Saturday, 31 March 2018

You know how...

you get in the humour for no particular reason... or maybe you don’t?  
Well yesterday I did my stint in the hospice shop, battled home with broken brolley through high wind and tipping rain.  The thought of turning out for our early doors at the pub wasn’t appealing.  Friday five-ish is our start of the weekend, our old (new) Spanish custom in Hythe.  Himself had been home alone and 
was ready to brave the elements.  Our aim of coming to Hythe was we could walk everywhere and we do.  And slowly, slowly our old bods are reaping the benefit.  Walking to the pub,we don’t have the worry of drinking and driving.  We must be very aware the ability to drink more, doesn’t bite us on the bum and undo the good all this exercise is obviously having!
The pub I have spoken about before is so difficult to describe, not everyone’s cup of tea, I admit.  It’s nowt special... it reminds me 
of the small pubs in Southern Ireland back thirty odd years ago, where to an outsider it seemed you were stepping into someone’s front room.  On one occasion in a pub near Skibbereen, my bottom was carefully fondled, I turned and the culprit gave me such a winning smile how could I be cross?  Times have changed since then thankfully and I am not for one moment saying our local is anyway like that.  What I am saying is it is the people that are as much of a draw as the brilliant real ale.  
We got chatting with a young man at university in London, his folks live here.  Then our builder 
turned up with Twiglets and 
chorizo, which was handed around and suddenly our couple of drinks developed into the most wonderful forum of thoughts, views and ideas.  Where else could you enjoy hearing people’s tales of their 
work, their everyday lives,their 
hobbies and interests? 
There are so many good folk in the world, reading the ghastly things in the newspapers tend to make you forget that fact.

We had to drag ourselves away for me to make our fish pie.

A super end to our Good Friday

Friday, 30 March 2018

Good Friday morning...

along the prom the couples walk.  My guess is they are off to buy their fish for today from Griggs,
the wonderful fish monger and restaurant on the beach just 100 hundred yards from our door. What finer way to start the Easter weekend?

A kite surfer flys by skimming the waves, fishermen unpack their cars  soon to claim their space on the beach.

Our first Easter in Hythe.

Where we live c.1900

Up at sparrow fart...

I look and I look again.  Mug of tea in hand I sit in the quiet of the house and try to envisage my ideas come to life.  The builder’s plan to knock the wall down and then look at it seem on the surface the best way forward.  However, a lot of my treasures have just settled in their new home and two cupboards worth of old family china which have only just seen the light of day after decades, I will now have to repack and put away.  Am I gaining more space and losing more storage I idly wonder?  Then there is the upheaval, not to mention the cost.
At four in the morning I’m having a wobble.
A wall of Crittall windows with a parquet floor, a larger live-in kitchen.  My plan is to embrace the modern we now find ourselves living.  Sleek clean lines are at odds with my clutter brain.
The sea and the France filled horizon should be the main feature of our home on the coast.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Men are coming... ,

great excitement! 
Real workmen with pencils behind their ears.
My plan is to knock a dark hall into the kitchen. The two doors to nowhere from the sitting room will be blocked off.  One will be repositioned to make the understairs cupboard into a pantry.  The other will be bricked up. All this sound expensive?  A mere bagatelle my dear reader!  The might that is Lett. is unstoppable.  I did think that we should be here a year before we ventured to do anything major, however living here for four months is time enough for me to at least dip a toe in, get some prices and a general feel for whether my plan is doable?
The man does at least know once the job is done I chill and don’t then constantly want to change things.
Up at our local we have found a kindred spirit builder bloke, he and I talk the same architrave 
language... it’s like Esperanto only more cutting edge.  My, to most other folk ‘old toot’, he totally gets, so much so I am seriously thinking of running away with him?  Only on the off chance I get a cheap price, you understand?
I have a way with words and I have been very clear that I (we) do not want him to bog off halfway through the job.  Builders do have previous for this kind of caper and I for one want to be sure he 
will be faithful!?!

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

I’m blooming cold...

there’s a lot of weather about and I for one am fed up with it.  Garfield-like I cling on the window, I’m bored and when boredom pays a visit anything could happen!  Looking out on a horrible grey day gives me the creeps... I want to be out doing stuff.  Alright I have been to my yoga class and strange to say I am enjoying it.  My usual MO is if anything takes effort I can’t be arsed to do it.  Well I do it, all the while chuntering inside.  Walking home in the rain, don’t laugh, but I felt taller, my limbs were looser and my tummy flatter... all in the mind, but still!  Added to which this class appeals to my Elizabeth Bott gene by the teacher constantly changing the positions.  That way I am engaged, the seam of boredom doesn’t get to flex its muscles and I’m not tempted to keep peeking at the clock, a flaming miracle all round.  Alright I do get the giggles and I do give it 
large on the groans.  Not very zen-like I grant you, but slowly, slowly catch a monkey, progress is being made.

What a beautiful woman...
sadly not me!

Nonchalantly I stroll...

onto the beach, trying my utmost to appear innocent with ne’er a care in the world.  All the while hatching a wicked plan. To onlookers my aim is to look as if I am admiring and inspecting the wonderful varieties of pebbles and stones.  Looking for all the world like a first year geology student on a field trip! Carefully without a glimmer of guilt I select the size, the shape, the colour of the quarry I am after.  With sleight of hand one by one the chosen pebbles (rocks) slip oh so carefully down my left knicker leg.  As I carry on my ‘inspection’,  no one seems to notice my, not inconsiderable derrière is growing by the minute!
My usual garb of flowing clothes is a foil for my Fagin inspired activities.  My game isn’t to pick pockets, but to fill them with the  bounty of the beach.
This is the very particular size I am after and the receptacle I am planning on filling.

Simple really!  

I carefully cross the road all the while hoping my drawers don’t have a sudden attack of elastic fatigue.  Not a cloud of guilt shows on my face... hussy that I am.  When all is said and done my garden is just a mere extension of the beach... after all!?!

Derek Jarman eat your heart out.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Once I had...

a car, I loved that car, it was my pride and joy.
July 2016, Saturday morning: I set off shopping in my wonderful scratch black Smart car.  It was raining after a dry spell, I thought to myself the roads may be slippery and as I approached a tricky turn I slowed down and round the corner the car started to skid.  Strangely I stayed calm and tried to steer into it as you are taught.  As if in slow motion the car slid across the road and up a steep bank, ever so gracefully the car tipped. I was trapped in the drivers seat with apart from a grazed arm no apparent injuries.  In what seemed like seconds people appeared. A nurse living close by in the middle of preparing lunch for twenty guests. A paramedic who  being on the receiving end of my not inconsiderable powers of persuasion wasn’t having any of my suggestions to just hop out.

‘There is no way you are climbing out of the sun roof!’

‘My lovely car!’  I plaintively cried as he rallied the Fire

Two fire engines turned up chocker with beefy firemen who under normal circumstances I would have been batting my eyelids at.
Worrying, I know, but there you are: you can’t keep a good’un down!
Their excitement was barely contained as they proceeded to tell me this was the first Smart car they had had the pleasure of dismantling.
With blood dripping out of a superficial wound on my arm they strangely weren’t hearing my pleas

I really AM fine!  My car, my 
lovely car, I can easily hop out of the sun roof!’

On they worked, attempting to cut 
through the safety cell, that is such an important feature of the Smart car.  A long old job I can tell you. 

At the end of the awful experiment of just what a fabulouly safe car the Smart is, where for once I wasn’t the star of the show, all were agreed that you are as safe as you could possibly be in a Smart car...
Who am I to argue?

Monday, 26 March 2018

Have you ever...

thought what it would be like to view the world through another’s eyes?  I have, I looked at a photograph of Marina Abramovic in yesterday’s paper and thought if only I could understand and see her view on the world.  That led me on to thinking about artists and how they look at things.  Have you ever seen an every day object as if for the very first time?  You look, you blink and try to clear your eye, as there before you is a mundane object, the like of which you have seen for what seems like forever.
And suddenly you look, you look again and although you recognise it and know it so well you see it as if for the very first time.

High definition. Perspective, light and shade that is my guess as to what artists see, us mere mortals just look.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

A lazy cooking day...

Sunday.  A day I enjoy.  I cook that’s what I do.  I am in the middle of making up a food parcel for my old chums in the Highlands.  Yesterday I made a mincemeat and marzipan cake, which I ought to say I forgot as I pottered in the garden!  It isn’t burnt just a darker brown than my usual golden.
With the addition of a light pricking and the application of a dram or two, all will be well.
Today I will make chocolate brownies and cheese shortbread biscuits.  Together with a jar of mulled plum chutney and marmalade,  two creme eggs and a card of Hythe their Easter parcel will be winging its way on Monday.
The brothers who were my neighbours hopefully will enjoy some home cooking.

 Boudicca-like, knives flashing, yesterday I trundled my trusty trolley into town.  Our friends 
laughed fit to bust when I floated the idea of my new mode of transport, am I bothered not a bit. As a consequence our cars stand outside forlorn and unloved.  Walking to the shops our health improves by the day, who’s laughing now! 
The man was singing in his newly found choir.  A choir that sings for health.  A wonderful idea with all welcome to sing to their hearts content, although the conductor ensures they do it correctly it’s not just a singalong.  The health benefits are well known. 
From the small butchers in the High Street I bought belly of pork for today and an oxtail to slow cook for later in the week.  At the farmers market I bought local grown veg and eggs with the  deepest amber yolks.  I nipped 
into the charity shop that I work in on Friday mornings  in order to take in some ‘fly’ boots that after four wearings I’m giving the old heave-ho to.  Life is too blooming short to hobble around in uncomfortable footwear.
While there I carefully arranged in the window the most awful huge pottery chess set. A Marmite set,
love it or hate it. 
Confidently I said 
‘Someone will love this!’
Secretly I’m not so sure?

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Oh woe is me...

this infuriating machine has a mind of its own.  It corrects me all the time.  
‘Bloody brave!’
the man has been known to reply... blooming cheek!
I am happily tapping away on my ipad, I love it so much that my laptop doesn’t get a look in these days.  So much so that on the rare occasions I come to use it I can’t for the life of me understand why tapping the screen elicits no flaming response?  By my own admission I am a bit on the dim side.  It takes a while for the penny to drop?  Worrying I know.
I sit up in bed looking out to sea and together with my morning cup of tea, there is nothing I love better than to catch up with my blogging chums.  I know I need to get out more, but still...
Getting carried away I crack on, I know what words I want, however my machine has other ideas and sneakily behind my back it corrects me.  All that and as many 
other ipad users will tell you it has for some reason known only to itself, taken against people who blog and at every turn it makes it so horribly difficult to do.
I am convinced these machines will soon take over the world so I don’t want to say too much in case   my blog is hacked into and vital 
evidence harvested to make a cyber attack on an innocent old lass.
Whenever I take money out of the hole in the wall I always say ‘Thank you!’ cos you just never know!  50 billion details hacked, 
next stop blogland...

Friday, 23 March 2018

I am trying...

really hard not to get my knickers in a twist about stuff.
It smacks of getting old and grumpy and I definitely don’t want to go there.  Although of late reading what is going on in the world, it is hard not to.
Even here in blogland there are some funny folk about.  I just don’t get it?  People sit in their ivory towers and think it is fine to wang off a rude and personal comment.  Blogging to me is like a
cyber Speakers Corner.  It is good to hear other people’s views on things.  The fact they don’t always, or come to that, often mirror your views is healthy and with an open and enquiring mind that is how you hone and refine your point of view.   Otherwise what is the idea of engaging in this sort of forum.  Pithy comments I like, personal and hurtful ones I don’t.  At the end of the day none of us are perfect and that in my book is what is so fascinating about us humans.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

What Lettice did next...

meditation, mindfulness, medication?
My blood pressure is still too high. Not hugely, but enough for the doctors to prescribe yet more drugs, of which I ought to say I am anti.  Having worked in our village doctors for a few years I saw what sway the drug companies had in the 
inducements they offered. 

‘See what toys they have for the children will you L?’

You know J, there is no such thing as a free lunch!’ I would reply.

Soft toys were just the tip of the iceberg, ‘training’ days for the staff, where the reps would come along with buffet food were a monthly occurrence.
And of course the money paid for their drugs to be pushed.

Drug dealers of a professional kind.

Being such a cynic probably isn’t helping my B.P. what do you think?

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

BOL 715...

I had a car, I loved that car.
Like a demanding lover it caused me pain and lots of pounds.
For some unknown reason I had always wanted an Austin Seven, when my father died my prediction to him as an only child that I would spend his money indiscriminately came to pass, well it certainly did with that bloody car.
Together with the two brothers who were going to renovate the car we found a suitable candidate which the owner had been working on over many years.  They gave it the once over and said it was good to go!
Famous last words!
Cash was handed over and little did I know then it was the start of an avalanche of notes to leave my account.

It turned out that the old boy had made a superb Heath Robinson cackhanded attempt at renovation... I use the term loosely.  Old bits of carpet and 
tin signs were discovered along the stripping back.
Over the months they worked on it,
slowly the ugly duckling turned into a British Racing green swan.
All the while costing a fortune.
The day arrived when it was ready for its first outing to a rally.
Full of hope and a tad of puffed up pride we set off.  The lads as outriders were following discreetly behind.  Only in case of any ‘minor’ mishaps you understand?
Along the A64 in York we trundled, content all was well.  And it was until a crunching and the sight of a wheel bowling along in front of me!

In their rush to finish for the rally they had forgotten to tighten the wheel nuts.
I should have known then the whole bloody project was doomed!

This isn’t it.  No pictorial record was kept of the money pit!

Monday, 19 March 2018

I know it...

pays to advertise.
This is a step too far!

Or am I just showing my age and envy of their youth and exuberance?
You tell me!

Just had a thought...
If they are all wearing merkins
(see one of Tom’s old posts)
they might, just might get away without catching a chill in their nethers.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Things that really...

hack me off.
People that talk incessantly on their mobile phones in public places. Surely if smokers can step outside for a cigarette, then calls made or received should be treated the same.  Do we all really need to share the fact that  Thomas has been sent home from school or that husband can’t get home tonight as business pressures need him to put in extra hours... err with his secretary?
Last night in the pub we sat talking to a couple that were moaning about their son’s addiction to his phone and social media.  We were nodding sagely in agreement when...
her phone rang...
‘Oh excuse me I must take this!’

People that take photographs of their food in restaurants.

Companies that get away with plastering their logo all over 
their merchandise and then have 
the neck to charge extortionate prices for the gullible and brain dead to be a walking advertisement of their wares.

Snobbery in all forms, what makes rich people feel superior to the less well off?

The lack of respect of other folks point of view, especially over Brexit.  The decision to put it to the people has brought the worst out in so many, sadly.

Dog owners that pick up the poo then carefully hang it in a tree.

Dog owners who don’t pick up the poo, leaving it for the unsuspecting to skateboard along the prom on a crest of shit.

Refined bloggers!?!

Call me odd...

I don’t give a stuff!

I have a thing about internal windows... why?  I have no idea.
It started many years ago when the builder helping us convert a chapel found a lovely stained glass window.  The new hall was dark and the window threw enough light to brighten the space.  From then on I have a strange feeling inside whenever I see a particularly good example.  A harmless addiction, odd for all that?
This is how when we alter our kitchen I will have an excuse to put one in our boring box.

My other yen is 
for odd signs, 
this one I bought today.  

It sits well on the wall that I can’t risk my pictures on due to the full sun off the sea.

It’s strange the things that make you go weak at the knees. 

Thursday, 15 March 2018

We walked out to...

buy broccoli and came home with a wonderful table and chairs.

If anyone has ideas of its age, I would be interested to know?
No makers name unfortunately.
Thirties or Sixties?
Ideas on a postcard please!

A snapshot...

of a retired life.
As a ship on the horizon, the size of a small town sails by, I get to thinking about the state of the world?  I don’t mind admitting it worries me.  

A neighbour who we just met yesterday has just carried her twelve week old little Cocker-poo puppy down the steps from the prom.  Even seeing this elderly lady with her companion makes me feel a tad disgruntled.  Don’t people know, or choose not to acknowledge, that by buying these designer dogs, they are feeding the unscrupulous dog breeders to come up with yet more weird and wonderful varieties?  There are so many unloved, unwanted dogs in rescue centres, why not do some good with your pounds and give a proper dog a meaningful life?

A few years ago, while waiting for our flight at Taipei I attracted the attention of a security guard. 
I was lost watching a dog working at the airport not realising I was obviously acting suspiciously by following them!
‘Is there a problem?’ he politely enquired.
I explained I was fascinated following the dog’s obvious enjoyment of his work.  He proudly went on to explain that the city 
had a policy of retraining stray dogs to fulfill a meaningful working life.  
‘They have been trained to sniff out fruit and food, I have some apple here, I can call them over and demonstrate!’

And don’t even get me going about the world and the men and women who hold sway.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

‘Are you doing...

this off your own back?’
‘Of course I am!’ he replied. 
My next question...
‘Do you fancy doing the M20 next?’

Driving back home yesterday we remarked on how not only are the potholes getting larger, there are many more of them.  And worst of all, travelling at speed they lay in wait to kill you... truly dangerous death traps.  

We talked for mile upon mile of whether it would be possible to take the council to court for the disrepair of our roads.  People coming to the UK from the continent must think they have arrived in a third world country, as they travel along the M20.

I hang my head in shame at what we have let our politicians  get away with!
I used to be proud to be British... not anymore!

I often think...

on the day of a strange pairing of famous people that die.

Ken Dodd

and Hubert de Givenchy

whether they meet in the holding area as they wait for the decision as to their final journey?
And if they acknowledge their very different skills?

Funny the things you think?

Monday, 12 March 2018

I was like...

a kid in a sweet shop.
Today for the first time I have had to choose some glasses.
All these years my sight has been excellent.  I have one long sighted eye and one short and until now they have worked companionably in unison, with never a cross word.  Recently I have found I can’t see to read as well as I always had.  With much gentle persuasion from the man I went for a checkup.
From the outside the ophthalmic howsyourfather looked a tad uninviting to a self confessed style icon as I pride myself on being!?!
Stepping inside I was met by a woman who was just a cobnut nuttier than me, suddenly I started to relax and... I didn’t say this...
enjoy myself!
Going back to choose my new specs was a joy.  I was given the complete freedom to try every pair  on in the shop while she got on 
with testing folks eyes and general boring optical work that these folk have to do in order to earn a crust.
In the end I choose a short list of four pairs and between us we whittled it down.  She was definitely on my wavelength.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

A flavour of...

my day.
Mothering Sunday
Sitting on my perch looking out to sea I could see a flock of birds flying in formation close over the sea.
Wonder what birds they are I idly thought as I got on with applying my slap for the day?
The next time I looked out over the top of my hand held mirror, there was a guy stood on the steps taking a photo, his lens were most definitely  pointed at me.
Blooming cheek, the idea is for me to watch the world go by, not for the world to watch me applying many and various layers of the old war paint. I was only pleased I wasn’t plucking the odd hair out of my chin.  At my age it’s an ongoing procedure!

The fish pie got made, together with another as a take away for my ‘mum’.  Where this desire to feed folk comes from I’ve no idea?  Freud would have an answer I’m sure?
Scones were knocked out to serve with clotted cream and bigly fruited strawberry jam.  Alright, I know it’s not a word, but I am sure you get my drift?

Himself went off to get our special guest and luncheon went without a hitch.  Trouble was our 93 year old adopted mum’s car had just died.  What to advise with her health teetering on the brink of following the same path as her Skoda.  Mentally as bright as a button, we paid her the compliment of not pulling any punches re. her proposal of accompanying a friend to Rugby to a funeral.  She saw it coming before I had even begun to 
form the words...
As we drove home from taking her back, we both agreed what an awful thing it is to get old.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

The thing is...

do I buy a bolster?

Do I make a fish pie for my ‘mothers’ visit tomorrow?

Do I read the newspaper?  Which I ought to say I can’t bear to read!

Do I bury my head in the sand and pretend none of this is happening?

Do I do what I did back in the day and take to the streets to revolt against all the awful things that are happening in the world?

Do I sit back and think the younger generation are always cracking on about how easy we have had it, so let them take up the cudgel?

Do I f**k!  The day I give up caring is the day I die...

This is me outside the 
Chilcott Inquiry.

All my life I’ve been revolting!
Don’t suppose I will change now?

Friday, 9 March 2018

When the historic...

meeting takes place, will they discuss their recommendation on the best barber to use, I idly wonder?

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Walking on the...

spot against the wind.
I chuntered grumpily along the prom.
‘Get more exercise!’ he said.
What like walking against 40 plus mile an hour wind you mean, I thought as I battled home!
Another skirmish at the doctors.
New patient checkup:
Round Two...
The last time being kept waiting for nearly an hour, is it any wonder my blood pressure was off the scale?  
‘Bring your own B.P. monitor when you come for the blood test, then we can compare the two!’
In my opinion the very idea of constantly taking your b.p. when  you have high blood pressure is a hare-brain idea.  It is like asking a smoker to chart their lung function or an alcoholic to use a hydrometer in their urine or some such...
bloody crazy!
Today I was back armed with the readings together with the ruddy 
Fasting blood test taken, onto the the dreaded blood pressure check.
Looking at all the fairly good ones taken at home the nurse said
‘I would like you to see the doctor, as your readings are still on the high side!’
An appointment was made for me to return to see the doctor in 50 minutes time.  I scuttled out ready for my first cup of tea of the day.  After my free tea and a little light shopping in Waitrose back in I strolled.
 My bum hadn’t hit the seat before I was called over by the 
receptionist to say the doctor was running a good 30 minutes late could I come back?  Off out I go again to this time trawl the charity shops for yet more books, my secret addiction.
Thirty minutes later I returned: sitting reading my book, trying to concentrate with the wall of sound that seems to be the norm in a busy small town surgery, I idly wished I hadn’t left the sleepy village practice I had over the fourteen years taken for granted.
 The doctor said, 
‘I am giving you another tablet as I am not happy with your blood pressure!’
‘Hold tight, I want less tablets not more!’
Reluctantly he bowed to my views.
So much for a new patient medical I thought as I skiddaddled out of the door!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Oh dear...

what is the world coming to?
I mistakenly thought it would be a  mere matter for my old neighbours to ask around to find me a simple croft house for us to rent in order to spend some time close by.
All conversations of late have been about how few people remain, how many the curse of the whisky has carried away.  I heard the words, thinking in my naivety that  the old families would still hold sway.  No chance!  Wondering why nothing was forthcoming I googled the area to find a whole new world of airbnb.  The trappings of the modern age sit strangely with life as I remembered it thirty years ago.

My home then photographed in 2016.

All those years ago it was a different life to what it is now. To say it was a thriving community then would be wrong.  I have so many happy memories of the times, the kindness and generosity of the Highlanders.  Attempting to live self sufficiently was a hard call; one which I managed for five years before calling it a day.
My heart in many ways would love to recreate the life, I know that will never happen.  All I want in May is to go back reminisce with my chums and generally soak up the atmosphere.  I don’t want slick polished five star accommodation.
Airbnb’s request for 
‘No parties or events’
 at odds with my simple memories of a bygone age.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

All day he...

sat, did he catch anything?
I don’t know, we saw him set up,
we went shopping, then to the pub.
We came home and there he was sitting fishing, happy I suppose in his wet and cold world?

Look closely and you can see his feet sticking out of the tent.
Funny folk these fishermen.

BIg pink knickers…

 eat your heart out. Those of you who on occasion have been tempted to plough through my ramblings might remember my horror of dahlias and m...