Sunday, 19 March 2017

Introducing Pinky and Washing Instructions


Meet Pinky and Washing Instructions. They were the first Christmas presents my youngest son ever had (he was ten days old), and they languish here, sometimes cuddled by grandchildren but mostly ignored. I thought they deserved a post to cheer them up (Washing Instructions is particularly grumpy. You only have to look at his face).

Pinky is so-called because that's what's on his label. The same goes for Washing Instructions. The names stuck, as is the way with names. I think Washing Instructions did have a bath once, a long time ago. He's probably due another. So is Pinky.

That's all really.  It's not that I haven't got enough to do; it's just that I don't feel like doing it.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Soggy bottoms, and other stories

A friend and I were discussing culinary disasters, and she thought a book of them would be a good idea. I'm not so sure about the book, but  thought the above would be quite a good title.

If you've nothing better to do, or the writing has ground to a halt, do post a culinary disaster of your own as a comment. I'd love to know I'm not alone.

As for mine, I'll spare you the stuffed breast of lamb, which still makes me shudder after all these years, and the thrice baked lemon meringue pie, but here is the fresh fruit jelly (which may have had a mention in the past, but no matter. At least it serves as a warning).

It looked so beautiful in the photo, the fresh fruits shinning like jewels in their flawless casing of fruit juice jelly. Easy, I thought. What could possibly go wrong? Well, I started off well enough, but I should have remembered that when giving a dinner party, never, ever make something that has to be Turned Out. Thus, when it came to that moment, I upended my jelly very carefully onto a serving place, where it sat uncertainly, quivering slightly (I was quivering too, by this stage). Then slowly slowly, quiveringly, it sank to its knees and keeled over in an unsightly pile of....well, jelly. I had to scoop its remains into a serving dish. Not the same at all.

Now, over to you.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

How long are you going to live?

There's a delightful new test doing the rounds which you can try to get the answer. This is what you do:

Cross your legs, while standing.
Sit down on the floor without touching anything at all, legs still crossed.
Rise again, without touching anything (including the floor).

That's it.  Deduct a point out of ten every time you wobble or reach out to touch anything. Apparently 0-3 points and you're in trouble. You can find this on YouTube, and see an athletic young man smilingly sinking, then rising again like Venus from the foam. I suspect he's been practising.

Gentle readers, I tried this. I wobbled, I touched everything in sight, and ended up more or less like an upturned beetle, limbs waving helplessly. According to this test, I'm already dead. I suspect that all over the country, there are other poor souls similarly placed, floundering helplessly on a thousand bedroom floors before trotting off to put their affairs in order.

Do try it and let me know how you get on. 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

An anniversary

Twenty-five years ago today, my husband died. We have marked it by sending flowers to his grave (sadly, too far for us to travel), and by thinking about him.

One of the many hard things about losing a partner is that there is only one of you left to hold all those memories that were once shared. Here, just for him, are just a few of the things I remember:

The way you wooed me with a heart-shaped Valentine arrangement of fresh snowdrops, sent through the post.
How soon afterwards we spent Easter in the Yorkshire Dales, and you wrote me a poem afterwards.
How we married just five months to the day after our first date, which shocked my poor grandmother.
Our 2000 mile honeymoon round Europe in your leaky MG.
The hours we spent gazing in sheer astonishment at our first baby, because we simply couldn't believe we had produced this perfect, home-made human being.
The way you put up with my moods.
That catastrophic elderflower wine (what was that dark cloud that formed in the middle of the jar? In the end, we had to mix it with lemonade to make it drinkable).
The way I put up with your insatiable need to create things, from an observatory (which took months and even nights to complete) to a completely new school (which took years, and which is now flourishing).
Your passion for teashops and curries (not necessarily together).
And perhaps most of all, your utter kindness and generosity.

Thank you. For everything.

Friday, 20 January 2017

La la la la la...

😡Are we the only people on the planet to think this awful film is just a load of tosh? We sat through it last nigh, dreaming of our fish and chips (we only have fish and chips after the cinema - house rule) and of paint drying. Hardly any dialogue, ditto storyline, a lot of half-hearted dancing - please tell me we're not alone.(This post is mainly because I want to try out my new computer, which terrifies me.)

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Don't say it with flowers...

....say it with words. This came to me the other day, as I approach the 25th anniversary of my husband's death;  the realisation that "saying it with flowers" can be a cop out. Flowers are lovely, but they can also be used as an alternative to words people don't know how to say (I've done it myself).

When my husband died, we were inundated with flowers, and they were beautiful. But I can't remember who sent them. What I do remember is the brave people who came to our house, not knowing what state we were in (terrible), and listened, and hugged us and wept with us.

I remember in particular one couple I didn't really know well, and didn't especially count as friends. But they came straight away, and I remember how courageous and thoughtful I thought they were. Because it does take courage to confront someone else's tragedy; it is hard to know what to say. But say it anyway. That's what I've learnt. Say it with words.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Some useful information about bears


I found this just now while clearing out my old computer prior to getting a new one. I may have posted it before, but I think it bears (ha!) repeating. You might thank me one day.