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Tuesday, 27 July 2010


FOR TODAY Tuesday 27th July 2010

Outside my the back the view is of birds of many varieties around the bird feeder, they must know that Ian purchased two bags of bird food yesterday.
Also, daughter's bedding on line but not sure how much it will dry, it's very damp and humid out there and the bedding is flannelette. Yes, I know it is a hot summer in London, she has been offered cotton bedding but has refused. My gripe is how anyone can sleep in flannelette bedding that hasn't been pressed, but she is happy with creases.

I am thinking...of a thread I read in The Bull, The Archers message board for non Archers fans where the discussion was whether one was disorganised or organised. Reading the thread I sympathised with the disorganised, who often spent much time on the message board, or started a project and then didn't see it through. I become annoyed with myself for "not getting on with things", ie projects or stuff I should do. Sometimes I feel scared to try in case I mess up or it goes badly.

When I mentioned the organised/disorganised thread to Ian he considered I was very organised, we had a discussion about it but I think there are different kinds of organised and I consider I'm bad at the motivation one.

I am thankful for...a lovely holiday at Holme Lacy House hotel in Herefordshire where we missed the rain, enjoyed the entertainment and visited Ross 0n Wye, Hereford and Hay on Wye. In all three towns we bought books, came back with about 13-14 plus a Lloyd Loom chair. Neither, daughter, son or daughter in law noticed an extra chair, but then we do have nine now. Came back with raspberries and black currants from a smallholding/garden. The raspberries were used to make Delia's cheat Eton mess but I broke the merangues into too small pieces and it became a bit of a mush, but a healthy one as yogurt was used instead of creme fraiche.

Also thankful fr visit by son and his new wife, they seem so happy and so together in spite of both working long hours and learning to do all the domestic chores together.

From the kitchen...Ian is making onion soup which will be served with my home made bread
I am long linen Next skirt (v. old),  Laura Ashley white short sleeved blouse, red Clarks sandals.

I am Local Studies for my volunteer work.

I am reading...Bill Bryson At home, really enjoying this big book. Did you know that the original Crystal Palace, built in 1851 was 1851 feet long?

I am hoping...for heavy, steady rain to water the fruit and vegetables.

I am hearing...preparations for meal

A few plans for the rest of the week: tomorrow local Breathe Easy group, Thursday am attending a funeral for a neighbour and a member of our church congregation.

For links to this idea see this website

Have had the most superb onion soup made by Ian, with cheesey toast softening inside it. Wow, so tasty. Followed by a very juicy peach.

Time to go off to local studies, so must sign out now.

Greetings PixieMum / Madeleine

Friday, 16 July 2010

Fings wot I have been doing

Well I am very peased for I decided to do something I never thought I would have the courage/nerve/possibility of achieving. For all you confident folk out there it would have been nothing but for  me to speak in public has been a challenge.  I started at church by agreeing to read the lesson, now have progressed to writing and reading Intercessions. The latest achievement was to speak at a planning meeting.

I knew it was a no hope case so if I was a disaster it would have made no difference. Briefly, a house two doors down from us has been empty eight years since it was bought from the original owner. The people who purchased the 1930s property, usual 3 bedrooms with room over garage,  have extended it on both sides, at the back and up into the roof. Each time planning permission has been given retrospectively, the roof extensions were taken and down and redone to a different configuration. From the plans it appears each room has its own ensuite so one could hardly claim the house will be a family dwelling. Work still not complete, scaffolding has been up a year. Recently we were informed that retrospective permission had been sought to demolish original garage in 30' back garden and replace with a detached house. Later this was changed to a garage and then again to a storage facility. The building that had been started was constructed to a very high standard, cavity walls, lovely bricks etc. and would be over 3.5 metres high. For a storage facility!

Although many neighbours, including those who the council hadn't informed, wrote letters no one was willing to speak at the planning meeting. I suspect it was through fear of the developers so in my address I assumed it was to be a family home and that instead of spending time and money constructing such a large and high building why did they not just buy a traditional English shed for storage! After all, 8 years is a long time to wait to move into a family home! Husband spoke too, he wanted assurances that the proposed storage facility would not be used for residential purposes, assurances that the council cannot give but the neighbours would have to monitor the situation.

We sat through another planning application, I had looked through previous minutes and it seems to me that it is pointless to challenge planning decisions made by council officials. Even retrospective ones seem to slide through, neighbours' opinions are dismissed and only 3 of the councillors said anything and they all voted with the officers recommendations. Each decision is made without any reference to precedence, different from English law so one householder could have his plans accepted and identical plans could be refused in the same borough. Having said this, the two councillors who questioned me were very pleasant to me, they seemed to recognise I'd never done anything like this before. I was thrown when the chairman told me to speak up as his hearing was not good, so I switched the timer off, started again in a very loud and croaky voice. Why are there not microphones?

What else has happened? Last week we went to Hampton Court Flower show, from the newspaper the next day discovered the Duchess of Cornwall had been there the same afternoon but didn't see her. Enjoyed the show, especially all the displays to mark 100 years of Girl Guides. Guiding seems more fun then when I was a guide, I was mortified when I tried to renew my promise last February to discover the promise had changed and I didn't know the new one. Ooops.

 Last Monday had lunch in local hostelry with reading group, enjoyed the chat, discussions and girl talk but found later the cheap food didn't agree with me. Chose pasta rather than the breaded fish but something in the ingredients, or the icecream sundae thing, caused mild allergy/reaction.  I would rather go to a better quality venue, but this is convenient and at £5 per head is possible for those on budgets.

Not sure of future plans, but hope for some rain, we had our first rain for about 6 weeks last Wednesday but ground is still dry so we take out bowls of washing up water to throw on the garden as our 5 water butts are more or less empty.

Sorry if I've gone on a bit, this is therapeutic. Must get on with domestic stuff, need afternoon tea and to hear yesterday's edition of The Archers. Missed 2pm repeat too.

Greetings to all who come here, especially those I meet in ML as well.


Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Suburban Retired Lazybones
FOR TODAY Wednesday 7th July 2010

I am thinking...about London and the anniversary of the bombing. We go to London quite a bit, I don't give a thought to safety on the Tube, Underground or trains yet I should. More concerned with the crowded trains and on the Underground always grateful for the offer of a seat. I must look ancient as I rarely have to stand these days.

My daughter would accuse me of being a pedant for differentiating between Tube and Underground but there is a difference. The Underground is more open as it was built using the cut and cover method, whereas the Tube  is much deeper in the ground and made by drilling.

I am thankful for...the kindness of my asthma nurse today. No testing, no attempting peak flow measurements, just reassurance that sinus pain and hayfever symptoms were normal, just renewing my prescriptions and we then chatted and laughed together.

From the kitchen...nothing but haddock defrosting. A bit too much for us two but impossible to separate the flozen fish. Why weren't they separated before freezing?

I am wearing...Country Casual linen dress again, loose, decent, comfortable, smart, elegant and it suits me.

I am see a production of Blithe Spirit  by the St Edmunds Players in Whitton and to the Hampton Court flower show
I am reading...Maeve Binchy Heart and Soul. Have had book for ages, it's not a heavy read and a reward for completing Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four which was the reading group book. We are meeting for lunch next week to chat about the book and everything else, including I expect the  Blithe Spirit production.

I am hoping...that daughter's holiday in Ibiza was a success, we will know on Friday when she returns. It is some time since Ian and I were on our own in the house and it has taken some adjustment, we don't seem to run out of hot water!

Around the house...we found some china packed away in the garage, not sure from where it came but have used it for display, plates on the wall and other items on top of fridge/freezer. Gives strong colour to kitchen, rest is mainly magnolia, beech colour and white. Darling husband put it plates on the wall and also washed top of fridge before china was arranged. He is a gem.

One of my favourite things...the peace and calmness of the Prayer and meditation service held once a month at our church. We were thinking about the Beatitudes and it was so good to contemplate these without the fuss of ceremony.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...shows the china!

Mentioning of course the Simple Woman's Day book blog and offering  a link back to the main page of her blog.

Greetings to all who come by here, that's all folks as it is nearly time for me to hear about the goings on in Ambridge.