Archive for May, 2010

Loud music

Friday, May 21st, 2010

I have a love/hate relationship with loud music. If it’s the sort of music I like listening to, then I love having it loud enough for me to sing along to, but still be able to hear it. If it’s the sort of music I don’t like, such as that really bangy music that repeats the same thing over and over again until your brain feels as though it’s going to explode, then I hate hearing it loud.

I can park where I work. I go in through a gate and then drive down a narrow single track lane to a designated parking space. There’s a pavement down one side of the lane and quite a lot of pedestrians use it as a short cut.

Even though there’s a good wide pavement built especially for pedestrians, guess where most of them walk? Yes, that’s right, right down the middle of the single track lane.

When I pull in through the gate, there’s often someone walking either right in front of where I need to drive, or to the right, in the lane, on the opposite side from the pavement. Most people show no sign whatever of realising that my car is behind them and I’m just about to drive past them, so I think it’s important to alert them to my prescence. I would hate someone to suddenly step out into the lane just as I’m passing them, and get run over.

I used to try and beep the horn really gently and not too loud so that it didn’t make them jump, and so that it didn’t sound as though I was saying rudely ‘Get out of the way!’ That often worked well. People would turn round, see my car and amble over to the pavement. Sometimes it didn’t work very well, and more than once I’ve had someone come over to me and be abusive! I thought that was very unfair, when all I was trying to do was get to work without running them over.

After the last time when a lady was really abusive to me, I decided I wasn’t going to do that again. It was unfair and unpleasant, so I needed to find another way.

That was when I had a bright idea! Now as I get ready to drive through the gate, I turn the music on the radio or CD up really loudly and open the windows. It works brilliantly! Without me having to say anything, or beep the horn, people look round and move aside, and I know they’ve seen me and aren’t going to step out infront of the car.

No-one seems to mind me having loud music, no-one has complained. So I can recommend it as a pedestrian alert that’s abuse free. I like loud music!

Half a cup of coffee

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

At most social occasions or meetings a cup of tea or coffee is offered. I like my tea quite strong with not much milk, so I’m quite wary of tea that someone else has made, because most people don’t drink it like that, and so they don’t make it like that. I just can’t drink weak milky tea. To me, it’s revolting! So I usually choose coffee. Although it’s often made with cheap, poor quality instant coffee, and doesn’t taste very nice, I find it easier to drink poor coffee than poor tea.

I’ve recently started asking for half a mug because I need something because I’m thirsty, but I don’t need a whole mugful, especially when it isn’t very nice. I thought it would be a good idea. It would cool down quickly enough for me to be able to drink it, and it wouldn’t be wasteful. It should have been a good idea, but it wasn’t.

I’ve found that everyone that I’ve asked for half a mug of coffee has carefully measured out half a spoonful of instant coffee granules, and then filled up the mug with hot water hardly leaving any room for milk. I’ll be saying ‘that’s enough thank you’, and they keep on filling it up. So now instead of having a strong mug of indifferent flavoured coffee that’s drinkable, I have an extemely weak coffee that’s horrible. I wonder what part of half a mugful people don’t understand?

Today I thought I’d got it under control. I’d been chatting, and was late getting my drink. It was being cleared away, but I was told I could help myself. Great! I can make a proper half mugful that’s strong enough to make it drinkable. I put in the coffee, and started pouring in the hot water from one of those flask jugs that you push down at the top. A young girl had been helping with the coffee, and she came over and started to help me push down the button.

I’d rather have done it myself, but I thought I might as well let her do it. When it was half full, I said ‘that’s enough, thanks’, but she carried on. I said several more time that I’d got enough, but still she carried on pressing the button until the mug was filled to the top, hardly leaving any room for milk. Oh dear! I suppose I could have put some more coffee in, but I didn’t want a whole mugful. So I just had a couple of sips, and then threw the rest down the sink.

I’ll have to try choosing a cup instead of a mug. That might solve the problem.

A slice of porridge

Monday, May 10th, 2010

I often have a bowl of porridge for breakfast. It’s quick and easy to cook in the microwave, it’s good for me and it’s warming and comforting to eat especially when the weather is cold like it has been this winter.

This morning, I didn’t have a lot of milk so I used a bit less than usual, but I knew that would be alright if I didn’t leave it too long before eating it. I also decided to use a different bowl from the one I usually use. It’s wider and shallower.

I gave it it’s usual 2 minutes in the microwave, and left it for a couple of minutes before it would be ready and cool enough to eat.

Then the phone rang. It was my friend Annie phoning to discuss the cardmaking workshop we were running in the afternoon. Amidst thoughts of designs and papers and what equipment we needed, all thoughts of porridge went out of my head.

By the time we had sorted everything out, I must have been on the phone for quite a while. When I got back to the microwave and opened the door, a flat, solid circle of rubbery porridge greeted me. Oh dear! I hate porridge like that, but I needed some breakfast, couldn’t spare any more milk and so I told myself I had to eat it!

I had the bright idea of mashing up a banana to mix in with it to make it more moist and soft. It was a good idea, but completely unsuccessful! That porridge was so solid and rubbery that nothing could have been mixed in with it. So I ended up cutting each spoonful of porridge and adding some mashed banana to it. I managed to eat it, but I can’t say I enjoyed it!

So what did I learn? That the wide shallow dish probably isn’t a good idea for porridge. Using less milk than usual is only ok if I eat it quickly after cooking it, and if the phone rings as it’s cooking, I should answer it on the cordless phone and eat it while I’m talking!

Oh well, they say it’s good to learn something new everyday, and that’s quite a few things I’ve learnt today!

Retracing my childhood memories

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

The Mew Stone at Wembury

Last week I was holiday in Devon, so I was able to visit Wembury. It has a very special place in my memories because my Grandmother lived there when I was a child, and so I spent part of every childhood summer on the beach.

As we walked along the lane to the beach every morning, carrying spades and buckets, I got so excited. I knew that we would come to a point in the lane where suddenly the sea would come into view. It was magical. As we got nearer and nearer we could see more of the sea including the Great Mew Stone.

Soon we could see the little Church and we’d arrive at the steps down to the beach. They were steep steps and I struggled to get down them, but I suppose that’s because I was small and they just seemed steep to me. Halfway down the steps we passed a little shop selling colourful buckets and spades, nets and ice creams. I loved the bright colours.

We’d spend all day digging in the sand, making sandcastles, collecting buckets of sea water to fill the moat, paddling, climbing on the rocks and collecting shells. Mum brought sandwiches which I think we managed to eat without getting sand it them. The weather always seemed to be be warm and sunny, but thay may just be a trick of my memory.

The Mew Stone is about 5 miles out but it dominates the beach and as a child I came to love it’s shape, so it was very special to be able to take this photo of it.