Monday, 27 September 2010


The canine visitor has departed....

My cats are now more relaxed......

(I show a picture of one of our cats sitting is upon an insect killer which is upon a microwave oven which is on the top of a refrigerator - she was around 7.5' off the floor.... So very safe!!)

Today I lost a lovely Denby butter dish.... (stressed cat pushed it off the work top at 6.00 this morning - it was totally shattered on the tiled floor)

Never mind, it was only something I had had for many years!!

Have done lots of things in the house and all my plans have been accepted without any problems by himself. Radiator taken off wall (haven't turned it on in 4 years so I considered it redundant!) so I had space to move furniture... It has worked!!! I now have a lounge that looks less cluttered and has more space... wow - all I need now are a couple of large rugs/small carpets...

Have taken the sewing machine out of retirement and am making more cushions, so far they look good.

Bought some lovely curtains many months ago and have to do a little alterations then get the poles re-established and the curtains hung before the winter begins... (It is beginning to get a little bit on the chilly side at the mo).

I just want to make our home look sell-able - is that so wrong??

There are ideas and plans flooding my mind - sometimes too many plans and ideas... I know it will all come together - eventually.

Children are fine... our son in law (married to no. 1 daughter) has recently lost his grand-dad. The funeral was today. Our daughter, in her infinite wisdom, asked their children if they would like to go to their great-grand-dads funeral... Of course, it is a day off school!!!!

Daughters Mum-in-law was absolutely horrified.... Children at a funeral!!! It is not the done thing!! etc. etc. This is the lady who was mortified when she heard that her grandson had seen a pheasant shot by his other grand-dad!... (didn't bother the boy at all!)

Spoke to no. 1 daughter this evening... kids were fine. The adults had red eyes but the little ones were OK. Children accept death easier than adults - why make a mystery of it all?

Am waiting, still, for builder to come visit regarding guttering and other little jobs. He was supposed to come last week.

I am a perpetual lady in waiting.... waiting for a builder, waiting for the insurance company to sort out the claim, waiting to get my little garden sorted outside the kitchen, waiting for the car to be completely mended.... and so it goes on...

Maybe my name should be Patience!!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

I am really getting a bit pissed off with my intermittent connection to the internet. I intend to look something up and what do I get ‘Ooops Google Chrome could not find’ Or even, ‘service unavailable – error 503’, (mozilla). I managed to get through on Internet Explorer but I could not copy and paste the first three lines of this text….

So I am typing this up on Microsoft Word. Would I do better using another system I ask myself. I hear that Apple have a good system, have even heard of Linux (what is it?) – shall I go with them next?

I like to communicate and at the moment communication via the internet is the best option for me. What did we do 15 or so years ago? Letters, telephone and telegrams followed by visits via car, bus or train ..

We still have to take some branches off a lovely Blue Spruce. This tree is blooming now – it is not a spring bloomer (and I am allergic to conifers) so it will have to go…. Our telephone line is caught up in some of the branches. We have taken out the branches of the Maple that the line ran through, but we are still having connection problems. These trees were planted some 30+ years ago by the previous owners of this house. We have taken out three conifers so far and a weeping willow that was seriously ill. The trees had not been well maintained at all. There was also about 25 Silver Birch competing for space and were extremely tall and spindly. At least they gave us plenty of firewood and some parking space. We have put in some specimen trees more suited to our situation.

Talking of the regular telephone line it is absolutely appalling, there is so much static that conversation is very difficult.

We had a guy come to visit – he is a tree surgeon employed by the local Electrical Company checking the lines and wanting to know who owned which trees where the lines passed through. I think that some of these trees are ours and will need to be pollarded. No great problem – I just hope that when they are cut back our telephone line will be better. I will, though, contact France Telecom afterwards and ask them to come and have a look at our telephone line which is so slack that it is almost touching the ground!

So what has been happening chez moi…

We have been dog sitting for the last week. A delightful dog called Ben – he is a collie of large proportions and rather overweight. His mistress had to go back to the UK for her sick father, and his master had to follow very quickly - Jenson and Ben are pals, mates, hounds that get on. They are both very social and enjoy each others company – they are good for each other. Just one problem though…. We have two cats – Ben chases cats, he chases them with a vengeance.. So we now have two stressed cats. At least the cats can shift under the furniture and out the door, but dear galumphing Ben has to make his way around the furniture, slipping and sliding on the floor, before he can get to the said door, and, by then, the cats have made it up to the third branch on the nearest tree where they sit and taunt the dog, mieow.

I have been making changes in the house. Something that has been needed for a long time and it is working. Moving furniture from one wall to another and what a difference it has made, there is now more light and space. My man was not sure that it would work but he is pleased with the result.

I have many wine glasses of various sizes and quality in a glass fronted cabinet. The cabinet was to be moved, after taking a redundant radiator off the wall, and I took out the 60+ glasses (I didn’t realise that there was so many!) and took them through to the kitchen for washing and polishing and was aware that himself was watching me…. hmm... I found a clean and dry tea-towel and threw it at him. He took the bait and actually dried and polished the glasses…. Result!!!!

Cabinet was cleaned and polished then moved to its new location. The shiny glasses were put back on their shelves. Another cabinet was moved into its place next to the glass cabinet and our lounge was transformed…

I think that I am motivating him a bit more (he is even cooking more often) as I am knuckling down to serious cleaning, clearing bits and bobs etc. – de-junking I suppose. We have bought the necessary to paint the walls in the kitchen – once our canine visitor has returned home then we can pull the stops out and start on the walls. I must admit that Ben is leaving a lot of hair and dust around the place – grrr – it will fill my vacuum cleaner!!)

We do have another immobilier coming to visit in the next week or so…. Got to make the place sellable!!

Sunday, 19 September 2010


Does it really matter whether halal meat is served up to the general public in the UK? I have no problem with it. We have reared sheep and pigs and we have had a travelling butcher who has come and despatched the animals. – a swift ‘knock’ on the skull and then their throats slit and bled…. The animals did not suffer any stress and the meat was absolutely delicious. Years ago people reared their own animals and when they were ready/mature enough to eat then they were despatched the same way…. So why the problem now with something that has been happening for centuries? Is it because it is a ‘Muslim’ way of doing things? – it is also, apparently, a Jewish way, and I am sure it is the way it is happening in various parts of the world without any criticism or protest.

I was baptised into the Roman Catholic faith and was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith (God Bless fathers Donnelly, Moran and O’Sullivan). My mother was Irish Catholic and my Dad C of E. I took my Mothers religion (a bit like Jewish children I suppose). I was quite happy being a Roman Catholic and went to Church on Sunday for Mass before breakfast, Religious instruction in the afternoon and confession on Saturday (whether I had anything to confess or not – “bless me Father for I have sinned”). It was the norm for me.

When I reached my teenage years and Pope John XXIII was elected and started to make radical changes in the church I started to have a re-think. (I suppose now I would be likened to a ‘selective’ Catholic) Yes, I do appreciate and acknowledge the teachings of the Church and hope that I am keeping the Christian attitude to my fellow men (as well as suffering from occasional bouts of Catholic guilt). I abhor the attitude of some of the ‘luvvies’ (atheist, homosexual and some of the ex-Catholic Faith) in England who have decided to deride the Pope and our Church. Yes, there have been lots of problems with some priests and, in the past, some of the nuns in their convents, and it is absolutely abhorrent that the events that have been reported/recorded happened. But to get it into perspective you have had the same in ordinary parochial schools, children homes, etc. No, it is not only in the Catholic Church that this has happened. His Holiness has been elected to an elevated position, and I am sure it was not desired by him and now he is there he has to take the brunt of criticism from the rest of the world (non-Catholic). I applaud his stance in his apology and his also letting the United Kingdom know that their stance towards multi-culturism and the dumbing down of Christianity is wrong… I like to wear my crucifix, as many other do, and proclaim my faith without fear of being ridiculed. Catholics had bad enough press five hundred years ago, so why now? Have I made sense??

My husband and I married in a Catholic Church but my husband did not convert and, incidentally, I did not declare that I would obey, it – was - not – obligatory - then!

Our children are all baptised, but in the Church of England, an easy option I think. I did not pressure them into going to Church, R.C., C of E or otherwise. I thought it would better if it was up to them if they wanted to follow any religion.

Therefore: -

Eldest daughter: - ‘Religion? I am a scientist!’

Middle daughter: - ‘Wiccan’,

Youngest daughter: ‘???? Just live life’

But they are all happy and well adjusted. Ergo; Mum is happy as they are happy in themselves.

And I am still having problem posting on my blog…………………..

I am sure it is to do with the Spruce – IT HAS TO GO!!!!! And after it has gone I will get France Telecom to check the phone line and see it it is ok. Maybe it is a problem with their line……. We will see!! And no..... it is not a religious issue!!!!!

Above picture, taken by me, is a heavenly storm brewing one evening in the West.... perfect for this post!!!

Friday, 10 September 2010


I see that Mr Michael Gove, Minister for Education, has decided it was time to re-introduce Technical Schools. RAB Butler introduced the Education Act in 1944 and, I believe was instrumental in creating a three tier system of education. Secondary, Technical and Grammar Schools. I remember reading about and listening to Mr Butler on the BBC home service and then later seeing him on the Television - in black and white I hasten to add.

I was educated first in a small crowded Infant School housed in beautiful Victorian buildings. I then progressed to a Girls Primary School. This again was housed in a grand house with stunning staircases, beautiful tiled floors, highly polished wood, high windows and set in beautiful walled grounds. I remember an absolutely stunning Monkey Puzzle tree that seemed to touch the sky. There was also a sunken garden where the school put on a summer production of Alice in Wonderland... Super memories of a lovely school with lovely teachers and a very scary Headmistress. I did not pass 11+ exam. I couldn't cope with looking at an exam paper - everything I had learnt just went. This school has since been demolished and exclusive 'executive' housing has been built behind the walls... I was horrified when I saw what they had done!!!

Next school was a 'Secondary Modern School for Girls'. Brand spanking new!! I settled in and plodded on along with my classmates. Had brilliant English, Geography, Science, Domestic Science and French teachers but my Maths teacher was a dragon. I scraped through with my 13+ exam and eventually went to a Technical School. I bet you wondered where all this reminiscing was going!

I had to travel by train to school, along with other children going to the same town that boasted Grammar Schools, Technical Schools and also some 'dead posh' Private Schools. We were a mixed bunch on the train with children from 11 years old up to 18 years old, boys and girls, I am sure a few romances were underway. The train would stop midway and pick up another large group of children, by then the train was almost bursting at the seams, standing room only!

I had three years at the Technical School (Girls only!) and there I learnt Pitmans shorthand, how to type, using a very large manual Imperial typewriter, and also all about 'Commerce', I suppose now it would all be classed as Business Studies. I enjoyed my time there and now a great-niece of mine attends the same school and absolutely loves it too. The school has also gained a good reputation for languages, I remember our French teacher with fondness. If I had stayed at the Secondary School I would have probably become a shop assistant or a hairdresser - not really my cup of tea at all.

Yes, academia for some children, they need it and shouldn't be held back. Practical education for other children, again lots of them need it and if Mr Gove has his way then there will be lots of lads learning lifetime skills which have been lacking in the education system for around a generation. And of course, just education for those that who will never be top of the class or have no aptitude for practical things, but go through life in the background keeping things ticking over. Let's hope that Mr Gove's proposals work..