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

Saturday 30 April 2011


After all the pomp n ceremony of yesterday, things have calmed down somewhat. But news programmes this morning were still focussed on yesterday.
Both 'M's are getting on well with their gardening. Our immediate neighbour M showed me what's going on gardeningwise... Clematis cuttings have 'taken' rhubarb has been picked and frozen. The strawberries are in flower and promise enough to make jars of jam. So, all being well, she'll have produce and to spare in the coming months.
The other M has a greenhouse full of plants and OH has been busy in her garden trimming hedges and using soil improver.

Friday 29 April 2011

Day of

and reverence...
"God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.
In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.
Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen."
Written by the new Royal couple and spoken for them in Westminster Abbey...

Bouquet - bouquet of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and hyacinth
Lily-of-the-valley – Return of happiness
Sweet William – Gallantry
Hyacinth – Constancy of love
Ivy: Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection
Myrtle: the emblem of marriage; love.

The Bishop of London said...
‘“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.
‘Many are full of fear for the future of the prospects of our world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day! It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope."

There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom. Chaucer, the London poet, sums it up in a pithy phrase: ‘“Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon,
Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon.”

‘I pray that all of us present and the many millions watching this ceremony and sharing in your joy today, will do everything in our power to support and uphold you in your new life. And I pray that God will bless you in the way of life that you have chosen, that way which is expressed in the prayer that you have composed together in preparation for this day:

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Tuesday 26 April 2011

what passes for normality resumes

Gone is the warm sunshine and balmy weather. This morning we have persisting down rain, just right for watering the parched gardens.
It's no longer a Bank Holiday, so shops have opened and services are resumed. Briefly, because there's an impromptu Bank Holiday this Friday.

Monday 25 April 2011

Easter Fun Monday

Our host asks for a choice to be made 'after the appoccalypse'
Cave or Waves
Snug, but closely confined within a cave? Or maybe a cave system? Either way tis no go for me; am far too rotund for speleology!
So it has to be waves, and life  on board ship/boat. Hoping for as Mendelssohn wrote 'Calm seas, and prosperous voyage.'

Or the sumblime 'Fingal's Cave' overture

Time to hope for Debussy-like 'La Mer' dancing waves.

Sunday 24 April 2011

Saturday 23 April 2011

pleasant enough but...

after last night's brief display of lightning and a few rolls of thunder, everywhere freshened up. Just enough to settle the dust and encourage the onions and shallots.
But, across the road we have newish neighbours and both sets seem to be similarly inconsiderate. 
Why leave car or van doors wide-open with the radio blaring forth? The thump, thump, thump of the bass came over loudly and could be heard in the back gardens of the houses opposite.
Last time it happened it was the other house across the road and a young lad with car doors open; noise booming out. One of the Ms went to charm him into turning it down, so he turned it off.
Today's annoyance came from next door to the young man and the culprits were men in late middle-age. they were not amenable to requests.

We've had the plumbing looked over and all is fine, better than ever.

Friday 22 April 2011

what a scorcher!

When we get High pressure resident over the UK it can bring with it high temperatures and dry weather. This is what has happened for this Bank holiday weekend. Wonder if it might end in a thunderstorm?
Both dogs are not happy in this heat; they tend to lie on the quarry tile floor in the kitchen where it's cooler.
OH has been helping both neighbours with their gardens ever since he finished the plumbing here. The two Ms have been planting seeds in greenhouse and garden. They are looking forward to saving money by eating home-grown produce; and have promised to include us in their bounty.
This is how one of their gardens looked last year...

Later, right on queue, we had heavy 'thunder' rain and a brilliant display of lightning. It didn't last long, but was enough to refresh everything.

Thursday 21 April 2011

back to

gardening including mowing the lawns, we have only one, but neighbours have two.
And next there's a long weekend ahead and the roads in chaos. Fotunately, we no longer need head out onto the motorway network with the crowds.
What glorious weather we've been having...Summer in Springtime and temperatures akin to if not greater than continental Europe.

Isn't it amazing that when you get a new laptop it still takes ages to set it up! Windows requires all sorts of security stuff for peace of mind.
Secunia software inspector to analyse and keep up to date. No, I don't rely on windows update.
Then there's tune-up utilities which does as its name says and tweaks everything.
Internet access is a 'must'; so too access to dropbox an online storage facility that enables documents to be shared by various computers.
Firefox as default browser and its add-ons...never IE Internet Explorer unless as an add on in Firefox.
and there's more, but that's for another day...

Wednesday 20 April 2011

hot water

is lovely when you've 'made do' for over a week!

The laptop I use mostly has decided to wear out, or more precisely, it lets the battery drain and doesn't power up properly...

'There's always something' that decides to go wrong...

So,  I'll have to mend it with a new one which means investigating Win7...just when I'd got Vista to 'play nicely'.

Tuesday 19 April 2011


continues...and just when you think...maybe? and turn on the rising main...
Oops, flood, guess there's an olive missing somewhere...???
-a copper band that fits inside a joint in the pipework-
Dismantling leads to flood...
Cue mopping up, cleaning up, clearing, wringing out've guessed it...
flood and round we go...
mopping, more mopping...
Threw an old towel on the floor...ready for the next mini-inundation...

Monday 18 April 2011

oops late

Another day's plumbing; the good news being that progress has been made. Am getting used to having only cold water...It takes me back to my youth. Perhaps that's why I feel comfortable living this way?
So proud of OH and his skills! Also his persistence and determination. So there's been intermittent calls of 'I need an extra pair of hands'.
Pardon the reminiscence...when I was a child the only water in the house was a cold mains supply, not even the dubious benefits of an immersion heater. It was only when we moved that we had a house where one chimney had a back boiler. So, if we lit a fire and kept it going, and used the damper...we got hot water.
It has to be a sign of aging...this revisiting the past...

'The past is a different country...they did things differently there'

Saturday 16 April 2011


Yet another day of plumbing...
Lots of hammering, drilling, sawing and hoisting as tools and man went into the loft...
Typically, the repair job has expanded into making good and making better...

Friday 15 April 2011


a break from plumbing? Just for today, apart from OH going back to the suppliers for some more parts. Thankfully, we have running water in all essential places; but must not use the boiler until another modification has been done. It isn't the weather to use central heating, and machines such as the washing machine are 'cold fill'; which is another bonus.
After an update from friend, we now know not to try to get hot water until further modifications have been made. But, when that's done it'll hopefully be all systems go.

getting there

In theory, the plumbing work is 'finished'. The problem being that any time you do something with pipework there's always something called 'making good' that still needs to be done.
Yes, we have running water in the right places i.e. not out of the airing cupboard across the worktop and on to the kitchen floor. Yes, the central heating is functioning once more. But, we had to take things apart yesterday when we thought we'd finished because leaks were found. The plumbing toolbox no longer has pride of place in the kitchen.

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Fun Monday on hump day?

Just a tad late for Fun Monday but 'blame' the plumbing interferance.
It just has to be Bugs Bunny for me!

Such a charming, fun-loving, cheeky and happy-go-lucky; forever getting into scrapes!
As for a certain Mouse? Sorry, but tis Jerry Mouse for me...

Not 'Mickey' as he whines too much. However, thinking of his companions; Pluto in particular is a great guy.
And that's ''my' lot...

Tuesday 12 April 2011

sunny day

and a bit more progress with the plumbing, new boiler here, but not yet fitted.

At least I managed to take a potter round the garden for some photos.

Monday 11 April 2011

it ought to be Fun Monday but...

Events have taken over...copper water cylinder sprang a leak!!!
So, today has been spent carting gallons of oily water away, emptying cylinder and moving it to make way for a new one...
We have cold water, but no hot. A bespoke cylinder's being made and will (hopefully) be ready to fit tomorrow.

Sunday 10 April 2011

Saturday 9 April 2011

more from Dublin


and the sun is shining on the start of the Easter hols. Odd how when retired school hols take on a different context. Roads become quieter in the mornings, visits to the supermarket quieter, no mothers taking youngsters shopping before school.
Here am I at the keyboard waiting to go for MJM coffee shortly. First opportunity this week as one of the Ms has been none too well and the other has been out every day organising and attending committee meetings.
I'm re-learning the idea that the longer I stay with the OU and the higher the level of study; the more 'hands-off' a tutor becomes. Or is it just me and my 'luck'. Perhaps, even after 9 years of retirement some habits acquired when teaching are reluctant to disappear.
I won't go into details, but in teaching you cannot afford to be o 'hands-off' and unapproachable as some of today's tutors.
  • reading/replying to an email fortnightly?
  • weighing out the 'pound of flesh' OU student contact like Shylock.

Friday 8 April 2011

back to the Quack

This has been a week of going to and fro without seeming to achieve much. Tuesday appt with GP (me), Wednesday blood tests for both of us, Thurs GP appt OH and back to the surgery again this morning to see Practice Nurse. We both need to lower cholesterol LDL and up HDL? 
Just for fun, a photo taken in Dublin...

Thursday 7 April 2011

looking back at last week

O'Connell St. is the heart of Dublin and main thoroughfare...

  O'Connell Statue and detail

This was just a doorway I decided to capture (photograph)

Wednesday 6 April 2011


A week ago there was Dublin to explore and photos to take...not so today.
Back to the clinic for a blood test. Can it really be a year since the last one? OH was sent too so we went to the local clinic. If it had been my choice I'd have headed back to the other clinic. But we were going shopping after so the nearer clinic was the logical choice.
No sign of M or M the past few days. Next door's a bit below par and the other is attending meetings all week!
Then there are workmen with diggers and other machinery at different points along the road. Apparently, all old gas mains have to be refitted with stronger, more durable plastic ones. It's an ongoing programme so no idea when it'll be our turn or how long the local area will be disrupted.
Howth a short train ride from Dublin.
(Pronounced to rhyme with both)

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Last Tuesday

James Joyce statue
Collins Barracks, museum
Museum of Irish Life & History
Beside the Liffey
Convention Centre, Dublin         Such an unusual building!!!

Monday 4 April 2011

one week ago

we set off for a short stay in Dublin, how the time has flown!
By contrast, today has been spent wrestling with questions to be answer ed for my assignment.

Big difference from strolling along the banks of the Liffey. (CPB photo).

Sunday 3 April 2011


Sayre of Sayre Smiles posted about a site that analyzes blog posts, so I thought I too would have a go...
Extroverted, sensing, feeling, perceptive...You ought to cross out the first way have I ever been 'extrovert'
Performers -
The entertaining and friendly type.
They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead.
Always in risk of exhausting themselves.

They enjoy work where they can help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

What do you think?

Fun Monday quotes

Georgia Girls want to know

Father Knows Best. 
What advice did your father give you that you remember and/or still use to this day?

"a bit of what you fancy does you good"
This has been my regular excuse over the years to enjoy my self or give/buy myself a treat.

"you only pass this way once; so make the best of it"



Went by Luas to the Museum stop and explored part of the National Museum of Ireland.
The building itself has an interesting history having been Collins Barracks, the Decorative Museum of Arts & History.
The exhibition of Irish High Crosses is an amazing site.
We investigated the café an had an enjoyable lunch.
C found a brochure for the Archaeology museum so that was added to our 'to do' list. She wanted to see the 'bog body'.

Saturday 2 April 2011


Stayed at the Hotel Isaacs which has several advantages
  • I've stayed there a few times
  • It's situated near the Busáras only a very short walk with luggage.
  • The Luas is also nearby and they have an all day ticket which allows you to sight-see easily and in comfort most of the time.
  • Another few hundred yards from the Luas you find Connolly Station from which to take the DART Dublin Area Rapid Transit with trains along the coast to Howth and Malahide
  • The Hotel sells discounted tickets for the Airlink bus (half price).
  • There's an excellent bar next door called the Robert Reade which sells Guinness and Paddy (whiskey). Also the staff are most pleasant, helpful and welcoming. 
  • The Liffey is within easy walking/strolling distance.
Now I need to review the photos I took and see which are worth sharing...

Friday 1 April 2011

Monday to Thursday?

9pm flight to Dublin with a friend who had not travelled by air before. All went well until we joined the queue for boarding the plane...then an announcement 'R wish to inform passengers that flight is delayed!'
Fog over Cork had delayed our plane so we settled down to wait and wait. Time for boarding came and went...
Relief when we finally boarded turned to dismay. The flight after us, left before us... Then yet another delay, a difference in passenger numbers between ground and yet another delay.
Finally take-off a smooth flight and landing in Dublin. Curious, I asked about the passenger numbers delay...response an apology and that ground staff had miscounted.
Previous visits I'd always been part of a group of friends with others doing the organization.
Bought tickets, climbed aboard the Air Link bus and off to the Busáras...