Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Children everywhere will be getting excited waiting for Father Christmas to visit them and leave lots of presents.

My Christmas tree is looking pretty covered in multi-coloured baubles and lights and the house smells gorgeous because I’m steaming a home made Christmas pudding.

I’ve just got some presents to wrap up and then I’m ready for Christmas Day to arrive!

1914 – 2014

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Today is Remembrance Day – the day when we remember those who lost their lives in past and current wars.

It’s now one hundred years ago that a generation of young men was wiped out in WW1.

When I was young it was very common for people to have several maiden aunts, the young women whose fiancés didn’t come back and who never got married. There just weren’t enough young men to go around. They were lying under gravestones in France and other places.

11th November

When everything comes to a standstill

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

A winter scene

It’s just over a week now since we had a heavy fall of snow.

The local Council does a good of job keeping the main roads clear with it’s gritting lorries, but I live in a cul-de-sac which ends up like a skating rink with compacted snow on it and not enough traffic to clear it.

My car was hiding under a coat of about six inches of snow, so I’ve stayed in for most of the week. I haven’t needed to go out anyway because most of the things I usually do were cancelled due to the weather.

It’s been quite nice having a break, and the snow makes the countryside look so pretty, but it’s very cold. I think I’ve had enough of it now and will be glad when the snow finally melts and the temperature improves and things get back to normal.

Useful inventions

Friday, December 14th, 2012

There are so many inventions that make our lives easier and more comfortable.

After asking me how I had cut my finger, a friend told me about a tin opener that curled over the edges so that they weren’t sharp. I went straight out and bought one, and it amazes me! I don’t know how it does it. It looks like an ordinary tin opener, but you can run your fingers over the edges without any chance of cutting yourself.

A remote control allows channel hopping on the television. I can sit comfortably on the settee, and quickly scroll through all the channels my Freeview box gives me to see if there’s anything I fancy watching. I wouldn’t want to do that if I had to use a button on the TV. I’d get backache bending down and a headache from watching it to closely.

But the gadget I’m always thankful for when it’s pouring with rain is the power lock on my car. I can jump out of the car, run under the porch and click the button when I’m standing in the dry. I haven’t got to fiddle with a key and a keyhole with cold fingers while rain is pouring down on me.

What’s your favourite gadget or invention?

Being careful when you mow the lawn

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

On the second really sunny day this summer I was sitting out in the garden reading and relaxing when I noticed that the lawn needed cutting. Although it’s not my favourite job and I do find it hard work, the garden looks so much better when it’s done so I decided to have a go.

I’m always very careful. I make sure I never put my fingers or feet near the blade and I always use a circuit breaker so that I’d be safe if I did accidentally cut the electric cord.

My garden chair had my book and the bag containing my camera on it and I was just thinking I must move that in a minute when there was a terrible noise in the mower similar to when a stone gets caught up in the blades.

I stopped the mower and lifted it away. There in the still long grass was something electronic looking. Whatever was it? What have I done?

Looking more closely I could see it was a lithium battery. Oh no!! My camera? My phone?

Trying not to panic and feeling a bit sick, I picked it up. It was my mobile phone battery. Where was the phone? I found it lying in the grass a bit further away. It was covered in bits of grass and the back cover was missing.

I got the rake and pulled it through the grass until I found the cover. It was bent and cut into 2 pieces and the little glass cover over the camera lens had gone.

But incredibly the rest of the phone looked ok!

I blew the grass out of it. I know you’re not supposed to turn a phone on without the cover on, but I had to find out if it was working. I pressed the button. The screen lit up and it beeped and came on! How amazing! It had been hit by the whizzing blades of a hover mower and only the back cover was mangled up. I think that’s a miracle!

I went straight inside, turned on the computer, Googled, found and ordered a back cover from Amazon. I hope it gets here quickly so I can check out all the phone’s functions and see if it’s ok. I need it’s calendar reminders so that I remember what I need to do!

Cold weather and hot food

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Thankfully the weather has warmed up a few degrees today. Last week it was really cold.

I spent most of the week in the lounge which was a little bit warmer than the rest of the house. It was so cold in the kitchen that I couldn’t stay in it for long. I had to put on an extra jumper and quickly get some food or make a cup of tea.

It’s a good thing that since I was made redundant last December, I’ve got into cooking. I’ve been making stews and casseroles in the slow cooker, and cakes and baked apples and roast joints in the oven. I like to fill up the oven when it’s on which meant that I had extra portions to put in the freezer.

So when the kitchen was too cold to stay in, I could get some already cooked food out of the freezer, defrost and heat it in the microwave and have a nourishing, hot meal to help fend off the effects of the cold weather.

Private phonecalls

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

When you phone someone, do you expect your phonecall to be private?

I do. When I’m talking to a friend on the phone, I’m talking as though it was just me and that friend on our own in a room. I might want to say personal or private things that I wouldn’t want to say in the middle of a crowded room.

I’ve discovered that this isn’t always the case. There are two people that I regularly talk to on the phone who take my call on speakerphone without warning me that this is what they’re doing. I was horrified when I found out. I wondered what I had previously said that was private, and who had heard it! I couldn’t believe that had happened without the courtesy of a warning.

I only found out because I happened to be with both those people while they were on the phone to someone else.

I was at my friend’s house when another friend phoned her. It was awful! I could hear everything the lady on the phone was saying, and I could tell from the way she was speaking that she thought that her conversation was private. It was excruciatingly embarrassing.

I tried to talk to my friend about the problem and say that she needed to warn people if their conversation isn’t private, but she just said that she can hear better if the phone is on speakerphone and didn’t seem to understand my point of view at all.

I don’t know what to do about it. I’ll never remember that I need to check if anyone’s listening before I talk to her. I could email her instead, but like many married ladies, she doesn’t have an email address of her own but uses her husband’s. So anything I email her, he can read as well.

Am I a bit strange, or would having a private conversation overheard make anyone uncomfortable?

Shopping strategy

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

My favourite supermarket, the one I visit most often, has recently started giving me vouchers.

Whatever I buy, when my receipt churns out of the till, it’s joined by a £2 off voucher. I have to spend £20 in one go and it has to be used within a week.

£20 is quite a lot to spend in one go when I’m trying to watch what I spend, and it would be tempting to make up the £20 with things I’d like but don’t need.

Like most supermarkets, this one has regular special offers that change every week or two. So my new shopping strategy is to visit the shop once a week within the date of the voucher, remember to take some Bags For Life and park the car as near as I can, then I go round the shop looking at all the Buy One Get One Free, Buy One Get One Half Price, Half Price and other offers.

This way I can make up the £20 without too much difficulty, and I’m not only getting most things at offer prices, but an extra 10% as well.

I usually allow myself one treat. This week it was a punnet of grapes that had been £4 and were half price. Still a bit expensive, but I love eating them with a bit of cheese and some water biscuits.

I’m pleased with my new shopping method. All I need now is for the supermarket to carry on giving me a £2 off voucher every time I go to the till!

I’m feeling Christmassy

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

This morning I got the bus into my local town. It was very cold, so I was dressed in my long coat, 2 scarves, a furry hat, two pairs of gloves – and my Christmas bauble earrings.

I was meeting a group of people to go Carol singing. I recognised them easily as most of them were wearing Christmas hats or tinsel.

Our first venue was at the Town Hall where a trader’s Christmas market was being held. The organiser had invited us to come along. We went up onto the stage, which seemed very high up, and sang quite a few carols including some special requests. It made me feel very Christmassy.

Then it was out into the cold where we sang in the street. Then on to some old people’s bungalows which was a bit of a walk, but worth it as people came out to listen.

By the time we had finished, my feet were like blocks of ice!

I’d had a quick look round the trader’s Christmas market and had seen some handmade heat packs that you heat in the microwave. These ones were different because they were filled with cherry stones instead of wheat. They can be washed, can be frozen and stay hot longer. I decided that my feet deserved one and I’m looking forward to trying it out.

Redundancy is a bit like a funeral

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

After 17 years of looking after the day to day running of a small Christian Bookshop, I’m being made redundant.

I have a variety of emotions about it. I won’t be sorry to say goodbye to the stress caused by my part time hours being cut in half to 16 hours a week 2 years ago, without any of the workload being cut.

I will miss the people I work with and the fun and joking in the office. I’ll miss the customers and the feeling of satisfaction when someone comes in wanting to buy something but hasn’t a clue what. With gentle questioning and my knowledge of what’s available, I can send them out of the shop happy with a parcel under their arm or an order waiting to come in.

I’ll miss seeing publisher’s reps and choosing the right product for our customers from what they show me.

I’ll miss putting new stock in to the shop and making it look attractive and inviting, and the excitement of seeing someone buy something that I’ve chosen, ordered, priced and displayed.

I’ll miss our designated customer service advisor from our main wholesaler who is so helpful and knowledgeable and always willing to share that knowledge, which has really helped me in my job.
Thank you Michael.

I’ll miss being part of a team who work well together and usually manage to achieve the impossible in the hours we have.

Oh yes, and I’ll miss having an income too!

So I’m sure that there will be a time of grieving for what I’m losing and I’ll have to readjust my life.

It suddenly struck me in the last few days that redundancy is like a funeral. All sorts of people at work, where we have lots of volunteers who work in the coffee house, and even people in the street who know me have stopped me. They say how sorry they are to hear that I’m leaving and then go on to say how much I’m appreciated and valued and tell me a little anecdote of how they remember my kindness or patience. It reminds me of my father’s funeral where people I didn’t know came up and told me little stories about him.

It’s lovely that people are telling me that they appreciate me and will miss me, but I wonder why they’ve waited 17 years to do it?