Monday, January 28, 2013

Past Imperfect

Due to unforseen circumstances the blog will be quiet for a while but will be back later.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Out at last!

Our newish little hospital on the edge of town

Today's dawn.  Happy Burns Day!

Yesterday we rose early and MTL inspected the lane; he pronounced it ice-free so we could get out.  At first enforced skulking indoors is quite pleasant and then it becomes stultifying.  Supplies were gettting low - especially milk and staples like shower and bath cream, mouth wash, shampoo and skin freshener and I was pining for soft fruit and yoghourt.

The roads were quiet - people heeding the warnings which - here at any rate turned out to be a false alarm.  In Wiltshire it toook son # 2 four and a half hours to drive home.  We were early at the Warfarin clinic and MTL's results meant he doesn't have to attend for 6 weeks but I must watch his propensity for eating greens.

At the super market,with two trolleys bulging we had a sweet check- out girl who spotted that the wrong item was spoiling a special offer and got it changed, mopped up a faulty shower creaam bottle and got it changed and offered to help with the packing.  I have now got things organised so I can't forget to take my spare bags and glow with pride when asked do I want bags.  Of course in the end we do need them but at least I have made the effort.

Back home the postman delivered a small parcel and handed over £1 he had found by the garage door.  Only yesterday I read that workmen had found a woman's handbag missing for seven years   and containing  £250.  Honesty survives.

A sad story of a young woman found dead in her sister's garden.  She had lost her key, her sister was out and scantily dressed and without shoes she died of exposure.  I understand Joanna Lumley when she criticises 'laddish young women who drink so much they end up being 'sick in the gutter' and put themselves at risk of being 'robbed or raped'  She says:
'I promise you it is better to look after yourself properly, which means behave properly, be polite, be on time, dress properly- I don't mean dully- but don't be sick in the gutter at midnight in a silly dress with no money to get a taxi home, because someone will take advantage of you.

And how often do we hear of a young girl coming to grief and her friends saying 'She just wandered off.  We lost track of her.'
Friends are supposed to take care of each other and particularly if you are a male you should make sure your girl friends get home safely.  That's what men do IMO.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Not to be sexist but…

Pat:  Darling when this programme is finished could you make a note of the woman’s name, I have to go.’

 MTL: Hrrrymph!

 Pat: Did you manage to catch her name?

MTL:  Smith.

Fortunately I had the Radio Times and discovered that her name actually was Smith:
 Annette Karmaloff- Smith in fact.  So much easier for googling.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Just a light dusting.

 But enough snow to make the lane silent as the grave and to make me cancel a routine visit to the surgery and my help Sheila to miss two mornngs.  Note the hills in the distance - the Quantocks were looking particularly attractive this morning although nothing to compare to the mountains the Angry Parsnip has on her doorstep.

Watched a feel good film last night 'It's Complicated' with Alec Baldwin, Meryl Streep and Steve Martin.  Nancy Meyers wrote and directed it and IMO the awards and nominations it garnered were well deserved.  There is a web-cam scene which had me screeching with delight. Tubby Alec Baldwin is a joy and I relished a very restrained Steve Martin finally breaking out.  Meryl always throws herself wholeheartedly into whatever the part demands and there's lots of' 'interior decorating and confectionary porn'.

It's becoming a habit: every Monday morning - usually when I'm in the middle of leaving a comment over at Savannah's  I'm bounced off line.  Still it's an ill wind - I did some housework and had a long chat with an old nursing pal who is about to have a new knee - she already has a new hip.  She's in her eighties so hats off.  She is a widow and tragically lost her daughter some years back but happilyshe and her brother decided to pool resouces and live together and they have a high old time travelling and having cruises. Great example of seizing the day.

Something strange happened over the week-end the number of hits I had went viral.  What did I do?

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Beat the Freeze

We lose most heat through our extremities - head, hands and feet; remember people wore night caps before central heating.  Layers of clothes are a good idea - they should be loose and not constricting: circulation is all.  If after violent exercise (shovelling snow) you get hot, remove the odd layer rather than perspire and make it damp.  In the UK damp is our enemy and makes us really feel the cold so keeping dry is important.

Since MTL had chemo he is very prone to cold hands and feet so I was interestd to learn that stamping one's feet - as you see people doing at bus stops - and clapping ones hands, is a no no; one should shake hands and feet to get the blood flowing.  By the same token tight gloves and socks are bad and should be replaced by loose mitts and socks.
Your loose layers of clothes are more beneficial if they are natural fabrics and fleeeces.

Hot food and drink is vital- plenty of carbs - soup , stews and porrridge all help to warm the cockles.  Remember to stock up with essentials as soon as you hear the risk of a white- out.  With the help of tins and the freezer one can sit out a snowy siege comfortably..

When relaxing after all the snow shovelling put your feet up (its warmer off the ground and remember the adage - never stand when you can sit- never sit when you can lie) and cover yourself with a rug.  You know those lovely crocheted throws many of you have ?  This is when they come into their own.

I expect many of you know all this but if you have any more tips to beat the freeze please share them.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Homily for today

Don’t crouch down in a confined space if you are of a certain age.  If you do and your knees start to hurt do not then sit –in the confined space.
Should you get the urge to read the label on the back of your flat TV, rather look up the paper work (RTFM) than attempt to squeeze yourself between the window and the TV which is in the corner.
The said label was quite small and sited near the base of theTV with about five lines of letters and numbers.  By the time I had jotted them down, with the aid of pencil and paper, I could no longer move – my knees were locked and MTL began to get curious about what I was up to.  Slowly and achingly I sank to the floor.  There was no space to roll over onto my knees and after a while MTL came to investigate.

 Would I like a hand up?  He kindly offered said hand and put his other one on the TV to balance himself but fortunately I could see it was about to topple over and suggested he remove both hands PDQ.  When we had both regained our equilibrium – mentally and physically I asked him to brace himself, take my hand and I would - with the help of the wall behind me wriggle upwards.  I think if it hadn’t been for my climbing years – going up and down rock chimneys in Wales and the Lake District we may have had to make an emergency call for a block and tackle or similar.

See below.

Homily for today

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Part Two

Orchids anyone?

After my wild primroses I find these primulas a little garish - but that's just me.  Love the cyclamen.

Love this combination.

Water features.

My camera can take photos all by itself.

More below.
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What to do on a Grey Day?

A trip to the Garden Centre of course.

Note the two slightly shrivelled oranges at top of frame.

These look like tryffyds.

Spider plants can look attractive.

I had one of those dark spiky plants.  It never looked right in my garden and was a devil to get rid of.

I wasn't tempted and only bought a rosemary which was thrice the price I was told it would be.
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Camp as Christmas

Reza, Spice Prince of India

The Lake Palace Hotel Udaipur

A favourite way to struggle through the foggy torpor of January is to watch chefs on TV.  Not with any intention of copying their recipes and trying to emulate them but just to marvel at their skill and get the juices flowing.  Nigella is a sensual delight but a new favourite is Reza - camp as Christmas, with charming manners - a delight in itself.  An added perk he is cooking in Rajasthan where we spent one of our last hurrahs and we can see the Lake Palace Hotel where we had a heavenly lunch.  And the very barge where we had a moonlit picnic on the Lake where my Deli belly was but a dstant memory.
He is on Channel 5 at 1.45pm.  You can catch the last one tomorrow.  He really is the Spice King.

From the start I thought I know this man and then he laughed in profile and guess what?
Freddie Mercury - as I live and breathe.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Another side to Mr Grump

This must be the must-see film of 2013.  For so many reasons.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Win some - Lose some.

 Christine, a doughty local councillor - long gone - gave me this rosemary and I loved the way it fragranced my billowing sheets.  Now - after severe hacking pronounced dead.(:

 The berberis - not a favourite but I didn't want it hacked - just lowered.

A beautiful clematis -a feature of the house smelling of vanilla.  a few shoots appeared and my hopes were raised, but now they have gone and I fear I've lost it.:(

All is not lost - here is the first daffodil:)

And a rose:)

Winter jasmine:)

A whatsit:)

And a primrose which defies destruction! Today is a special day.  See link below
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January 5th

January 5th: for anyone who wonders why Champagne is on the menu tonight

Thirty four years and counting.


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

From the Horse’s Mouth.

Blondes make the best victims.  They’re like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.
Alfred Hitchcock

 I always say to anybody who’s going over to America for the first time,
”Whatever you do, go and see a popular mainstream film with a big audience”
Because people shout out.  You never get that in Britain.  Everybody’s so quiet, scared to laugh.  It’s like being in church.
Danny Boyle
The film director, in many instances, has to swallow somebody else’s decision about the final form of something.  It’s so hard as to be intolerable.
Trevor Nunn

 Art is an experience, not the formulation of a problem.
Lindsay Anderson

 Nervousness was never something I would ever associate with the Beatles ever.  A Hard Day’s Night was relatively unscathed by marijuana, but even then they were quite relaxed about it.
Richard Lester
If you make a fool of yourself for them then you usually get that back.  I think that there are points where you become so close to an actor, you know them so well, almost as well or better than their spouse.  You have to know them, warts and all.
Adrian Lyne

 I don’t really say much about reviewers.  It’s a very tough job to get all of the depth of a movie all at once.
Roland Joffe

 Whoever becomes the head of the National Theatre finds himself in a position like; that of Nelson’s column – pigeons dump on you because you’re there.
Peter Hall
It’s not easy to strap yourself down to a desk and bash on a keyboard when you know you can direct lots of  films, because directing films is fun and interactive and gregarious.  Writing isn’t.
Guy Ritchie