Saturday, 30 January 2016

SoCS 30/1/16 "An"

If you would like to join in with SoCS then hop over to Linda's blog (click on the picture) where you can find other posts to enjoy and full instructions on how to take part.  Or you can find the rules here on my first attempt at this.

This week's prompt is "An" so I'm giving you an Anecdote.

We're in the process of compiling a Eulogy for my Mother-in-Law and one of her daughters seems to remember that her Mum adopted the habit of putting her coat on to answer the door.

Apparently this was because she was always getting people call on her.  Indeed, living just round the corner from the Church that she attended regularly, you never knew if you might find a Priest sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a cup of tea or maybe a down and out or some other random person.  Why the coat?  Well it seems that if the person calling was someone she was happy to invite in then  MIL would claim to have just got back from shopping/school run/errand etc.

On the other hand, if the person wasn't someone she wanted to invite in then she could claim to be on her way out, hence the coat.

Unfortunately none of the other siblings remember this happening.  Neither do I.  As I said before you never knew who you might find sitting at the kitchen table because my MIL was always welcoming.  This is one anecdote that we won't be repeating at the funeral. 

Friday, 29 January 2016

I've done it! A-Z Challenge here I come

For those of you who have never heard of the A-Z Challenge you're probably wondering what I've done.  Those of you who HAVE heard of the challenge are also probably wondering what I've done!

Signing up for a non stop challenge of blogging every day throughout April (well with Sundays off) when my average number of posts a month currently stands at 13 means I need to seriously up my game.

But that's one point of the challenge.  It does make you blog every day.  And although my momentum may have dropped I'm still here more often than I was and I'm also following blogs more.  It isn't easy and sometimes it's hard to find inspiration but there are lots of blogs out there to help with this.

The wonderful Hodgepodge on Wednesdays is just one example.  Joyce does a great job of giving us new questions every week.  I've spotted some other regular challenges that I want to give a try.

Then there's my own Friday Five News where I try and find news stories to highlight each week.  That's good for me because it makes me explore the news.  I don't read a newspaper much during the week or always watch the news so it's a good way of finding out what's going on in the world.  Although I want to get a bit more proactive with that and catch ideas during the week rather than just relying on what's happening on Fridays.

I don't yearn to be a published author.  I don't think I have a novel locked away inside me.  But I do love to write and I do like the interaction that blogging gives.  Last year I was #1100 and something when I signed up.  This year I've made it in at #499.  I do have a theme in mind.  I've even done some preparation on that and hopefully I will be able to get some posts done in advance and scheduled.

It's good to be looking forward to something.  It's been a tough week here.

Friday Five News 29/1/16

The INTERNATIONAL  story I have been following this week is the news of how the Zika virus is spreading in Central and South American countries, particularly Brazil.  The virus is thought to be the cause of an increased number of babies being born with microcephaly which causes small heads and brain damage.  This is very sad and must be incredibly worrying for anyone expecting a baby or wanting to get pregnant.

This LOCAL  news item looks at the development and progress on a project to introduce driverless cars in London.  Yes that is a scary thought.  Until you read down and find that “Each pod can carry six passengers but will require a steward to be present at all times to press the emergency button in the case of a problem” so not quite driverless then.

In SPORT:  No real news stories here.  Just a rant about Football on Fridays!  Don’t get me wrong.  I can quite enjoy an exciting game of football.  But football has historically been played on Saturdays.  It’s bad enough that we now have to endure it on Sundays as well but Fridays?  Why?  I was looking forward to the next episode of a crime thriller that I’ve been watching this evening.  But it’s not on today due to a football game that is being televised.  I was not amused.  But in trying to find a positive in this it has meant that I’ve been able to get this blog post done.

The entertainment stories of the last couple of weeks have included the sad news of deaths and this week’s  ENTERTAINMENT story is also about death but this time a fictional one.  Involving Daniel Radcliffe.  If you enjoyed him in the Harry Potter series then his latest film, Swiss Army Man, might not be a film you want to see.  I do admire Daniel for not wishing to become typecast after Harry Potter and taking on some challenging roles, but it sounds like this one might just be a step too far.  He plays a corpse.  I kid you not.

Under MISCELLANEOUS  I see that Tesco are about to end 24 hour trading in a number of their stores due to the lack of demand.  I quickly scanned the list of stores that will be closed overnight to see if the two stores nearest me would be affected.  Thankfully neither is on the list.  So if I wake up at 3 am and have a particular craving, Tesco will still be there for me.  The sad thing is that if I wandered down there in my PJs the staff probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid!

All links are courtesy of the BBC website. Opinions are my own.

Wedneday Hodgepodge 27/1/16

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at 

Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.
Have fun!

Well I'm posting a couple of days late - you'll see why in my answers.  It's been a difficult week but I really want to keep my blogging going.

1. Share a winter memory from your childhood. 

Getting washed in a tin bath in front of the gas fire in the back room because the bathroom was so cold.
2. What was on your blog this time last year? (Besides the Hodgepodge of course!) If you weren't blogging, what in the world were you doing with all that free time?
There were only 3 entries during the whole of last January and that was pre Hodgepodge. (I came across the Hodgepodge when taking part in the A-Z Challenge.)  I had good intentions but life, in the form of job stress and subsequent resignation and ill health got in the way.
3. Ellen Goodman is quoted as saying, 'We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.'

Do you see more flaws or more potential in your life at the start of a new year? Have you done anything specific this month to address either one? Does the new year truly begin for you on January 1, or is there some other month of the year that feels like a fresh start and new beginning?

Definitely more potential this year.  In a very different place than this time last year.  January is always a good time to take stock but I resolved before the new year to try and stop procrastinating and “Just do it” and I’m trying to stick to that.

4. Who's an athlete you admire or respect and why?
Steven Redgrave the Olympic rower.  To achieve what he did, coping with diabetes, took an enormous amount of dedication and determination.  And now he continues to work through sport to bring about change in the lives of young people with disabilities or disadvantages.
5. Do you like cream in your coffee? Whipped cream on your pumpkin pie? Cream cheese on a bagel? Sour cream on a baked potato? Cream of wheat for breakfast? Have you ever had a scone with clotted cream? Of all the creamy foods mentioned, which one sounds most appealing to you right this very minute?

No coffee for me and not a great fan of sour cream but clotted cream on a scone?  Pile it high and don’t forget the jam! 
6. Where were you last kept waiting for 'hours on end'? Or for what felt like hours on end? How well did you cope? 
Unfortunately that was last week during the final hours before my Mother-in-law passed away.  We spent all day at her bedside having been called in early in the morning.  She hung on until the following morning.  But we coped because all her eight children, myself and the other daughter-in-law were there.
7. Believe it or not, when next week's Hodgepodge rolls around it will be February. Huh?!? Bid adieu here to January in seven words or less.

We will never forget January 2016.  RIP Maureen.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

At times of loss family is so important.  I’m so glad I married into mine.
PS It's been a sad week but this wasn't a sudden or tragic death and Maureen leaves a wonderful legacy of a large but close knit family.  See here for more info.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Newsflash for Friday 22/1/16

RIP Maureen Jakob
26.09.1928 - 22.01.2016

I'm not sure that my words will do her justice.  I couldn't have wished for a better Mother-in-Law.  Mother of 8, Grandmother to 23, Great Grandmother to 7 plus friend to so many more.

I have never been made to feel like an in-law.  The extended family includes me.  Her legacy is the fantastic young people growing up, living by her (and her late husband's) example.  They were both wonderful role models.

She passed away peacefully on Friday morning after failing to recover from surgery to repair a broken hip.  I was privileged to be there at the end with 3 of my sister-in-laws.  She will be sorely missed.

From one of her youngest great grandchildren:

Max: GG isn't in hospital anymore mummy
Mummy: no she isn't Max
Max: GG is in heaven with great grandpa mummy  

We pray that it is so.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge 20/1/16

Wednesday's Hodgepodge is brought to us courtesy of Joyce at 

Pop over there to see other posts and if you want to join in add the link to your Hodgepodge blog post to the Linky List at the end of Joyce's post and don’t forget to visit at least your neighbours on the list.
Have fun!

1.  Speaking of skating...when did you last 'skate on thin ice', 'skate over the details', 'encounter a cheapskate', or just plain skate? 
Well I haven’t skated on thin ice for a long time or skated.  The last time I can remember skating the kids were about 10, 12 and 14 I think so that’s 15 years ago!  I have met a few cheapskates in my time.  I’ve learnt to make sure when I’m out for a meal with any of those to set the ground rules for payment before we order as they’re usually the ones that don’t just want to split a bill and will start working out the exact cost of their own meal.  I don’t mind doing that but just create a separate bill for yourself.  Please!
2. What would you say is the biggest problem of people your age? 
We’re living longer but the services we will therefore have greater need for are being cut back.  Health and social care as we get older will be a big issue.

3. What's your favourite accessory? Is it something you wear every day, often, or only on special occasions? 
I like to accessorise with jewellery and scarves but often I’m wearing the same pair of fairly plain gold hoops and my cross and chain!

4. January 20th is National Cheese Lover's Day. Are you a lover of cheese? What's your favourite dish made with cheese? Last thing you ate that contained some kind of cheese? 
I do like cheese but don’t eat lots at a time as I get migraines.  We have several favourite pasta dishes which all have cheese but the last time I ate cheese was just plain with crackers at the weekend.

5. What's something guaranteed to make you roll your eyes?
Hard to think of something specific but in general people being rude or inconsiderate to others, especially if they’re trying to have a conversation on their mobile at the same time.
6. Your favourite book series? 

Oh another hard one!  Where do I start?
The Millennium Trilogy – Stieg Larsson
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
The Little Women series – Louisa M Alcott
Enid Blyton – several there as a child
Various other crime writers:  Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, Ian Rankin, James Patterson to name a few.
Lord of the Rings
Harry Potter

Can you tell I like reading?

7. Why did you choose your profession? 
Well I don’t feel I really had a profession until the last job I was doing.  I’d worked in various admin roles during my career but it was only in my final post that I actually studied and achieved a qualification as a School Business Manager.  I started at the school as it was convenient with the kids and originally joined as the receptionist on the front desk but gradually worked my way through the various office roles to my final position.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
It’s a lovely winter’s day here – cold but bright and sunny.  I should get out for a walk.