Thursday, October 22, 2020

Autumn Leaves...

          As I sit here the sun is shining and the leaves are all turning to red and gold. If only it was a normal Autumn though. It looks pretty much the same, but Oh Dear it's so far from normal. We are still stuck in the middle of  this bloody Virus which apparently keeps changing so that there are so many rules and regs to conform to. Thank God I don't live up North! That would be even more confusing.  And there's the debacle over children and School Meals. How those fat bastards in the so-called Government can vote against feeding hungry, deprived children through the Winter I don't know.  It's disgraceful and I back young Marcus Rashford all the way in his campaign. They (the Fat Bastards) don't think twice about splashing our cash on their chums and their unchecked 'services' - most of which have been proven not to deliver anyway! And the system of "Whipping" in Parliament should be completely  outlawed in my view. Let our so-called  MPs or representatives, actually represent us, their constituents. I don't want my MP sucking up to Boris Johnson or any of his cronies, or reinforcing the fact that the Tories want to screw us over. He (or she) is only there to represent me and has been elected on that basis. Of course we are all entitled to our opinions and we supposedly live in a Democracy. But is it too much to expect a smidge of decency and integrity in our MPs?

            OK, I'll change the subject, but only with reluctance, because I fear we live in very uncertain times. Better news from BG who is still loving his new course at Lewes College. I don't see him much any more, as I may have said before, but that is fine by me if he is happy, and he patently is. It seems my job is done in that area, and I'm happy to have been that Nana.

            This morning have been trying to get through to the Premium Bonds people to bring my details up to date. Forty minutes later I got through, and everyone was very pleasant and helpful. I do feel like an old dodderer at times. and I suppose that will only get worse. I know they don't recommend it,  but I have to write down all my passwords and numbers - otherwise I wouldn't remember them :) 

Ah well, Happy Days, as my dear old friend Lynne used to say ... time to  move on.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Don't speak too soon!

            Of course I was tempting Providence with  my last post. Big Grandson came home from College last Thursday with a nasty cough and on Friday had a temperature, so Daughter booked him a Virus test and they all had to self isolate. They had to wait until Sunday for him to get a test, and in the meantime had to just stay put. I guess the dog could have gone out, but they couldn't!

            Anyway, forty-eight hours after the test (at about 11 o'clock this morning) BG was given the all-clear with a negative test result. What a sigh of relief - though Daughter and I had been pretty sure of the result. So they can all go back to work, school and college tomorrow, and I was allowed into the house to give them all a hug.

            Today is another day - much better as everyone is back to normal. I went out early, after greeting my loverly cleaning ladies, to meet an old friend for a cup of coffee. That passed a couple of hours which were needed in order to exchange all the news on our respective families. And then I went on to a luxurious manicure and pedicure, made all the more wonderful by the fact that I hadn't had either since  before the beginning of the year. Ah well, now I have bright red finger and toenails which are amazing, and very relaxed feet after the massage. 

             No more news for now, so I'm off to do something about my supper. See you later....


Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Slough of Despond.

                I am not casting aspersions on Slough which is, I'm sure, a perfectly nice place to live. No, I'm actually referring to the state of mind which most of us endure at some time or other: that of feeling so low that life doesn't seem worth living in its current condition. We are in the throes of a dire situation, given the dreaded Pandemic and of course the looming "no deal Brexit" - both of which are giving us a really hard time. What to do? Well if you happen to be a University  student, your options are even more limited than those of  the rest of us. You have to stay put in your accomodation (which by the way is costing you a fortune, whether you are using it or not) you can't go out to the pub or a restaurant, and now there's the prospect of not being allowed to go home for Christmas. What bloody rubbish - and I don't care if they set the Stasi on me - we have to speak out when life becomes so absurd. As far as the rest of us are concerned, we are all being urged to upload this App or that App, follow the guidance issued by the (ridiculously inept) Government and, in other words, DO AS WE ARE TOLD. Well sorry, I'm not doing the bidding of this fat, white, entitled and corrupt  so-called Government. .Nothing will convince me that they have my best interests at heart. So eat that Bojo.

                On a brighter personal note, Big Grandson, who is 16, has started at his 6th Form College in Lewes, where he is taking Art & Design and Photography, plus re-taking Maths, and he is happy as a clam. He likes his Tutors and has met some new mates, which is all wonderful news. He is already very much into the Art subject and is doing some great drawing and really enjoying working on the projects he's been set. This is all great and although the nett result is that he doesn't come to stay with  me, I'm delighted that he is becoming more independent and confident with every day. He is obviously meeting young people with the same interests and talents and is running with it. Long  may it last!

So far the Pandemic has not touched either us as a family, Daughter's workplace or Grandson's College. It does seem strange that there is apparently so much infection around us and yet we remain free of it. So far that is! I hope that you have all been similarly fortunate.



Sunday, August 30, 2020

Bank Holiday Again...

      Well here we are at the last Bank Holiday of this extraordinary Summer.  And I really don't know where the time has gone. Big Grandson has been staying with me for the long weekend because everyone else is away! His Mum is on a weekend break with her Bloke and a couple of friends, and Granddaughter is away with her Dad and his parents for the Bank Hols too. Weirdly though, it turns out that they are all staying at the same Caravan and Camping park near Chichester! I don't imagine that they are actually socializing though - although  I gather from Grandson that they are close enough to see each other. Oh the joy! I can just imagine it and feel quite glad to be here.

      Big Grandson and I went out to the local Car Boot sale this morning, while it was still sunny, and he found two real bargains: one was a tripod for his new camera, for only £1! and the other was a large  canvas of the Avengers, which is just up his street, for only £2. Bargains all round, and then we went on to my favourite Garden Centre (Rushfields on the way to Henfield) where we enjoyed coffee (me) ginger beer (him) and a light lunch. What was so lovely about it was that we mostly felt quite normal, and only had to put on our masks  when we went in to browse the Farm Shop. Home again now and it's grey and  cloudy so we had the best of the day really.

      I'm in a quandary again because my possible house sale has reappeared. I have been thinking about it of course, so I shouldn't be surprised - but the local agent phoned out of the blue to say that he had a possible cash buyer for my house if I was interested. It seems my house has increased in value since last year and that would help hugely. What do I do?  Son says I need a plan (and he is right) but he doesn't really help by sending me details of lovely houses near them in Sitges, which I can't afford unless I win the Lottery, or unless we join forces and live together in something with enough space to live separately (if you  see what I mean). Oh it's all a conundrum. And Daughter doesn't want me to  move abroad, understandably. But finding somewhere here that I can  afford isn't so easy either. Here we go again! Son's other suggestion was that I could sell up and then put everything in store and go out there for a couple of months. This is a good idea, because I would then have a bit of time and space to decide what I really want. And the money would be ready and waiting. That's if we have the luxury of choosing where we want to live after bloody Brexit. Oh dear, I feel stuck in indecision and that's a fact. Help!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Sitting Pretty...

      I'm still sitting  here. but not sure for how long. I have actually been to look at an apartment that's for sale in Hove, well West Hove actually, and on the border of Portslade. Despite the dodgy address (at least as far as Hove purists will think)  it's rather nice and I am tempted. It is smaller than this, but  has some character and possibilities. Anyway I'm going for a second viewing this afternoon (with my trusty tape measure and notebook) and with Daughter, who can be relied on to take a practical view.
      Well, the practical view was that it's too small and also on the corner of a pretty busy road, so the garden made it a bit vulnerable. Also, it had a burglar alarm, which is always a stumbling block for me. (The only time I have ever felt insecure was when Son was a baby and we lived in the middle of nowhere, in a beautiful farmhouse. It had a burglar alarm which would go off regularly in the middle of the night and made us totally paranoid. Usually it was set off by an owl swooping past or something similar, but it was horrible.) Of course, being on the ground floor anywhere makes one vulnerable, sadly, in this day and age. And I could see the point that it wouldn't be a good idea to "lock up and leave" on my trips to Spain. So there it was.
      Never mind, none of us  knows what is going to happen lockdownwise and viruswise, not to mention Brexit, which I dread more with every passing day. It's all such a a mess, and the mess is actually worldwide it seems to me. 
       Part of the family have decamped from Sitges to Poland for a couple of weeks, mostly to escape from the extreme heat there, though Son has stayed in Sitges and is working from home. Warsaw is  apparently a bit cooler, but not much. (And in fact it's about as hot here!)
       Daughter and family are fine, in and out of the paddling pool in the garden, and Granddaughter is dividing her time between Daughter and  her Dad. Big Grandson is spending part of each week with me, just to relieve the monotony really (for him not me) and continues to eat me out of house and home. It has become the new 'normal' which is actually far from normal if I'm honest. 
      The big news is that we won the Virtual Pub Quiz last week (among our teams that is). My theory is that our team of two had the oldest (me) and the youngest (Big Grandson), so were able to cover a wider range of questions. BG knows all the pop culture answers and I know most of the 'historical' ones. It's a system that works, and I think we'll do it next week too. We scored 41 out of 50 questions. 
      Time to go,  I've been wittering on for long enough.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Rainy Sunday.

      Hello again, and apologies for my prolonged absence. Once again 'Groundhog Day' syndrome has had me in its grasp and time drips by without any particular feature to distinguish day from day. I would like to say that I have been busy and productive, but nothing could be further from the truth. The one thing I have done is to look out my poetry which has been languishing in a folder for years.
Actually it is a good exercise, because it has forced me to look back at my life in terms of when I wrote the odd verse to express how I was feeling. The first was about leaving Primary School and I have progressed now to when I moved to London and started working in Advertising. There is still plenty to come, and it is surprising to me how much just reading it brings back those moments and experiences. They are vivid again and so are the feelings that were brought to the surface. I think it was Wordsworth who said that poetry was 'emotion recollected in tranquility'. Well maybe it was for him, but I can vouch for the fact that mine (whether it's very bad or not) still feels raw at times. It has me totally removed to where I was and what  I was doing. There is still plenty to go, and it may not amount to anything in the end, but I feel it is necessary to go on and finish what I have started.
      I have been virtually meeting up with various friends and we have been setting  challenges for  each other. The best one has been a cookie baking challenge which I have taken up with gusto. My version is not with Crunchy Peanut Butter (simply because I'm not fond of peanuts) but with Crunchy Almond or Cashew Nut Butter which you can find in any Health Food Shop. It has been so successful that I make a batch most weeks: it takes about ten minutes to put together and another ten minutes to bake. I use a jar of nut butter to two tablespoons of brown sugar and one egg, simply mixed together in a bowl until it's doughy (if it's still too sticky you can sift in a tablespoon of flour and mix in well). Then put tablespoons of the mix spaced out on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven, on gas mark 4, for about ten minutes.
And I can promise you that they're divine - a Lockdown Treat. I have to ration myself to two a day:))

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Where there's a Will...

      I just thought  I could squeak in another post before the end of the month, and here it is! Today has been cold, windy, rainy -  and very trying for me. I had arranged for a Legal man to come and help me write a Will, something I have been successfully avoiding  for a good few years. I looked in my document box last night and discovered the last one I wrote which was in 1988. It was the year after we moved to Cambridge, when my children were still young (9 and 7) and there was a lot of complicated stuff going on in our lives. I had recovered from the brain tumour and we were happily settled in our new house, but it had been traumatic to say the least. Anyway, what I discovered when I found the Will was that I had signed it but not had it witnessed! As it turned out it hadn't mattered because here I still am - and also it was a registered copy,  not the original which I assume is still sitting tight in the old Solicitor's office! What a  palaver, but we sat  here for an hour and a half at the end of which  I had a draft Will and a possible Power of Attorney too. Enough said - and I spent the rest of the day feeling rather overwhelmed by it all. It's expensive too, but I guess it removes any anxiety for my Children when the inevitable happens.
      What a day, and something I don't want to repeat really. And just to cheer me up further, I had a letter from the Eye Hospital confirming that I need  three more eye injections, and casually mentioning that my eyes have deteriorated a bit since they were last examined. Oh bugger, it seems I am gradually falling apart.
      I'll just say goodbye to June, and to you, for now...Let's hope for a better July.