Archive for November, 2008

Fog

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

We’ve had a few foggy mornings and evenings over the last few days. It amazes me the way it can be clear one minute, and then the next time you look there’s really thick fog. The other day I had half an hour to go before leaving work, and when I looked out of the window it was quite clear and I could see right up to the end of the road. When I left work half an hour later, the fog was really thick! Where did it come from in such a short time? I was a bit concerned about the drive home, but it was just about ok. Where the road was screened with tall trees, the fog wasn’t quite so thick, but where the road was open, it was. The last time it was foggy must have been last winter, because I couldn’t rememeber where the fog lights were! I had to find a safe place to stop the car and read the handbook. I managed to find it which was just as well as the ordinary lights behave oddly in thick fog. I was driving slowly so that I was within safe limits for the visibility, but at one point I just felt I wanted some more light, so I put the main beam on. That was a mistake! The light shone on the fog particles and made it look like a solid wall in front of me. I qiuckly turned them off, and continued home slowly with dipped headlights and fog lights, and I was glad when the journey was over and I was home safely.

Is it the end of Woolworths?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

In the news today we hear that Woolworths is to go into administration. What a shock! Woolworths has always been there, part of the High Street, part of life. I was taken there by my Mother when I was a child. I can remember her buying loose biscuits. They were right at the front of the shop in shiny silver biscuit tins. The biscuits would be weighed and then put into a paper bag. I wonder when they started to be sold in packets? Did they used to sell bacon there as well, or am I getting it muddled up with the Co-op? Then as a teenager, I would meet my friends in Woolies on a Saturday. We would spend all morning in there, listening to the latest records. and sitting in the coffee bar making a drink last for ages. There was make up to look at and buy. When did that stop being sold? Christmas was always a special time to wander round Woolworths. They’ve always had wonderful Christmas decorations that it was fun looking it.
Over the years Woolworths and what they stock has changed. Have they suffered from too many rivals? Is there always somewhere else to buy something better and cheaper than WW now? They don’t seem to have kept up with modernising their shops like other chains, which made them seem a bit old fashioned, but at the same time it meant that they had a welcome familiarness to them. All over the country there’s a similarity in the shops, so that you can feel at home even when on holiday.
Next year it would have been the centenary of the first Woolworths to be opened in England. so after 99 years I wonder if it’s the end or will someone take them over and carry on. Will our High Streets ever be the same again?

It was cold today!

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

It was very cold today – there was a bite to the air that chilled me right through. It looked and felt ok when I left home, so I was wearing a thin jacket, when I could have done with a thick winter coat, a hat, a scarf and gloves. Actually I was wearing a scarf. I usually take it off when I get to work, but today I wore it most of the day as my neck was really cold. I realised half way throught the morning why that was. It was because I cut my hair yesterday! It had got quite long, nearly down to my shoulders, and it won’t do what it’s told anymore when it’s that’s length. So I cut it into a bob just longer than chin length. I like it best that length, but it’s going to take my neck a few days to get used to it!
It must have been cold yesterday too, because when I was driving home from my daughter’s house, I saw a big vehicle in front of me with flashing orange lights, then I noticed another one behind me in the mirror. Gritter lorries out because they were expecting icy roads! I hate it when a gritter lorry passes me because it sprays my car with stones, and I don’t like it doing that. As well as sounding frightening, I’m worried that it will damage the car. Fortunately, as we were all waiting for the lights to change, I needed to turn right, so I escaped both of them! I don’t know if it was icy last night. I didn’t see any, but maybe it had melted by the time I emerged. The only slippery thing I saw on the roads today, were the patches of grit left by the gritter lorries!

I’ve had a lovely Birthday!

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Thanks to everyone who has sent me cards and messages of good wishes on my Birthday!
I’ve had a lovely day. This morning I went to visit a friend in a nearby town. She had invited me for a cup of coffee, so I thought that it would be at her house, but when I got there, she had decided that we would go out to a local cafe. It was lovely. I had coffee in a big white cup and a piece of home made coffee cake. I did enjoy it. I had never been to that cafe before, and it was just the sort of place I like. I must make sure I go there again!
Later, I had lunch at my favourite store in my local town. I had a wander round the clothes departments and the Food Hall. It was Christmas everywhere! Lots of red and gold, and I even saw a black Christmas Tree. I don’t think I’d want a black one, but I suppose it could look good decorated in lots of silver in a minimalist flat decorated in black and white.
Later I went to see my daughter. Yes I did get a home made chocolate birthday cake with candles to blow out!

It’s my Birthday!

Monday, November 24th, 2008

It’s my Birthday today! I like birthdays – they have a special feeling to them. I enjoy other people’s birthdays, but I like mine even more. 24th November has always been a special day for me. I’ve had a few presents already – two lovely plants and some really nice specialist chocolates. I’ll enjoy those, but I’ll eat them slowly to make them last. I have a pile of birthday cards to open, and later will see some friends and my family. If I’m lucky, I might get a birthday cake. It depends how busy my daughter is and whether she’s got time to make one. She makes the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever tasted!

Is it snowing yet?

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

The weather forecasters have been promising us snow for the past few days. It was very cold yesterday, and this morning it was sleeting. A friend said they were awake in the night last night and saw big fluffy white flakes of snow floating down but it didn’t settle. It’s still being forecast though. I wonder if we will wake up tomorrow to a white world? If we do, it would be the first time there has ever been snow on my Birthday!

A double decker bus ride

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

A group I belong to went out on a trip today. Instead of hiring a coach, we hired a double decker bus! It was exciting! I haven’t been on a double decker for several years. The last time was when I was on holiday in Dorset and I went to Lyme Regis and also on a trip to Portland Bill on an open topped double decker.

I was the first one to get on today as I was the only one at my stop, so I sat upstairs in the front seat – where else! There was an amazing view. We travelled on roads I know well, but usually I’m driving so I have to concentrate on the road, and in a car there are high hedges either side of me.

The bus seemed to be really high, but I expect it was normal double decker height, but as we were so high up we could see right over the hedges and had a wonderful view of the countryside. We saw sheep, donkeys, old farm machinery, lovely views of different coloured and patterned fields. We saw into gardens we’d never seen before. When we went through a small town, we were so high up that we could see into the windows of the flats above the shops! I enjoy travelling by coach because you get a better view, but this double decker was so much better than that. And of course it reminded me of when I went to school. I’m glad we had our double decker instead of a coach. It was fun.

These are the two double decker buses that I travelled on when I was on holiday in Dorset a few years ago.

Low Fat Chocolate Spread

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

I never thought that such a thing could exist, because the nature of Chocolate Spread is that it’s made with lots of butter or (margarine). That’s what makes it spread. It’s one of my childhood memories. Home made chocolate spread in a pretty glass dish. You could cut slices of it, and then spread it on to warm toast, and it would start to melt. Delicious. But I haven’t had any for a long time because I’m trying to eat healthily, and it’s got far too much fat in it to be healthy. One day recently, I really wanted to have some chocolate spread on toast, so I started to be inventive. I’ve discovered that I can make a reasonable substitute that tastes good. I use a spoonful of good quality fairly traded organic drinking chocolate and add a few drops of water to mix it to a thick paste, and there it is. It spreads, it’s very chocolatey and it tastes good. And I can eat it without worrying that I’m eating mouthfuls of fat. Definately a successful ‘invention’!

It’s my Birthday soon!

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

It was dark well before 5.00pm this evening, and there seem to be lots of lights around the town – including Christmassy ones. I like it when it get’s like that, because it’s a sign that it won’t be long until my Birthday! I often spend my it with my daughter – we go somewhere special, but this year she’s working. I’ll see her in the evening though. I also often get invited to friends for a meal to celebrate sometime around my Birthday, but this year both lots of friends are abroad on exotic holidays. So I have a free day to do whatever I like. I wonder what I could do to make it a special day. There are lots of things I could do, but I haven’t decided on the right one yet. I’d better get on with it though, there’s less than a week to go!

My microwave blew up

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Yesterday my microwave oven blew up! It was very scary. It isn’t very old, but too old to still be under guarantee! For a while it hasn’t turned itself off properly. If I decided something was ready before the time was up, I would turn the dial to zero, but it wouldn’t go off like it used to, it would carry on cooking for a bit before reaching the end and ‘pinging’. Sometimes when it stopped on it’s own, it didn’t ping, and so still had some time left. Yesterday I wanted to put something on the kitchen work surface in front of the microwave, so I pushed the door shut to make a bit more room. Straight away, it sprung into life and immediately started sparking and crackling and sizzling making me think that the whole thing was going to explode. I could smell burning and there was light coming out of it. It happened so fast that I’m not certain if there flames as well. I just knew I had to turn it off as quickly as possible. The knob didn’t stop it, so I pulled the plug out. Fortunately everything stopped and it wasn’t on fire. It was burnt though. It was very strange – I’m sure I got it turned off quickly, but when I saw what was happening, adrenalin rushed through me and made my legs weak, so I felt as though I was moving in slow motion.
Now I haven’t got a microwave to use for things like heating milk, soup, cooking rice etc and lots of other things that it’s useful for. I must get a new one quickly because, other than when they blow up, I use a microwave for safety reasons. Before I had one, there were several times when I put a cup of milk in a saucepan to heat up, and got distracted by the phone or doorbell, and came back to find a blackened saucpan boiled dry. I was worried that I would set the house on fire if I didn’t get a microwave. The worst that can happen when I microwave my milk, is that I find it cold the following day!
I wonder if electrical shops have got sales on at the moment.