new word to me, yet folksonomy is part of everyday life. Anyone who blogs or uses a site such as Flickr is encouraged to use folksonomy. Okay I'll spill the beans...folksonomies are tagging systems.
How did I come across this new set of words? It came from a Tweet, another folksonomy system using # hash tags.
Intrigued because I love words meaning and usage I delved into the WWW looking for answers.
It all goes too show that words and language are always evolving. A tag used to be a name tag, dog tag or price tag, literally something affixed onto something else. Grouping things was a collection otherwise known as classification.

Thursday 24 March 2011


no chance for an MJM get together as M is still having visits from the Orkney folk.
We did our usual Thursday morning shopping and later OH decided another trip to the garden centre would be a good idea. My goodness how the Spring sunshine had brought out the shoppers in force! Then of course I realized that the up coming weekend has yet another Hallmark day.

Wonder if there'll be chance of an MJM coffee afternoon tomorrow? Maybe not as M (GSDs) often goes to visit relatives. Haven't told M and M but have begun yet another set of knitted bunnies! Last time it was two pink and one blue, so this time it'll be two blue and one pink. Looking very far ahead!!! Thinking of sshhhh Christmas I'm going to have a go at knitting Father and Mrs Christmas before the summer weather proper. If it becomes too warm, it makes knitting unpleasant.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

another fine day...

Gardening continues...
OH busied himself all day...I provided coffee from time to time.

And me? Stuck in front of screen battling with an assignment.
I gave myself a break and installed new PSFC printer, scanner, fax/copier. It's been sitting in its box for quite a while, until the old one decided to give more problems; out with the old, in with the new.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

hello sunshine

OH took advantage of the glorious sunny day to do gardening.

Monday 21 March 2011

ought to be Fun Monday but...

At long last the home-makes for charity are finished and going to St Paul's Eye hospital.
Between us MJM have made...
Easter chicks with crème egg inside (300)
Ducks with crème eggs inside
Bunnies close-up
Easter baskets
Mr. Bunny
and family

Sunday 20 March 2011

time for

happier thoughts!
Phone-call from M. She's 'Orkneyed out' and her visitors still have another week in the area. But, as we haven't spoken in a while she wanted to ask how we're doing.
Also, charity is collecting our makes tomorrow. So, Easter makes are done and it's back to thinking about sell anytime wares and Christmas!
Time to get out the knitting books and put my 'thinking cap' on.

And we had our MJM coffee afternoon, lots of laughter and banter, most relaxing. M has started planning what to make next and how to involve us.

Saturday 19 March 2011

history repeating

George Bernard Shaw "If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience."
This morning's news has given me a deep sense of deja vu.  
  • We're in a recession; just like the 1980s
  • 10 years to the day and the hour another British PM stood on his hind-legs to announce military action 'war' in response to UN resolution.
  • Japanese nuclear power stations still unsafe (3-mile island USA)
BBC radio 4 'From our own Correspondent'

Friday 18 March 2011

oh what a day!

This week has been a roller-coaster ride personally and in the news. Unfortunately we all seem to be going thro' interesting times.
At least the weather is behaving itself, but a tad on the cold side with a lazy wind i.e. one that seems to go thro' you.
Both Ms have gone out n about today. One to visit relatives and the other being taken hither n yon by visitors. So, a week lacking MJM coffee afternoons. M's visitors will be here for a couple of weeks hope they don't tire her out too much (faint hope).
OH n I went to the garden centre earlier and came back with bedding plants and onion sets. He spent yesterday starting the onion bed for this year. Last couple of days we've been having some of this year's crop of leeks; there's still some onions as well. 

Thursday 17 March 2011

Sláinte - top o' the mornin'

St Patrick's Day when the whole world is invited to celebrate all things Irish.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

wordless Wednesday

Grape hyacinths


Tuesday 15 March 2011


is the Ides of March and boy does it feel like it! Events and setbacks have made it feel like Friday the 13th.
No, the charity does not want the piano. This has upset M and she has promised to 'have words' with them.
Hearing on the wireless and following on TV news reports about Japan has added to a feeling of helplessness.
Then, tonight I searched high and low for car keys...drawers were emptied and checked thro' several times without success. Problem being OH insistence on chauffeuring me...
So I tried to wrack my 'brains' and remember when I last used my keys. Blank as usual. Coat pockets were emptied, then I remembered the bitterly cold weather and went thro' the pockets of my winter coat...Success!!!
And now my laptop is playing up, the mains lead only works intermittently, the battery warning symbol keeps appearing...

Monday 14 March 2011

not embarrassing but

frustrating and a tad annoying...
Take if you would one Yamaha Clavinova a few years old and offer free of charge to a charity...Arrange date and time for pick-up except only one elderly guy turns up as down the line the info has become scrambled! He was convinced it was a keyboard that he was collecting Not a full-size piano. Oops.
Next a phone-call to say charity coordinator would phone, but no call came. So I did the phoning, only to find her intention was to do nothing until tomorrow at the earliest. Why? Because with the cut-backs the manager was off today (hours cut down). Coordinator would need to ask permission to collect piano because not a keyboard.

So, the hall is blocked up by the piano awaiting collection, but if as I suspect the charity now say 'no' it'll have to go back into the front room.

Sunday 13 March 2011


after travelling yesterday I didn't do much today apart from pootling round the course web-site.
OH was bust gardening, M is raising broad beans and peas from seed and they're coming along well.She's been rearranging her herb garden. The tomatoes will have to go somewhere her GSDs can't reach as they decided last year toms were good to eat!
The other M phones in the afternoon to ask how yesterday had gone. She's supposed to have visitors from Orkney this week but they have been delayed by snow. Twice they've had to pay to be dug out to reach the 'main' road. Twice they've had to rearrange their booking on the ferry to Scrabster.

Saturday 12 March 2011

tiredness rules

It's been a long day! OH took me to catch the 8.45 train to Manchester. Then a short
walk to the Uni with heavy rucksack on my back. Yes, I took the laptop and cables, also packed lunch and flask of coffee!
Had to ask for directions at reception, but made it to the right room. Joined by someone who introduced herself as M. Yet another M to the collection. After a chat we discovered we both have dogs, like science subjects and live a short way from each other.
I pulled up some documents which helped us thro' the morning. Forgot t say tutor arrived 20 mins late having battled Manchester's road system and got herself lost so she was in quite a state. Flustered to put it mildly.
I'll draw a veil over the tutorial, suffice it to say I got cross a few times but kept quiet until I could bear it no more. Bad habit from old days of knowing I knew facts and couldn't let untruths go unchallenged!
Decided to catch an earlier train 15.16 and a surprised yet pleased OH collected me from the station.

Boy was I glad to get home...

Friday 11 March 2011


As I'm travelling to Manchester tomorrow, today's been taken up in finalizing preparations for day school.
Odd how it's an on-line course, yet for the day school I'm going to need printouts!
At least the train journey ought to give time to do some reading...
It's going to be a long day...10.00-16.00 in MMU John Dalton building, Oxford St.

Now I have my printouts stowed safely in document wallet.
Guess I'll be at a disadvantage having no e-reader or tablet to work from.

I might take the laptop, it'll let me access documents, but only has a meager 2 hours battery life.

Thursday 10 March 2011

Images Dublin mf

Charles Stewart Parnell statue
by the Rotunda at North end of O'Connell St.

Amnesty International - flame
Famine Memorial statues along the R. Liffey
Next week March 17th is St. Patrick's Day...

Wednesday 9 March 2011

wordless Wednesday

Last year crocus attracted honey bees...
This year, being a lot bees...

Tuesday 8 March 2011

talking about

the folding green stuff...
£££s and getting access to one's own money...

How complicated it has all become! Cheques are being phased out in the none too distant future. Okay so they are used only infrequently and may in some cases take five, yes 5, working days to clear. But those who have grown up with them still appreciate their usage don't we? Take OH for instance; he'd rather write a cheque than go via "Mumbai calling"..
Try paying money into your own account and if it's over £500 you are expected to give 'chapter n verse'.
Talking to Customer Services and it's like needing Orwellian 'double-think'. Yes, it is your own money and yes there is no limit on withdrawals using a debit card...but..even when you've done the Bank the courtesy of informing them in person...the automated system shall kick in...
Hence the double think - two contradictory ideas simultaneously acceptable!

After a long drawn out wrangle with another bank...instead of paying online; I go to that particular bank to pay off my credit card in person... The other year online payments lost themselves in cyberspace! Try paying in an amount in excess of that on the statement and see how it perplexes the droid behind the counter.
I deal with two different banks one from back home that I've been with for as long as I can remember and another bank which I did not join. How come you may ask? The company that issued that credit card was taken over and subsumed by the larger bank (sigh).

Another thing I've noticed, 'my bank' is part of an Australian banking group with UK HQ in the Scottish lowlands. Phone them and a pleasant person with a lowland Scots accent answers and we have a polite conversation and get things done.
Phone the larger bank and get through to 'Mumbai calling' and conversation gets more knots and tangles in it than macrame!

Monday 7 March 2011

Fun Monday

Our Fun Monday host - Georgia Girls at In good company sets the meme
To Splurge or hypothetically to 'steal'...

Splurge is the easy ask
1. Renew the garden fencing (pay someone) not DIY
2. Caring for our two canine companions
3.Treat myself to yet more gadgets probably some by Apple (grin)
4. Pay for our canine companions to be looked after at home while we to go on holiday
5. Take OH and tour Iceland; stay in luxury accommodation.

'steal' ahem...
1. Pay for our health care instead of waiting for the decrepit NHS
2. Clothes with posh labels, I wear 'cheap' bargain or best buys usually
3. Take OH out for meals without having him complain about the price!
4. Go for a weekend at a country spa hotel with my BFF
5. tba

Sunday 6 March 2011


Constructed from two Nissen huts and painted by Italian POWs on the island of Lambholm (Orkney).
It is now a listed building. For more information click here

Saturday 5 March 2011

assorted Kernow

Kernow aka Cornwall has a landscape that is rough, rugged and wild in places especially the far south-west.
Mining and its' ruins (industrial archaeology) dominate some parts of the landscape. Although Cornwall is known for its tin mining heritage, other minerals were important (lead and copper)
It's 23 years since the last mine closed in Penwith. Many of the old miners are around no linger.

OH and I plus various canine companions have walked the coast over the years. And now it's time to say 'goodbye'.

We've been mulling things over for quite a while; so for Cornwall and us eventually, 'this too shall pass'... The route to the SW involves some infamous stretches of motorway that have become accident black-spots, and the journey never gets any shorter. The last of our close friends 'down there' passed away last year.
2011 and the decision has been finalized...

Friday 4 March 2011

post 251

Today M's having problems with her newly installed central heating system and the other M's running late as her hairdresser also had CH problems. Elder doglet (girlie) has had an upset it's been a mixed day. Both OH n I have had problems keeping track of the days this week (grin) one of the results of retirement. Also we split our Thursday morning shopping into two mornings because of yesterday's inclement weather.
So with one thing and another the week has disappeared.

The knitted bunny 'family' is progressing nicely. I decided that having done 'mum', dad, and baby girlie it'd be a good idea to do a smaller baby boy bunny. M has completed 'mum' and girlie and has embroidered the face on daddy bunny. Hopefully I'll have finished the last one by Monday. Then I must take some pix!

Thursday 3 March 2011

moody March!

After some fine, bright and sunny days this morning came as a bit of a shock. Ice everywhere and the need to defrost before going out this morning. Add fog to the mix and we decided only to go to our nearest town to shop instead of the usual rounds. So, the rest of the shopping is scheduled for tomorrow when hopefully the weather will be less inclement.
Thank goodness for retirement and the opportunity to put something off until another day.
But am in no mood to study today, knitting needles and yarn are close at hand an oh so tempting!

Wednesday 2 March 2011


Comms aka communications
Today, we take for granted our multi-connection comms networks. A query from one of my on-line friends set me thinking (it's an age thing). Her young daughter asked a question and not knowing the answer she posed the question on-line.
'What was a telegram?'
The realization dawned again of age and years marching on. In the thread of resposes folk were putting web-sites to ask!
But, for me it was a sad memory of the only time I received a telegram. That set the memories rushing one after another.
Dad used the phone at work and that was all. There were no phone lines in our street. Eventually,  a neighbour got a phone, it was a party line which meant a shared line. So if another 'party' was on the line you couldn't use your phone.
Telegrams were charged at so much per word and expensive; only used in times of emergency. Hence, in the early 1970s the telegram I signed for was to inform of the death of a relative.
When I went to college, there were pay phone-boxes in the foyer and students would queue to use them. I was in 'digs' and they had a phone so once a week Dad would phone from work at an agreed time. The main way to stay in contact was by letter.  But, then the post was rapid (compared with today) there were two deliveries a day and printed materials, letter or parcel post. Printed materials? The local paper rolled with a label round it which came to me once a week. No it did not arrive battered and torn but in almost perfect condition.

What about today? I for one, no longer trust the postal service having had a few bad experiences.  
I've had some mail today, a letter from my MP on House of Commons notepaper (very grand) and one from a utilities company.

Phones? OH has his own cell phone but it spends more time switched off than it does on. I have two, one is an Android 'smart phone' and the other the same as OH. In the house there are 4 phones. A land-line phone in the kitchen and 3 digital phones spread round the place, hall (2) and dining room. Two in the Hall? Yes, one immediately by the door so we can answer on our way in/out if necessary and one at the other end that can be answered from the lounge. 

Last, but not least there are laptops and wireless network (almost instant) comms.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

a day behind?

Another Spring-like day with bright sunshine, but bitterly cold winds. OH got busy gardening, pruning a lilac and damson. Then he went next-door to prune rosebushes and to the other next-door to help one of the 'M's.
As for the M she phoned to postpone our MJM coffee afternoon. She spent yesterday at the eye hospital where they ran various checks. Result, she came back with a headache and today's sunshine made it worse.
Hopefully, she'll feel well enough for us ti have our coffee together later in the week. In the meantime I've been asked to finish off the blue knitted bunny.
Joy, I haven't forgotten (smile) I must remember to take photos when the bunnies are complete.

Fun Monday

Molly at Return of the White Robin sets today's theme
For our last Fun Monday in February on the last day of the month, I would like to hear about an early childhood memory.
I'm a tad late posting as I had to search for this image.
The one seated is my Great Aunt Elizabeth who dominated my childhood in the best possible way. She was inspirational, firm, yet fair and a strong traditionalist. Obviously the one with the skipping rope is me. In the background my Aunt and Uncle with whom I spent many happy times.
Between them they taught me things such as knitting and crochet, reading, cooking and a love of books and the countryside.
We went looking for blackberries and wimberries and made pies. We walked miles and miles and the highlight of every walk was a piece of dark chocolate.
Odd as it may seem I still have that skipping rope...