Category Archives: Bits of this & that…

Daisy Chains…

daisy chain

Of course, everything starts somewhere—

—that first simple flower whose stem had been carefully pierced with a finger nail that the next bloom could be threaded through—and so on until a little group of daisies were crafted into a dainty chain —

—and with all links in place, the bloom which started the chain becomes insignificant, the whole becoming a circlet with no seams—

—it’s like that with true love as it blossoms and grows — it has no beginning; will have no end—

A sign of the times…

supermarket aisle

It was totally out of place —

There I was, casually browsing the baked beans in the supermarket this morning when I caught a glimpse of him marching down that same tinned produce aisle —

—with lettering spelling ‘Police’ across the back of his charcoal-grey tunic, his stride indicated he was on more of a mission than simply searching for a pack of something for his lunch-break— and then the revolver in its holster on his thigh caught my eye—

Somewhat alarmed, I wondered what drama was about to unfold— would there come an announcement over the tannoy ordering us all to fall to the deck—-? Or would the sound of gunfire automatically compel me to meet with the floor of my own accord? Strange thoughts fill one’s head at such a time so I also found myself wondering if there was about to be material as a cue to my ‘642 Things to Write About’ book’s suggested topic “You are a customer lying face down on the floor during a bank robbery. Describe the robbery from this vantage point”—  I then found myself studying labels of the mini-tins of beans with sausages on the lowest shelf for they would surely be a feature of my blog should I survive the show-down—

Well, I finished the grocery shopping and cleared the check-out in the usual calm atmosphere of the store and, as I returned to the car, it was with a feeling of relief that my apprehensions turned into nothing more than flights of fancy — thankfulness that I happen to live in an area where the sight of an armed Police Officer is not commonplace — and with a sense of reassurance that if ever there is a threat to our safety, there are those who will step into the breach regardless of the risk to themselves—

 

Door Handles and Cake Candles….

door handle

Days would just be ordinary if it weren’t for all the little events that make each one extra-ordinary—

When we moved house a year ago, I had no idea that certain happenings would turn the handle on the front door into a sort of magical feature of the new property— I’ve now lost track of the number of times I’ve opened the door to find a little bag of surprises waiting to greet me — Unlike the tale of the elves and the shoemaker where the kindly imps remained anonymous after astonishing the elderly cobbler by completing his backlog of footwear repairs in the middle of the night, I know who is responsible for those little packages of cheer — (How does one say “Thank you” in fairy language—?) 😉

—so that’s the ‘Door Handles’ part of the title—

Birthday cake and candles

—‘Cake Candles’— What’s a mother-in-law to do when she has a Birthday Cake complete with candles to give to her daughter in law on the occassion of her birthday, only to be ‘usurped’ by her grandaughter who has lovingly presented her Mum with the same—? 😉

Ummmmmmm—- does anyone fancy coming round for a cuppa and a slice of posh cake—? 😉 xx

 

Dignity and Integrity…

United Kingdom

—– reading the headlines of The Daily Mail online this morning, I was given a glimmer of hope that ‘Great’ is returning to its rightful place — as an adjective to describe Britain—-

Heartwarming pictures and tributes from her family to our Queen as she approaches her ninetieth birthday graced the top of the front page, followed by the report of Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, voting with his feet to express his disdain at the way the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s recent budget cuts will affect the most vulnerable of our society—-

Union Jack

The New Teapot….

teapot

—so—am I, slowly and sedately, slipping into old-age—?

Last week I was sent a voucher rewarding me for my loyalty to a certain independent department store in the town—

Yesterday, with the token safely tucked in my purse, I wandered the aisles with their tantalising displays of everything from electrical items, trendy luggage, toys, footwear, homeware, haberdashery requisites, up the escalator to feast my eyes on the pastel hues of the Springtime collection of ladies’ clothes, back down the stairs to the men’s section (which didn’t take so long to pass through—!) thinking “I only want a teapot—”

My husband usually accompanies me on such trips, so I spoke my thoughts aloud to him—

I could tell by his expression that he was puzzled as to why this should even be on my wish-list, let alone, at the top—

“Well, for the times when people come around and to save popping a teabag in each mug, two in a pot will make an adequately satisfactory brew for four cuppas—”

(Of course, I’m speaking of those who visit in daylight hours; evening beverages are never sipped from china vessels—!)

Anyway, he either felt my explanation was pertinent or he has found over time, that it is easier to just agree, so he did—

Stout-bellied, crockery tea pots of all colours were lined up alluringly on shelves—

“This one’s nice—” he remarked as he picked up one handsome specimen—

Now, it’s not as though I’m so uncivilised as to never have owned a teapot— umpteen such models served my family when the children were young but each one met a demise, often in the washing-up-time battles when arguments as to whose turn it was to wash, whose to dry and the well debated reasons why often resulted in the chipping of the spout as it hit the tap or the breaking of the lid as, slippery with suds, it slid from the teatowel’s embrace—

With these memories flooding back, I decided “—but I don’t want a china pot—”

Stainless steel glittered at the other end of the aisle—

My feet responded to the beckoning—

“Perfect! Unbreakable — exactly what I need!”

A little breeze wafted past my cheek— (maybe it was someone’s sigh of relief.)

“Now, which style should I choose—what size—?”

(No breeze this time—)

Sometimes the selection panel consists of just me (it’s less fuss that way) and all that is needed is for each inanimate object, hopeful not to be left on the shelf, to fall in with my game of ‘let’s pretend’ —

—so, onto auditions, then —

Lifting each of the shortlisted candidates in their turn, I proceeded to mime the pouring process — this piece of research evaluates the weight of the receptacle when empty allowing me to calculate the comparison when it might be filled (even though I must admit to wishing there had been running water nearby that I may have come to an accurate assessment). It also tests the stability of the lid and the feel of the handle. Capacity then had to be considered (would a pot fit to serve four mugs suffice or could there be occassions when an influx of visitors would arrive at the same time—? A sudden brainwave reminded me that I do still have teacups and saucers which could be utilised if this occurrence happened as one mugful surely equates to two dainty cupfuls—)

— somewhere before the shop’s closing time, the decision was made and a stainless steel teapot with a hinged lid and hollow, stay-cool handle was purchased—

Home then—

“Shall I put this in the cupboard?” asked my husband as we unpacked the shiny newcomer from its box.

“Which cupboard—?” I asked—

“Uh—?”

“Well, I don’t know where it should go — it needs to be in one of the glass-fronted cupboards but I’ll have to do some rearranging —”

Eventually, it was set centre-stage, clearly visible through the pretty glaze of the cupboard’s door, with an entourage of teacups looking on admiringly—

— and if you’ve read thus far, then you will have, just as surely and sedately, slipped into old age with me—

(I’ll put the kettle on — 😉 ) xx

The Morning Visitor….

blackbird

Since we moved house, he calls round every morning before breakfast-time—

He’s now such a regular visitor that I find myself feeling concerned if he’s a few minutes late—

Head cocked and hopping from foot to foot, his bright, beady eyes fixed on the glazing of the patio doors, he sends out his silent message as he waits for whatever little delicacy we’ll break into crumb sized pieces for him—

Far from the species’ usual timidity, he waits, unafraid, while we sprinkle his meal before him, pecks a beakful and then gives a call which, within seconds, has his mate joining him and they feast together—

Throughout the day, they fly back to snack on the left-overs and let us know when supplies need replenishing with a persistence in the performance of the same little jig from their paving-slabbed stage —

Just lovely to watch— another reason to appreciate the pleasures which come with being retired —

com.passion…

cardboard box

He was tired and hungry—-

Wiping the condensation from the passenger window with his coat sleeve, he stared past the red light, the usual after-school question urging itself to be asked—

“What’s for tea, Mum—?”

“Beef Casserole—” she replied “but I need to call in at Tesco’s for some milk on the way home — I won’t be two minutes — you can wait in the car if you like—”

The indicator clicked rythmically as she turned left towards the store and then pulled into a parking bay—

He watched her hurry towards the shop and started the countdown in his mind —- two minutes—a hundred and twenty seconds— bet she’ll be longer than that—

The window pane invited his finger to etch a picture of a stickman in its mist ; a noughts and crosses grid followed—

“Oh, blow! Now I’ve lost count—-”

In what must have been much more than two minutes, she came back to the driver’s door with a bag-for-life full of—- much more than just milk—

“Hurry up, Mum — I’m starving—”

Back into the heavy traffic and the lights were red again—

Absent-mindedly, he stared at a woman trudging towards the crossing.

The handles of an old, striped holdall seemed to pull heavily on the crook of one arm, while between the other arm and her body, was squeezed panels of what looked like a large, flattened, cardboard box, its bottom edges dragging along the ground —

Something didn’t seem right—

“Look at that lady—”

“Aw!” said his Mum —

“D’you think she’s homeless and the box is for her to sleep in tonight?”

“Could be—”

“Oh, please, Mum, stop the car and let me get out and give her some money for food— I’ve still got £1 in my pocket—”

“I’m sorry, I can’t, son — there’s too much traffic—”

The rest of the journey home was in unusual silence—

He took his bags up to his room until the call, “Tea’s ready—”

The aroma of beef stew as he took his place at the table in the warm and homely kitchen had him spreading his knife and fork further apart from the tablemat in a sort of subconscious hope that the dinner plate would be enormous—

Mmmm— the first forkfuls proved that it was as good as it smelt—

Then —

“I feel guilty eating this, Mum—”

“Why—?”

“—because of that lady — she may not have anything to eat—-”

His Mum tried to reassure him but was also now affected by the reminder of the image struggling at the pedestrian crossing and her lad’s concerns—

Sitting together over the meal, their conversation focused on this issue—

“I’d like to get some blankets and hats and gloves from Charity shops and take them to people who are homeless so that they can be warm at night—” the twelve-year-old decided—

“I’ll make some enquiries in the morning and see how we can help—” his Mum smiled—

A phone call to the local council offices and then the town’s Open Door charity was productive—

“Oh, that’s lovely that he wants to help us,” said a very nice lady. “We’re open on Monday to Fridays for people who don’t have a home at the moment to come in and have breakfast and lunch; a shower and launderette is also available to them—- We like to keep a stock of warm clothing so anything he would like to donate will be gratefully received—-”

—so— a story which has had a knock-on effect—

When I was told about it today and heard that things like bacon and sausages are also greatly appreciated, I asked if I might go with them when they deliver their goodies and take some breakfast items myself —

“Of course you can, Nan—-” said my grandson —-

Proud?

Well—–um—-yes—– 😉 xx

hat, scarf, gloves

Christmas bonus….?

fuschia blooms

I’ve been sitting on the patio admiring the plump new buds and ballerina-like blooms of the fuschias, frothy pink petticoat petals flouncing out beneath cream coloured tutus—- the rambling roses, too, are flowering prolifically—-

Tall green spears of daffodil foliage hint that soon they’ll be ready to grace the borders with their nodding yellow heads —-

—-I do love a Winter that’s so young at heart it thinks it’s Spring —– but I’m not sure that it’s healthy —– 😉

Grandmothers…

grandmother

Grandmothers

(as written by an eight-year-old boy)

A Grandmother is a woman who has no children of her own so she loves the boys and girls of other people…

Grandmothers have nothing to do; they only have to be there….

If they take you for a walk, they go slowly past beautiful leaves and caterpillars….

They never say, “Come along, quickly…” or “Hurry up, for goodness sake….”

They are usually fat but not too fat to tie up any shoelaces….

They wear spectacles and sometimes take out their teeth….

They can answer any question, for instance, why dogs hate cats and why God is not married….

When they read to us, they never leave anything out….

They do not mind if it is always the same story….

Everyone should have a Grandmother, especially those who don’t have a television….

Grandmothers are the only grown-ups who have plenty of time…. 😉

Anon

(Read in Taunton’s GB Tyres’ Waiting Room….)