Saturday, 27 February 2016

Drive Through Memory Lane

Nothing else would do.  I just had to have a Big Mac!  It must be ten years since last I went to the Golden Arches but tonight I just had to go.

It must be over thirty years since I was driving home to Leicester one night and I passed a drive through.  I’d never been to McDonald’s before and I’d certainly never been to a drive through.  That night I was in a rush to get home but my mind kept straying back and a couple of weeks later I went on the nearly fifty mile round trip.  I was fascinated!  I remember I ordered a Big Mac and sat alone in my car to eat it.  I repeated the experience a few times but I can’t say I was ever hooked.  I like my food home cooked or at least not so stuffed with fat and salt.  

 But tonight I just had to have a Big Mac.  It was a mere nineteen mile round trip this time.  I seemed to have to queue for ever to place my order.  I can tell you that the speaker system for ordering is no better than it was thirty years ago!  Tonight I told the youngster to speak slowly and clearly and I could feel the grumpy old woman in me making her presence felt.


I’ve just eaten my Big Mac.   I probably shan’t repeat the experience for another ten years

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Another day out

I had to go to Cleethorpes yesterday to do a small item of business and was not happy when I had to pay a pound to park my car on a not-very-busy front.  (On-street parking is no use to a trundle truck user as there needs to be space behind the car to let down the ramp and get the scooter in and out of the vehicle.)

Anyway, I paid my £1 but the business took only minutes so I decided to have a trundle along the promenade.  It was lovely!  

Dogs are allowed on the beach before Good Friday and there were quite a lots of mutts having the most wonderful runs and rolls.  Even a couple of horses were taking advantage of this glorious day.

 Far out in the estuary the war time forts were visible - in fact it looked as though one could just paddle out there!

The only thing which marred my day was that there was no-one to play snakes and ladders with me.

Maybe it was £1 well-spent after all.
My apologies for the photographs - one day I shall buy a camera with a decent zoom!

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

First time this year















It's more than a bit nippy here in Lincolnshire this week but the upside of that is that it is wonderful and clear and bright.  So yesterday I went off to Normanby Park.


The snowdrops were gorgeous but will soon be over.

The daffodils will be at their best in a week or two.


The rhubarb is being "forced" to create those succulent, sweet stems.


The deer were munching happily in the distance.

And all around humans were saying, "Isn't it a glorious day?"  "We've hardly had a winter."

And everyone, flora, fauna and human beings appreciates the joy of being alive on a wonderful day.






Saturday, 20 February 2016

Replenishing the stash!

Oh dear!  I need to get rid of stuff, not acquire it, and I spend a lot of time sorting and slinging.




But there are things I need to acquire for the store cupboard and birthday cards are a case in point.  I've sent a lot of cards since Christmas, for birthdays, anniversaries, thank yous or just because.  My stash of cards is now low so yesterday I had another trip to Mandy and we made these four cards.  I like flowers and butterflies on my cards so these will all be of use - and yes, there is a 91st birthday coming up!


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

A Bit of Self-Indulgence

Beverley Minster
I had to go to Beverley today, which is no great hardship!  Beverley is a lovely market town just a few miles north of the Humber.  It's not often that I go there so when I do it is always an indulgence.

I needed to return a spiralizer to Lakeland.  This was an indulgence when I bought it before Christmas but sadly making vegetable spaghetti was impossible for me.  Lakeland HQ told me to take it back to any of their shops and as the most convenient for me is Beverley I was glad of the excuse to visit.  I swapped it for a very good quality cook's knife - far more sensible!

Such common sense was too much so as it was well gone eleven o'clock and I hadn't had breakfast I decided to treat myself to brunch, and in fact to be truly self-indulgent and treat myself to Eggs Royale.  This is smoked salmon and poached eggs on toasted bread and topped with Hollandaise sauce.  

I am not going to try and justify either the calories or the cost.  Total indulgence means not doing either.  Bliss!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Changing Face of Luxury

Way, way back, a couple of centuries ago, oysters were food for the poor.  I remember reading that years ago and marvelling at it - as I still do when I see the exorbitant price of those delicious shellfish.  However my forefathers and foremothers would look in astonishment at how our expectations have changed.

Take fish.  When I was a little girl we had cod and chips (home cooked!) every week but fresh salmon was a very rare luxury and indeed few of my friends had ever tasted it.  These days salmon is considerably cheaper than cod.  

A car was a rare possession for families sixty years ago and most of my friends would travel by train when they went on holiday.  These days rail travel is very rare and few families have no access to a car (although I suspect that might be different in areas where there is still a proper public transport system). 


One of my most frequent errands as a child was to post letters for my Mother.  Although my Father's job meant that we had a telephone at home, few of our relations had such a convenience, so Mother would write regularly to her brothers and sister and to my grandparents.  Every day letters popped on to the mat and so news was shared.  


But today when my own letterbox rattled I found I had received one of those great twenty first century luxuries, a handwritten letter, this time all the way from the USA.  And so I prepared another luxury, real coffee (more or less unheard of in my youth) which I will drink from my beautiful china (Grandma very rarely used the best stuff), and read a handwritten letter from a land which seemed as far away as the moon when my Father went there on business when I was just five.
  
Sheer luxury!


Monday, 8 February 2016

An Abundance of Joy


The view from my window is not very good today.  In fact it's downright miserable.  Once again it is raining and windy.  This means that no-one is out walking dogs, no-one is taking a gentle stroll back from the village, and there is no-one to wave to.


But a glance out the back window showed me that despite everything the snowdrops are looking lovely so in a break between the showers I nipped out and fetched in a small bunch for my sitting room.

I put them into a tiny vase I found at the charity shop and put them near my chair.  The lovely card they stand on was made by a fellow blogger and as you can see, she too  sent me joy.

ITMA

It's that MOOC again!

The MOOC "Know Your Abdomen" was the shortest I have done so far at just two weeks but I was so fascinated I actually finished it in two days. I've signed on for a follow up course starting at the end of March.

As well as that I went to Futurelearn.com and found that Trinity College Dublin offers a course called "Strategies for Ageing" which starts today so I signed up.

I am now umpty-twiddly-four and I'm hoping that before too long I will work out what I am going to do when I grow up but whilst I'm working that out I might as well work out what I'm going to do when ageing strikes.  I don't want to be defined by the date on my birth certificate either by others or by myself.  So far I'm having a great retirement and if I can discover ways of making it even better, lead me to 'em.  

One of the great quotes in an early session is from Satchel Paige, an American baseball player whom I'd never heard of. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?  

Well, how old would YOU be?


Monday, 1 February 2016

Moocs

Sometimes I surprise myself.  Not often, but sometimes.

I've never seen myself as being interested in science but since I retired I've started to look anew at things which I never had time for (or interest in) in my younger life.

Today I started a new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) this time from the University of Leeds.  It's called Know Your Abdomen.  

I don't know about you but my abdomen is one of those areas I've always preferred to forget about.  Every so often I have to think about it, generally when something goes wrong.  I have hazy memories of O level Biology lessons at school but hazy is actually quite a generous description of my memory.  Anyway, I decided that it might be interesting to get to know a little more so today I started my latest MOOC.  This particular course was written for school students but "slightly more mature people" like me are also welcome.

And I was delighted that the course began with an illustration from someone even older than me  - Leonardo da Vinci.

But really my delight for today is realising that I can surprise myself and that I still take pleasure in learning