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!!!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

A special day out

Remember I said that February was for fun?  Well, I meant it and yesterday was a fun day out.

I went to Edinburgh and back in one day!    I've just checked and that would be 550 miles by road but I went by rail.  I've had the trip organised for a few weeks and have been looking forward to it SO MUCH. 

For various complicated reasons I found myself with quite a bit of money in my Red Spotted Hanky account and I decided to fulfill a vague but long-held ambition to go on the East Coast Main Line north from Newark to Edinburgh.  

The journey was marvellous.  I was able to travel First Class and I can thoroughly recommend it.  Soon after I boarded complementary breakfast was served.  I had a British Rail breakfast when I was travelling to Gatwick to fly to Nigeria when I was twenty one and remembered it as really good and I can say that my memory was exactly right.  Thick cut bacon, tasty sausage, perfectly fried egg, and all the rest, served on a good hot plate with lovely toast as well as lovely orange juice and coffee.  

The early part of the journey was through fairly flat country because of course, the Victorian engineers who built the line would have taken it across the levellest route possible but further north they had no choice but to build cuttings and embankments, tunnels, viaducts and bridges.  

I'll write some more tomorrow but for now, here's someone I met on my journey.

Friday, 3 February 2017

I never knew I needed a project bag.

I didn't know I needed a project bag - but the wonderful Tracy from http://madaboutbagsuk.blogspot.co.uk/ knew that was exactly what I needed!

I was paired with Tracy in a Santa Sack Swap and she is brilliant!  Tracy, I'm really sorry I haven't written about the lovely gifts you sent but I have been having camera problems (among other problems) and I felt that without pictures I couldn't do justice to your wonderful gifts.

The swap is amazing.  Pairs are organised back in June/July and then swappers "stalk" each other.  Tracy picked up that I sit for quite a long period each day so she sent me an armchair saddle so I can have close at hand the phone, remotes, craft stuff and all the rest of the paraphernalia of everyday life.

Now I knew I needed an armchair saddle - I just never got around to making one!  What I didn't know was that I needed a project bag.  I usually drop the ball of yarn into a spare waste paper bin but this is great.  It anchors the wool so I don't have to chase it around the room and I can put my spare crochet hook and other bits and pieces in it.  

Tracy also sent me a jar on with a nativity silhouette.  Some people might just use that at Christmas but not me.  I've filled it with some of those fiddly ball end left at the ed of projects and used in small creative projects.

For the time being I'll just say, "Tracy, you are wonderful!"And I'll write about some of the other gifts later in the month!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

One hundred years and one week ago

My Mum was born on the 25th January 1917 so last week she would have been a hundred years old.

My parents on their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1990
She was the second child and elder daughter of a Lincolnshire farmer and she lived all her life in this county.  She married a friend of her brother and together my Mother and Father had my sister and me.  They were married over fifty five years but the last eleven years of her life she was a widow,

She lived with me for the last two years of her life as she became wheelchair bound and she died in my arms in 2006.

That's just the bare bones of a life well lived.  Thank you, Mummy

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Well that didn't go well, did it!

I feel a bit sad that so many people seem to be stopping blogging at the moment, including several whose blogs I really enjoy.  Not only that but January seems to have been a very lean month for posts from quite a lot of people - including me!

I have decided that my aim this month will be February Fun.  I've got a very special day out arranged next week, I've just acquired a new-to-me camera, and life should be good.  The month ends with Pancake Day so provided I am in my own house (see my other blog for why I need to say that) I shall definitely be finishing on an up-beat theme.  I shall interpret "fun" fairly widely to include pleasure and delight in all sorts of things.  No mere foggy February for me!  I feel better just for writing this so if you are reading (which you are!) I hope February's a fun month for you too!

Monday, 23 January 2017

Doorstep deliveries

Just recently our local authority has decided to switch off street lighting between about midnight and six in the morning.  It's just like it was when I was a girl!  Many men worked shifts in my home town as steel making can't be turned off at night so lighting was on until about 11.30 at night to give men coming off the 2-10pm shift time to get home.   It came on at about 5am for people cycling to work to start the 6am-2pm shift.

It also meant that milk deliveries could start soon after 5am.  A stream of milk girls would walk along the main arterial road in our town, each pulling a milk float which was battery powered but it still had to be operated by a girl on foot.  Gradually the stream would diminish as first one girl then another would peel off to do her round.  My mother used to buy a supply of "milk checks" from the Co-op.  These were little plastic discs which could be left out for the milkgirl to pick up when she delivered a pint.  Daily deliveries were vital when few households had a fridge.  Those days are long gone and these days I buy my one pint a week from the supermarket.  

These days even if I wanted a doorstep delivery I couldn't have one.  I'm not the only one to have voted with my feet.  Doorstep deliveries are no longer viable.  

The one sure doorstep delivery now is post.  I've lived in a country where one had to go to the post office to collect letters etc and I much prefer hearing letters rattle though the letterbox. I don't want voting with my feet to endanger that service.  I've opted out of junk mail, I get most regular bills as e mails, and I get very sniffy about the unaddressed junk mail makes the hallway so untidy.  However, I am beginning to feel that if we opt out of too much the Royal Mail may say that doorstep deliveries will become a thing of the past.  I know e mail is cheap and convenient but I am still happy to send letters as I feel they are excellent value for money.  The multitude of Amazon deliveries do their bit to ensure that the postie will keep his job a little bit longer.  Yes sending e mails is frugal but I really don't want the postie to go the way of the milk girl.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Remember me?

Remember me?  Quite a while since I was here!  Sorry about that!

I had a small accident with my camera and my trundle truck.  One ran over the other but I'll leave to to you to work out which was on top.

Anyway, I've managed to work out how to take photos with the new phone I bought and, even more stunningly, I've worked out how to get those photos on to my laptop.  Acquisition of a new camera is in hand but this method will have to do for now.

On Friday I went to Mandy's so here are the results.  We actually made four but the last one defeated my IT (lack of) skills
I rather liked this one.  It's a bit different from my usual style but still flowery.

Easter chicken.  Rather red in the face as she's a bit flustered.

fiddly but nice

Sunday, 1 January 2017

And for the third time

This is the best resolution I've ever made, so for the third year here it is.