Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Would anyone mind if I have a moan?

I'm not a happy bunny.  That doesn't happen very often.

It's not been a good year domestically.  Back in March the kitchen floor had to be replaced.

So in May the kitchen was decorated.

And then the hall and dining room were decorated.

And while that was happening I discovered that the hot water tank was about to burst, so it was replaced.

And now I have discovered that the bathroom floor has to be replaced.  The stopcock has been leaking, probably for years and the floor is rotting.

Where are the tissues?

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

One month slides into another

October has been a very pleasant month,  Weather-wise maybe not brilliant, but very pleasant otherwise.

A personal highlight of every October is that I mark another year.  I'm now 66 and still wondering what I will do when I grow up.  I think birthdays get even better as one gets older,  These days I acquire very little "stuff" which needs stuffing away somewhere but instead I get loving messages and cards, I'm treated to special lunches and I get loads and loads of flowers.  For a week or two it feels as though I am living in a florist's shop!  
Some of my birthday flowers

I've had the decorator in which always feels like a very mixed blessing.  It's lovely when my house feels extra fresh and clean but I find preparing rooms for decorating and then setting them straight very difficult.  Fortunately I have kind and loving friends and cousins who would do far more for me if I would let them and they are happy to come and do their bit.  

I've got a good start on writing Christmas cards and most presents have been bought and are ready for wrapping.  

And November begins tomorrow.  A friend will be coming to stay for a few days.  November is one of my "me months" when I allow myself more time for myself.  And it's the month when slow cooked soups and stews, hot buttered crumpets and cosy days at home come into their own.  Wonderful!

Sunday, 8 October 2017

A Quick Update

One "thing" is conspicuous by his absence from my Blog.  The mighty Jack.

I am missing Jack's help very much.  I have been very lucky and have found someone to help me with the garden and some DIY but Jack and I have been friends for many, many years and despite what he tells you about what a dictatorial bully I am, I let him do (more or less) what he likes in the garden.  The front garden is referred to as Jack's garden!!

However, I am not missing Jack's friendship for the simple reason that I have visited the great man every few weeks.  I went this week and I can promise you that he is as cheeky as ever.  He is waiting for knee surgery but is still the same old Jack.  He and Mrs Jack now have a Shih tzu called Millie who is keeping both of them on their toes.  His own garden looks immaculate and Mrs Jack keeps him in order as well.  They enjoy their caravan at Mablethorpe and they have a son and a daughter as well as three grandchildren to keep them busy.

In his absence I have planted three hebes in "his" garden.  He loathes hebes but I didn't know that until I had planted them.  However, he now has a very definite reason to come back and get me back in order.  

I know he will read this so - "Look after yourself, Jack.  The garden and the blog are both missing you".  

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Today is the day you meet a unicorn

Now there's lucky for you.  Unicorns are known to bring good luck so today is definitely your lucky day.  

I met this chap at the WI (Women's Institute) on Thursday.  He is wooden and was a little plain when I met him so I decorated him using pyrography (pokerwork).  It was my first shot at this craft but I was very well supervised!

I don't think I'll be doing any more so he's come on my blog to see if he can find any friends.  Any takers?

Sunday, 1 October 2017


Hopscotch was an odd one.  It was a game which adults could remember from their own childhood and so it was approved of - but not at our school!  The problem was we weren't allowed to chalk on the playground and hopscotch needs markings.  

These days most playgrounds have painted hopscotch pitches.  I found this one at the Eden Project when I was in Cornwall.  This isn't quite the same as "our" layout but there are many variations.  The idea was to throw a beanbag (or whatever!) into the first square and then hop over it and continue down the pitch and back again.  On the way back you stopped at square two, picked up the beanbag, hopped into square one and home.  You then threw the beanbag into square two and repeated the hopping, this time hopping over square two and so on.  The people awaiting their turn watched with eagle eyes and woe betide a hopper who put a toe where no toe should be or if the beanbag didn't land cleanly within its proper square as that was instantly the end of the "go".  To overbalance was the end of respectability and a cue for pitying or contemptuous remarks.

No-one stopped us from chalking on pavements so it was a good game after school.  I remember it especially in the long summer holidays.  I actually preferred playing alone as the wait for one's turn could otherwise be very long!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

One for the girls

Collecting conkers was not (to use a phrase unheard in the fifties) gender specific but playing conkers was much more a boys' thing.  
Image result for girl skipping fifties

Skipping was for the girls. Every girl had a rope, either a fancy one with painted wooden handles or more likely a piece of worn out washing line.   We would skip on our own at home but in the playground it was generally a group thing.  We had loads of skipping rhymes.  They had to be short so no-one would have to wait too long for their turn.  One of my favourites was

Mary drank some marmalade
Mary drank some pop
Mary drank some other things
That made her stomach flop.
Whoops went the marmalade!
Whoops went the pop!
Whoops went the other things
That made her stomach flop!

That one was accompanied by an enthusiastic pretence at throwing up.

Being the rope turner was never popular so it became a sort of forfeit if you "missed a link" or made any other mistake.

Skipping ropes also made the walk home more fun too.  We would all run home turning our ropes as we ran.  Happy days

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Season of , , , ?

September (and maybe even more October) is a great time for musing and remembering.  The nights are drawing in and although I no longer have a real fire I do sometimes light candles and the gentle light is more conducive for looking into the past than trying to organise the present.

September was back to school.  I loved school - well until I was about seventeen then I wasn't so keen.  Primary school was wonderful, lessons were exciting, learning came naturally.

Apart from lessons though there was playtime and at this time of the year conkers were the game of choice.  I've been told that conkers aren't looked on with quite the same favour now as they were in my childhood but the fifties were a great time to be a kid.  I was never much good at playing conkers but I loved collecting them.  Those wonderful shiny "nuts" ready to be prised out of their spiny coating.  They were just the right size for keeping in your pocket or clutching in your hand.  Mention that something is chestnut coloured and it's conkers (horse chestnuts) rather than sweet chestnuts which come into my mind.

Everybody had their own theories about the best way to harden a conker.  Some soaked them in vinegar, others burnished them with shoe polish.  We had a Rayburn in the kitchen and Mother would put my offerings in the slow bottom oven.

I've really enjoyed writing this post.  I shall have a smile on my face all day!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Mooc-ing around

I love Moocs!   Moocs are Massive Open Online Courses and you can find them at Futurelearn and Coursera.  They are free courses offered by top universities all over the world.  There's no written work just discussion forums to allow participants to engage with each other on line.  

I've done several including
You and your money - offered by the Open University
Strategies for successful aging offered by Trinity College Dublin
Exploring anatomy offered by the University of Leeds
Researching your family tree, offered by the University of Strathclyde
Maths puzzles offered by the Weizman Institute
and quite a lot more.

Not all are on offer at the same time so you need to check regularly.

Today I have started a course about the weather.  It's being offered by the University of Exeter and I'm not sure if it's offered internationally although most Futurelearn courses are  but the examples in this one seem to be all British. It promises to teach about the weather with regard to walkers, photographers and gardeners so it should prove interesting and IT'S FREE!!!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Treasure hunting

Many years ago, when I was still training for the ministry, one of my teachers said something like, "God has given the church a huge treasure to care for but he hasn't entrusted the whole of his treasure to any one part of his church,  Each part needs to look at the others to see more and more of his treasure."

When I retired I decided that I wanted to go treasure hunting: I wanted to look beyond my own denomination, to worship with other Christians.  I didn't want to go to special services but to ordinary Sunday worship.  

For a long time that couldn't happen.  God still wanted me for proclaiming the good news as a leader,  However, when the congregations where I had been leading worship got their own vicar I  again looked forward to treasure hunting.

And today I was able to worship with our local independent church.  I have many friends there (they have wonderful Ladies Lunches!) so I was made most welcome.  There I enjoyed the vigour of the worship and the informality of the atmosphere.  Today was cafe church so I also enjoyed a generous slice of carrot cake!  

And I came away feeling refreshed and thankful again that God has given his church such a rich treasure.  

Saturday, 2 September 2017

A Roman Camp

No prizes offered for guessing that the name Caistor derives from Castrum, the Latin term for a fortress or camp.  There's no evidence of a fortress here so let's stick with camp, even if this wood carving suggests something very military.  

We've got little bits of Roman wall including this bit behind the parish church.  I know it looks like part of someone's rockery but I promise it is part of a Roman wall.  It has its own blue plaque to prove it!

A few years ago the local co-op built a new shop, or rather they converted a pub to create a shop.  When the pub carpark was excavated a Roman cemetery was discovered with forty six sets of human remains, including men, women and children,  They were dated to the fourth century.

Local tradition says that Simon the Zealot (one of the twelve apostles) was martyred here in AD61 on the orders of the Roman Procurator Catus Decianus.  However Beirut, Jerusalem and Turkey also lay claim to being the saint's place of death.  

So Caistor isn't just a pretty town!

Friday, 1 September 2017

Civic Pride

I've lived in this lovely town for seven and a half years now and I love it!  It's a small town, many would call it a village: either way it's friendly and there is a tremendous civic pride.  We have community events, we have a flourishing arts and heritage centre run mostly by volunteers and we have a library which is open seven days a week again because of volunteers.

A bank planted with semi wild flowers 
Ferns planted around a street sign

An old trap planted with flowers to beautify the church path
And we have flowers.  Gardens here are fantastic but what amazes me are the public floral displays, again maintained largely by volunteers.  

Sunday, 27 August 2017

And the winner is

Mama, could you let me know your address, please?  E mail link is on my profile.  Thanks to all who entered.

Thursday, 24 August 2017


Just  quick reminder that you have until midnight tomorrow to win these three books.

Just make a comment on this thread.  Sorry, UK only.

Monday, 21 August 2017


I've been winning a few competitions and I'd like to share some of my good fortune!  Actually I won these books pre-Christmas last year and decided to hang on to them until now so that the winner could have them ready for the winter as they all have "cold" titles.  "The Winter Folly", "The Snow Goose" and "The Snow Rose" all by Lulu Taylor  All are new and unread.  
Sorry, this one is just for UK addresses but I have something else in mind for international posting in a few weeks.  Just leave a comment below before Friday 25th August and I'll do the hatty thing.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The Gift of Time

Today has been my Sabbath.  I have been keeping this special day for over three years now and each week I still look forward to it.

If you had come to my home today you would have been welcomed and offered a cuppa but you wouldn't have been pressed to stay.  This is a day of quiet and seclusion.

It's nothing like a Jewish Sabbath which is a family celebration and starts with a family meal.  I am a single woman and I use this special day to embrace my solitary life.  My meal each Friday night is special.  I make sure I use a freshly laundered tablecloth and napkin.  Plonking the food on the plate is not an option: this is a day for serving dishes and maybe even ceremony, even if just for me.  Or maybe especially just for me.  A candle may be lit or a small vase of flowers placed on the table.

After my meal I settle with my sewing or knitting or maybe I write a letter or two.  I read or listen to an audiobook and after Compline I often have a early night.

Today I have been making Christmas cards, a lovely thing to do as I think of all the friends I will be sending them to.  I delight in my home which I have cleaned and tidied to make sure it feels calm and is an aid to tranquility,

It is a time for thanking God for the great life I have, not regretting what  I don't have, a time to remember that contentment is about wanting what I have rather than having what I want.  It is a time for thinking what is important and resolving to pursue it.

It is indeed God-given time.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

A little upcycling

The kitchen notice board was much too small and was looking a bit tired.  I looked around for a new one but I knew all too clearly what I want and I wasn't going to find it.  So I had to make it.

First I needed a canvas.  a new plain one would probably be around £10 but I visited a few charity shops and found this one for £1.  24 inches square.  I found a piece of red fabric in my stash.  I bought a piece of cheap thin wadding for £2 and 7 metres ribbon for £2.80.  Add a squirt of fabric adhesive spray and a few staples and I've now got a notice board  for around £5.80.

I'm rather pleased.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A Parcel and a Puzzle

"Me time" means I get some thinking time and when I get thinking time I like to keep my hands occupied.    I sew, I make cards, I crochet and I knit.  Nothing too complicated.
I've made dozens of these hats over the years.  I knit them for The Sailors Society.  This brilliant charity helps seafarers at sea and ashore.  Looking around my sitting room I'm pretty sure that many things (or their components) were brought to this island by sea.  Wood, computer parts, cotton, even the ingredients for paint are imported and most will have come by sea.  Next year The Sailors Society will celebrate two hundred years of providing chaplaincy, welfare and health services (and a lot more besides) to seamen all over the world.  They are well known for giving woolly hats to sailors and in fact they give out over 10,000 hats each year so they need quite an army of knitters.  

And yesterday's picture?  I've made one small change to it.  I'm not going to show you the completed cards as a few readers may get one of them!  (With apologies to anyone who gets the collywobbles at any whiff of C******* before mid-November.)

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Summer time and the living is easy

August is a strange month.  A lot of people are away and those of my friends who are around are on grandparent duty.  Many groups don't have August meetings or they have trips out.  September is when things start up again and then life gets more hectic towards Christmas.  

So I've decided to have some "me time".  I realise that retirement is theoretically all me time but if you believe that you're probably not retired!  I'm not the sort of wrinkly who can't think how she ever found time to work but I spend quite a lot of time visiting people who get few visitors and although it is sometimes fun, on other occasions I come back feeling a little low, maybe even guilty that I can't visit more often.  So, as I said, I've decided to have some "me time".  For the next few weeks I am going to catch up on myself, do things which I have been longing to do for ages, enjoy days out if the weather gets better.  

So here's a puzzle for you.  Look at the picture and guess, what have I been doing today?

Saturday, 8 July 2017

A Privilege

Privileges come in all shapes and sizes.  I've just had one.

This young man lives in Romania.  He was dependent on a wheelchair which meant that he relied on others to push him to wherever he wanted to be.

I was able to send him my spare trundle truck.  Where he goes now is his choice.  

Is there any greater privilege than to be able to give another human being a taste of freedom?

Friday, 7 July 2017


My monthly morning of making at Mandy's today!   I was rather tired and made only three cards but here you go.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Sting in the Tail

I love small town life!  Many people would call Caistor (population 2600) a village but Caistorians are adamant that they live in a town.  

We have quite a lot of community events.  Last week was the scarecrow trail and open gardens, this week was the street party and 10k run, known as "The Sting in the Tail".  The "Sting" is the hill on which Caistor is built and which those poor runners have to get up right at the end of the run.  

Over 500 people took part this year, coming from towns and villages up to thirty miles away. Some brave souls run in fancy dress and our community also turns out to cheer them on.
 Most are rather more conventionally dressed but still cheered enthusiastically.
There are nice, "encouraging" signs around

And money is raised for local charities. 

Monday, 3 July 2017

Just for the record

I've just come back from my swimming session.  
Way back in March I could manage only 25 metres.  
Today I swam 200 metres.  

Whoo Hoo!

Sunday, 2 July 2017


I retired (again!) on 4th June.  Today I started working again.  Today I went to Claxby to preach and celebrate Holy Communion.  As you can see it's a pretty little church at one of the highest points on the Lincolnshire Wolds.  (Which never get very high.)  I'd taken a funeral service in a snow storm there many years ago (the only time that I have worn wellies to conduct worship) but apart from that it was a new church to me.

And I was made so welcome!  It would be easy to think that of course they're grateful - if I didn't go they couldn't have a communion service!  But it goes further than that.  These lovely people were sorry that their much-loved Rector has retired but they are enjoying seeing new faces, hearing new "takes" on the gospel and most of all knowing that no matter what changes they may see (or hear) God's love will always be constant and he has them in mind.

And I was reminded too that although specifics may change, God will always have plans for me too.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Family picnics

Way back the the nineteen fifties my extended family had a lot of family picnics.  We used to go to Laughton Forest, a beauty spot about ten miles from home.  Back seats of cars were a bit squashed as everyone heaped into two or three cars and off we would all go.  Each mum packed a picnic for her own brood but everyone just helped themselves from each others' sandwiches and cakes and very little food was taken home uneaten.

Move forward sixty years and the children who pigged out on sandwiches now form the oldest generation of the family.  We seem to meet up very rarely.  Back in 2011 my cousins came to my sister's funeral as we meet at all family funerals but I took a decision - funerals are not the best place to catch up.

Four cousins
And so in 2012 I organised our first family picnic for over fifty years.  Of twenty cousins only thirteen remain.  Some live some considerable distance away, even overseas.  Sadly there have been arguments and although I am in the happy position of being in some sort of communication with all my cousins not everyone is still on speaking terms with everyone else.  In 2012 six cousins and twelve other relations met up.  Since then death and divorce have taken their toll and some people just couldn't come but yesterday four cousins and four others met up at Clumber Park.  

I'm glad we don't just meet up for funerals now.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

I don't like to moan but . . .

Innit 'ot?  I just don't do hot.  With cold I'm fine.  A few more layers of clothing and a wrap, nice hot soup and (keep this secret!) maybe have the heating on all day and cold is coped with.  Hot is a different matter.

I was rather glad that I didn't have a service to take today as it meant I could take the trundle truck up to church for the eight o'clock service.  Now church is comfortable.  Cool.  Quiet.  Lovely.

Anyway, less of this moaning.  I've had a pretty good week (with one ghastly exception) including a card making session at Mandy's.  Here you go.

The ghastly exception couldn't have been much more ghastly.  Auntie Hettie managed to fall out of her armchair while I was with her.  My cousin and I spent six hours in A & E with her.  She's got two really black eyes but no further injuries.  Old ladies of 92 just don't bounce.  

Monday, 5 June 2017


Six years ago I offered to help for one or two Sundays a month at a group of churches not far from here.  It would just be for a few months.

Over the last six years I have led worship on 222 Sundays. conducted fifteen funerals, three weddings and twelve baptisms.  I have prepared two people for Confirmation, visited the sick, and offered pastoral care.

In return I have been loved and appreciated, supported when facing major surgery, helped to recover from a mental breakdown, and encouraged as I have faced increasing disability.  I have been given tomato plants, flowers, cakes, wine and gin.  Those lovely people have laughed at my crummy jokes, forgiven me my boo-boos and made me one of their own.

Later this month they are getting their own vicar and I shall move on to other places where there is no priest available.  Yesterday I took my final service for the Brocklesby Park Group of Churches.  I cried then and I am crying as I write this.  I left with prayers, blessings and an incredibly generous gift.  Thank you.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Card making

I've went to Mandy's again last week.  These are the four cards I made.

I was also fed coffee and chocolate biscuits.  A very good morning out.  Thanks, Mandy.

Saturday, 20 May 2017


Sabbath is a day to delight in the ordinary things of life.
It is a day to wonder.
This day there is time to delight in the crunch of an apple or the many flavours in home-made soup;
to savour the smell of baking bread or laundry fresh from the line;
to listen to birdsong or Bach: both have their beauty;
to follow clouds or watch a spider spin its web; 
to take an extra-long shower and pamper myself.
This is a day spent alone and so has time to think about family and friends.
Whether time is spent sewing or gardening or just plain idling; it is time for happy thinking.
God enjoys my daydreams!
Sabbath is a day of delight.
I delight in God and God delights in me.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

May I?

May!  A lovely month and it's hardly started!  What can I do with May?

The big event will be my holiday.  I'm going to Poole to collect a friend and then we're going to have a few days in Cornwall.  I shall then take her to a railway station and have a few days in my own before driving home.  And while I'm in Poole I'm meeting someone whose blog I have been following for a long time!

Unfortunately Jack isn't well enough to help me in the garden this year.  His knees are showing rather a lot of signs of wear and tear so any time now he should be having a knee replacement. op.  I shall try an visit him but that will have to wait until after my holiday.  I think I've got someone organised to blitz the garden and then I shall do as much as I can myself and gratefully accept any offers of help.  It could be that I am in for an interesting year on that one!

The kitchen is due to be decorated this month and I'm looking forward to having everything in there completed.  

I have a feeling that I shall be getting very bored with politicians telling us how wonderful they are.  Local elections this week, general elections early next month.  Oh dear.  

And there will be days out at Normanby, lunches with friends, lazy afternoons on the garden swing. 

Bring it on!

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Whatever happened to April?

Whatever it was it didn't get blogged about!  So, just for the record, here are a few things which I did.

The big event of April was Auntie Hettie's 92nd birthday.  In honour of that event I am doing something I have never done before - I'm posting a recent photo of myself with Hettie.  Two peas from the same pod or what!!!   Sadly, a few days before her birthday Hettie had a nasty accident so in this photo she is in a care home and since then she's had a stay in hospital but on Tuesday she is going back to her own home.  Her bedroom has been newly decorated for her so it will be quite a celebration when she can get into it. 

You've already met the three little pigs so no more about them.

I went to Mandy's and I made some cards.  I think this one was my favourite.  

I've started the round of farewells to the five churches I have been looking after for the past six years.  Happily they have a new vicar coming in June.  Truth to tell I am ready to take a rather more minor role but the farewells are still bitter sweet.  I shall probably blog about that a bit more but not just yet.  

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

I'll huff and I'll puff

I've been to Trefoil Guild today.  Trefoil Guild is supposed to be Girlguiding for Grown ups but sometimes we're more like Brownies.

Today's activity was sugar paste flowers.  Or at least it was supposed to be sugar craft flowers. Something like this.  I think this was Karen's first attempt.  It looked quite easy when she did it.  The rest of us weren't QUITE so competent.  Ann made this duck which I think looks as though it has aspirations to be a pop star.

I decided to make a pig.   Then I decided to make the Three Little Pigs and a house which looks as though someone has already tried to huff and puff and blow it down.  I don't think the Brownies would have me!

Sunday, 26 March 2017



There was once a princess who lived in a great palace. One morning she was walking in the palace gardens with her page boy. As they got near the lily pond, suddenly they saw in the grass in front of them a small green frog. Now the page boy didn’t like frogs: they looked slimy and wet, and you never knew which way they were going to jump. So he said: ‘Quick, let’s get a stick and kill it.’  

But the princess, a wise young woman, stopped him. Instead she bent down and gently picked up the very surprised little frog. And to the page boy’s horror she… well, you know the rest of the story.

Frog number two. There was once a little frog called Jesus. Well, he wasn’t really a frog, but there were a lot of rich and powerful people who didn’t like him. They weren’t sure what to make of him – or which way he was going to jump next. So they did just what the page boy wanted to do: they killed him.  But God, rather like the wise young princess in the story, did something amazing. He bent down and gently lifted up the little ‘frog person’ into new life.

Frog number three is actually lots of little frogs because if you think  about it, not only was Jesus a sort of frog person, but he also had a lot of very froggy friends.   Little people that the more powerful people wanted to bash, not with sticks – but with rules and regulations that made them feel worthless and rejected. This happened a lot to people who were ill; people who had got things wrong in their lives; and people who were poor. 

But, unlike a lot of the powerful, religious people, Jesus didn’t send them away. Instead he befriended them and, no matter how frightened they were, he gently lifted them up and loved them back into life. He respected them and showed them love and friendship. Just like the princess – and just like God.

Frog number four is millions and billions of little frogs.  These are ordinary people just like you and me.  We’ve all got or we have had, mums.  Many of us have children but even if we aren’t mothers we do a lot of caring for other people.  Sometimes mums can be a little bit like the frogs in my story, they can be misunderstood, they want a kiss.  Sadly there are also lots of children who are misunderstood and just want a kiss as well.  Mothering Sunday reminds us all of the importance of a kiss and a hug and telling each other that everyone is loved

So what does Jesus the Frog Person want us to do about mums and children and indeed about everyone as everyone is someone’s son or daughter.  Maybe on this Mothering Sunday he wants us to do what all good mothers would do – to treat others with love and understanding. And, when we do that, we make an amazing discovery. They don’t look like frogs any more. Instead, we discover they are gifted and sensitive people made in the image of God. Just like you and me.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Mothering Sunday

I don't like to mention it but it is exactly nine months to Christmas.  Today is therefore Lady Day or more formally The Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Until 1751 it was the first day of the year in England.  
So, this is the day when we remember that day when Mary first learned she was to be mum to a very special baby.  Tomorrow is the day when we remember all mothers everywhere and when each one of us gives thanks for our own mum.

For some of us it could be a bit of a  non event.  In my own case my Mother died many years ago and I have no children of my own.  However, it is a day that I celebrate with great joy.

After my Father died my Mother planted a weeping cherry tree in his memory and when I came to live in Caistor I planted this one in memory of both my parents and my sister.  This is the first year that I can remember that it has flowered for Mothering Sunday and it is giving me deep joy.

Tomorrow I shall take these flowers and distribute them to everyone in church because every one is some mother's son or daughter whether or not they will see their mums tomorrow.  Each has been taught to love because they have been loved, usually by their mothers and most give loving care to others, just as their mothers cared for them.
And I shall pray for all those families bereaved this week by the terrible attack in London, all those families still worrying about seriously injured relatives, and all who have been traumatised.  

Monday, 6 March 2017

This is me

Back in 1974 I had a serious motor cycle accident whilst I was working in Nigeria and as a result one kneecap was smashed to smithereens and had to be removed.  Parts of the other leg became gangrenous and had to be sloughed away.  Skin grafts were needed and my legs have a very peculiar shape.

In 2013 I had a double mastectomy,

Over the years I have "comfort eaten" during periods of depression and as a result am very overweight,

Today I found the courage to go swimming with a friend.  It is the first time for at least fifteen years that I have swum and to be honest I struggled.  I struggled with self-consciousness, with unfitness and with fear.

In no conventional sense is mine the body beautiful but it is mine and it is unique.  And today I feel very proud.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Marching on!

As I said in my last post February was fun but March looks likely to bring mayhem!

The floor in my kitchen has been giving rise to anxiety for quite a while and it's due to be sorted on 16th March.  I'm not really sure what to expect as everyone with whom I have spoken has given me different information and everyone says that s/he is right!  I am definitely pig in the middle.

Anyway, I need to make the best of a bad job so I'm going to get the kitchen emptied before they come and take the opportunity to spring clean.  I hate disruption in my kitchen.  GRRRRRR!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Not a bad month

It's 4th of March and I'm feeling a bit guilty becuase I haven't blogged about February fun so this is a quick post!   I said February was for fun and I meant it!  Here's a few of the things I have done.

Best thing in the month was the Edinburgh trip.

I went to my paper engineering group and made a Rotobot.  Turn the handle and the torso rotates one way and the head the other whilst the feet stays still.  I don't think I got it quite right as unfortunately he also picks his nose!

I had a day out in Newark with Alice.  Long time readers may remember her as Bobo's human.  Alice and I have been friends for forty eight years so that was a day for a LOT of talking!

Then I had a day at Normanby Park

I went to Mandy's and made some lovely cards.

I crocheted a throw to use whilst sprawling on the sofa.

I received two competition wins.  

A month of having a smile on my face!!!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Every day is a thinking day but 22nd February is Thinking Day!

Robert Baden Powell (founder of Guiding and Scouting) and Olave, his wife, shared their birthday.  He was born on 22nd February 1857 and she made her appearance on 22nd February 1889.  In 1926 the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts of the world decided they's like to share that special day too and so Thinking Day was born.  Each year on 22nd February Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are encouraged to think about their fellow guides and scouts throughout the world.

When I was a little girl we used to join up with about twelve Brownie Packs for an evening of activities reminding us of Brownies throughout the world.  There was always a parade of world uniforms, always decorated biscuits to eat and there was always a collection of Thinking Day Pennies.  These pennies had to be polished for the occasion and they were laid out on the floor in the form of a Guide trefoil badge.  Later all our pennies would be gathered up and sent to Brownies overseas to help with the development of guiding and scouting.

Today I shall be meeting up with fellow members of the Trefoil Guild and together we will have a bring-and-share lunch and there will again be a collection but I think that most of us will give rather more than a penny!

So, greetings to everyone who has ever been involved in Guiding and Scouting, wherever in the world you may be!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Hello weather.

We've had real hello weather this week and I decided that the time had come for a visit to Normanby Park.  You know about hello weather, don't you?  It happens in the spring.   In the winter people are huddled down in their coats.  In the summer lovely days can get taken for granted.  On a glorious day in the spring everyone I pass says the same thing.  "Hello. isn't it a lovely day!"  And I just have to agree!

Anyway, Normanby was lovely this week.  There were a lot of grandparents on child-care duty.  Happy children were showing off their skills on their bikes to grannies and grandpas who can be relied on to admire them.  Little dogs were being taken for exciting walks and they too were greeting each other.  Snowdrops and aconites were brightening the spring although I did think these pot marigolds were a tad optimistic flowering in February.

The gardeners are still gathering wonderful winter vegetables but the land is being readied for planting in a few weeks.
February is indeed fun and I think it's just the start of a fun year!  WHOOPPEE!!!