Friday, February 23, 2018

George is getting old.

Having quietened my concern yesterday George fell on the steps today and couldn't get up so we've had a trip to the vet.

Basically he's getting old. Dodgy joints, thick knees, probable osteo-arthritis. We're trying him on pain-killers to begin. See if they ease the pain and help him move more easily. The vet also suggested massaging his legs for him. 

George will think he's in seventh heaven.

If these don't work ... well, they'll try something else. 

Relieved it's not his heart but sad to think he's been in pain, even it is just a nagging ache rather than acute. We were lucky with Harvey: he made it to the end with just cod liver oil and glucosamine supplements. Could get expensive. Thank goodness we have the NHS supplying our medicines.

My bottom drawer

And the de-cluttering continues apace.

I haven't used these yet during my married life so it's not likely that I'll ever use them.
Old linen
So they're in the charity shop bag. And you can bet your bottom dollar that in two months' time someone will say we're having a retro tea party or stall or something and do you have any old-fashioned linen.

Actually some of it I think I bought at huge expense from gypsies at the door, simply to make them go away and not put a curse on me. (They did go away but had me marked down as a sucker so came back again as well.)

The rest I inherited from my gran and my great-auntie Gay. This 'bottom drawer' clutter is probably the last link I have left with my growing-up. But if I do it quickly enough I won't notice that they're gone.

A message from God

I was sitting at my desk playing a game when I heard a clomp in the hall. I ignored it assuming it was George. When I eventually got up I discovered this:
A new brush - complete with label - that I've never seen before.

Is it a message from God?

'Get up off your lazy bottom and do the housework you've been putting off in favour of things you'd rather do!'

Okay, okay, I'm doing it. We're trying to put our bedroom back together. (I'm just waiting for Husband to finish screwing wardrobes together before I go and put things in them, hence, I am sitting here blogging you understand.)

Husband is discovering the problems of me 'working' in the same room as him. I keep dancing. And singing along to Springsteen. But I only ever know one line or two so I am silent for most of the song and then every now and again I burst into life. 'Shackled and drawn, shackled and drawn, woke up this morning shackled and drawn.'

In other news had my all clear letter from Breast Test Wales. Even though it's routine screening and I don't expect them to find anything there's always that moment when the envelope arrives before you've opened and read it when the heart beats extra fast.

In other other news, does anyone else boil hankies? Does anyone else use proper hankies? (I just mistyped other as oethre and spellcheck asked me if I meant shoetree. there is a logic to it I suppose but then again how often have I used the word 'shoetree' to make it think a more likely option than other? As far as I can remember I have never used it.

Excuse me, I have been summoned to hold a screw.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The egotism of shyness

A few posts ago I wrote about feeling responsible for killing people. I realised today that I blame myself for many things. Most things. To be honest quite often it is my fault but sometimes I'm innocent.

I wonder if it's like shyness. I am shy now and as a child was painfully shy (it's always described as painfully, rightly so) and sometimes people would try to help me overcome it by saying, 'Really it's egotism, thinking everyone is looking at you. When really nobody cares.'

Yes, so that was really helpful adding egotism and guilt to my ever-growing list of faults, but am I doing the same now? Is it egotistical to think everything's my fault? As if the world revolves around me?

Possibly. Or perhaps I should stop thinking so much. 

Lent 9

The gentle warmth of the Spring sunshine, an assurance that better days are coming.
And George did really well on his walk today, even going uphill. So not so worried about him any more.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lent 8

Today I'm grateful for George. And that he seems more like his usual self again.
He's gentle and patient even when being mauled by numerous children. He doesn't display the same affection that Harvey used to when he saw us and I'd go so far as to say his favourite thing in life is food. But if we were out and someone attacked me I think he would protect me. Unless offered a tasty scooby snack in which case I'd have to rely on my street-fighting skills, all of which I learned from Miss Piggy.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Getting personal

I'm leading Zac's tonight. We've been studying the gospel of Luke and tonight we arrive at the Last Supper.

I grew up attending an Anglican church - I was christened, confirmed and married in one - and in recent years I've accompanied Uncle to Roman Catholic services. 

Try as I might I cannot find grounds for the ritual that is attached to communion in traditional and orthodox churches. Jesus says, 'Eat this bread and remember me.' From that I understand him to be saying, 'Make me a part of your everyday life. Remember me when you eat and drink, remember me when you cry or you're in pain, remember me when you're laughing and singing. Involve me in your life. Don't set me apart from it.'

It's simple, it's personal. That's what I'll be trying to say tonight.

The Last supper Da Vinci

P.S. Researching the subject I discovered that Judas is fourth from the left in this famous painting. You can tell it's him apparently because Da Vinci painted him holding a money bag. Also it's said to be a representation of the moment just after Jesus announces to his friends that one of them will betray him, hence the surprised expressions on some faces. Also Jesus' feet are missing from the painting because some time after it - not strictly speaking a mural but a picture painted on a wall - was finished they knocked part of the wall away to put in a doorway.

Lent 7

It's half term so this afternoon I was grateful for the chance to play in the woods with the grandchildren.

They insisted on paddling in the stream and on making a 'boat'. I was only just able to stop them putting their coats on it and sailing off to sea.
Our boat

Monday, February 19, 2018

Lent 6

Today I am grateful as I am every day for my 'happy' pill. I can safely say it changed my life.

I could write a long blog post about being medicated and what Christians should do (in the opinions of some people) but I'll just say that I am thankful for the doctor who finally prescribed it for me, for the scientists who developed it and for the health service that allows me to have it.


According to the little map most of my blog visitors are from Russia. The KGB must have realised that all of my seemingly random and rambling posts are really code for ... something really important. Obviously I can't tell you what otherwise there'd be no point in it being in code.

They have seen through the facade, the show I put on of being a happily married granny. I am really 6'3", with the finely-tuned athletic body of a man who survives on a diet of kefir and seaweed. Oh and I look like a young Sean Connery. 

(You believed me until the last bit, didn't you?)

Apparently this post could be truer than you - or I - think. Husband just pointed me to a BBC article about Russian Troll Farms

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lent 5

Today is GrandSon2's 6th birthday. I am so very grateful for my grandchildren.

When we had our first grandchild I wondered if I could  love another as much but I find that the love just grows. There's more and more of it, plenty to go around. A bit like the magic porridge pot: it just keeps pouring out. I am so grateful for that expanding pot of love.
A card for me from GrandDaughter2.

Just popping to the mosque, dear

It was Visit a Mosque Day today so I did.

There is an old church building immediately opposite Zac's and it's been bought and renovated by the local Muslim community and they've done a fantastic job. The visit included a fascinating tour as well as information stands, and a variety of activities including henna painting and Arabic calligraphy.
mosque open day
We (I arrived at the mosque at the same time as some friends and we did the tour together) also tried on hijabs. I didn't have my camera with me but when Joy uploads her photos I will post a piccie of that too.

And of course there was yummy food. Well, it would have been rude not to try it.

There were also lots of police milling around. They were mostly community police and were very smiley and chatty but I fear there may have been an ulterior motive: a mosque open day offers a potential target for racists. Sad times. Thankfully when I was there everyone - and there were lots of visitors - was happy to be there. Communication between faiths - and with those of no faith - can only be good.

The goldfish's moustache

For those concerned with the fate of our goldfish I can tell you he has returned to his usual - albeit lumpy - self. He is swimming around normally and the right way up. Oh, but he has grown a moustache ...

And spider, who suffered traumatic stress disorder following my attempts to clean the bath around him has made it out of the bath! On his own! He is halfway up the tiled wall.

I was so proud of him when I saw what he had achieved. If I hadn't left my camera at daughter's I would have taken a photo.

George on the other hand is causing some concern. When I walked him last week I was struck by how very slowly he ambled along. Husband said he's been getting slower over the last six months but I'm not convinced. He's due for his annual vaccinations soon so we'll get the vet to check him then. 

Husband's probably right: his innate laziness is finally overcoming him.

Paul Flynn or an alien?

Over on FaceBook Glenn suggested that yesterday's earthquake may have been the result of alien intrusion. I didn't take it seriously at the time but since then I've been thinking...

For the last two nights I've been getting twinges where my bit was removed. I put it down to wind but what if, when they abducted me, the aliens implanted a transmitter?! And it's been busy sending and receiving messages to landing craft? It would explain a lot.

And then there's the strange coincidence of Paul Flynn turning up on the morning of my operation and offering to do it. Everyone knows aliens usually come in a chameleon form so maybe it wasn't really Paul but an alien!

I'm just putting these ideas out there for your consideration. Blame Glenn. 

Paul Flynn or an alien?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Did the earth move for you?

'I thought our new loft conversion was collapsing.'
'I thought a car had crashed into the front of the office.'

Two of the comments from FaceBook friends following the afternoon earthquake - of 4.4 magnitude about 10 miles north of Swansea. 

I was in the car at the time and didn't feel a thing. 
However when we got to the library a message on the tannoy about 'the incident that just happened' and 'everything under control now' alerted us to the strange goings-on that we had just missed.

Incidentally this non-post is for Stu who requested that I blog about our near death experience.

Lent 4 Libraries

This beautiful but damp room used to be Swansea reference library. 
Now Swansea Central library is in a modern sea front location, light and airy, and with easy parking. It is one of my favourite places. I am so grateful for the determination of a few men to see free public libraries introduced for the benefit and improvement of the working classes. In 1852 the first such library opened in Manchester following the Public Libraries Act of 1850.

It's worth noting that during the debates on the act Conservatives, concerned about the cost of the scheme and the social transformation it could bring about, argued strongly against free public libraries.

Today more and more local libraries are being closed or being gradually run down having to rely on volunteers.

It's definitely a case of Use It Or Lose It.

What I want or what I need

I was feeling really weary this afternoon. I had two choices: I could sit and wallow or get up and do something. I knew that while I may prefer to do the former I would feel better afterwards if I did the latter. So I cleaned the bathroom. Carefully not disturbing the spider in the bath.

To be honest though I'm not sure how successful my attempts were. I fear he may have had one or two panic attacks but, hey, he's still alive. Husband can get him out later.

I'm not sure why I'm so tired. Husband has been very restless in bed - he tells me - and thinks I may be suffering because of it. Especially as we're still in the double bed in the spare room as opposed to our normal super-king-size bed.

Did I tell you that I have ordered curtains for our bedroom? But they won't be here for up to six weeks so we'll remain squashed for a few weeks yet. Perhaps I should go and sleep in a bunk bed. Oh no, wait, they're covered in boxes and things from our bedroom. Hey ho. I'll have to take up afternoon napping.

Television today - spoiler alert!

We watched the last episode of Requiem last night. The first five episodes were good; the finale was a let-down. Weird plus it left loads of ends flapping. Unless they're planning another series, which is a possibility now I think of it with the current trend for the supernatural, it left more questions than answers.

Unlike McMafia, which also finished this week. ended with the 'hero' going completely over to the dark side. 

Thank goodness for Death in Paradise, where someone gets murdered each week, but in very delightful surroundings, and the policeman always gets the baddie. Am I old-fashioned to want a satisfactory ending? The triumph of good over evil?

Saga from The Bridge
P.S. The best thing about Requiem was the opening music, which owed a lot to The Bridge.
P.P.S. Hurry up and bring back The Bridge and its main character, Saga! I could cope with her weirdness.
P.P.S. I watched several episodes of McMafia before I remarked to Husband that there wasn't a single Scotsman in it. He explained to me that it was a reference to franchised crime not clans.