Tuesday, 26 May 2015

I've been busy - doing nothing 26/5/15

I haven't been quite this bad but not far off! The long weekend was far from productive.  I've also been hopelessly out of routine as we have my mother-in-law with us until tomorrow.

She really is no bother to have but I just don't get into my routine the same way.  I went to pick her up on Friday so that took a chunk of the afternoon.  On Saturday I had a hospital appointment first thing and then hubby went home to keep his Mum company and I trekked over to my daughter's flat to feed her cat.

In the afternoon I met up with some friends I used to work with so that was ok.  We had a nice long catch up in the local Wetherspoon.  Hubby took his Mum to the beer festival at our local social club.

On Sunday we got up for Mass.  After that we had our youngest son and his wife here for dinner and then I made another trip to feed the cat.  (Yes the poor cat could probably have survived on the food available until yesterday when my daughter got home but the cat can be a bit unpredicatable i.e. not using the litter tray, if she's left for too long at a time.)  It's actually quite nice sometimes to go, because I usually spend an hour or so there with a cup of tea and either catch up on something on the TV or read a book without feeling the least bit guilty about doing nothing.  You just have to check the trains are running ok and if Arsenal are playing a home avoid the crowds when the game is over.

Yesterday was another lazy day and today wasn't much better but we did have a visit from one of hubby's sisters.  That was good for me as she is undergoing a course on massage so I was able to get a free massage as she needs to practise!

Tomorrow I will take my mother-in-law to one of the other sisters in Brentwood and then I will have to try and catch up on some things! Although I already have a lunch invitation for Thursday and we're away at the weekend.

This doing nothing keeps you busy!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Why you can't always trust the media.

I was blog hopping this morning and came across a post that was berating a phenomenon that had caught on in Canada and the US that was basically about men behaving badly and bombing live newscasts.  Various video clips had gone viral.
You’ll probably be able to work out what I’m talking about with a bit of googling but I’m trying hard not to give the whole thing any more airtime than possible and you’ll see why below.

That might sound strange given that the targets of the bad behaviour were women (and I’m all for defending women’s rights) but, as I hadn’t heard of this issue (and it was using an acronym that I wasn’t familiar with) and it was quoted as being something that also happened here in the UK I decided to do a bit of digging.

What I found was that it appears to have been started deliberately by someone who wanted to just get attention and create a video posting that would go viral.  So it was reported that the first incident of this behaviour had happened when really it had all been a set up.  And the set up had included a woman.

The point I’m trying to make here (albeit a bit haphazardly) is that we can’t always trust the media.  It can tell us things that are not true and it can influence our actions.  In this case in a very negative way.  Of course I’m appalled at the way the men were behaving.  Being derogatory towards women, or anyone for that matter is not acceptable.  But I’m also appalled that when I tracked back this all started because of a stunt to get attention and the unsuspecting public took it on board and ran with it.

Yes, you can argue that by commenting on it like this I’ve joined that crowd but given the options of just being able to click on a video link in a post or having to go away and google, how many of the people reading this post will bother to do the googling? 

Clicking on video links is so easy and most of us (myself included) will do this and comment on it and then it perpetuates. But sometimes it’s worth looking beyond what’s placed in front of us and finding the truth.  We shouldn’t always be sheep.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Thursday talking 21/5/15

Well it's Thursday so nearly the weekend and we have a long weekend to look forward to as Monday is a bank holiday.

The weather today has been lovely. I hope it continues.  I've spent most of the day in the garden and I even put some sunscreen on!  The gardener was here in the afternoon so she was directing my efforts.  The garden is looking so much better.  Unfortunately hubby is no gardener and I've had spells over the last couple of years where I've had a frozen shoulder, then a trapped nerve and generally not been able to do much in the garden.  It fell into neglect and was quite overgrown.

Then we heard of Lisa.  She has made such a difference but now that I'm here she's also getting me more involved with it.  So today I have weeded, planted and mowed the lawn.  Well the grass, I wouldn't call it a lawn, it's not very level and has lots of weeds plus a few bare patches.  Although I did put some seed on the bare patches.  Hopefully they will grow before the birds pinch it all.  

I don't encourage the birds into the garden.  There are a lot of cats around including one of our own so I don't think it would be fair to encourage them in to get attacked.  Although our cat wouldn't move fast enough to catch anything.

I'm actually typing this on the patio.  It's getting a bit chilly but the sun is still out so I'm enjoying the peace and quiet.  Might have to get a jumper soon though.  And, despite all the comments on the Hodgepodge yesterday, I'm wearing leggings.  But I do have a long top over them that covers my rear end!

I think I will need a soak in the bath later to ease the muscles that are protesting a bit at this unexpected exercise.  And my hands and nails definitely need some attention, despite wearing gloves.

I didn't work non-stop.  In fact we didn't have an early start today.  Embarrassingly I wasn't dressed when the Tesco shopping arrived.  I'd planned it early so that I would be up and dressed and have lots of the day ahead of me.  Then I forgot it was coming!  Hopefully I'll remember to collect my mother-in-law tomorrow!

Some of you asked about the jumble trail I mentioned on the Hodgepodge.  I think jumble trails are a fairly new thing here.  There is a website set up to co-ordinate them.  Basically you have an organiser who selects an area and a day for it to take place.  People can then sign up for a small fee to be included on a map which is on the website.  Sellers set themselves up at home to sell so a bit like a yard sale and buyers can trail around the various stalls.

I'm looking forward to it.  Just have to get all my clutter organised.  I have made inroads on that but it's hard.  The other day I had to sort through a crate of paperwork of my Mum's, most of which just needed to be shredded and disposed of.  But of course it brought back memories.

Then I decided to tackle a damp patch in one of our spare rooms.  There had been a leak from the roof which is now fixed but the wallpaper and ceiling in the room had been affected.  I decided to start stripping back the wallpaper but it started to cause quite a bit of dust.  So before I continue I need to move the mattress off the bed so it doesn't get messed up.  It needs to move into the other spare room - except that is full of stuff.   So I have to clear the stuff before I can move the mattress before I can.......getting the picture?  The stuff of course will be what we try and sell on the jumble trail so for now it has to stay put.  Except I need to move it. 

Ever feel like you're going round in circles or is it just me?!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge 20/5/15

 Hodgepodge is brought to you courtesy of Joyce at:

If you want to join in just create your own post with the questions and your answers and then add your name to the linky list on Joyce's post.

Have fun!

1.  Did you make someone laugh yesterday? Was it intentional?

Well I’m not a stand up comedienne so if I did it wouldn’t have been intentional but I’m sure I probably made my hubby laugh – we still have that effect on each other and I did have a laugh with a friend of mine during a phone call.  That was sort of intentional because she’s going through a rough time and I try and call/catch up with her regularly and make sure she’s ok.

2.  What's a simple question with a complicated answer? 

Just about every question my hubby asks sometimes.  He wants to know all the ins and outs of things and makes things far more complicated than they need to be.  But if you want to be really highbrow, what’s the meaning of life?

3.  Rhododendrons or azaleas...you have to choose. Are either currently blooming in your yard?

Oh goodness.  Well I don’t have either in my garden so I googled pics to help me choose.  No help whatsoever.  I think I liked the look of rhododendrons best but if I was being given the choice I’d ask a gardener which needs the lowest maintenance!

4.  May 21st is National Waitstaff Day. Have you ever worked as a waiter/waitress? How would you rate the experience? What was the best/worst part of the job?

Never actually waited tables but did work on a food stall at a football ground a few times when I was in my teens.  The best part of the job at the time was having extra money the worst part was dealing with rowdy customers.

5. What fashion trend for women should be outlawed? How about one for men?

For women, all in one outfits – I use toilets a lot, all in ones make that too hard!  As for men it has to be speedo style swim trunks on anyone who doesn’t have the body to wear them.

6.  Name a writer who inspires you....now tell us why.

J K Rowling – I loved the Harry Potter series and she managed to do to that as a single parent really struggling at times. 

7.  What well known quote or saying sums up your plans for today or this week?

Rome wasn’t built in a day.  I’m trying to do a lot of things at the moment and sometimes it all feels overwhelming so I remind myself that as long as I’m doing something it’s better than doing nothing and every little bit will help me achieve my goals.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Someone answered my prayer.  I’ve seen a couple of jumble trails promoted recently in neighbouring areas and I thought it would be great if one could be held in my area – I have such a lot of stuff that I need to get rid of either by donating, selling or just trashing.  I’d even begun to think about checking out how to set one up but someone has beaten me to it.  (Phew!)  It’s not until September but that gives me a nice deadline to work to.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Tuesday toddle 19/5/15

Well we had a Monday meander so now it's a Tuesday toddle.  I'm still not up to more than walking (although I did do an interval walking session yesterday) but I have been increasing my daily steps.  I'm not counting them accurately as I'm only using the basic app on my i-phone and I don't always have it to hand.  It tells me I'm not yet up to 10000 a day but I'm doing much better than when I started taking notice!

I've managed to get up earlier both days so far this week so now having done all the morning chores it's time for a tea break and a blog.  It was a horrible wet day yesterday and although the sun keeps coming out at the moment more rain is forecast.  It's doing the garden good but the grass is doing too well.  Hmm sounds like there's no pleasing me.  Actually I'm very easy to please.  I'd just like the grass to stay dry long enough to get cut.

I actually finished a knitting project yesterday.

My son and his partner brought some magazines for me when I was first home from work and one was a knitting magazine which had free wool with it.  There were also instructions for a variety of things you could make with the wool, many of which were Easter themes (it was that time of year) but I thought the tea cosy looked quite sweet and at least it will get used.

I'm quite bad at starting things and not finishing them so I was determined this week to get it done.  (I'd done the main knitting part but just needed to put it together, stitch in all the ends and do the flowers.)  I'm trying to get back into knitting when I'm watching TV.  It doesn't feel quite like I'm just wasting time then.  Of course relaxing and watching TV is not a waste of time but I prefer to be a bit more productive.

Someone asked me about using a tea cosy.  Although we use tea bags a lot, especially if it's just for me or we're in a hurry, we do really like to have a proper pot of tea.  My husband is very exact about how tea should be made.  The pot has to be warmed, the water must be boiling and the tea must be stirred and then allowed to stand for a certain amount of time.  (4-5 minutes)  It sounds like hard work but he does make the best cup of tea!  (As long as he doesn't put too much milk in - he can be a bit heavy handed with the milk sometimes.)  We like PG tips best.  We're not fans of flavoured teas.

Well my tea (and the biscuits I found that I'd forgotten I had) is finished so I need to press on.  Literally - I have some ironing that needs to be done.  I'll be back later to work on the Wednesday Hodgepodge - some tricky questions in there this week.  That will keep the grey matter working!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Monday meander 18/5/15

Well I still had breakfast in bed this morning but I was up much earlier and as I've already done a few chores I'm allowing myself some blogging time. It's also a miserable day so I don't need to feel guilty about not being out in the garden.

Thankfully the weekend weather was much better in that it was dry and sunny on and off but it was quite breezy and not that warm.  It was still warm enough for a BBQ at my cousin's house on Saturday.  That was fortunate as we were there to celebrate her hubby's 60th birthday and there were quite a few of us.  If we had been rained inside it would have been a bit difficult. It was lovely to see them and their family - all five children (who are actually all adults) were there including most of the partners and the 6 grandchildren.  The garden looked quite different from when I was there last.  Her hubby was in the process of preparing to build a large garage on one side of the garden and the whole thing was a bit of a mess.  But it looks great now.  The garage (which is huge) is finished and the remainder of the garden has been restored.  There is even a vegetable plot at the bottom.  They've not been there that long but have achieved a lot.  It suits them - it's in a small village but it wouldn't be for me.  I'm too much of a city girl.  But nice to visit and we had a lovely day.

Yesterday we had lunch in London's theatre district with my daughter, her partner and her future in-laws.  It was the first time we had met them but it went well and we had a very nice lunch.  The food was excellent and we seemed to get on ok with the in-laws.  We're not likely to see a lot of them though as they spend most of their time in America.

After lunch we decided to walk back along the south bank of the Thames as far as London Bridge.  It was interesting seeing the way the London landscape has changed.  When you live here you don't play the role of tourist often enough to really appreciate things.  At least we don't.  Although I'm not sure that some of the new modern buildings sit quite well alongside St. Paul's Cathedral for example.

Anyway, I have set myself some targets for this week so that I can feel that I'm achieving something so I should push on with those.  I'll let you know later how I get on.