Thursday, 31 January 2019

Displacement therapy...

that’s what I am full-on with.
In what seems like a force 10 blowing along the seafront, I garden.  Well to say garden is 
maybe a stretch too far.  Rootling around in the gravel transplanting poppy seedlings.
Boy, was it good to potter!
Soul soothing; the cobwebs were blown well away.

Our mad, bad vendor has Trumpesque
leanings.  The goalposts have been moved so often we have completely forgotten which team’s strip we should be wearing, let alone how many goals we have conceded?
Another day, another dollar, another dime, another deadline, another weekend hoving into view with a Monday exchange?
It is Hub’s time now to get twitchy, I am completely sang froid about the whole shebang.
Don’t get me wrong, I do really, really want this cottage, however there is a limit.  
My view is she will pull the plug,
 totally.  Or is she is hoping we will? Suicide by would-be buyer. No chance, I want it too much.  The trouble is, how do you second guess someone who isn’t rational?  The last thing to do is apply common sense or logic to the
 problem.  So I am hanging loose, thinking positive.

In the meantime himself has taken my place in doing three laps of the ceiling!

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Boy, have we had...

a week?
Our house purchase has been off, our vendor pulled the plug, then moved the goal posts.  We sadly started looking at other properties.  Then at close of play on Friday, maybe, just maybe it was back on again!  She is a very tricky lady to deal with; straight talking which I admire, with a thick veneer of bolshie, which I don’t!  We both so want this property, we are prepared to humour her.  My usual MO would be to say something rude and tell her where to hop off!  In fact I did say how I felt to our lovely lady rottweiler of a solicitor who laughed and said

‘That’s right LL, sugar coat it!’

We were due to exchange on Friday and three weeks later complete.  Now we are trying to get our buyers to agree to her demands of a three month delay between  
exchange and completion.  On Monday the solicitors are working towards getting a deal in place 
with a view to exchange this week.
Living in a house half packed for three months isn’t my cup of tea.
Never the most patient of people, I am going to be pacing around like a caged lion, well, I am a Leo, so hardly surprising?

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Whatever happened...

Politicians who fall on their swords if they are shown to have broken the law
Trifle in a box with cakes as hard as oak
Paper bags
The polar ice cap
Walnut Whips
Comedy without fear of who you offend
Television programmes without bad language 
Politicians able to answer a question honestly
Uncrowded trains arriving on time
Shop assistants who can work out your change without the aid of a till
Gobstoppers that actually would stop your gob
Tunis cake at Christmas
Five boys chocolate bars
Rag and bone men
Honest bankers
Curly Wurleys
Policemen on the beat
Matrons with starched white 
head dresses
Old men not in trainers
Shell suits
Bubble cars
Vesta curries
Liberty bodices
Panty girdles
Latex roll-ons
String vests
Sock suspenders
Giving an honest answer to
‘Does my bum look big in this?’
I could go on...

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Eyes to the...

right, nose to the left.  

I look in mirror and my mother looks back.
Just one glance at the face of my once beautiful mum, would tell you all you needed to know.  In ‘later life’ and there really wasn’t much of it for her, having died at forty eight.  She suffered with depression, the expression... your face is the mirror of your soul 
was so true especially for her. 

Cleaning my teeth I look and see the strain of this last year writ large. Until recently I have been blessed with not looking my age, and to be honest I haven’t really given it much thought.  Last night there was a woman on the television who was a year younger than me.  Crumbs, I thought she is an old woman!  Is that how people see me?  The face looking back at me this morning gives a 


 Still we wait for the go ahead.  Packing boxes puntuate our days, creeping ever closer as our life here gets packed away.
Looking out onto a flat calm sea on a beautiful frost bright morning, lots would say you must be mad to go.  Me, I yearn for trees and birds other than gulls, a garden, flowers growing in the ground.  The smell of the seasons.

Maybe today the word will come through?

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Billy Bunter in a...

beige suit.  Three-piece, no less with gold watch chain across his tum.  He sat opposite me in my kings chair eating berry and coconut cake... beaming.

I couldn’t stop feasting my eyes on the beauty before me.

‘You look sleek and glossy with 
the air of an aristocrat’ I said.

He beamed as he munched into a rather large slice.
Hubs rolled his eyes all the while thinking here we go, another crush coming on!  I know!  I’m such a tart when it comes to a well turned out man, not only with polish, but with an air of otherworldliness.  Style some might say.

‘Have you come from a good family?’  I kindly enquired?
‘No!’ he said all the while amused and happy to be in the beam of my undisguised adoration.
‘Both my parents were in service’ he went on to explain.

‘Oh, that explains it!’

‘Not really: by the time I arrived, an unlooked for result of a power cut, my mother was forty three, old in those days, and my father had retired.’
The conversation flowed from grosgrain collapsible top hats to plus four suits with checks loud enough to stop traffic.
A welcome break in an afternoon of packing.
He came to deliver more boxes in case you are wondering?

Monday, 21 January 2019

We set the alarm for...

5 am to see the wolf moon.
Himself peered out of the window, grunted and went back to bed.
Standing out by the heavily frost rimed car I looked and looked.  A magical time of day in the cold morning.  I stood a few minutes, sadly the actual didn’t live up to the anticipated.

‘I thought it would look a lot closer!  I said as I climbed back into bed and snoozed what remained of the night away.

He staggered in carrying the largest, white card envelope covered with simply drawn stars.  It had my name on it!
The contents were three wonderful abstracty paintings.  Two landscapes and one I took to be of me?  Well, I told you they were abstract!  No  note, just an address label on the the back.
Jo and ?
Trouble now is...
as hard as I try I can’t get back
 to sleep to discover which Jo?

Saturday, 19 January 2019

A funny thing happened on...

the way to the supermarket.
Imagine if you can a galleon under full sail... that is me.  In my slipstream comes tugboat Ted with trolley.  Regal is the word that comes to mind as I sally forth.  Well in my mind’s eye if to no one else?  As I stride, I offer a fruit polo, holding the tube up for him to help himself.  About to cross a side street, a car stops to give way to the ship and accompanying flotilla, alright only one, but a girl can but dream.  Without missing a step I proceeded across the road with arm raised.  It was only on reaching the other side I realised the proffered sweet was still in the packet. Turning I saw himself still on the opposite kerbside and the man in the car laughing fit to bust!  Apparently as seen by the driver, Ted was just about to take a polo as I swept off, expecting him to follow. As they both said the vision of me walking across looking for all the world like the statue of liberty
 (minus the lamp obviously!) was a sight for sore eyes.
I’m only glad he didn’t have a dashboard camera as my fame may have been extended to YouTube!

Friday, 18 January 2019

We have reached the...

top of the rollercoaster just tipping over the edge, to plunge into putting the house back on the market?

Yesterday it was dates and all are ready... St Valentine’s day, an auspicious day with a surname like ours!  Excitement filled the air.

Today, no reply from either our buyers or their solicitor.

Please don’t let my imaginings come to pass.  Folks’ suspicions about me being a witch will rapidly fly...

Oh dear!

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

The ‘If only!’ of...

my life has gone, or at the very least taken a back seat in the charabanc of my journey.
I’ve been extremely lucky to have had a rich and fulfilling time.
The good, the bad and ugly.  Taking all things into account... a charmed life.  Everything that has happened I have made the very best of.  Death, divorce, all the facets of human existence.  At every stage I have managed to see the good and with a cavalier attitude I have determined to turn it to my advantage.  I am fully aware not everyone has this ability.  My motto at every turn,
I’m not here for long, so best I enjoy every moment!
And I have: not always easy though?
Why am I telling you this? 
Today in the paper, I’ve read an article on meditation and I freely admit over the years I have given the wild, the wacky, the sensible and serious a good seeing to.
Without a qualm, giving them up as
 I got bored, as I often did!

Getting older, I found myself living too much in the past, replaying things that had happened, mainly where I went wrong... this move to Hythe for example.  The stress was getting to me, my BP was out of control.
A suspected TIA was where I finally took stock.  The weekend wine bit the dust, my love affair with cheese had to end.  Walking and getting fitter was on the agenda.  My head still whirred with worry and this eternal 
looking back.  Meditation rode to the rescue, and you know something it has worked.  It is now so much a part of my day that I honestly can’t see it being otherwise.  Whenever I start the merest whisper of ‘if only’ I say to myself... 
‘ I am! Nothing can overwhelm you!’
Wacky, I know... it WORKS! 

Monday, 14 January 2019

What is it about...

toast?  As I sit holier than thou with my bowl of grapes and a mandarin, all I really want is toast!  This morning sees the start of podge patrol.  The smell of his brekkie is driving me to distraction, so much so I have taken myself back to bed in order to get away.
If you think about it, bread toasted is such humble fare.  Plain toast with good butter, what better?  I make bread a couple of times a week, always wholemeal flour with the addition of a little white spelt flour and lots of seeds, flax, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin.
Cheese on toast, croque monsieur,
French toast, eggie toasty soldiers, even croutons have a part to play.

When I get old I plan to live on toast.  

Not my picture I am afraid to say.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

I have these eyes...

no surprise there?  I wander around Hythe on gloomy days with my shades on.  Looking for all the world like a faded star of the silver screen, not wanted to be recognised, but with every fibre of her ageing body keen for you to notice her and salute.

Today, with parka zipped up to my chins, beret firmly plonked on my head, the whole winter ensemble was topped off with the obligatory  sunglasses,  The fact there was not a glimmer of sun this side of the Dartford tunnel was a mere bagatelle.
Why, you might wonder has the old dear taken to such extraordinary behaviour... even for her!
Well seeing as your asking, it is my eyes... gettaway?
I have convinced myself that the sea air brings on these allergy type symptoms.  I haven’t really had allergies before although I have experienced dry sore eyes.  Living here it seems so much worse, how could that be?  Surely
folk go to the sea to escape allergens?
After all these years of getting in and out of the opticians scot- free, I now find I have the early glimmer of cataracts, could this have some effect I idly wonder?  I am increasingly having to use reading glasses, suddenly my crowing about not needing glasses 
is wearing a bit thin. 
About the only blooming thing that is!?? 

Saturday, 12 January 2019

As she bit into a...

biscuit our eyes met, just that! 
I walked away. The pound in my pocket for the supermarket trolley twitched.  Sod the trolley I thought as I walked back.  As I left I asked myself would I have done the same if she had just lit a cigarette?  A question saying more about me than her!

Audrey left an email to say she had taken herself out in the car to Hastings.  Those of you who have seen ‘The Favourite’ will know of the bandage encased legs of Queen Anne. With legs from toes to thigh royally swathed, I am sure Queen Anne couldn’t have jumped into her Skoda and shot off to the seaside! Audrey’s legs could be straight out of a sarcophagus.  Added to which her eyesight isn’t good and she has a constant feeling of falling backwards.  Apart from all of the above she is fine!?!
Is it any wonder after giving up alcohol, meditating for Nepal, my
blood pressure is off the scale
this morning?

The elephant in the room is we haven’t told her we are moving yet.  To be honest I didn’t think she would be here to see us go!
As all my friends say as I have a serious wobble about us leaving her.

‘She will outlive you... Go!’
Blooming hard though.  

Friday, 11 January 2019

Bott in the air...

I am trawling to the very deepest recesses of the fridge.  Two pots hove into view, one with three egg whites.  Now I ask you, what can you do with egg whites apart from pavlova?  Who in their right mind, having had a bellyful of dieting programmes on the television has the desire to knock up a hazelnut and raspberry pav?  My brain has been washed, think of the sugar, the cream: okay the rasps and nuts are diet positive, so at a push? I could get away with it?  Waste is my bete noire, best I get ‘cracking’, or probably not as the yolks were used last year!?!

The other pot contains weeks old very dead vegan baba ganoush.
When I think of the hours spent charring the aubergines, whizzing, crushing garlic etc., to make this magical concoction and then I only go and forget I’ve done it.  Frankly my dear it is blooming inexcusable, and the waste?

 I peer deep into the freezer and there covered with permafrost is a bag marked 
‘Mulled Plum with sugar added’.  Jars I have, so I dust off the antiquated Thermomix, as seen on all the best cooking shows.  I once sold one to Cilla Black (that is a tale for another day).  Between ‘French Lieutenant’s Woman’ wanderings on the beach crossed with the domestic goddess wearing cloak and sexy pinny, I started out on the chutney-kick afternoon.  All going swimmingly 
until pouring into the jars I spy wood!  Wood?
Well to be exact cinnamon bark, which since nearly a year gone, I had completely forgotten.  The Thermomix in its excitement chopped the cinnamon into kindling.  Now all jars will have to carry a government health 
warning... STOP! 
Splinters Ahead. 
Oh Bugger!

Thursday, 10 January 2019

You know you are loved when...

you come down to get your toast and see a small aspirin on your plate.  A gentle reminder not to forget to take it.

Tea is delivered to you in bed
every morning.

He buys you a teddy as all these years and moves later, you pine the loss of your squashed face teddy you had as a child.

You are out for the day with the car.  He climbs on the bus to Folkestone to buy you this for Christmas.

The house reverberates with your
 ghastly singing and 
chi hiking about, he takes not one jot of notice.  He who can sing!

You fidget and can’t sit still, him as still as the grave doesn’t appear to be irritated.  If it was the other way round, boy would I get cross!

Being arty-farty and away with some madcap scheme or another, he   
humours you and in his straight and honest ex-copper way wonders?

He promised me faithfully we wouldn’t have another dog when my much loved companion died. I was distraught and felt another dog would never fill the huge hole in my heart.  Now the need is growing and he stands before me resolute in his solemn promise. 
Although I can see a minuscule chink appearing!
When we move... maybe?  
Those are my words not his. 

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

I need to get...

a life I’ve decided.  This amazing decision was taken sat up in bed drinking my fourth cup of tea of the day.  Two teddies accompany me in my slothfulness, let’s face it, that in itself is a worry?  What woman of my advanced years needs one teddy let alone two?  Am I losing the plot I idly wonder?  The sea once again is dead flat calm, no wonder immigrants think now is the time!

Just asked hubs what did I do in Goudhurst on a winter’s morning at 9.15? His reply shook me...
‘Go up garden, look for stirrings in the veg plot, early frogspawn in the pond, sit in the greenhouse with a mug of tea.  Admire the view of the Weald.
All these things gone in the mists of an ill formed decision.
And now we wait for the call.  No not the BIG call, the one to see if we are Ludlow bound.

Monday, 7 January 2019

A little light...

As I pack the Christmas decorations away I get to thinking, am I maybe tempting fate if I begin an idle odds and sods sort of packing in readiness for the move?  Although I pretend to be disorganised I am anything but.  I like to get ahead of the game... ‘Be prepared!’  
Never a member of the Boy Scouts, I would dearly have loved to be, if only for the nearness of...
well not to put too fine a point on it... boys.
I did go to the Brownies once, I hated it.  My cousin showed me recently a picture of me sat crossed legged at the front of a group photo of the Wilmington Brownies.  With arms crossed and a ferocious look on my face, the picture perfectly captured my thoughts on such a silly idea.  And brown?  I ask you, even at five I knew I would never don such an awful colour.
Where was I?

Should I? Shan’t I?
If I did, the call might come that our buyers are having second Brexit shaped thoughts and have pulled out.  Then we are back on the market and the thought of all the domestic goddess sort of stuff  like vacuuming in corners, behind the bed, dusting, worst still polishing, is back. That fills me with the heebeegeebees more than
 the blooming Brownies ever did!

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Each year end I...

go to the back of my new diary and enter where I went wrong on the Christmas  preparations.
Year after year I do this making it into an old Spanish custom, of a british kind!
This year’s entry is as follows... ‘Pay attention - in my 2017 diary I said ‘No more Amaryllis!’  
Did I listen in 2017 and 2018?
No!  Maybe this year?’
I’ve even signed the blooming thing, will this make one jot of difference?  I doubt it.
I then go on with where I went wrong food-wise.  The one word I write, hardly managing to grasp the pencil as my arteries quietly clog with cholesterol... 

To myself just that one word will have exactly the same effect all the other entries over the years have had...
Do you have any funny little peculiarities, or is it only me?

Saturday, 5 January 2019

I think of so...

many things to write and then I forget.
In a quiet moment this morning I had the very strong feeling of my mother’s presence. I had to use my fingers to count up how many years it has been since I had a Mum.  I ran out of fingers before I discovered it was...
forty eight years.  And you know something, I still miss her.
Why you might wonder, today of all days?  I will tell you...
Twelfth Night.  She was a little  superstitious crossed with a light sprinkle of religious.  Twelfth night was the night for the decorations to come down, no other.  Over the years I have honoured her by putting my own spin on it by gradually squirrelling things away leaving the tiny nativity scene until Mum’s Night.
In the quiet of the house this morning, she was here, I felt her very strongly.  I sat and spoke to her, not words, thoughts.  It gave me much comfort after a strange 
year here by the sea.

My lovely Mum

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

With the last cracker...

hat on of 2018, I am sat up in bed at 10.28pm on the first day of the new year. This time last night I had probably asked for the 26th time how many more hours before midnight?  This evening by candlelight we pulled the last cracker, we troughed all the leftovers, salads mainly, made by me.  Far too healthy for our mainly meat eating, braii loving friends.  The remains of the Christmas crumble bit the dust,  the sherry trifle for breakfast, luncheon, afternoon tea and dinner tomorrow should safely see that gone.  Then it just remains for us to clip on the crampons and tackle the North face of the cheese mountain, and to think this year I solemnly swore I wouldn’t buy too much flaming cheese.  The guests were dispatched with food parcels of ‘Death by chocolate, died and gone to the devil, repair potholes  no cook bars’.  Which to our non healthy eating friends I didn’t
 dare let on contained figs!  Perhaps the odd cracking of seeds for the next 26 days, might give the game away?  Mince pies were 
also included, although I couldn’t
 bring myself to cut the cake.  It has been in and out of the tin more times than a jack in the box on Christmas morning. 
My Christmas decorations will slowly come down over the coming days. I usually leave the knitted navitivy scene until twelfth night.  You might see it peeping 
out by the chair?

Back to normality.  
Happy new year and thank you for your comments and reading my idle thoughts.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

We survived...

A couple of months ago some p├ętanque playing friends of ours were here for lunch.

‘What are you doing for new year?’

‘Nothing, we never do!’

That was where we went wrong.  If we had only thought we could so deftly have come up with a stonking fib along the lines of 

‘Actually we are planning a 
Dr. Barbara Moore walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End departing 
on the 31st!’

Well to cut a long story short they invited themselves for us all to have a braii on the beach.
Our mouths opened and closed all the while resembling a codling landed on the shore.

And so it was.

After checking into their hotel along the road they arrived at four, yes, 4 pm.  Mob-handed with barbecues, bangers, beer and bonhomie.

At 7.30 pm I feebly enquired as to how long until midnight?
‘Four and half hours!’ came the cheery reply, them all settling in for a full-on party.
Throughout the evening my enquiries became more feeble, 
their enjoyment of my sobriety in 
the midst of them downing beer,
 red/white wine, champagne, gin. 

We counted the hours down, with me reluctantly beginning to enjoy myself, much against my sober self looking on in sniffy self righteousness.
Midnight came and went with the flutes and fireworks, by this time the clock had ceased to play such importance in my psyche.
2.15 am they rambled off along the prom.

Thank goodness that’s over I thought as we climbed into bed.

10 am, back they came for coffee,
 laughing all the while as I said to Hubs we really must conveniently forget to let them have a forwarding address.

And to think they thought I was joking...

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...