Tuesday, 31 July 2018

I’m on the turn...

like milk, ideal for making scones though!
I am pining for my old home, I miss it so much.
For my little dog, I miss her so much.

To walk in the garden without being seen.
The peace and quiet of country living.

These madcap schemes of late are to fill the void, I know that now!
Old LL will return, I know that now!

Me in happier times judging a cake contest at UCL...
What is there not to like?  The chance to taste lots of different cakes?

Sunday, 29 July 2018

As we sat over our...

breakfast we got to talking about past home secretaries.  Doesn’t everyone?

‘Pass me the home made brain fade marmalade darling!’
We got to talking politics, which we don’t do in company.  In the comfort of home, we have a gentle chunter about the state of the world.

‘More home made filled with enough seeds to sow a row 100% organic bread toasted dahling?’
In case you haven’t guessed that was me!
‘Who was that man, we both read his autobiography?’

Oh dear! Puzzled our eyes locked across the table, frowns carving their wicked ways across our brows.

‘I’m sure his first name was 

This usually is the first chink into getting it.  This time we struggled.

‘Don’t look it up, it will be good exercise for our brains to stretch!’  

We flopped in our swanky German recliner chairs, no geriatric paraphanalia here!  Our tummies working overtime to digest seeds
and the contents of one turn of a huge quern stone.  Our brains pulsing with the open cast mining of information.  Idly Looking to see if anyone other than travelzoo, John Lewis, habitat and    Ironmongery Direct had sent me a missive.  It hit me square between the eyes


I said jumping up in excitement, that bit was a fib.  I don’t do 
jumping, well to be honest that is also a lie because I do on the very rare occasion in yoga, jump to open my legs to do Warrior 2, only if I feel that way out, mind!

The cake from...

hell and other assorted titbits.

The thing is I used to be a cook.
Every day of my working life I baked a cake to be served at the meal of the day most cooks hate... 
afternoon tea.  Looking back the creations I turned out where blooming amazing, modesty oozed
from every killer calorie.
This monstrosity, made with eggs, the yolks of which would put the colour of sunflowers to shame, and finest butter was a disaster dahling!  Claggy is the word.  Mary Berry’s recipe: what was I thinking about, as if I don’t know how to do a conventional Victoria sponge? Put everything in a mixer and beat the hell out of it, isn’t the way.  Why did I even consider it, when all said and done the correct way only takes a tad longer?

Scooter is gone and in its place is a bicycle, bought for £30.  I have learnt my lesson about my passing fancies.  If you buy 
cheaply and get fed up you can move on, let someone else have a bargain.  Well that is the theory.
Over the years I must say I have 
wasted rather a lot of money. A tandem, trouble with that is you need a man on the front to do all the work! An exercise bike, ‘I know... I will cycle in front of the television for the hour of the Channel Four news!’ A good plan, the trouble was, if I really wanted to hear the in-depth interview I would stop to listen! A spinning wheel, that did stay the course, I earned money 
spinning and knitting my own designs when I lived in the Highlands.  A badge making press, and all the gear to go with it! Other folks designs were so much better than my pedestrian efforts.
Beads bought in bulk in Thailand to sell on ebay.  Okay, but I did get bored with all the packing and 
postage and answering queries.    Felt making which, even though I say it myself I did do quite well.  I got fed up with the wet water and soap suds and chapped hands.

By now you might be hoping this blogging lark will bite dust and she’ll blog off and leave us in peace... 

Saturday, 28 July 2018

I’m getting old...

I’ve decided.
We’ve had two lovely builder-free days.

‘Shall we go to Rye and see Mama Mia?’  I suggest.

Not his sort of film I agree, however his loving reply.
‘Yes, that would be super!’
he said lying through his back teeth.
Off we go on what is predicted to be the hottest day of the millennium.
Only me could come up with such a crazy idea.
We sat in a lovely courtyard 
garden of a restaurant having a crab salad accompanied by the electric drilling and banter of scaffold men working overhead.  A lovely break from the building noise that has been going on since April at home... Aaah!

‘Does this crab taste bland to you?’

‘Yes!’  I replied, all the while thinking hope they don’t come and
ask... is everything alright?
I scuttled up to the ladies powder room as he paid.  I wasn’t in the mood for anything other than sweetness and light... it was too  hot for one thing!

We wandered around in the heat our steps leaving sun cream and sweat marks on the pavement.  I was 
shopping for razor wire, huge 
gates and lookout towers for the 
second phase of getting the back 
garden people proofed.  The recluse in me is lifting its slumbering dragon head.
Having a tray of tea in a quaint  ye olde worlde tea shop, out of 
the sun and the noise, a phone goes.  Does he wander outside and take the call, does he heck!  The restaurant heard the full sorry tale of whoever, being scammed by someone purportedly from TalkTalk.

‘Now this is what you must do!’ 
he said.  And you know something we all got his definite answer, 
not once but a couple of times.

‘Phone me back to let me know how 
you get on!’

Spare me!

Settling into our seats in the cinema I am sat next to a woman, every few seconds texting, no sound just the light going on and off of her phone. This was after the notice came up 

Turn off your frigging PHONES!

As the film was about to start I turned, looked her straight in the eye and said in my best grumpy old woman voice
‘Are you going to do that all through the film?’ 
I do have a rather sound carrying voice, the row in front turned as one and looked expectantly?

A brilliant silly uplifting film, 
which I ought to say he thoroughly enjoyed. We sang Abba songs all the way home through the thunder, lightning and rain, so no chance of seeing the eclipse then?

Friday, 27 July 2018

Skimpy cozzie to...

full-on head to toe burka swimming apparel.
She swims every day, in the depths of winter with snow on the ground to now.
Early morning on a deserted beach, I wander looking for large stones to put into my water feature.  That close to the sea and you want more water?  For the birds, not me.  My bowl made by a very dear potter friend Chris, seems so right in the garden with its shell edge.  It needs a large stone for the sparrows to feel safe to bathe.

Calm, coolish and quiet this is the best time to be abroad with just the lady swimmer, me and a detectorist.  Sitting on the huge granite sea defence stones I sat with a lap full of treasures.  A can of Stella and a choc ice wrapper by my side.  Not my breakfast, just litter I had picked up along the way.  With my eyes full of the perfect scene, I thought it is not half bad living here...

Wandering along the shore line I soon discovered the reason behind the change of swimming gear.  The warm weather has brought not so welcome visitors...
jelly fish.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

All my life as a...

Leo, middle August born, I have craved the spotlight.  Or have I?
The header on my blog might give a clue.  I have come to the conclusion that instead of seeking the limelight I have a very real need to be alone.  

Living here has made me realise I don’t do people.  The idea like the smell of coffee roasting, is so much better than the drinking.  The smell of bacon cooking so much more exciting than the eating.  The planning of menus so much more enjoyable than the entertaining.  Although today I have enjoyed a family visit so there is hope I am not becoming a total recluse.

I envy the likes of A. who says at 93, I don’t know where the day has gone?  She is content with her own  company.  Reading Elaine of ‘Tales from Parsonage Cottage’ brother’s blog, he seems happy enjoying his solitary life on the dried up canals of England, check him out.
 A very funny writer, just wish I could easily comment without all the ib,dip,dab,dob carry on of whatever whacky platform he’s on.  
 I can well imagine him now on the poop deck having a gin with angostura bitters... pink gin I think it’s called?   A
A chaser of beef tea might be appropriate as he could conceivably be classed as ‘at sea’?

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Am I turning into...

the project manager from hell?

Suddenly this morning it has occurred to me that this building howsyourfather has been going on too long.  Money is going and the progress has slowed.  I am fully aware that renovations are like a love affair.  Nail bitingly exciting at the outset, you gaze 
into the builder’s eyes with admiration, love even.  He can do no wrong as you see him weave his magic transforming your dreams into reality.  You feed him, give him gifts, he brings you flowers, olives, chimney pots.  As the weeks go the feelings deepen, you hang on his every word, his builderly knowledge never ceases to amaze.
Then one day, like today you wake up early with worry.  Have I made this too cushy a billet, flits 
through your mind?
Suddenly the ardour cools and common sense and hard financial facts hit you hard in the chops.

Lists get started entitled 
‘Still to do 1st Phase’
‘2nd Phase’

Quite a few of the things get put back.  We need a break for normality to return and funds to 
be allowed to grow.
Like all love affairs the passion and fun cools.  We have made a very real friend, not a lover!
Now we need time for ourselves, and dare I say it, boring normality to return... 

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Am I missing...

something here?  Highly likely as I am a tad slow on the uptake!

I have suddenly got a rash of odd comments.  
Normally I like odd, but this is odd-odd.  Being a simple soul I think blogging is and should be open to all. Are they peddling their wares, if so what wares?  If you know, please will you put me in the picture?  Also how to prevent it would be good.  At the moment I am laboriously deleting each one.
Alright I am pleased to get comments but there is limit!

Monday, 23 July 2018

You know how it...

is when a man says

‘I know I’m sticking my nose in but!’

You hold your breath until the pearl of wisdom is imparted.

‘I’ve been thinking!’

All the while with rictus smile stuck on with face paint you think for goodness sake GET ON WITH IT!

Well, you know my cousin from Birmingham and his wife and her daughter and husband are coming on Thursday?’


‘I don’t want you overdoing it, with cooking and things.  What had you decided to do?’

‘Do?  I honestly hadn’t given it a thought!’

And I hadn’t!

‘I’m making a stand here!’

he said, overtones of Custer I idly thought.

Opening and closing my mouth like the mackerel that are currently throwing themselves onto the lines of the fisherman all along this part of the coast.  I was lost for words, he was on the phone before I could say 
Big Chief Sitting Bull!

‘Hello Hazel, now about this 
luncheon, L’s not up to it!?!’

By this time my mouth fell open wide enough to be in serious contention with if not the chunnel the Dartford tunnel at the very least. 

‘Because Mum and John aren’t in 
the best of health we were only planning on coming for a cup of tea!’

As he put the phone down I thought

Give me strength!

So afternoon tea it will be then.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

We FaceTime that is...

the best way for me to see how A. is!  A ninety three year old on FaceTimes shows the mark of the woman!  

However there is a problem, we spoke on Friday night and the three times I tried yesterday, I didn’t get a reply.  This morning the same!
It was only last Sunday we shot over and got a huge rollicking for overreacting! Trouble is, it is so very difficult not to.  I must admit on Friday evening she did say that they had been having problems with BT.  The sensible bit of me, (yes I do have a smidgen!) tells me that is the reason, although?  Just phoned her... no reply.
When I talk to her, she carefully explains that I am the only one she can be 100% honest with and would definitely phone me. If I step out of line she will think twice about telling me!?! Although I hear the words I still worry.

She lives in a very caring community of folk who look out for her, so the sensible bit of me says don’t fuss... I do though!

A pot pourri of...

my week.

My tiles.

Which flush plate to chose for the downstairs cloakroom?

The impending sale of a thrice
used scooter... best not go there!

A quote for a roman blind, I nearly had a fit!

A haircut.

A party to meet the neighbours.

My work room nearly sorted.

Rain, which I am hoping has made a start on filling my water butt.

A walk to our favourite pub.

A busy week.  At last I am feeling a little more content with our new life.  They do say, moving is up there with the best of stress and 
this time I can honestly believe it.  My last move was fourteen years ago and a lot more upheaval 
in downsizing; leaving the home I had shared with a partner I had nursed through a very short illness to his death. My new home then, I quickly decided was too 
small and had to be enlarged!?!  Nobody thought to tell me the meaning of the word downsizing  and in practical terms, I hadn’t thought it through!  In comparison to now, I am fourteen years older and the change from old to modern has had a huge effect.  One I didn’t really consider.  I am a cheery happy-go-lucky sort of a 
soul so this will be only a temporary blip!  She said confidently all the while wondering...

Saturday, 21 July 2018

The tale of...

a bottle of pee and two tea bags.
We see it all here on the sea front in Hythe.  First thing there was the drama of a young seagull caught in a fisherman’s line.  Gently pulling it in the gull broke free, only to find itself entangled in the broken line.  It desperately tried to fly and for an hour we helplessly watched. Help came by way of four canoeists, carefully they untangled it, let it sit on one of their canoes in order for it to recover.  It flapped away onto the beach and is still sat preening itself.  Whether it can fly who knows?  Guess who wandered down to watch the rescue and didn’t take her camera?
What has this to do with two spent tea bags and a bottle of piddle you might well wonder? 

As I wandered back full of admiration for the kindness of strangers my eye spied this parked right opposite.  A van beside the no motor caravans 6pm-7am sign.  the evidence clear to see!  My problem isn’t them kipping in their van overnight but leaving the rubbish of their breakfast and the contents of their bladder for all to see.

All this excitement before even Crack has risen from his water bed?

I worry about the state of the world and the world’s oceans.  And I haven’t even got around to reading the paper yet!

Friday, 20 July 2018

On the back of...

yesterday’s post, I got to thinking of my time in the Highlands... here...

ten miles north of Lochinver, on the west coast, top left hand corner, almost!
Looks and is remote, however don’t think you are getting away from it all!  Every local between here and Lochinver, the nearest village knows you are there.  People watching... BIG TIME!
The most wonderful chapter of my life, scratching around trying to make a living from the land.
The Highlanders are the most generous of folk, they watch your every move.  For all I know I was in their eyes, Mrs McCrack?
Happy, happy times.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

I watch people...

that’s what I do...
doesn’t everyone?
Where we lived before in a village off the A21 to Hastings. I would drive by a house right on the side of the busy road to the coast.  Every time I went to Tunbridge Wells I would see a man lovingly tending his garden in his freshly laundered overalls.  I had names for him and his wife.  I made up a little story in my mind about their lives.  They moved away and the beautiful garden was left to go to rack and ruin.  My little tale was at an end.

Let me introduce...
Family Crack, new characters for my imaginings.  
Now Crack you have met before leaning on the rail moodily staring out to sea.  He seems completely oblivious of the fact his shorts defy gravity by hanging suspended under his enormous belly.  He must be on holiday as we see him and Mrs Crack come down
to the beach, him to fish, her 
to sunbathe.  They I think, live close by because most mornings Mrs C on her way to work as a hairdresser brings rubbish down to put in the bins?  
The other day Grandma Crack brought the little Cracks down to the beach to of all things feed the seagulls!?!  Naturally it wasn’t long before the little ones were petrified by the gulls  dive-bombing them.  
Squealing they scuttled home accompanied by a flotilla of 
hungry birds with an eye on the sliced white still clutched to Grandma Crack’s heaving bosom. 

People watching... the greatest free show on earth.
Am I alone in my simple pastime I wonder, or should I get out more?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

‘That’s £130 per...

square metre!’ he plaintively cried.  That was yesterday.
Today we set off on the hunt for just a few tiles for the downstairs cloakroom.  No problem some might think?  Me, like a galleon with the sales full of ‘I will know it when I see it!’ wind.  Hubs was relieved to have escaped the £130 debacle of the day before... 

‘It is only for behind the loo, after all!’ fresh in his mind.  

As I powered into the tile shop, the tiles on the shelves quivered in anticipation.  Hubs was happy feeling like he had survived to fight another day?  Gamely he showed me the boring, all the while with every muscle trying to snag my interest in the morbidly mundane.  I, it maybe won’t surprise you to learn was having none of it?  My eye was caught by brightly coloured Andy Warhol 
mis-shapes, every inch oozed...

‘How much are these a square metre?’  me knowing all the while we were in bank loan territory!
Himself turned from tart’s boudoir puce to gent’s urinal yellow in the space of a nanosecond.  

‘£300 per square metre!’

Suddenly the £130 of yesterday seemed strangely appealing!?!
I did know even for me they were a tad OTT.

‘These glass tiles at £3 each, do you have any similar only not so knobbly?’

‘Let me go and have a look!’

He returned.

‘I know what I can do for you!
How about you take these three 
boards and use these..
for free!’

Man by this time had slipped down the tiled wall in a dead faint.
‘Free! had a rallying effect, he scrambled to his feet and was suddenly up and about and taking  nourishment.
We drove away, me happy and hubs relieved to have survived another retail skirmish!

These are the last tiles to be prised off the backing board and I ought to say my least favourite,  however beggars can’t be choosers...  

Sunday, 15 July 2018

The owl and the...

pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat.
Except the cat forgot to let the owl know of its plans.

This morning for the second time a beautiful black and white cat has been strolling along the wall of the prom.  I sent hubs across to retrieve the puss, mainly because  I wasn’t dressed! 

The traffic on the straight road has been known on occasions to exceed the speed limit... never, I hear you cry!  We know mog lives somewhere in the road behind our house.

Easy really, just coax it into your arms and carry it home.  After rolling on its back and generally being a feline tart, at the sight of a very determined man on a mission, the cat had other ideas!  Keeping just out of reach it sauntered under the camper van.

We had to go out on a mercy mission to A., driving back we spoke of whether there would be in the road a black and white flat- pack Davy Crockett hat?
No!  Next question, did the inhabitants lure it into their van and drive it back to Belgium or did pussy decide without owl the trip in the pea green boat was definitely off... so wandered home?

Saturday, 14 July 2018

My latest pash...

George, I don’t know how to say this, however I will cut to the chase... in my world you have dropped down LL’s ranking.  Look I fully understand that a film star is used to the knock backs in their working life.  This I know will be a shocker, however you do have a very glamorous wife, intelligent too.  I do hope the hurt heals along with the bruises and grazes from your recent motorbike accident.  

Now Pierce... no, no girls not Perce, you ever heard of a film star called Percy?  No neither have I!
Anyway, back to more serious matters, like, not to put too fine a point on it LUST.  Early this morning I was reading an article in today’s Times Saturday Review about the making of ‘Mama Mia Here We Go Again.  The interviewee was the one, the only Pierce Brosnan.
Now if there is one thing that makes me go weak at the knees, apart obviously from suave and handsome with an innate sense of dressing well.  And that is a sense of humour, I would even go as far as to say... short, fat bald men in an orange singlet might, just might work their magic.  Okay that’s a fib, however I do feel a sense of humour and self depreciation is very, very sexy.  Pierce seems to have it in bucketloads, shedloads even.
I would show him my shed anyday he cares to call.
Idle curiosity makes me ask who is your moisture-making squeeze?

P.S. He is faithful and loves his wife.

P.P.S.  And he seems to like big women!  What is there not to like?

Friday, 13 July 2018

Evensong yesterday in...

Just what I needed!
Magical soothing of the soul.

Today the faffing has started, I do love mincing around tweaking my treasures, as it were!?!
First phase... the dreaded 
cow parsley.  Not right there but I will eventually find it a home albeit a temporary one until I find a new love.
We have had a glorious week of no builder, no mega cooking, waistline-ish returns(?) peace reigns.  Next week sees the cloakroom done and the the major job of the huge glass sections going in.  

I wouldn’t mind but all of this is  my bright idea... methinks I am getting too old for this caper!?!

Thursday, 12 July 2018


The streets were strangely silent?
An ideal time for a spot of cloak and dagger?  At my suggestion of a little light pilfering, he looked at me strangely, surely not after all these years?
Armed with secateurs and an outrider I set off.
The long straight coast road between Hythe and Sandgate was as I expected deserted, not a car in
sight.  We drove along all the while me scanning the verges between the golf course and the sea.  The odd car sped by, rushing to get home... can’t think why?
All the while as I gathered the object of my desire, hubs drove along aside keeping an eye out for trouble, as only a retired copper can!
The magnificent examples I had spied a few weeks ago had already been snaffled.  

Getting home, already beginning to itch, I did idly wonder if it was such a good idea?  Memories of another much more malign cousin of this still horribly fresh in my mind, even though it must have been twenty years ago when foolishly I allowed it into my embrace!  Another story, maybe?
This was my quarry...

Cow parsley!  
Now how to dry it... any ideas?

Wednesday, 11 July 2018


I just knew I shouldn’t?
This working hard carry-on!
Yesterday, I was on a roll, gardening, washing, bottom up in the far reaches of cupboards.  Rearranging my pantry, lifting, carrying, planting a rambling rose, moving plant pots, shopping, ordering carpet, cooking, shopping, a visit to the library.
With intermittent worrying about A.  In general, working hard at the illusion of being a domestic goddess!  At this point those that know me will be chuckling fit to bust... sadly!
Collapsing in a chair, I lent over to retrieve my latest library book and then it happened.
The world shifted, ever so slightly.  Not one to be put off easily I tried to carry on reading, the words wobbled, I closed my eyes to clear them.  Opening them the carpet was also on the zig-zag.  
I’ve overdone it, I knew me and
work wasn’t a good idea this confirms it, was my first thought!
The nausea started, then I knew.
Benign Poroxysmal Positional Vertigo.
The last time I had it, I was going full pelt getting ready to move.  It happened at yoga, where in true me tradition I have to give it some welly.  Not the way with yoga I am reliably informed?
That time I had never experienced it before and fully thought I was in the throws of a stroke!  On the third day of feeling still delicate, not a normal state anyone could describe of me, I deigned to go to the doctor!

‘BPPV’ he instantly cried...
‘You are the fifth case I’ve had recently doing yoga,it is not good for you!’

Bugger! thought I!

Yesterday, I knew, so it wasn’t half so scary.  I was sick, went to bed and slept for four hours, got up and felt more my old self.
Today I feel a little light 
headed, but better.

Trouble now is I am frightened of triggering another attack.
Best I get back to my normal MO...

‘Peel me a grape... anyone!?!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

The plans are...

in place.  At all times we are within hailing distance of a phone.  Yesterday we three went out to lunch after a free and frank discussion about our duties as executors with lasting power of attorney.
She said...

‘I don’t care!’

I said...

‘All well and good for you to say that, however your friends will want you to have a funeral!’

If A. gets her way the teaching hospital after they have allowed their students to get up close and personal with her bits, will do the deed.  If not, then her earthly remains she wants disposed of without fuss.
Yesterday she was bright, had a good lunch and her tummy was on its best behaviour.  The tennis 
and football will keep her mind 
off things this week.
  Her thirst for life is unquenchable.  She is failing we both agree.
Each morning I facetime her.  This morning she spoke of her tum, the number of times she has to get up in the night and this morning before getting out of bed her feeling very breathless.  By the time we spoke she was feeling a lot better.  It is a worry!
Putting her out of my mind I got on with pottering in the garden.
The iPad gurgled, I rushed in to the missed call, thinking the worst.  When I called back she was calling to show me her new haircut, and the purple streak that the hairdresser had put in the front of her hair.  I had completely forgotten I had given her the powder when she mentioned doing something with her hair!
She was bright and happy with her new look.  I was over the moon, 
although I do idly wonder if the worry will take me off before her!?!

   A. in better days... 
94 in September!

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...