Saturday, 29 February 2020

The exhibition...

on at Olympia sounded just my cup of tea.
It was called something along the lines of 
‘The Spiritual Health and Well-being Show’
With me being an ageing hippy crossed with Mother Earth I just had to troll along and find out more?
I seem to think it was shortly after Simon died.  I was ripe for the discovery of whether there really was an afterlife... or so I thought?
At one stand I passed a lady stepped out and said you have the most wonderful aura!  I really didn’t know what to say?
What do you say?
One of the talks I booked for was an American woman who tuned in to guides.  No, not Girl Guides but the guides apparently we all have.  This I have got to hear!  The place was packed, as she got into the zone I felt more and more disgruntled as folk put their hand up and asked if they had a guide.
‘Oh yes and yours is called 
Big Foot Running Bear!’ 
or some such twaddle.  As the names got more and more fanciful I got more and more twitchy.  I was sat in the middle of the hall and the middle of a row of enthralled faces lapping it up.  Now, I thought how can I get up and discreetly slip away?  There was no way I could see.  I couldn’t stay a minute longer.  As if by magic my hand shot up...
as if by even more magic her eye caught mine.  Fully expecting a similar question her brain was  trawling like the Enigma machine through her book of most outrageous Indian chief guide names.  Fully expecting a similar question she kindly enquired as to my request.  Imagine my surprise as from out of my mouth these words issued forth...
‘I need to get away as I don’t believe a word of it!’  
A hush fell over the hall, the faces of rapture took on a meaner glint.  As I sidled past dagger looks dogged my every step.  I walked up a silent hall with a sea of blunt-force trauma glares accompanying my every move.
Relief spread over me as I went to walk out of the hall.
By the reception desk a man said very quietly you maybe interested
 to know your mother is your guide!
My heart filled to overflowing as I stumbled away as my lovely mum died in 1971 and I still miss her.

This memory I have just remembered thanks to Rachel’s blog post ‘Missing mum!’ on my side bar.

Friday, 28 February 2020

I can feel a...

strop coming on!
And why you might well ask?
The truth is... 
Look let’s cut to the case, now I am becoming a world renowned, global even(?) blogging person of some note.  I am afraid to say I feel the very strong need to lecture you all on your holiday arrangements.  With the world in the sorry state it is in I fear it falls on me to advise on air travel.  My millions I admit are sadly in air miles not real  spondolicks, you understand? However I am the person that has first class, err sorry I meant first hand knowledge of the problems that are facing the world. From my very elevated position I see things so much more clearly than YOU.
My suggestion nay demand... oops, sorry I forgot I have turned my back on my silver-spoon-in-mouth upbringing.  My ‘gentle suggestion’ is, if you guys give up your yearly holiday then the air space will be clearer, cleaner enabling my frequent private jet flights to get to my next money making venture so much faster.
Alright, alright, I know this may not go down too well and you might even think about the additional flights for my retinue of staff?  The many and various MET close protection officers jetting about all the while sat in business class counting their overtime pay.
That as luck would have it, isn’t my problem as I don’t need to pick up that particular tab.
All I ask is for you to do as I say not do as I do.  Not a lot to ask is it?
Although I spurn my title to you guys...
‘Call me Lettice!’
at home my staff are required to first thing in the morning address me as Your Royal Blogging Highness, thereafter Ma’am to rhyme with jam and to show due respect by a nod of the head.  Ellie as we speak is practising her curtsey.
Sound like a plan?
You know it makes sense!

Thursday, 27 February 2020

She swept into...

the restaurant without an ounce of guile.  The door opened and out of the corner of my eye I spied an apparition of Aran meets Fair Isle knitted in the shape of a tepee.  Hard on her heels was a man closely resembling a yeti, all hair and no shape.  I watched in total awe at the complete and utter lack of self consciousness as they settled down to enjoy their meal, happy in their own skin and each other.  The true mark of genuine eccentrics.  Oh how I admired them!

I am afraid...

 all things dog seem to be occupying our life at the mo!
This morning found another pile and piddle awaiting our ‘pleasure’.
Last night late, we checked whether both tanks had be emptied...Yes!  I breathed a huge sigh of relief and went happily to bed.  That for starters was a foolish assumption. Luckily the vet had suggested it would be best to keep her appointment at 10 this morning.  What a good job we did.  She said if we could bring in a urine sample that would enable them to see what if anything is going on. 
‘You must be joking she doesn’t like us looking at her as she performs let alone get that close!’ was my pithy reply.
‘She’s a collie, that can be a problem!’
Added to which in the early days she would be frightened to go for fear we guessed at having been beaten for doing what comes naturally.  The thought makes my blood boil!
As luck would have it she had had an accident after we had all been in the garden.  Having stone floors we mopped up the wee with kitchen towel, which we managed to retrieve and squeeze out some pee.  The things you do for love, or rather... the things he does for love!?!

Ellie has a urinary infection, that would explains it!  Probably all her hang-ups stem from the way she was treated in the early days.
The choking episode was in a funny way a blessing, while we were there we got her checked over as she had only recently started having problems indoors. 

After the visit, we decided to give ourselves some fun on the very top of Clee Hill deep in snow... a clear day where on the top we could see for a hundred miles... exhilarating!

How do we know you might well ask? A chap at the trig point showed us all the mountains, named them and told us how far away they were... so there!

Twitterstone Clee taken from Ludlow not by me!

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Snapshot of my day...

After the excitements of yesterday I was looking forward to a quiet day at home, measuring, manoeuvring, trimming, planning and scheming.
Last night an SOS came in for me to go back to the hospital today to help with a tricky situation.
So after having a mid morning coffee I set off, having taken the precaution of wearing blinkers just on the off chance you understand, that interesting artefacts make themselves known to me as I perambulate to work.  Husband waits at home in fear and trepidation as to what or who might accompany me home?
As he would say I do have previous on both counts!
I came away in tears, I know I am going to have to toughen up and I will.
After lunch we set to in the garden, all in readiness for the greenhouse.    In a couple of hours a rampant shrub was cut down, chopped up and taken to the tip.  The itinerant grille is slowly being man and woman-handled up the garden path.  I don’t mind telling you I’ve been led up the garden path more times than is good for a girl.  The latest plan is to lean it on the garden wall and train a clematis through it.
Ellie will have a bombproof  kennel with flowery walls, just what a discerning dog deserves, nay demands, don’t you know!

Just back from a trip to the vet. This afternoon during our major clipping and cutting back.  Ellie always keen to help, started chewing sticks.  She also has a liking for stones!  After her supper she started retching and rushing out to eat grass.  I naturally panicked and off we all went to the vets.  After a thorough check up she was declared fit.  
Quite an eventful day.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

You know how...

it is? You step out on a bright sunny winters morning, shades on looking for all the world like the  Meryl Streep personage you’d like you think you are?  Mae West on a bad day might be closer to the truth!  Clean, with an empty tum in the very likely event you will be put on the scales?  Your yearly check up is long overdue and you want to look the picture of health obv!  In the blink of an eye the BP monitor was clapped on my arm.
‘Err...!’ I feebly said ‘My blood pressure will be off the scale that is why I have taken my readings at home!’
The nurse brushed my burbling aside, just as I was about to trot out my next line of defence... white coat syndrome.
‘Well it’s quite good! she said.
Probably because I thought I was bomb proof by my last skirmish.  All eventualities I thought had been covered so I strolled in quite the cool dude hence the nearly normal reading.
On my walk into town in a side street I spied this.

Walking away I thought I like the look of that, I wonder if it has been left out for the bin men?
Once out of the surgery, bloods taken, I was off on a mission.  As I crested the hill I could see it was still there...
Oh deep joy!
I knocked on the door with the hope that it had in fact been put out for collection.  
No reply!  Across the road were two men working on a car.  I explained my mission and one of them said well that is a holiday cottage.  Oh dear!  What to do now?  I must have looked  crestfallen as he then went on to say that a car had pulled up with two women in it and offloaded it.
‘What do you mean... fly tipping?’
‘I suppose you could say that!’
There and then I decided my mission was twofold, one to do my bit for the planet and two to carry home this wonderful piece of  artwork.  Casually I strolled over and lifted the thing up, well that was the intention... the flaming thing weighed a ton, solid cast iron. I literally couldn’t even carry it a yard let alone the hundreds and hundreds of yards to my gate.  All the while my mind was thinking of the wagon appearing over the hill to take the rubbish away.  Husband was out with the car, how was I going to get it home especially as I was so very ’weak’ from the blood lost in the surgery!?!  The men carried on tinkering with ne’er a care as I huffed and puffed.  A lady appeared with a dog and offered to help me carry it.  Well the two of us got it a couple of yards, when I said don’t worry I will battle on alone.  There was nothing of her, the dog was getting worried and I felt I’ve got myself into this pickle.  It was my crazy idea when all was said and done!  As she left she said why don’t you walk it home.  That was a master stroke.  Side to side I slowly crabbed along.  It then started to rain, I carried on regardless with each manoeuvre getting harder.  The tarmac has the scars to prove
‘LL wos here!’
 What happens if a car comes along this narrow lane I thought between moves as I endeavoured to get my breath?  And what happens if I drop the ruddy thing on my toe?  Flat on the ground it would be impossible to lift!  I was committed now... some might say I should be committed?  Round the corner five lads from the college came with their Subway snacks they had nipped out to get between lessons.  Now I never play the feeble female card normally... this most definitely wasn’t normal!  Boy, not only did I play it but I played the old dear card as well... shame!
Meryl Streep/Mae West came riding to the rescue as my persona as if by magic took on that of a 
very feeble old dear.  Method acting eat your heart out!
‘If you just carry it to the college, I can do the rest!’
The five boys set too, the shock on their faces as they realised the weight of it was a picture.  They carried it home for me.  What super stars.  Cans and a note will find it’s way a few doors up to the college.  
I now wait to see the husband’s face when he gets back?

Monday, 24 February 2020

A peaceful evening...

just the dog and I.  All is quiet as the man is out at choir.  I love Monday evenings.  We have an early supper and he is gone by just after 7. Looking back on the day I feel I haven’t really done very much.  I’ve made a sourdough loaf, played around with pieces of paper on a graph trying to get the easiest and most economical way to lay slabs to make a greenhouse floor.  None of today’s tasks too taxing until I got to the hospital for my voluntary shift. For some strange reason today I struggled with the demands that dementia puts on people.  One patient in particular has become more anxious since last I saw her.
‘Don’t leave me, I have so much still to do, the menu hasn’t been agreed!’  Another lady who has been there for months was due to go home today only for it to be cancelled due to flood water across her drive.  One patient I thought I would never see again is brighter, talking, eating.  Dying is a strange thing, you go when your time has come, she lives to see another day.
I felt drained as I walked up to himself waiting in the car to take me to the builder’s merchant to choose paving.  Usually as I walk home I  use it as a time of reflection, each footstep helping me to carefully shake off the pain of feeling helpless in the face of the gradual deterioration of others lives. 

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Shrubs a-go-go...

The trouble with inheriting a garden designer’s plot is their love of shrubs.  Or I should say her love of shrubs!  They just don’t work for me! Uniformity in my book is not to be desired.  Mother Nature isn’t into manicured, snipped, trimmed and tortured.  
We have been here ten months and up until now my small but beautifully formed garden has been very definitely in the driving seat.  I’ve walked the plot, peered, pondered, scratched my head looked a lot more and until fairly recently haven’t had a clue  as to the way forward.  We have more balls in the garden than is seen on a stag night in Magaluf.  We have box, yew and standard holly balls.  Now don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with an artistically placed ball or 
two. How many do you want or come to that need?  As a consequence out go the yew balls which in my no-nothing gardening knowledge I thought grew really slowly... not these ‘little’ jobbies they have doubled in size in the time we’ve been here.  I’ll say it quietly... they are for the snip in order to make way for a small greenhouse.  I might allow the next two box balls to flank the greenhouse door although they might be in the way?

No worries the next two in line will step up or failing that the two after... you get my drift? As I wait for the green house to arrive I sit and plan my wildlife friendly garden.  The steps up into my tiny patch of bug, bird, mammal and amphibian idyll I  plan to make hedgehog friendly by putting artistically placed logs for their little legs. That way they can be my first-line slug attack.  A small pond will be worked in for the frogs.  This time next year our ears will be assaulted by not only the sound of the weir burbling but by the call of amorous frogs.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Six months to...

get here! 

Ellie has at last deigned to sit on the husband’s lap!

As you can see she isn’t 100% sure even now!

Right from the go get we knew she had a problem with men.  For a good few months she wouldn’t come in if he called, she is still at the end of the day very twitchy.  I have to call her in and as we say good night to her she looks past me to him with fear in her eyes.
What the hell has happened to her in her former life doesn’t bear thinking about.  
 Lettice my other rescue collie, I once said I would love in order to help me understand, for her to tell me just what had happened in her first six months of life?  
My then man Simon replied...
You wouldn’t! 
He was so right!

Simon died at home. We three were together.  What a comfort to have Lettice there.  As I moistened his lips and recounted all the wonderful times we had in the woods silent with snow, and the fun times we had shared; he
opened his eyes and let go.  Taking with him I like to think the memories that I had recreated for him to take on his journey into the unknown.  As it was very early in the morning, five-ish, I decided to wait for the district nurse to make her first visit of the day.  I lifted Lettice up to allow her to sniff him, from that moment on she knew he was dead and never looked for him coming home from work.
Some might say it is like telling the bees of a death in the family.  I do know that it was a strange but somehow peaceful and uplifting experience.  Simon was a true Christian and believed he was going on the better things, I hope he was right!

Friday, 21 February 2020

I took off...

my grey felt beret, put it on my right knee and as I sat and waited for my glass of wine to arrive I got to thinking.  It really is a funny thing to walk into a place that is called a pub and sit and talk between yourselves whilst others at other tables do exactly the same?  What is that all about?
Sitting beside the fire, looking at the couples, two lots were doing the day’s crossword in the paper, one couple were just sitting chatting, their dog quietly steaming by the fire.  One was a crusty old batchelor who sat slowly sipping his pint whilst cracking open each page of his broadsheet as he ceremonially worked his way through from news to sport.  Us, well we idly chatted about the days events.  All of us in our different ways happy in their space in what is to all intents and purposes someone’s front room.  The flavour of a Friday night in a pub in Ludlow.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Rainy day thoughts...

Ellie has been sick in the night.
Rough grass is the main constituent.  That obviously begs the question, what exactly is going on in her tum?  She has always been keen to eat grass, although of late has been tempted by the reedy type.  She today seems bright enough in herself although she does chew on sticks and cut back stalks on shrubs.  In the early days she had a penchant for stones.  My fear is she has maybe swallowed something she shouldn’t have done?  We are going next week to the vets for her booster jab so will ask her?  If things don’t improve with the sickness we will be there sooner.
What a worry!

On my wish list now is a small greenhouse.  Convincing the husband is my next task.  He isn’t interested in the garden so the expense I suppose seems like...
questionable?  Even the reminder of how I used to spend hours in my greenhouse in Goudhurst hasn’t as yet worked it’s magic... it will!
Director’s chair, feet up, mug of tea, or glass of wine depending on the time of day, I would sit surveying my pond, my garden, the magnificent view.  Not a lot of pricking out, planting and pruning got done I must admit.
But the peace from his point a view must be taken into consideration... I rest my case!

Scarecrow in my old garden.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

One poorly dog...

Ellie today isn’t feeling very bright!

I need some advice.  Since we had her she has drooled in the back of the car.  Which as you can imagine isn’t nice to see and certainly must be horrid for her.
We went up to Clee Hill, all three of us just love it there.  Today was bitingly cold, blowing a 
hoolie, we couldn’t see a hand in front of our faces, apart from that it was glorious!  On the trip back she drooled big time. On getting home, I decided to strip the back of the car to clean the oceans of drool. I was shocked to see she had been very sick.  
We have tried all the tricks of sitting with her in the car and not actually going anywhere in order to acclimatise her to being in the car, short trips etc., all have proved hopeless!  I am at my wits end to try to make days out more enjoyable for her!  When we get to wherever we are going she has such fun enjoying the freedom.  As soon as we get close to the car the dribbling starts which sort of points towards it being in her head rather than in her tum?  If you have any magic potions, spells or gentle remedy suggestions I would be very grateful.  My email is on my profile.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

The downside of...

new reading glasses.
Let me set the scene...
When I was a teenager my mother used to say pluck out those stray hairs between your eyebrows.  Which being a dutiful daughter I did!  

As I’ve aged the hairs that met on my brow giving me the distinct appearance of Frida, have given up the ghost and gone to pastures new.  And here’s the rub they have found their second wind and now seem intent on me having a new career at the circus as the 
Famous Bearded Lady!
Over the intervening years I have dutifully plucked out the odd hair.  These new, and I ought to say first ever reading glasses are a flaming revelation, the ones I’ve missed you just wouldn’t believe!?!  With a magnifying mirror the strength of which if there’s life on another planet you could signal to, I have discovered a shocking fact.  And that is, that job application could be sent any day NOW!  Last night with the husband out at choir practice followed by a pint.  I settled in to a quiet evening just me, the dog, my  mirror, glasses and tweezers.  Well I don’t mind telling you, little was I prepared for the horror that lay in wait.  Hairs of every strength and hue known to man.  Gentle gossamer long wispy ones hiding in the ravages of my jawline.  Evil black, a cactus would be proud to call its own.  Grey with the attitude of hemp rope gracing the deck of a tug boat. Hairs Hitler-like lurking under my nose.
Today I am making an appointment for a facial and hair removal... I might be gone some time.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Spring clean...

After the floods, wind and torrential rain comes... clean.
I have never been known for being house proud, far too lazy for that caper!  The one thing I have always wanted is a fragrant dog.  So many times in the past you stroke a friendly dog and it’s only when you take your hand away you realise you have been impregnated with eau de dawg!
I never want Ellie to be guilty of being a pongy hound.  For this very reason this morning found me horror of horrors, thinking now where did I discard my domestic goddess mantle?  Fancy dress only you understand!  After much searching in dank, dark cupboards I unearthed it and donning it felt strangely evangelical about exercising the clean gene!
The dog was unceremoniously turfed off her by now rather iffy smelling beds.  All covers were put in the washing machine, cushions and the mattresses were hung on the line by the husband.
The plan is to bath Ellie on our return from her big walk and sit and wait for the sweet smelling mutt to emerge like a butterfly out of the chrysalis of crud! 

Can you see her peeping out?

Sunday, 16 February 2020

This is the bottom of...

our road.  

Ludlow has severe flood warnings posted for today.

This house so far as I can see hasn’t been flooded.  The water is certainly in the garden.  Hopefully not into the house?

We are four properties up from here.  I think it is due to peak this afternoon.  Fingers crossed there is no more rain as the hills surrounding us are sodden with all the recent severe weather.

The Green Cafe our Sunday morning coffee stop is sadly under water. From the top opposite where we live you can see the full extent of the flooding with all surrounding fields completely submerged. 

Just read John Gray’s post about how he loves to read about the minutiae of folks life.  So as a consequence I am adding that after coming in from our walk I made a wholemeal lemon drizzle cake, which I haven’t made for ages.  I ought to say it hasn’t come out quite as good as I remembered it and my very own liver biscuit recipe for Ellie.
The cake I am sending up to the boys in Scotland, so I will never know how it compares?  Added to which what with the flooding all around, the cake will be stale by the time it gets there, as Hermes will have a job to get to pick it up from the Co-op.  Oh and I had sardines for lunch, houmous and green salad.  The oil from the sardines were worked into the biscuit recipe. How healthy was that?  I feel so self righteous what with a wholemeal cake made, a meal full of health giving stuff and using the excess oil for the dog.
Ellie is now bullying me to go and inspect the college field which she has no idea is now a water park.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Confession time...

In my past life I am ashamed to say I used to bore the pants off anyone who had the misfortune to cross my path.  I could almost have been called a member of a dodgy cult of shoppers.  I was not to put too fine a point on it a Waitrose girl.  Pure unsullied, never darken the doors of any other emporium sort of lass.
Moving to Ludlow has put a stop to my evangelical retail ramblings.  Our nearest is Hereford and the miles in a car using the earth’s resources to get there goes hugely against the grain.  Added to which why would you want to when Ludlow is a renowned foodie town?  I now buy from local shops butchers, fishmonger and greengrocers.  We have a Local to Ludlow market every fortnight where the most glorious food and produce can be bought.  There is also an Aldi store which is super... gone are the days when I very snifferly poured scorn on their head; never having stepped inside, what did I know?  I hate bigots don’t you and sadly I was one?  I am a reformed character... a convert, not always a good thing because before long I will be preaching the word of 
the book according to St. Theo, patron saint of flaming 

Friday, 14 February 2020

St Valentine’s day on...

Clee Hill.
A romantic picnic is planned.
Wild, woolly and windy romance is in the air and on the wind.
Our hearts will be racing, not sadly with desire but with the effort of getting to the top!
My plan is to shelter in the hollow just by the trig point.
On the menu is wild smoked Alaskan salmon, avocado and cucumber sandwiches washed down with individual flasks of mushroom soup.  Ellie will have an assortment of snacklets, the main being my homemade liver biscuits which she adores.
The bubbles can wait for tonight, it’s as much as I can do to get off the mountain with a clear head. The Cremant de Loire might encourage me to fly!?!

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Can anyone tell me...

why... okay, okay I know you can’t because I have consigned you to the big commentators crypt in the sky... I am aware a crypt is beneath, however use your imagination here...
the rich get given things when they can well afford to pay for them themselves?
Holidays in Mustique spring to mind, Rolex watches on the tanned arms of celebs and minor royals. Fleets of Range Rovers at their beck and call.
‘Phone them up old man, we’re off on a shoot!’ (and want to look the part without actually putting our hands in our pockets type of thing!)
I just don’t get it!

Just had MG on...

the airwaves, well email to be precise.  She informs me that although I have disabled comments, you can still comment, which interestingly enough I don’t see and doesn’t get onto my blog?
How does that work?  If anyone knows can you please email me?
I do love the freedom of putting my thoughts, escapades and weird view of things out there, so a private blog wouldn’t work for me.
Any ideas?

#The hills are...

alive with the sound of ?#
No, no not Julie Andrews singing, but LL (Lettice Leaf) puffing up the hill!  The one small problem was the main allotment man and his wife had just come out of their house halfway up.  We fell into step, fell being the operative word! 
‘Some days I steam up this hill, other times I struggle!’  I said between gasps!
Which I ought to say is 100% true... how does that work?

They nodded sagely all the while thinking I am sure, is she fit enough to take on an allotment?

As we parted company I thought I have just landed on a snake square  on the list and accidentally slivered all the way down to the bottom!  Momentarily it quite put the kibosh on my exciting trip on the train to Hereford, only for a nano second though!

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

It is not often that...

a cartoon makes me laugh out loud.
This one did in today’s Times.
It is by my favourite cartoonist Peter Brookes, who always seems to  get to the nub of things.

I once wrote to the Times asking him to marry me, the fact I was already married was a mere bagatelle!  My request was featured the following Saturday in
Rose Wild’s Feedback column.
Her words were... Peter is very flattered by your request however he is already married.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

I stepped out looking...

 like Lady Isabelle Barnett on ‘What’s my Line 

and got home looking like...

Ken Dodd.

We left home bathed in sun and blue skies to journey to Clee Hill.  From town we could see a dusting of snow, what we met was blizzards and high winds.  Exhilarating weather, Ellie ran and ran, constantly coming back through the drifting snow to check our progress.  We all had the wind under our tails, literally and metaphorically.  We watched from  the top the weather’s progress, all the while being mindful of not being blown off.
At the top you have ancient meets modern: a disused quarry and all the relevant buildings.  Golf ball tracking masts and radar for the NATS.
All atmospheric in their different ways in the wind and white out conditions.

I feel strangely...

I decided as I only ever get a few comments and a gaping void when it is clear folk don’t seem to know what to make of my ramblings, I thought would disable comments.
In a funny way I feel free.  I fully understand that a lot of people think I am one wagon wheel short of a cart... however what I write is my take on this strange world we live in.  Not always a straight view but my view, which can be a tad skewered, I agree.  The stories are true.  I am extremely fortunate to have lived a full and jolly life, punctuated with a little pain.  
And there you have it...

The finished card as requested by Frances.

Monday, 10 February 2020

A brilliant...


Totally outside my comfort zone, but highly recommended for all that.  

In our library we have a table of suggested reads... this was one of them.

I picked it up, put it down walked away and then on my next visit I picked it up and tucked it under my arm.  Am I glad I did!

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Flavour of my...

Sunday morning.
After breakfast of home cooked turkey thigh, carrots, sweet potato and Wainwright’s kibble, this is the next demand by chef...

She always says as I jump up that I am far too hefty to be a lap dog, little realising she’s the one that cooks all this delish food.  

As it is tipping with rain and blowing a gale, I decided to settle down with the plastic bone given to me by one of my many admirers.  When first given it I showed the disgust it deserved by burying it.  What self respecting dog chews on plastic, don’t these humans know what havoc they’re wreaking on the planet?  What’s wrong with a real bone, I ask you?  What with the movement of the earth’s crust it miraculously reappeared.  She only then went and gave it back to me.  So I thought I better show some appreciation by giving it a good chewing.  Especially as I’ve heard them say they will wait for Ciara to go.  Fair weather walkers, surely they know their skin is waterproof?  Anyway, there I was quietly minding my own business and that reminds me what is it with these people that as soon as my poo hits the ground they rush up and bag it!  What’s that all about, I ask you?
I digress; progress was being made on the demolition of the 
aforesaid plastic howsyourfather when mum took one look at the tiny bits of plastic I was enjoying eating when blow me down in a gale she took the blooming thing away!  I wouldn’t mind but it was her that resurrected it!  In her favour she did replace the ‘bone’ with the kong loaded with gristle from the ham bone featured in another post.  Finally settled and getting into the zone with the bone (read kong)
they only then decided to brave the raging storm and go to the woods!?!  Woods and wind don’t in my doggie book go, however I’m just a hound who loves to run, sniff and leave billet-doux.  I did try my very hardest to take the tasty kong along, they weren’t having any of it!  One thing in their favour is even if the weather is awful they don’t trick me out in a coat.  I have two perfectly good ones of my own...
top coat and undercoat of my collie cashmere.

Back home now and all is peace as they peruse the papers.  Just a typical day in a dog’s life.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

The pot has...


The box of ingredients and instructions have landed!

The witch watches, tracking every move of the Hermes delivery van as it travels  all those miles into the windy, woolly wilds of the far north west coast  The call came on Wednesday evening that the pot had arrived, the amazement at the speed palpable over the phone.  The Scottish pound notes had only arrived less that a week earlier and here he was with the contraption safely delivered.
In my best school teacher voice I said
‘The instructions and ingredients are on the way, phone me when you are ready to start.  I will answer any queries you may have!’
He assured me he would.
Now this is the difficult bit, I now have to be patient and not be the bossy boots I have been with him in the past?
Another post perhaps?  I will explain...

Friday, 7 February 2020

I loiter about in

a shop that is stuffed with artists materials.  I paw over the pens of all colours and hues, nibs, tips - chisel and fine. Acrylic, watercolours, pastels, tempera, crayons and just common or garden graphite.
If yearning could be an art form then I’m Picasso.

Mark making my lovely friend Viv calls it... If only?

I sit at my desk, with the few things I have allowed myself to buy in the full knowledge of the total waste of money.  Inspiration will strike of that I’m sure...
I know, I’ll doodle and that will at least be mark making, Viv will approve!  I sit and strangely nothing comes...  The odd thing is when my brain is otherwise engaged my doodles triffid-like grow across the page... how does that work?
I sit and yearn, constipation is the name of my arty-farty game... nothing comes.  I’m doomed to a life frequented by matchstick men of an anorexic kind.

I need to make a card for my daughter in law’s birthday.  Out comes the carefully squirrelled away pieces of fabric and off I go... now you’re talking LL!  I lose myself in making pictures with fabric. I suppose you could at a push call it art?

Thursday, 6 February 2020

I met a...

couple today, on the bread walk, lovely they were.  I’m writing this in Welsh as they were from South Wales and in the time we stood talking, well to be more exact... they stood talking I knew their life story.  Been married 49 years, living in the same house which cost £2,500, no children.  He loves books doesn’t know how to operate the television.  He goes to bed at 6.30pm to read.  He gets up at 2.30am.  She is happy to be in control of what she watches on the telly, with him safely asleep in bed.  He showed me his purse, which she calls a wallet, he said.  Every day she gives him pocket money, which he spends on books.
They holiday in Ludlow four times a year, although they love it here, she loves living where they do in their pit house.  Not in a row, but stepped he told me. Even if they won the lottery, which incidentally they don’t do, as they are happy and content and want for nothing.  Their house is worth about £100,000, they have no mortgage so even if they wanted to move to Ludlow they wouldn’t have enough to buy here.  Although they holiday here four times a year they wouldn’t want to leave their home of 49 years.  They have both worked hard all their lives and are happy.  Their little dog which yapped a lot at the start of the conversation, settled down sniffing around the river Teme 

as they got into full chat gear.  He had obviously been party to their MO many times before so decided to save his strength.  They were just off up onto Whitcliffe common where they sit and look at the castle and the dog always has his dinner there.  They meet a lady who in all the years they have been coming to Ludlow they see twice in the week they are here.
Four times actually, we book the same cottage, February, May, August and October.  We meet in the coffee shop, we have never been to her home and we don’t invite her to our holiday cottage... that’s how we like it.  She told us to give her £10 as a cottage in the village is being raffled, so the ten pounds buys us a ticket,  What would we do if we won?  We have enough money and no need for any extra.
We are happy.
I got a big hug as we parted from Mo, Maureen if she’s been up to no good, you understand?

As I walked away I felt strangely uplifted.  Such a joy to hear from positive people 100% content with their lot.
Wish there were a lot more of them about...

Wednesday, 5 February 2020


this is my latest buy.
I saw it and just couldn’t resist.

Today we had a trip to Leominster and I have a very fav shop there.
The husband always quivers as I nonchalantly approach the premises.  
‘I’ll just nip in for a quick look!’
He stays outside with Ellie standing guard of his wallet... a formidable pair.
Don’t mess with us... type of thing!
‘Err, could you just go in and see what you think of this?’
Anything for a quiet life he dutifully strolls in.  Out he minces with his new man-bag, which needs to be a man-bag as it’s so blooming heavy for such a waif as me!?!
It is perforated and has a brass plaque which has seven and a half pounds on it (if only?)  We think it must have been a mould for cheese making.  
Any ideas?  Oh and the thing behind is a... what?
I know the answer to this so will tell all.

Life on the

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