Monday, March 31, 2008

Places that have been saved up for the right day

There's a tiny lane I've been driving along for the last fifteen years or so. It's a bit of a rat run for people avoiding Thatcham and I used to use it to get the girls to Gym classes on time (which meant assuming not much traffic and driving a good deal faster than I would now consider safe -though I'm much slower all round now so that doesn't necessarily mean I'm any safer)
So I've driven past this bit of bank - oh - possibly a few thousand times in all kinds of weather and light. Naturally, for the past fifteen years I've been thinking "must stop and take a photo of that one day".
Well yesterday was the day :)
And then just recently I drove past an old gate and thought - Ah! 3.30 on a sunny evening when I'm not rushing to music group or shopping or lessons.
Then of course there was yesterday's 'shopping' expedition by the lake. With the sun shining and sparkles all over the water. And ripples and stuff.
And finally, the blossom has been out for ages but I keep missing the bits I really wanted in the light that would bring it out best. But yesterday was the day - all over again.It doesn't really take a lot to make me happy. Just an hour or four, in good light, in the right place, at the right time. I'm like a kid in a 'Ler Leckerland' (I'll tell you the story some time - my Dutch grandmother used to tell me it and it means, literally, 'the delicious land'. Where everything is made of lovely food')
Oh ok. Like a kid in a sweet shop. But we don't have sweet shops like that any more.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

If music be the food - well don't worry about it that's all I can say

Fortunately over the next day or so I caught up with the sleep and became quite the dedicated little fiddler. Because TODAY was the concert. (that was Saturday, I am a whole day behind myself, never mind the hour thing)
Now you mustn't get the idea that this is a grand or imposing affair. Oh no.
What we have is, my dearly beloved witterers Doris (she's past it really but as long as she's wearing her hearing aid she can usually be shepherded into the right place*) and Norman** (He's got plenty of quite misplaced confidence and plays LOUDLY ), a sweet, quiet, teenager who may or may not be playing her fiddle (you can't hear it when she does, she's so shy), a wonderful, elderlyish doctor who plays with beautiful tone but not always in the right place, a lovely teacher who always plays in exactly the right place but not always the right notes, a nice young woman who sometimes gets it exactly right - and sometimes gets it exactly wrong, another lovely teacher who plays very well but gets gradually slower and slower as the pieces progress.
And there's me. Well sometimes I get faster out of panic, sometimes I get slower because it's hard to play, sometimes I play in tune and sometimes I don't. *shrug*
And of course there's our lovely, patient, talented teacher who used to be able to play two parts at once, sing a third and shout instructions to the tardy and the hasty to get them back together with the rest of us (assuming the rest of us were together anyway, which is NOT a given). However, MS and time conspire against her and sometimes the combined volume of our errors become irreparable! We start again :) No problem :)
And then there are the other pupils who get to perform their exam pieces for us. The tiny tots who squeak and hesitate (but thanks to teacher are not lost), the older children who will one day be able to play very well. But haven't got there yet. And others who probably will never play very well but still love the chance to perform - who doesn't*** :)
And for audience, we have the parents and the siblings (usually only the smaller siblings, I can't think why but the older ones rarely turn up) Oddly enough, few of the partners turn up either – well most of them are either sadly departed, busy with their own Saturday afternoon thing or looking after the children.
Oh I forgot to mention John, the double bass, who always comes and underpins the chaos with his gentle booming :)
The thing is, we do have moments of brilliance. When everyone gets it and all remember to get it at the same time. And the rest of the time, we have fun. And it's a place for the late starters and early beginners to get together and make music. Or something – whatever.

Anyway, the MAIN point of all this is that today’s concert was all about mememe!**** I did my solo and most of it went right, it sounded good and Teacher and me beamed at each other when we got to the end (together in spite of Norman losing her page instead of turning it). Yeah! I can still do it! J

*Only, usually, she forgets her hearing aid.

**But we forgive him because he’s a sweet lad (29 going on 15) with ADHD and it’s a bloomin miracle that he is prepared to pay enough attention, long enough to play a whole piece. 3 whole pieces!

***Like the little autistic boy - another miracle really.

****Well these things are all really about usususus. We don’t get that many opportunities in the average life to PERFORM if we’re not super talented genii. And in spite of the terror and the stress and the panic, not to mention the hours of practice and backache it’s so worth doing just so we can all do this daft thing together J

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Safety in places yes. But which places?

I'm about to fall asleep. So here are a few stars in case you should want to wish for something. Obviously they fell into the lake :)
(From this afternoon's shopping trip. Which somehow included the lakes down in Thatcham. The sun shone and it was all very very nice. One of those bits of time when you think 'well if I never get to do this again I'm glad I did it now')
I thought when we lost the hour, I would still be feeling wide awake and full of time to spare at bed time. Seems to be working the other way round which doesn't make sense. does it?

Well, the missing passports is a bit of a mystery. We are both sure we've put them in a 'safe' place. Possibly the same safe place or possibly two different ones. Of course, we both have many safe places around the house. So we both had a quick look in the obvious places- like my folder, inappropriately called 'passports, medical cards and other stuff'. Then we abandoned passports for such things as using another method of id and hurrying up because one of us was trying to finish off the dinner the other one had started.
Anyway, what with the passports and the fact that cooking had started a bit late, it was very late when we ate and for some reason, after dinner, I felt that a large strong coffee was in order. (?!)
So I didn't sleep very well. In fact I did a good deal of tossing and turning and wriggling feet which (unlike the rest of me) had gone to sleep. Then had wild dreams of passport hunting and dog sickness which made for an uneasy night.
I tried hard to oversleep this morning but failed miserably (due to anxieties about the dog and the passports - he couldn't really have eaten them and this obviously wasn't the cause of their vanishment or his upset stomach -but....)
So today started with a big passport hunt. During the course of which, I found a large number of unusable keys, a small embroidered bag which I had long ago given up for lost, a number of passport photos and photocopies (which will come in handy if we can't find the wretched things) and a dead mouse. Naturally.
Then what with the not sleeping I had to be very careful not to do anything really silly in my slightly zombi-ish state. Like locking myself out (oops, that was a close one) or making coffee in the sugar bowl (no problem, just had to think very hard for a moment), or, while throwing the contents of one cupboard onto the floor, DROPPING MY CAMERA!!!!!
Oooh! that was really scary. But it's alright, it still works and the little piece of lens hood that I found on the floor was obviously meant to be removable because it all clicked back into place quite neatly.
I read somewhere that lack of sleep can have effects which are very similar to the symptoms of Altzheimers. So now I have a good idea of what I shall be like if I finally go completely doolally :)
So I will really go to bed now!
Happy wishes to you all :)

*It's Sunday - please don't try and keep track of the days here, I lost it completely. Track, that is. And I've no idea if Blogger will post this before or after the Saturday post :)**
**Probably not at all - the connection is wobbly again. Pooh!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Of course some of you have had snow

And much better snow at that!
But I'm still so excited about having seen any at all (even if we did have to travel 100 odd miles and back to see it) that I'm going to post some more photos of it :)

But we are back now and I've collected the dog and life is settling back into the normal (snowless) routine.
The worst thing about travelling if you have to use the pickup truck is 200 miles sitting on a slightly not level seat. My back has stopped doing what it was doing before in favour of a persistent whinging sort of ache. This is also a good thing, since what it was doing before was probably a bit worse. However I don't feel like sitting and practising* the stuff we're doing in two and a half days time at the concert. This is bad because the last time I practised it, I couldn't do any of the fast bits. Or the high bits. As for the fast high bits - forget it! I do, every time :(

Meanwhile Barney has decided to move some money. To a different savings account. And he's chosen a building society whose branches, it now transpires, are all located in the North of England. The application to open an account helpfully suggests that you fill in your multiple forms and applications and then "call in to your local branch".
Oh! Not just post it then?
Yes. I know. We've just been up there.
Ah well.
I'm having a complicated evening. the dog seems to have got a tummy bug and requires frequent visits to the garden (often quite urgent). Barney needs help with downloading and filling in forms online, not to mention printing and searching for passports - it seems we've mislaid both of ours -and I wanted to play with pictures. Oh dear. Now the dog is wandering about looking tucked up and sorrowful but he really doesn't want to go outside again. Didn't eat his dinner either. Maybe I shall tuck him up in his basket with a blanket. Oh and blogger says it saved a draft five minutes ago but it won't save the new bits. Hmm.
It's all getting a bit random.
Time for bed. zzzzz.
Sleep well.


*fiddle practice
**I see it managed to save this bit which I only typed to see if it was saving anything at all. Without telling me.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

At last

I am a happy bunny.

Snow in Gipton Wood
Blue and white and snowy trees in Gipton Wood
Snowy skyline at the gate to Gipton Wood
A view of snowy Leeds from the other gate to Gipton Wood
And a half thawed drop of snow. At SiL's gate :)
I like Leeds. And Gipton Wood (in case you hadn't noticed)
We had a great weekend. We pruned (at least Barney did) and walked the streets and Gipton Wood* (me) and went to stamp shops (Barney) and ate lots of lovely dinners (all of us) and did an Easter egg hunt (SiL's beautiful daughter and friends) and got variously hot, cold, wet, dry and windblown. It was very cold out and very warm in:)
Now my feet are frozen (home hasn't properly warmed up yet) and I need to tuck them into bed.
More tomorrow. Hope you had a lovely Easter. I'll be coming to visit you all tomorrow :)
It's nice to be back :)

*Gipton Wood is one of the little, delightful green areas tucked in between large estates and old houses and huge supermarkets, with which Leeds abounds. Two minutes away from SiL's house and sloping dramatically down to the main road. People walk their dogs there and children take their bikes and parents there and assorted youths and teenagers wander around in it. Elderly people hobble through it and it's crisscrossed with paths and banks and rooted with big, old trees with marvellous convoluted crowns and tall straight trunks. A little heaven.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008


Oh dear. I am now on Face Book.

Family sent me a million pictures of a brand new baby together with an invitation to join FB. Great. Had to join to say congratulations (yes I know I could have done it by phone, email or even post but I'm such a tech-dependant creature these days)
So now, as well as blogs, flickr and good old fashioned email, I have Face Book to keep up with!
And last night, intending to have a quick flick round Flickr contacts, I inadvertantly discovered this site and spent the rest of the night looking at all the pictures on it over and over again. Just unbelievably beautiful stuff! I daren't look at them again now because I need to get stuff done and If I so much as glance at them I'll be off in wonderland for another hour or three!
Tomorrow, having sorted the dog and cats (heartfelt gratitude to Thursday) we are off to Leeds to do spring (?) gardening and pruning for Beautiful Barney. (Sister in Law - author of 'A Handful of Earth') She needs Barney Bear's large ladders, tools and strength as well as pick up truck for transport of prunings to dump!
Maybe I will see some snow! The weather forecast for Leeds has a little black cloud, one snowflake, two raindrops and half a sunshine on it's icon. Could mean anything really!

I tidied up my bookmarks. Now I can't find any of them.
I tidied up my photos. Now I can't find any of them!
I tidied up the kitchen hoping all that washing up would vanish. Regrettably I can still find all of it :(
I looked thoughtfully at the dirty clothes and realised that probably, they also won't vanish if I tidy anything.

Meanwhile, FB is going swimmingly. Not only have I posted replies to messages in the wrong place, I've suddenly become friends with dozens of people I already knew I was friends with* and I have received a butterfly and a hatching egg. This will hatch while we're away but I know it's not going to hatch into a donkey**. Further, if I wish, I can make my plain and boring profile more interesting if I install the 'zwinky' application. Wow!
It's now irritatingly, flashing a caution at me. Apparently I've won a prize. Hmm.
It's awfully busy, this FB thing. Doesn't want to be ignored. I've closed the tab. It's a young person's thing, constantly saying "look at me look at me I've done something else look look!"***

Well, Spring must be half sprung! Here are white violets.
And in honour of the weather being dry (though not at all warm or bright) me and Nutdog went a-walking and encountered Harlequin. Who watched me watching him without any sign of alarm before leaving with a multicoloured ruffling of huge fur. (I have no idea who he really is but if he's not called Harlequin, somebody surely missed a beat)
So later, naturally, the sun shone. Making it clear that while other people may be cleaning their windows, I am not.
Now I have to pack and sort and just generally prepare for travel into the Frozen North. If there's time I may look up one of my (new) old (FB) friends :)
Have a wonderful Easter won't you. I do hope the sun arrives finally in all the cold places (except Leeds - I'm still hoping for snow). Beautiful Barney does have internet so I may be able to post. Who knows :)

*each new friend arrives with at least one, sometimes two, emails.
**But one of the joys of the virtual 'verse is that it could have hatched into a donkey :)
***Still, it is a jolly useful way to shout and wave across the country to people who didn't get the email or don't read the blog or have moved away or are having babies :) And it does seem to be more communicative than competitive. In our family anyway :)
And I quite like the idea of sending people a 'poke'. Which reminds me, Eldest hasn't confirmed me as a friend yet. Should I 'poke' him I wonder?

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Oh look! a chicken!

One for Mel. Because she looks at chickens :)

And these two for I,S,LTV to whom a while ago I promised chickens :) they've not been out much during the winter but the other day they came out

Wet weekend

Some things to do

Take close-up photos. This is a fruit (?) nut (?) from one of the London Plane trees in Thatcham. They look like Christmas decorations on the tree :)
Sit in a traffic jam at the level crossing

Go to the Cornish Pasty shop for a coffee and admire the gleaming coffee machineSit in a traffic jam again
Rescue (but first photograph) a small upside down person with many helplessly waving legs
More coffee - fair trade Peruvian. (Cafe direct Machu Picchu)

As well as all this fun and excitement, I unwrapped and connected my new hard drive - more photo back up storage, cleaned lots of stuff, put all my clothes away and bought two extremely nice woollies from Oxfam. Pale blue fluffy with LONG sleeves and soft sage green with a floppy neck. Amazingly, I can play the fiddle with either of them (soft fluffy woollies have a way of being slithery to a fiddle) and so far I haven't dropped any blobs on either!
Also, my back has been bad. It's having a new thing of suddenly stabbing me in the back - Ah, well um stabbing me anyway about halfway down on the left hand side. And occasional pinpricks somewhere in between the shouldr blades. No obvious cause but it seems an hour on the computer, half an hour on the fiddle and an hour's reading are my current limits. These times decrease as the day goes on. I am cross. There's no need for this sort of thing. Surely?
The inconvenience is enormous and the pain is causing a certain amount of blue comment and undignified squawking.
And no, straightening the poor old slouchy thing doesn't help. Though I know quite well it's my lousy posture that has brought it on me. Bah Humbug!
Eventually I will identify the cause and find a way of avoiding it without stopping doing stuff. Over the years me and the battered back have worked out several such arrangements so that now I carry with me an assortment of rests and supports and such like wherever I go.
Eventually the back will find another cause to grumble and we'll have to start all over again.
Bah Humbug!
(Currently sitting bolt upright and preparing to take the dog out. The rain has stopped and it's a sunny/cloudy/sunny/cloudy day - gorgeous :)
May the sun shine on you wherever you are (even in Iowa :) and do look after your back ok?

Especially in Iowa. and London. And Westray and wherever you live, Dash and Sorrow and Norfolk (I bet Dave wasn't expecting that - not that he'd know) And Abingdon and Oxford and Lancaster (both of which last have special places in my heart as well as Reading -though I doubt my youngest ever reads this or indeed any blogs)
And here of course - just a couple of miles across the valley (((Thursday and JB)))
Not to mention Portsmouth, Wales and Ireland and very importantly Rochdale. And London - Oh I mentioned London already but this is a different bit, near the Grand Onion.
I'm just basically sending out wishes for light and goodness everywhere I can.
Which also includes such delightful and thoughtful people as Gordie and Craig but to be honest, the cooker is beeping and I'm aware that I can't actually remember everyone I want to before its two minute beep period runs out. If I missed you, put it down to age and a couple of glasses of wine Ok?

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

T'was a wild and stormy night

And the Captain and crew were all gathered round the cabin table watching the compasses roll in their gimbals and the shadows from the swaying lanterns swing up and down the dark wooden walls while the ship rocked and creaked and the rigging sang, the Captain said to his Mate,
"tell us a story Mate!"
And the First Mate said
"AARRRGH! well. T'was a wild and stormy night and the Captain and crew were all gathered round the cabin table watching the compasses roll in their gimbals and the shadows from the swaying lanterns swing up and down the dark wooden walls while the ship rocked and creaked and the rigging sang, the Captain said to his Mate, " tell us a story, Mate!" And the First Mate said"AARRRGH!....Well...."
And the Captain said "Oh not that story again Mate. Tell you what, have you heard the one about the three camels, the pastry djinn and the tin opener?"
"No" said the Mate rather huffily.
"You know, the one with twelve Arab maidens and a roc?"
"No" said the Mate again.
"Oh. Pity." said the Captain. "Neither have I"

Anyway. It was a wild and stormy night and the next day also and I had the interesting experience of leaning into the wind (which promptly dropped. Me.) while trying to focus on a rather pretty church in Stanford Dingley.

It's no good. I've studied cameras indepth, online, atpub and even injessops.
The one I eventually decide I want will be too expensive. There's not much point, I feel, in moving to a different kind of camera (DSLR) if I can only afford one which doesn't have most of the features I've become accustomed to in my beloved point and shoot Lumix.
the Lumix has x12 zoom and a nice viewing screen which can be rotated so you can see your shot from up above your head or from in between your feet. It has antishake and does good colour and as long as there's reasonable light, will take a good picture in most circumstances.
It has failings, which a good DSLR would not have. But if I didn't have the viewing screen and the antishake I might not be able to take advantage of the better things about the DSLR. And without the built in zoom, I'd have to add a hugely expensive zoom lens to get close ups but not as close up as I can now.
To get the sort of camera which will combine what I already have with the extra quality I want would cost more than I'm prepared to pay. Yet.
Really, I need to use one in real life to see what I can do with it before taking on extra lenses and huge expenses.
Anyone got a DSLR they want to lend me for a week or two? :)

Storm beaten church at Stanford Dingley
Wise old tree, watching me
Stars (dancing in the wind) in a leafy firmament
A golden evening (still stormy though)
Got to do some stuff now. I hope your week is going well and that whatever you need is happening.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

So as it was our anniversary

And he was walking the dog to the pub, I went up in the car to collect them. They didn't get wet and the sun came out. I've been meeting him at the pub more often recently because, though I'm not really a pub person any more (having done all that pub thing pretty thoroughly when I was much younger) I can see that he likes me to join him and be around when he's chatting to his mates. Sometimes I find another photographer there which is always fun :) Yesterday, I spent a happy hour discussing the merits of a rather desirable Canon D30. Although I have noticed that Sony have brought out a new version of the ....Oh! Oops, sorry. I almost forgot, this isn't the pub and you are probably not really really interested in the details of which camera I might have been reading about recently. (Blame Thursday's Joe Brown - it was him that started me thinking about new cameras*)
There were going to be pictures here but Blogger's gone bloggy, Barney's playing blues and cooking in the kitchen and in 3 minutes and 4 seconds I have to go and remove spices from the rice and fluff it up and let the steam escape for 5 minutes.
So I guess pictures must wait.

Pictures waited and Blogger bloggied and - Oh well. Long story, long wait.
Outside the pub, last evening sun
Inside, music and shiny glasses and chat
And if you look at this large, you might be able to catch another glimpse outside the window
And here's a bit more music. And a nice curtain.
And now it's time to move on to other things. The kitchen for instance, as Barney was cooking while playing blues, and the dog, who as usual, thinks I'm about to give in and take him out. Which reminds me, there was one funny moment in the pub when I glanced down to see Nutdog poised to disgrace himself by the fireplace so I gave him a slap and then for good measure, gave Barney one too - he was holding the lead at the time so I felt he ought to have been aware of what was happening at the other end of it.
They both looked at me reproachfully.
So we all went outside - Barney to answer a call which presumably Nutdog had reminded him about (It's an outside gents), Nutdog to answer all the calls which had been left recently around the gate and flower pots and me ?Oh well. You know :)
Goodnight :)

*Not that I'm thinking about new cameras exactly. Not really. No.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

An old married couple of water babies

That's what we are.
34 years today.

Did I mention the washing machine is leaking?
Oddly enough, so is the 'new' (handydown) dishwasher.
I'm spending the morning trotting into the utility room to peer at the floor beneath the washing machine in a kind of fascination to see when and how far the leak will appear and spread. Then trotting back to see how much is in the plastic box under the dishwasher.
The dog has been trotting hopefully after me and sniffing helpfully at the various parts of floor.

But now, Barney and the dog have walked to the pub - well, they're on the way. The sun shone brightly on their departure and now the sky has clouded over with ominous swiftness. A chill and damp wind has sprung up.
I think it's possible that when I get there to collect them I will find that they've got wet.
And together with the fact that I forgot it was our anniversary* I think this may mean Barney has had a character building day. The dog however will not have minded any of it - his character is already perfectly built and in spite of his age he is forever hopeful and young at heart. All he will think is how wonderful it was to smell wet things and shake his wet fur over everyone at the pub.
Actually, Barney is also forever hopeful and young at heart (except when he's being a grumpy old man) and so before collecting him I will go in search of delicious pudding to warm his cockles later after dinner.

*He wasn't too upset - he's used to my forgetfullness. It's not a sign of old age you see, I've always been forgetful about dates since I was very small. Sometimes I wonder how I ever remembered any numbers long enough to learn to count.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Flights of fancy and the fish shop

I was going to go and buy fish from a wonderful fish shop out in Kintbury today. but when I got there it showed no signs of life or indeed fish. In fact it rather looked as though they'd closed down for good.
So I took the long way back to Newbury to get fish somewhere else. This involved a good deal of backwoods lanes and also a village called Inkpen. We used to live near Inkpen and it's one of those places which has no obvious centre. Indeed no parts of it are obvious. So you drive along and suddenly you think"Oh yes this is the bit where the pub is" and after a few loops and turns in what seem to be quite other directions from those you thought you ought to be heading in, there's a village pond - with a bit of village attached. Later, after you thought you might be well on the way to the next county, you suddenly come to a bit called Upper Green. Further round or back or over, there's Lower Green.
Later still after a diversion or two, you suddenly think "Oh, this is the road to Kintbury!"
I rather suspect that if you walked along footpaths, you'd find each of the parts of Inkpen arranged in a fairly sensible order. But when the roads tried to get up there, mysterious barriers were put in their way and they were forced to follow a labyrinthine track around and into and out of and past the parts of the village so that the modern transport thing was baulked in its attempt to make Inkpen accessible to the present day world.
Oddly enough, as far as I can tell, the people of Inkpen are perfectly normal people and have no trouble using the roads in a pefectly normal way.

Well I followed one turning just because it looked little and interesting and since it said it was going to 'skinners road' I imagined it might go somewhere. I think the 'road' part of it was a bit of an overstatement though and while I was considering the wisdom of continuing I suddenly found I had a somewhat bovine audience. Well completely bovine really.And when they felt the performance was over, one of them came up to the gate to offer his congratulations. And to lick the camera.I don't know if you've ever noticed but cattle always have wet noses.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

On hygiene and health at the end of the day

I am not an expert on hygiene. No really, even though, when working in school kitchens, I took a health and hygiene exam (and passed, I'll have you know - it took me twenty minutes out of the allotted 2 hours - but hey, if you're offered questions like "which of these things must you never do in a kitchen - 1. wash all surfaces every night 2. mop the floors before leaving or 3. flush the leftover food down the toilet?" it's hard to maintain interest for more than five minutes)
But I have this gut feeling that a thermos lid with an 'easy-pouring' attachment which can neither be removed or opened and won't admit the smallest of cleaning implements will probably be seething with interesting bacterial cultures. Certainly, when I attempt to clean Barney's every so often, it takes me about half an hour to rinse and shake out all the gunk which has glued itself in there. I simply refuse to use the attachment and just unscrew the lid in the old fashioned way, keeping the attachment as tightly fastened as possible.
Similarly, when the children were little I used to despair of getting the deposits of juice and stuff off the insides of the tiny sucking lids of beakers. Some of which came with similar 'easy-pour' type lids. Some of which, indeed, even came with complex lids and attachments which you couldn't get into at all.
Oh, just soak it in steriliser, they say airily. Right. Is that the stuff which destroys 99% of all known germs? So is that 99% of all germs of every known kind or is it 99% of the varieties of germs which we know about? Possibly they don't even discommode one or two varieties at all. And even if it's 99% of all known kinds of all germs, the other 1% will be blithely learning resistance and multiplying away in there.
I dare not even ask what is or isn't covered by the euphemistic 'germs'. since it's a term that belongs to the days before we knew that bacteria and viruses existed and weren't the same thing and long before anyone had discovered MRSA and all the other stuff we no doubt bring home from hospitals and dribble into our cups and lids.

Speaking of which, I wonder if hospitals use 'easy-pouring' lids and beaker tops for children and elderly people who have difficulty drinking from a regular, open topped cup! Hmmmm?
Last night I asked a friend of mine about this (she's a nurse) and she said yes they do use those - oh well they go through a dishwasher and the steam sterilises them. Hmm.
Here are yesterday's sunsets

And later I just happened to look up at the window - I was about to think, time to draw the curtains. But guess what happened instead.
And some time today, either when tying the dog to my leg or perhaps when untying him from a tree, the camera did this. I've no idea what the camera thought it was doing but I quite like it :)

Monday, March 03, 2008

sky eyed

I've been cat sitting - or more accurately, cat visiting (and feeding)
This has given me two benefits. Not only do I now get head butting, leg rubbing and assorted purring and squawking and snuffing from six hungry animals twice a day (instead of the usual three) but also, I get to drive some three miles through the loveliest countryside leaping out from time to time to take photos.
And as an added bonus, it's been gloriously sunny today and the the skies have been wonderfully, changeably clouded and lit.
Driving into town, I could hardly keep my eyes on the road and now I've got home the sky is still doing its stuff. I keep having to drop everything to rush outside with the camera yet again.

Meanwhile, the dog is moulting, my temporary charges across the valley are waiting for me and wev'e run out of bread.
And tonight, we're going to a quiz! I love quizzes. There are only three of us so far though so we might need to phone a friend now and then.

half an hour later
mid afternoon

early evening
I haven't done the sunset ones yet :)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

When I was a kid

We didn't do Mother's day. Possibly because we hadn't heard of it. My own mother died before it became accepted into mainstream culture.
So I find it hard to think about this event in advance and this year it was all so ridiculously early I'd completely not got round to remembering it. then Mel said happy Mother's day and I thought! Oh, the children have all forgotten. Oh well.
About half an hour later, youngest (the mother of GB =Gorgeous Babe) rang up and chatted to me for half an hour and said Happy Mother's day :)
About an hour after that, all unannounced, Middle girl and HF rolled up and we had hugs and dog walks and went to the pub to meet HF and Barney. While we were there, Eldest phoned and not only wished me happy mother's day but made interesting suggestions about money making from photos and demanded to know what I'd done with one of my photos which he'd wanted to show someone.
We rolled back home and the cooking of dinner got under way and Youngest and her lovely partner turned up! She only rang earlier so I wouldn't be suspicious that she (as a mother herself) hadn't remembered :)
We've had a lovely day :)
I am a contented bunny :)

I love those kids.

Dog walking pics

Pub garden pics

I am now very full of dinner and wine and general contentment and not typing very well so I will go to bed.
I hope your children also remembered and gave enjoyment. It's one of the things they're good at :)

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