..

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

A man jumped...

out of a helicopter and as he attempted to pull the rip cord on his parachute it failed to work.
Plummeting to earth he met a guy going the other way.
‘Do you know anything about parachutes?’ he said.
‘No!  Do you know anything about gas cookers?’
Sad to say this is the only joke I know and the telling of it by me causes great hilarity.  Even in a London restaurant a guy on the next table said
‘I’ll have what she’s having!’
I just can’t tell it without having the greatest difficulty getting it out, as it were!  It for some unknown reason really tickles me.  
What’s this got to do with the price of cheese in Woolworths I hear you thinking?
My trip to the doctors yesterday!
My blood pressure has shot up and my weight is going down.  Both reasons are easily explained away.  
Coming from a village practice to 
a town surgery the wait to see the nurse was a long time.  55 minutes as opposed to 10 tops before.  As a consequence I could feel the old pressure rising.  Chuntering away to myself ‘I don’t need to be here!’ I sat and stewed, don’t get me wrong I did understand that someone needed the nurse’s care a helluva lot more than me.  By the time it was my turn I knew exactly the result and it was!  I am now going back for blood tests again next week... bugger!   New patient check-up eat your heart out!
The drop in weight is obvious, we are walking everywhere so that is easily explained.  As I ought to 
admit is the rise in my bp,
 which is due in no small part to the hectic pace of moving; soul-
searching as to whether we have done the right thing?  Unpacking 
and organising our treasures, entertaining visitors who obviously want to see our new home 
by the sea.  By my own admission I’m like a fart in a colander looking for a hole to get out... 
Busy, busy, busy!

 Hardly ideal for the maintenance of low blood pressure?





Tuesday, 27 February 2018

My dates are...

all to cock!?!
Today’s (Tuesday)snowy post is down as Monday.
Yesterday’s (Monday) Canterbury  as Sunday.
‘Earrings’ Sunday’s nothing?

Is it me I idly wonder, or is it this flaming iPad that is experiencing the birthing pains of dementia?



I know what I’ll do I will ask that nice Mr. Tom Stephenson his advice?

The sun...

put in an appearance, 



the snow with bully boots kicked it away. Gulls swirl in the snow like fat flakes, the odd crow an exclamation mark!







Hibernate, hibernate, hibernate!
In a cold house chilling by the minute, we sit in bed looking out.

The plumber has got the part for the boiler, he says he will be here today?

Like the princess and the pea, with crumbs in the bed I sit and patiently wait...


STOP PRESS...


She’s only gone and gorn 
 in...




if you look carefully you will see her.





Monday, 26 February 2018

The plan was...

to go to buy the bed. It is a serious business buying a bed.  After much deliberation we have decided on a Harrison bed, a British bed made in Yorkshire.  Who knew the faff of bed buying, I for one certainly didn’t.
A trip into Canterbury is once again planned this time to buy not  try.  This is no bad thing on one of the coldest days of the year as our central heating boiler yesterday conked out!  Opening the curtains this morning I fully expected to see snow.  The sea is calm, heavy cloud with orange breaks along the horizon, no snow!
The lady who swims every morning has just gone down to investigate the state of the sea on her way back from getting the paper.  Will she I idly wonder as I sit up cosy in bed?

An SOS has just been sent to the plumber, as we wait for him to call the ironing will get done.  
A productive way to keep warm! 



Sunday, 25 February 2018

Earrings...



Women are a strange crowd.  We think nothing of voicing how much we like a complete stranger’s outfit.  I 
I love that camaraderie; kindred spirits in passing acknowledging their appreciation.
On one occasion at a summer fair I 
was trogging across a field at a 
smart county event.  You have to know me to realise I’ve got trogging off to a fine art.  Never the most elegant of gals.  Twinset and pearls I ain’t!  Although I do have a Queen Mary set that on occasions I sport.  I have the bosom for it you see.  
I was happy in my own sweet world, when a woman came up to me

‘I hope you don’t mind me saying,
but I’ve been watching you from my stand and you are the most interestingly dressed woman I’ve seen today! Would you accept this pinafore from me as a gift?’ 

Trade must have been slow that day!
My dumb had never been more founded.
With grace, which in itself is a rare state for me I accepted the gift.  She had made my day.
Could you see a man doing that to a fellow bloke?  I don’t think so!
I digress...
These earrings I bought for £79 a long while ago.  Such a lot of money for silver earrings, well to me it was.  They do not owe me one penny.  The joy I get each time I wear them, the remarks they garner is truly amazing.  

We’re a funny race us girls...


Saturday, 24 February 2018

The celebrity of...

our pub.
We went to buy a bed in Canterbury. Pilgrims returning home; a visit to the inn seemed in order.  Not by way of celebration, more of exhaustion at the complexity of bed springs, memory foam, latex and the like.
A pilgrims straw stuffed pallaisse held great appeal by the end of the day.
In the perishing cold we walked into the wind, along the prom.
Skeddalling away from the front through the gate kindly left open by the yacht club, we wound our way to the pub.
Stepping inside it was as if we had entered another world.  Our favourite haunt is like that.  It is hard to describe, like nothing either of us have experienced.
Locals, friends, nodding acquaintances, a core sample of the great and good of Hythe.
As we sat, thawing and content, wine for me, Skrimshander beer for him we felt part of our new 
community. 
Sitting drinking in the atmosphere, we could so easily have been extras in a scene viewed through a spy-glass of a Dickens novel.  Ruddy faces to a man, the squire in his large checks, the workmen on their way home, clad in work clothes.  The magistrate, the jobbing clerks, the retired.  
The door opened as the Artic wind blew in more folk. A warm and cosy fug filled the air.
We had a wager that I lost.  I calculated that there were twenty men, the women were easy to count... five.  He said nowhere near!  Including the landlord I lost by two. 
It was a gentle end to the day.


Friday, 23 February 2018

Let’s talk...

Yorkshire puddings.



When did they become a part of every roast dinner?
Back in the day, Sunday lunch was roast beef and only beef accompanied with Yorkshire pudding. Not as is the current trend, chicken,lamb or pork and Yorkshire pudding.

To eke out the meat the Yorkshire puddings would be served first with the unctuous beef gravy.  This way tummys were full of batter leaving scant room for the beef.  The vegetables would be boiled for 20 minutes, the 
goodness in the water poured down the sink. Potatoes roasted in beef dripping. Surprisingly we thrived and stayed trim, due in no small part to the simplicity of the ingredients.

Having a Yorkshire grandfather I learnt the finer points of a high rise pud from my mum.

The secret: plain flour, two eggs, milk and a goodly splash of water,  the consistency should be that of pouring cream and fire alarm quivering smoking hot fat.
Simple:
 Aunt Bessie eat your heart out!





Thursday, 22 February 2018

I have taken a...

Pickford’s pill.  This is our shorthand for rearranging furniture.  You do get funny little ways as you get older and some might say there’s none funnier than us?
I must confess I am still in a state of shock at what we have left behind and what we are now living in.  The old mantra location, location, location, I totally get... or do I?  I wander around looking out to sea looking the very picture of a forlorn Grace Darling.
Sitting in the armchair knocking this out, I look one way to the sun on the sea, 

.



the other to this...





a picture of our old cottage 
delivered by a friend yesterday.

The shock at the difference was writ large on their faces.
I have today determined to be positive and get my treasures out.
Hang pictures on the wall, no 
worries that the sun will fade 
them.  By which time I will be 
dead and gone.  The bare, perfectly 
flat walls give me the 
heebie-jeebies I even idly thought fondly of moths... I didn’t say that!

Today, I am tackling the second bedroom, which I grandly call my workroom.  The simple truth is no work gets done in there, well a little light ironing on occasion.
This determination came about yesterday when two moths put in an appearance.  At the sight the apathetic blood crawling round my veins was galvanised into action, sweeping all crud before it.  I was on a mission. There was suddenly a purpose to my life by the sea; although I know what a sad state of affairs all this must present... horses for courses and all that!
My ‘workroom’ is taking shape, winter clothes are stashed away in boxes, summer clothes are out.
The girl’s on a mission.


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The honeymoon is...

most definitely 
over!
I can hardly bring myself to say it.  What has taken its place is just too awful to contemplate?
I had kidded myself I was free.
A new home, a fresh start, bracing sea air, sleek lines.  A place to start out afresh, leaving all worries behind.  A new carefree woman emerging from a crusty worn chrysalis.

It I am afraid to report isn’t going to now happen as I had hoped.  I am so discombobulated by these lastest findings I just don’t know how to handle the current situation.  The shackles that bound me have again in the blink of an eye clasped me in their armour embrace.  Not to put too fine a point on it I am well and truly stuffed!

Carefree I arrived back from yoga.   I went upstairs to change and there on the bedroom wall I saw 
the first sighting of a foe I thought I had left far behind.  360 year old cottages have many nooks and crannies, not so... I innocently thought a mere teenage property with bracing wind blowing through. I was safe. Wrong!
My old adversaries have made the journey with me and there on the wall...




Bugger, bugger, buggeration!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Laugh...

I never thought me drawers would dry!

Why do so many people get so het up about piffling things in blogland? Or is this just the way the anonymity of blogging allows us to behave in the dark corners of the web?  Scuttling out for a quick nip and tuck of the nethers of unsuspecting bloggers.  
Unsuspecting?  I think not!
It’s a game, as long as you keep your end up and play well you can stay.  Be as outrageous as you like, let’s face it, it is all grist to the mill in the popularity stakes.  The more the merrier, alright I will admit some of the utterances are totally tasteless, never forget... it’s a numbers game.




Enjoy: this is a snapshot of modern day life.
Future generations will be pouring over all the twaddle and trying to search for the hidden meanings.

Trouble is...
There ain’t none!

A brooding...

presence, some might even go so far as to say a malign force.
To what am I referring?  No not trolls trying to wreak minor havoc wherever they go.
Sugar.  




If you spill it it craftily lays in wait for you to finish sweeping 
 then as if by magic from nowhere 
you hear a crunch.  Off you go again, on hands and knees this time... 

‘That’s done it!’ 
Happy in the knowledge you’ve cracked it you put the dustpan and brush away.
Strolling nonchalantly back into the kitchen you spy a glint.  Deep from the bowels of your inner being a groan escapes.
Out comes the big guns...
Custer’s Last stand.
The Dyson!

‘The job’s a good’un!’
On to the second phase...
Marmalade.


The ‘sweet’ ingredient silkily 
moves up a gear, in molten form it takes no prisoners.  Sat on the kitchen shelf waiting in the wings for its starring role, it has obviously been watching nature 
programmes.  Method acting eat your heart out: it devours all info on volcanoes.

Ducking and diving you try to test for setting point without getting first degree burns.  Success, the sweet spot is reached! 
After clearing and cleaning the war zone called the kitchen you fall back into the armchair clutching a large gin. 
As you recline exhausted with legs akimbo you hear the cry...

‘What is that sticky stuff on the bottom of your slippers!?!



Monday, 19 February 2018

The seats were...

sold.



As we helped to carry them out to his van.

‘I’ve got a gift for you here!’

Peering into the back I spied the most glorious galleon.

‘For me?’

‘Yes!’

I think he thought himself a heel for not paying me the extra £10 I had requested.




I didn’t let on I was happier with the ship than the ten pound note.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

This living by...

the sea has its drawbacks.
We feel like we are permanently on holiday so our drinking has slowly increased.  It isn’t helped by us finding a superb, very unusual pub full of real ale drinkers... hairy?  Yes!  Interesting?  Very!
None of these posey village folk we had become horribly used to.

The thing we have found in Hythe above all else is the friendliness of all you meet.
Yesterday, a glorious day gave us a tiny taster of what the prom will be like in the summer.  A neighbour a few doors down said we had better get used to visitors walking along the front discussing our gardens, curtains and the like!  As the weather warms we will sit on our veranda and get to see what I consider the greatest free show on earth...
people watching, with the sea as a backdrop... what better?


Thursday, 15 February 2018

My heart hurt...

as we said...

‘Goodbye!’

We know they are only going across the water... but still... it is painful... BIG time.

There are but few folk you meet in
life that for some inexplicable reason are soul mates.
These are ours and we love them.



Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Is this just a...

load of old toffee?
I just can’t make up my mind as to whether we are all kidding ourselves that what we do is meaningful?  All this talk of the weather, hibernating; our small lives, the things we find amusing,  is any of it going to add a cotton-picking thing to the grand scheme of things?  And come to think of it, what is the grand scheme of things?
I love reading people’s blogs, sometimes I comment, most times I don’t. Sometimes I get irritated by the views people have, their thoughts, the things they say.  Most times I am in awe of how they get their point across.  I marvel at the good nature that they display.  The thing that comes across is why do they do it?  Wouldn’t they be better employed doing good for the less well-off instead of either praising themselves, knocking themselves or  just whinging about the weather?  There’s a lot of it out there, it’s the time of year for weather.  We can all stick our noses out of the windows and see what exactly it is doing in our neck of the woods without reading about it in someone else’s backyard in whatever part of the world they are idly blogging from.


A scoal cuttle...

trick!?!
Malapropism is alive and well in Hythe.  Could it be the ageing brain I idly wonder?  I fear it maybe?  The other day I said
‘We walked to Hastings!’
What I should have said was
‘We walked to Folkestone!’
Worst bit of it all was I didn’t even twig that I had said the wrong seaside town!

Sat up in bed this morning  drinking tea, a card appeared by magic...





What I meant to say as I discovered it under my ipad was
‘The old coal shuttle trick!’
Back in the day, the man would arrive with gifts which would have magically appeared under the Christmas tree. It got so frustrating how to work out the magic I would frisk him on arrival, all to no avail.
This went on until the last occasion, the frisking had drawn a blank, apart from the enjoyment on his face!?!
I said 
‘Could you get some logs in?’
Again, another present duly found it’s way under the tree.
I was not to put too fine a point on it seriously pissed off as I just couldn’t work out how he had done it?
His cover was blown by B his able 
assistant who said
‘You set him up by asking for the logs the gift was in the coal scuttle!’
In a puff the magic was gone.


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Barrelling along the...

 prom. I can't quite decide if today is a good day for the first
visit of the family? 
Yesterday was dead flat calm with warm sunny skies.  Today the weather has definitely got its knickers in a twist.  


It is so exhilarating.
Sou’westers-a-go-go.
Who wouldn’t want to live by the sea?

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Was it ever...

thus?
We now can’t move a muscle without talking on the mobile to Great Auntie Gertie as to whether we should have the sticky toffee pudding or the black forest gateau?

‘Tell me Auntie, as I have sent you the photo’s of the starter and main course, which should I choose?’

Slowly but surely we are being got by the techie giants.
Our only deep and meaningful conversations will be with the 
‘Oh so perfect’
blow up man/woman/robot that comes via the internet.  As does all our furniture, food and furbelows.

Insidiously it weaves its magic until man has without a whimper made man redundant!





Errr... can someone...

explain comments to me please?
I get a few comments which I always make a point of replying to, I think it is only courteous to do so.
However the other day I got a comment on my email which didn’t appear on my blog... any idea why?
I naturally didn’t reply as to reply to a comment that hasn’t appeared would seem crackers...
wouldn’t it?



Any ideas as to the way forward?


Saturday, 10 February 2018

Sat by my...

pretend log fire, I got to thinking at least we aren’t inhaling the noxious fumes of a real log fire. And if the experts are to be believed you are breathing in nearly as many in the sitting room as you are out on a busy street. The only trouble is you can’t beat a real fire. 

This is the ‘real’ faux fire!?!
The flowers on the top are a bit of a give away that it isn’t on!






We do have a real chimney or it certainly looks that way from the outside.  One of our first jobs on arrival here was to get a man along who knows about these things.
‘The chimney is only big enough to accommodate a gas flue, so no can do!’ 
Although we are smack on the seafront we are toasty and warm on a wild day like today.




This modern living takes some getting used to.

I have today taken advantage of the weather by getting my rogues gallery of photographs on the stairs.  Slowly it is becoming our home by the sea and what nicer?

Friday, 9 February 2018

Men in grey...

suits or to be more precise grey jumpers.  We sat in our new best bar in Hythe.  A no-nonsense, no frills sort of a place that the hairy hoary old/young Camra drinkers frequent. 
Looking round I clocked that all the inhabitants were wearing grey, including me.  Was it the secret society garb of the FNEDDs
‘Friday Night Early Doors Drinkers’?

Feeling peckish?
Crisps... Plain, salt and vinegar,cheese and onion.
Nuts... salted or dry-roasted.
‘Cashews?’
‘No, just peanuts, we do have pork scratchings!’
Beer straight from the cask.
Cider from casks or flagons...
who knows?
ABV... god knows?
Wine... Two reds, two whites, one rose and and bottles of Prosecco for the upmarket.
We sat as the new kids on the block and were happy in amongst the great and good of Hythe...
a fine way to start the weekend.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

What is it with...

velvet I idly wonder? 
Every shop, magazine, email, 
features it.
It is the fabric of the moment.
Trouble is, I remember only too well the thick nap of the purple velvet curtains I had back in the day.  They really were what you call velvet... cotton velvet with attitude, and some.
Two items of clothes I value more than any other, is a wonderful aubergine in some lights, brown in others, silk velvet coat.
Love at first sight, the swing ticket told me I couldn’t afford it.  My heart had other ideas?

A man who was a lecturer in an art college came across to me in a London cafe and said I have been sat admiring your coat.  Which I hate to admit I had tossed onto an adjacent chair.  And to think I thought he was looking at me?  A girl can only dream!
Silk velvet trousers are the other item of apparel I have, and I ought to say, I can hardly stop myself from stroking my limbs when I am wearing them... sad I know!

Today I have seen the most glorious velvet lampshades.
Will I ever be free of this most insidious addiction I have?





Today

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Part two... Marmaladegate...

This blip sort of sums up my preserving saga... the frigging ipad doesn’t like doing blogs so words and gaps appear as if by magic right in the middle of the flow of words and as for editing what you have written well... it’s a bloody nightmare.  It isn’t helped by my being as good at techie stuff as I am at cooking these days!
Where was I?
With sugar spilling out all over floor I should have known the
cook-a-thon was doomed.  But no I crunched across the kitchen...
determined.  Then the scales had a moment and went into EEEE mode, obviously they objected to being overloaded. A whiff of deja-vu 
filled the air... did I 
Abort, abort, abort?
Oh dear, No!
I cracked on, once again in the guessing game.
Your guess is as good as mine,
I will let you see the end result...


Marmaladegate...

an everyday story of the tale of making marmalade in the modern age.


Are you sitting comfortably?
Every year I make marmalade, being as I am a fully trained 
cordon bleu cheffette.
This year not long after arrival in my new home the call of the Seville oranges got too much to ignore.  Being preoccupied with unpacking and trying to find homes for things that looked better in the old homestead I must confess I was not really giving it much thought.  Especially as I have been making marmalade for three hundred years give or take!
What a complete cock-up that turned out to be?
I have an ancient Thermomix, the gadget you need a mortgage to buy.
The reason why I have one is because back in the day I used to sell them.  One of my claims to fame is I sold one to Cilla Black.
Impressed, I thought you would be!?!
For some reason which escapes me now, I always make pickle and preserves this way?
The last batch turned out surprisingly well considering half way through I forgot how much fruit, stock and sugar I had put in.  I fiddled about all the while thinking someone is taking the pith!  I got away with it.
No one was more surprised than me!
This time I was determined to measure and weigh to the very last grain of sugar, stock measured to within an inch of its life.  Fruit 
cut up and carefully weighed.

The wheels came off when I discovered the bag of sugar had a hole in it



Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Thought for today...

this encapsulates my feelings exactly.

One of the many joys of ageing.
To diet or not to diet?
I keep a diary, not a dear diary sort of diary, just a snapshot of my day.  Always plumpeous, not a word but you get my drift? The one real constant in my life has been dieting.  Last year I looked back over the diaries of my life and it dawned on me...
my weight has more or less stayed the same.  All these years I have been wasting my time.  There and then dieting was dead and gone.
The shackles were off, I was free of this tyrant in my head.
My step lightened, the brain fog lifted, the corsets were most definitely off!
Reading this you might be tempted to think large chairs, chafing thighs, big knickers and elasticated trousers here we come.
But no, you’d be wrong, it didn’t happen.  The funny thing is when nothing is forbidden, it frees you to eat naturally the things that appeal.  And you know something, the weight has dropped, the scales are sad and forlorn with no purpose in life other than the very occasional outing.  The last time 7lbs lighter, I just couldn’t believe it.  I will never be slim, pale and interesting, not in a million years. I am happy in my own skin and 

‘Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn!’ to coin a phrase.

Happy days!

Monday, 5 February 2018

The difference...

between sharing food with real friends and a dreaded drinks party.
In my world being in the company of friends, enjoying a meal, no matter how humble is one of the joys of life.
My bete noir is getting tarted up to go to a drinks party.  You stand around, glass of wine in hand accepting canap├ęs which you then can’t comfortably eat. You chat about the weather, all the while concious of not spraying your chosen victim with crumbs.
Their eyes stray over your shoulder looking for a more interesting, more pleasing on the eye victim to impart their views on the customs union, twitching, the state of little Willy’s potty training and other exciting tit-bits.  You by this time idly wonder why you ever agreed to accept the invitation?
Your feet hurt, the ole bod isn’t used to being squeezed into tights.  Or if you felt the 
occasion demanded it...stockings!
Where I ought to say your thighs at every turn try to make an escape from the no mans land between stocking top and knicker bottom.  I digress!
Afterwards you stagger away having had too much wine and not enough food to soften the effects, vowing never to return
Now, a handful of friends, who you care about, sitting around talking  drinking and eating is in my opinion a much better way.  All get chance to be in the hot seat of being ribbed about things theyhave said or done.  Everyone gets a chance to expound their views on  say, running as opposed to couch-potato-ism.  Which is my particular form of exercise.

This is what happened yesterday when some much loved friends came 
to lunch who are on the cusp of moving to France.  Alright I am aware we live looking out on the channel, however they are going miles down, nearly flaming 
Spain far!

I am writing this as I watch the snow coming in from the sea!

A bitter sweet occasion waving them off.  Next time we see you it will be in warm climes...

Life on the

allotment.  A flavour…   Ludlow town wall stands guard    No Dig is the way forward Charles Dowding