Tuesday 31 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 31 - Write

Woo hoo.  I made it!

Today is the final day of the Just Jot it January challenge organised by Linda here.  Big thanks to Linda for keeping us all on track.

Today's prompt is also from her - Write.

That's quite an apt quote from Linda as she is a writer.  She has published books, as have many of the people that link to her site and have taken part in the challenge.

In that respect I don't consider myself a writer.  I haven't had anything published and am not likely to.  But I do enjoy writing my blog content.

It's been useful having the daily prompts to start from as my imagination doesn't always run away with me.  Words do though which is why I called my blog Wendy's Waffle.  

In an earlier post I mentioned starting A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.  He is a very accomplished writer but gosh can he waffle.  The book isn't grabbing me so far - I've managed to get to page 36 out of 637.  My original aim was to read a chapter a night until I discovered that the book doesn't have chapters, it has sections.  The first section is 48 pages long so I'm nearly at the end of it.  The next section has 58 pages.  The longest section has 94 pages but fortunately there are breaks in each section so I can find a convenient point to stop.

I'm always impressed with books that don't just tell a story but have depth to them where clearly the author has taken time to weave in information beyond the basic narrative.  

I do know that I am never going to be amongst that elite.

Monday 30 January 2023

Just Jot it January 2023 - Day 30 - Canine

Here we are at the penultimate day of this challenge which Linda does a great job of hosting.  Find all the info here.

Today's prompt is Canine provided by Dawn who blogs here.

I've had a couple of canines in my life.  Growing up we had a mongrel called Sandy.  Guess what colour he was?

Then at 19 with a broken engagement behind me my parents encouraged me to get a dog.  Smudge, not his pedigree name, was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and of course very cute.

When I met my hubby it was a case of love me love my dog.  Fortunately he did. Well he was fond of the dog but he's not overly keen on pets having grown up in a household with no pets at all.

Of course Smudge passed away many years ago and we've not had a dog since.  We did have 2 cats when the children were growing up, but since they've passed away our house has been pet free.

I did contemplate getting more cats but as my son has a retired racing greyhound that comes with them when they visit, and that's usually for a few days at a time, it wouldn't be a sensible idea. 

As for another dog, hubby is not keen on that idea so I doubt that will ever happen.  I do sometimes say that if hubby goes first I might get a dog for company but hopefully that won't happen anytime soon and by the time it does I'll be too old to be wanting to take on a dog.

Right well this is a bit of a waffling post.  Had to do at least one that lived up to my blog title.

30 down, 1 to go.

I've got this.

Sunday 29 January 2023

Just jot it January - Day 29 - Exercise

For all the info on the challenge go here.

Well today's prompt was my idea but I'm not really sure what made me choose exercise considering I do very little of it.  I do try and get out walking as often as I can, even if it's just down to the library or the supermarket and back or a lap of the lake but that's about it.

You won't find me in any strange yoga positions or stretching in a pilates class and definitely not huffing and puffing trying to do aerobics of any sort.

What you will find me doing is exercising my brain.  Both my Mum and an Aunt had Alzheimer's so, as you can imagine, I'm trying to keep my brain fully functioning for as long as possible.

I think blogging definitely helps with that but I also love doing things like Wordle (and Quordle, Octordle and Sedecordle) and I like this site which has lots of Japanese style puzzles.  

Another thing we love to do as a family is the pub quiz in the Saturday newspaper.  We usually get the paper and then send a picture round to our kids and partners.  It can get a bit competitive though.  E.g. yesterday one person said Blink 185 when the actual answer was Blink 182.  Nil points.

I was also cross that the answer for "In the UK, what is the term for a flat with floors on two levels" was Duplex. In the UK?  Whatever happened to maisonette?  

Unfortunately no one felt like giving me a point for that either.

Do you have a favourite type of exercise?  Or are you like me, a bit of a couch potato?  

Saturday 28 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 28 - #SoCS - Throw in the Towel

2 for the price of 1 again today.  A #SoCS post that will count as a Jot.

For all the information on how this works go here.

The prompt for the post is "throw in the towel"

Well it's day 28 of the Just Jot it January challenge and I've posted something everyday so far (although one post was past midnight here but still on the right day in the US so I'm counting that as a win) oops digressing as usual.

Anyway I'm not throwing in the towel now with only 3 days to go and one of those is my own prompt.

Actually I hate throwing in the towel on anything.  Readers this month will have seen how tenacious I was at getting a difficult jigsaw puzzle completed.  Although I did think I might give up on it in the first couple of sessions when I seemed to make hardly any progress.

I'm like that with books too.  I hate not finishing a book although there have been rare occasions when I have done - sometimes when I realise I've already read the book!

I've just started reading "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving.  Needed a book with a J either in the title or the author's name and that book has been lying around in my TBR pile for ages.  I try and use books in my TBR pile for reading challenges when I can but this might be more than I can handle.  I'm not sure I'll have it finished by next weekend - it's long.  Anyone read any Irving books?  Let's just say it feels like you're reading a combination of books in one volume.  He is very verbose - definitely must work on the premise why use a word when a sentence would be better or come to that why stick to a sentence when a paragraph could be used.  And why not go off on a complete tangent while we're at it!

Oops just broken a SoCS rule - I went back and switched an exclamation mark for a full stop.  I use too many exclamation marks.

Hmm I've lost my train of thought so maybe now would be a good time to throw in the towel on this post.

Friday 27 January 2023

Friday's Fave Five - 27/1/23

Friday's the time to look back on the week to see what we're grateful for and the favourite things of the week.  Then we share over at Susanne's site here with like minded bloggers.  

Here are mine:

1)  A visit from my cousin and her husband today.  They have been in London dog-sitting for their daughter and decided to pay us a visit.  They brought Mimi the dog with them today.  She is very cute.  Unfortunately I didn't take a picture but I stole this one from social media:

2)  Quick service from the library.  The library is part of a consortium so we have access to a vast range of books.  I'd read the first in a series recently and ordered the second one which was ready to collect today.

3)  Time with Grandsons Rory and Vinny on Monday.  Rory had no school so I had him here in the morning and then after lunch I picked up Vinny from nursery and met their Dad at their GP as they were both having booster vaccinations for polio.  Rory didn't get upset at all at the jab but poor Vinny came out silently sobbing.  He soon recovered though and then I watched them until their Mummy got home.

4)  A walk around the lake today.  It is still very muddy but today was the first day it hasn't rained at all this week so I took advantage of that this afternoon.

5)  Progress on Maisie the Pig!

That's her body.  Now I'm working on her arms.

Have a good weekend all.

Thursday 26 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 26 - Family

Today's prompt is provided by J-Dub who blogs here.

As always the rules etc can be found here.

I could write reams on family.  I don't have a huge family myself, just 2 brothers, but I married into a family where I gained 6 sister-in-laws and a brother-in-law.

Initially only 2 other siblings of my hubby were married but since then all of them have married and a lot of multiplying has gone on.  Now the offspring are pairing up and multiplying too.  When someone has a birthday the messages on our WhatsApp come thick and fast.  I don't have any audio pinging on that group as it would be going non-stop most days.  .

I love all my family, especially the Grandkids

L-R Vinny, Rory, Miles, Noah, Nathan and Ella.

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 25 - One Liner Wednesday

As it's Wednesday today the prompt for Just Jot it January is to do a One Liner Wednesday post.

Confused?  Don't be - go here for all the info.

Here's my one line:

And we're off!

Tuesday 24 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 24 - Ideal

Today's prompt is ideal provided by Astrid who blogs here.

As always rules etc can be found here.

In an ideal world my day should have gone like this:

I would have got up when my alarm went off.

My to do list of chores for the day would have been completed.

I would have gone out for a walk during the warmer  less cold part of the day.

Blogging would have been done much earlier in the day and I would have had a relaxing evening before an early night.

In reality my day went like this:

I did not get up when the alarm went off.  

I did get breakfast in bed but this delayed my start to the day even more.

My to do list isn't fully completed - 1 bathroom got cleaned, the other is now on tomorrow's list

No walking took place

I'm blogging very late in the evening so it's not an early night and

I've probably upset the neighbours by putting my dustbins out very late as it's impossible to put them out quietly and I think they might already be in bed!

On a positive note I did help my daughter today by collecting Grandson Nathan from school and having him here for a while and then going over to help her with the kids' bedtime as my daughter has had flu and my DIL was out tonight.

But then who lives in an ideal world?

Monday 23 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 23 - Paintbrush

For all the rules etc go here.

I'm don't think that I can write about me and paintbrush in the same post.  I'm not sure I have an artistic bone in my body and although I have used a paintbrush in the past for decorating I've got to a stage in my life where now, if we want decorating done, we get someone in to do it.

Just a jot today, been grandsitting.

Start here

Sunday 22 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 22 - Seasonal

Today's prompt is Seasonal provided by Kaye who blogs here.

Rules etc as always can be found here.

We are having very seasonal weather at the moment - it's winter and it's cold.  Much as I'm not a fan of the cold weather I do like the weather to be right for the season.  Here in the UK winter should be cold, spring should be warmer, summer should be hot and then we need to cool down again in autumn ready for another winter.

The past year or so there have been some fluctuations with that and we have had some very hot spells too.  It's a bit disconcerting.  (I'm staying clear of the climate change conversation.  No dramas here thank you.)

Anyway cold or not I persuaded Hubby out for a walk today.  We decided to do what we call the golf course lap.  

Beautiful blues skies but as you can see we needed warm coats, hats and gloves.  Oh and don't forget the wellies and walking boots.  The ground was muddy in places, frozen in others.  Not much golf being played - actually there was more dog walking going on than golfing. And yes I'm still rubbish at taking selfies.

We don't walk the entire course but there's a loop we can do that is just under 2 miles.

We cheated a bit today as when we got back to the end of our road a bus was due so we hopped on the bus.  It's only one stop but the stop is right opposite our house and as we get free travel (because we're over 60) we decided to take advantage of it.

I was feeling a bit tired as I stayed up really late last night, well actually into this morning but look:

it's finished!

I found it quite a challenge and early on I was contemplating whether it was doable.  But I hate giving up on things.

Right an early night is beckoning as I have about another 180 pages left to read in a book club choice.  Something else I'm finding hard going.


Saturday 21 January 2023

Just Jot it January Day 21 - #SoCS - Count on it

For all the rules etc etc go here.

Today's prompt is Count on it.

Well, I rely on my Fitbit to count my daily steps.  I can usually count on it to tell me I've done less steps than I would ideally like but it's cold right now.  We have had frosty starts every day this week and today is no exception.  Not the ideal weather to be getting out for walks.  Plus around the lake is still very muddy from all the rain we had prior to this cold snap.  So lots of icy patches to avoid.

I'm really trying to not avoid getting out for walks but I don't want to end up with an injury or two from falling over.  

I do try and keep active during the day - doing at least 250 steps per hour.  My Fitbit is supposed to remind me every hour how many steps I still need to do but I can't count on it to do so.  Sometimes it definitely reminds me, other hours it doesn't.  Well at least I don't think it does!  

Maybe I'm just being lazy.  Maybe I'd rather stay cocooned in the warmth of the house reading a book, or doing a jigsaw or knitting or blogging or just not walking!  Count on it.

Friday 20 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 20 - Phantom

Today's prompt is Phantom - provided by Tuba who blogs here.

Rules etc can be found here.

Well I looked up Phantom just so I was sure of the definition but was surprised to see how many different Phantom films there have been.

Back in 2013 a film called Phantom was released that was a Cold War thriller involving a submarine and starred Ed Harris, Julian Adams and David Duchovny.  Not for anyone who's claustrophobic I would imagine.

Prior to that, in 1996, there was a Phantom film released based on a Superhero that first appeared in comics back in 1936.

Looking further back there was a 1931 film with the synopsis: "A reporter goes in search of a deranged masked killer hiding in an insane asylum."  Sounds fun.

In 2015 a Bollywood film entitled Phantom was released, described as an "Action Drama Thriller A disgraced Indian soldier carries out a series of assassinations in the hope of restoring his honour."

For something more up to date, although it's set in 1933, another Phantom film has just been released -this one is a  a South Korean spy action film directed by Lee Hae-young, starring Sol Kyung-guLee HaneePark So-damPark Hae-soo, and Seo Hyun-woo.

"In 1933, during the Japanese colonization of Korea, the story begins with an underground anti-Japanese organization's failed attempt to assassinate the new Japanese resident-general on his first day in Seoul. The Japanese colonial government gathers five suspects in a remote hotel on a seaside cliff to hunt down "phantom," a spy planted by an anti-Japanese organization in Gyeongseong, within a day. Caught up in the game of life and under close scrutiny by the Japanese authorities, the suspects snoop around the rooms and search others' belongings to clear their suspicions."

I'm not sure any of those films are to my taste.  Maybe I'll just settle for one of these:

although with a price tag of between £378,500 and £450,700 maybe not!

Friday's Fave Five - 20/1/23

Brrr going back to the wintry picture this week.  We haven't had snow here in London but it has been very cold with a lot of frost.

It's Friday so time to join up with Susanne and others as we look back on the week and count our blessings.  Join in here.

1)  Firstly as it's been so cold I'm thankful that we can keep our heating on without worrying about whether we can afford to.  Energy prices are still very high despite a lot of Government assistance.  We did dig out the hot water bottles this week though and I need to check if we still have an electric blanket - not sure if that made the move here or not!

2)  A trip out with the Knit and Natter group.  We went to a Wool Show in nearby Waltham Abbey and then on to a pub for a Sunday roast dinner.  I had a really nice time.  There were only 6 of us so it was easy to keep track of conversations around the dinner table - we were lucky enough to have a round table which I think works better for conversation with a group of people.

3)  Living so close to countryside.  Despite the cold weather I've been out for a walk a couple of times this week and, although we're in London we have woodlands on our doorstep and getting out for a walk really lifts the spirit.

4)  Online grocery shopping.  Another regular thing on my list here but it does make our lives easier.  In fact online shopping in general.  I bought a lovely kit to knit a pig for Ella at the knitting show but found I needed more needles so I've ordered them online.  Hopefully they will come soon as I'm keen to get started on it.

Although it's knitted on quite small needles so I think it's going to take some concentration.

5)  Free time to spend on things like blogging, knitting and jigsaws!

I'm making progress thankfully - the first couple of days I was doubtful I would keep doing this one!

Still a long way to go though lol.

Have a good weekend all.

Thursday 19 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 19 - Complaint

Back to prompts today and it's Complaint provided by John who blogs here.

Rules etc can be found here.

Well I have no complaint today.  It's been a good day.

It started well with a lie in and breakfast in bed.  Egg, bacon and toast.

I had a fairly relaxed morning but I did manage to do most of the things on my to do list for the day.

This afternoon I took myself out for a walk.  It was a lovely bright sunny day but it was freezing cold.  Still too muddy to walk the lake path so I headed up and into the park and then down to the bottom of the lake.  I took some photos.  Not sure how easy it is to see the fallen tree in the lake or the fact that the lake is partly covered in ice but it is.  It's that cold at the moment.

I don't think I'll ever tire of walking this route.

I've just eaten dinner in front of the TV and I just have a couple of things to do before I can get back to the jigsaw puzzle!

And I've got my blog done way before midnight!

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 18

Oh gosh I'm pushing the time limit again today!

I did manage to get some chores done today but I've also done some more on the jigsaw.

This was on day 1 (9th Jan)

This is today.

It's coming on but it is hard!

I should also have included a picture of another WIP which is a blanket I'm knitting.  I can't start the Pig kit yet because I had to order some needles in the right sizes.

It was my knitting group meeting tonight so I had to take something to knit with me so I did some more on the blanket.

No updated picture on that or I won't get this posted the right side of midnight.

I also spent time this afternoon going through this pile of paperwork received in the post today.

It relates to benefits we received for our kids during the period 2004-2008.  HMRC believe we owe them money as they overpaid us.  We agree they overpaid us but we think it was less than they have asked for.  We wrote to them in 2007 with full details and asked them to check their figures and advise.

We heard nothing until last July!  It's now gone to a tribunal.  It will have cost them more in the hours of work involved than the amount they hope to recover!


Just jot it January - Day 17 - Hyphenated

Well this is definitely just going to be a jot.   I got carried away doing my jigsaw puzzle and didn't realise the time!

I am making progress - slowly.

But now I'm tired and can't think of a good way of jotting about hyphenated.

Although having looked at a definitions for hyphenated 

"a person who is active in more than one sphere or occupation:" 

I think I'll stay joined up!

Rules etc are here.

Prompt was from Sally who blogs here.

Monday 16 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 16 - Optimism

Go here for all the challenge details and here for June's blog - the provider of today's prompt.

Phew!  Past the halfway mark.  This should give me optimism that I might get to the end of the challenge but given that I'm not the most optimistic person there is plenty of room for doubt!

There you go - definitely just a jot today.

Sunday 15 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 15 - Gratitude

The prompt for today is gratitude provided by Carole Anne.  Her blog can be found here.

As always the full details on the Just Jot it January challenge can be found on Linda's blog here.

One of the blog hops that I take part in is all about gratitude.  It's done on a Friday and the aim is to write about five things that we're grateful for from the previous week.

It works for me although I don't get there every week, or on time but it does make me pause and count my blessings.  You can view my most recent Friday's Fave Five post here.

One of the things I'll be including in my list next Friday is a lovely outing today with the knitting group I joined.

The main group meets on Wednesdays during the day which didn't work for me but then not that long ago the organiser set up an evening group.  Not having really got to know anyone here since we moved (apart from our immediate neighbours) I thought it might be a good way to meet new people.  And I can actually knit.

It's a nice group and not too big.  Anyway today 6 of us went to a Wool Show in nearby Waltham Abbey and then we went on to a nearby pub for Sunday lunch.

Despite being anxious about the whole thing I was determined to go.  (Yes I do get anxious, it's not rational but it can be quite debilitating at times.)  I'm trying to say Yes to things like this even if they are out of my comfort zone and to say no when I need to so I don't get overloaded.

I really enjoyed myself.  The wool show wasn't all that exciting but I did buy a kit to make a pig.

I'm hoping to make it for Granddaughter Ella either for her birthday or next Christmas.  I've never made anything like this before so it might take me a while!

Saturday 14 January 2023

#SoCS & Just Jot it January - Day 14

Once upon a time....



Well who else gets inside your head?

Yes but you've been missing for ages Alice.  Where have you been?

Well it was hard finding space inside your head in the lead up to Christmas and then when it was actually Christmas those little urchins were here making soooo much noise.

Those "little urchins" as you call my grandchildren are very special to me Alice.  Just be careful what you say about them.

I'm sure they're delightful, when they're asleep in bed.  And as for the pantomime trip.  I thought my head would explode.  Why are pantomimes so noisy?  And why do they have to ruin perfectly good stories?

I see you're in your usual grumpy mood Alice.

Actually I'm not.  It's been relatively quiet here this week, apart from your gadding about picking up urchins here and there so I've had time to relax and now I'm ready to help out again.  And then I saw your first line here and thought "That's my cue!"  After all I know a fantastic story you could use here.

Yes but it doesn't start with "Once Upon a Time". I just checked.  And this post is supposed to be a stream of consciousness post and now I've broken so many rules I'm having doubts about posting it.

And you've interrupted my flow of thoughts Alice.

I can tell when I'm not wanted.  But my story could have started with Once Upon a Time.

I think Lewis Carroll was too original for things like that Alice.


Oh dear I've upset her again.  Wonder how long she'll go and sulk for this time?


Just Jot it January and SoCS are both hosted by Linda here.

For more about Alice go here.

Friday 13 January 2023

Friday's Fave Five - 13/1/22

It's Friday again so time to take a pause and look back on the good things of the week and then join up at Susanne's site with other bloggers doing the same.

Here are mine:

1.  Getting back into normal routines.  I do love the Christmas period, especially spending time with family and grandkids but routines go out of the window.  This week I've managed to get the house straight again and cleaner.  I feel more settled when things are more routine.

2.  Quiet moments when I can sit and watch the birds in the garden.  There have been a few of these this week - our daughter hasn't been working here as much this week so I've been able to sit with my laptop in the dining room and watch the birds visiting our feeding station.

3.  Walking!  I've managed to get out twice so far this week, despite the fact that we have had a lot of rain.  So much so that the walk around the lake is like a quagmire in places.  Not to be attempted without wellies.  Yesterday I stuck to the park which has concrete paths and managed to dodge the showers.  I do like to get outside and clear the cobwebs away.

4.  Family time last Sunday - we had my younger son and his family here for lunch.  It's lovely when we have them all here watching the grandchildren interact with one another but it's also nice to have one family at a time so that we actually get time to talk.  I know they also appreciate being able to get the kids out of the flat for a break.

5.  Looking at this list it's full of fairly simple things and I'm grateful for a simple life without too many complications or things to worry about.

Not the greatest picture but this Heron stopped by during the week.  He didn't stay long so it was a challenge to get a picture snapped.  Credit for that goes to my daughter who was here that day.

I've also managed to keep up with the Just Jot it January challenge and posted something everyday so far in January.  Hopefully I'll keep that up.

As for the jigsaw puzzle I started, it's going to take a while!

Have a good weekend all.

Thursday 12 January 2023

Just Jot it January - Day 12 - Donut

Donut?  Donut!  Well I don't know about them but I love a doughnut.

Jam doughnuts, iced doughnuts, finger doughnuts.  

What I don't care for are cars doing doughnuts.

A doughnut or donut is a manoeuvre performed while driving a vehicle. Performing this manoeuvre entails rotating the rear or front of the vehicle around the opposite set of wheels in a continuous motion, creating (ideally) a circular skid-mark pattern of rubber on a carriageway and possibly even causing the tires to emit smoke from friction.

Where we used to live there was a wide expanse of road and cars often used to do doughnuts there but then the road was remodelled and it ceased to be a problem.

Thankfully I don't see there ever being a shortage of doughnuts of the edible kind.