Sunday 28 February 2021

I Will Hold Your People In My Heart


Saturday was not our best day - we both had quite a reaction to the vaccine, at 10pm Friday night, feeling achey, and shivery. I had a bad headache and Bob was feverish. But we took Saturday slowly, and finished all the recording stuff for this morning's service from UCF. By teatime we were still tired, but generally feeling heaps better.

The link for morning worship is HERE 

I do love this hymn, written by the Catholic Hymnwriter Dan Schutt. I found these words on his website in a piece entitled "Finding Hope"

We live in difficult times. Every day it seems we hear news that eats away at our efforts to live in hope. I’m not talking about those immensely tragic things that break our hearts, but rather, the little things that one by one add up and become a dark grey cloud that obscures the light … Being hopeful is not just about nurturing a positive outlook on life. Rather, it has much to do about becoming aware of hand of God touching the world around us, especially in the little things, and trusting that God has a future prepared for us that is full of joy

Saturday 27 February 2021

A Nice Cup Of Tea And A Bun

Will you come to the Mission, will you come, come, come?

There's a nice cup of tea and a bun, bun, bun...

Bob maintains Terry Pratchett wrote this in one of his Discworld books - but I have this distant memory a Sally Army girls singing it. Can anyone help me out here?

We had the injections, very efficiently done, thank you, at the Wallisdown Pharmacy [including a pleasant chat to the woman doing the administration - a local head teacher who is released from her school every Friday as a volunteer for the vaccination roll-out] I made one purchase in the pharmacy, then we picked up milk and bits in Aldi, collected something from Bob's Office at church - and came home for a nice cup of tea- and we shared a Belgian Bun.

My purchase in the pharmacy was one of these - a hair clamp. My hair has got SO long, and it is really annoying me when I am cooking, or packing boxes, or walking outside in the wind. I bought one of these clips about 30 years ago and kept it until quite recently, even though I'd gone back to a shorter haircut. I dug it out last summer - and discovered that the plastic had started to degrade and half the 'claws' had snapped. I threw it away. But now I know a haircut won't happen for at least two more months. I splashed out £2,50 on this pretty blue piece- and then persuaded Bob to trim my fringe. [He did it remarkably efficiently, and I am grateful]

I have swept the fringe to one side- I don't suit the Claudia Winkleman look - nor yet Lucy Worsley's schoolgirl barrette. When I was an officer in the Girls' Brigade, I wore my hair in a proper, formal bun, formed around one of those bizarre nylon "doughnuts"

I do hope that  I shall soon be able to get my hair cut  but of course, I shall have to find a new hairdresser in Norfolk.

My last haircut was March 12th. And tomorrow, my 'temporary' dental filling will be one year old. I am still diligently chewing buns etc on the right side of my mouth, as I am terrified of dislodging or cracking it. I shall have to find a new dentist in Norfolk too. 

But I am happy to have my hair off my face and out of my eyes again!

Friday 26 February 2021

The Cat, The Bag And The Biscuits

I knew that the 'cat' ie the catalytic converter on my Toyota needed replacing. And I knew it would not be cheap. "After Christmas..." I said. I'm hardly using my car at the the minute. Then the Ferndown Post Office closed because the staff tested positive for covid19, as did the replacement team due to come and stand in for them. 

I had to drive to another PO- and on the way back, my airbag warning light came on. And went off. And came on again -  all the way home. Help! is it going to inflate halfway down Church Road? I thought.
So the car went into the garage to have the new cat fixed, and then once the part had arrived, they fitted a new 'air-bag squib' [this is all to do with the wiring to the Gas Generator and it sets the bag off if there is a collision]
David Smith Motors, on the Ferndown Industrial Estate, have looked after my car beautifully for 6 years- and I guess this is the last time I will take it there. [Thank you DSM]
But these jobs are not cheap - cats require lots of rare metals [palladium etc] so what with the garage bill, and the cost of booking a van for The Move, the last couple of weeks have proved Very Expensive.
We needed cheering up.
And I needed a break from packing and stuff. So I made some biscuits,
I made some of Anna Olsen's ORCs [Oatmeal Raisin Cookies] which I discovered years ago.[Recipe here]
I'm using up the stuff in the cupboards - and had no dark soft brown sugar, so substituted molasses, and also substituted the end of a jar of muesli for some of the oats -they came out fine. I ended up with 50 biscuits [I use my 1" ice cream scoop which spreas out on baking to make 2½" cookies] I've sandwiched just 10 pairs together, and divided the remaining 30 cookies into 3 boxes in the freezer. 
Today we are having our first vaccinations. I shall need a biscuity treat when I get home!
People have warned me to expect an aching arm, and generally feeling lousy the day after. "Do not plan anything strenuous for Saturday" They've said.
If that's what it takes,. them I shall put up with the brief discomfort.

Thursday 25 February 2021

Through A Hedge Backwards

 "Comb your hair, Angela, you look like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards" my long-suffering mother would say. I remember how frustrated she was that the teacher made no attempt to tidy up my locks before the annual school photo. If I hadn't already packed it, I'd share that picture here. You think the PM looks scruffy - I'm told he ruffles his hair before the No 10 briefings - but scruffiness came naturally to me.

The first use of the expression in print is in the Hereford Journal, February 1857, in a report of a poultry show: “In the class for any distinct breed came a pen of those curious birds 'the silk fowls', shown by Mr. Churchill, and a pen of those not less curious 'the frizzled fowls', sent by the same gentleman, 

looking as if they had been drawn through a hedge backwards.”

I was reminded of this phrase on Saturday- there was a great photograph in the Eastern Daily Press. 

A 'concerned dog-walker' [let's face it, it is almost always a dog-walker or jogger who discovers such things] rang the police. They had seen somebody apparently motionless, stuck in the hedge.

But fear not - it was not an entrapped bird-watcher, nor yet a grisly murder incident [I admit, I have been binge-watching Criminal Minds recently, I do think Mandy Patinkin is a good actor] 

It was just the bottom half of a shop-mannequin, dressed and posed to cause consternation among the Norfolk locals. 

But you do have to ask yourself -what happened to the mannequin's top half? Will it be spotted climbing out of a chimney, or stuck in a pavement inspection cover?

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Happy Birthday, Rosie!


You are growing up so fast! I can't believe you are 5 today. The little baby became a cheerful toddler, and now you are growing schoolgirl.

You bring us so much joy - you are thoughtful and funny and bright. We are truly blessed. And despite the restrictions and complications of the the last year, you have learned so much. God bless you today and always. Happy birthday, Rosie! 

Tuesday 23 February 2021

Just Her Cup Of Tea

I am so impressed by the ingenuity displayed by so many people during lockdown. Unable to pursue their activities as they did before, they come up with creative ways to continue with their hobbies - ukulele orchestras practising together on zoom, cooks tweaking their recipes because the usual ingredients are unavailable, businesses completely changing their manner of working to accommodate the fact that things are all online, or their usual outlets have closed [eg food retailers formerly supplying the hospitality industry now selling to the public] 

I loved this story about Jan Heath, a retired schoolteacher and self taught artist who lives in Norfolk. She ran out of canvas for paintings, so decided that 'small is beautiful' - and worked out a technique for painting on used tea-bags instead. Great recycling! She began simply, with a mixed box of Pukka Herbal Teas - and just painted the ingredients...

She was running out of space to store large canvas works - this is much more compact - and they are selling like hotcakes

I love the Retro girls - and the "View from the Tate" [happy memories of sitting there with Liz for a coffee, years ago]

The three ginger cats were on bags for ginger tea - and Jan printed Wordsworth's poem "To a butterfly" on one bag before adding the red admiral. I think the washing day one is cute.

She says that friends have kindly supplied her with interesting tagged bags. I'm not sure my simple fairtrade red label are quite 'pukka' enough!

Do check out Jan's Facebook page, she adds new pieces regularly. What a great talent on a tiny workspace!

Monday 22 February 2021

Snuggling Up With My Huffle-Buffs


No, not Hufflepuffs, That's a Harry Potter word- one of the four houses at Hogwarts. Characters are sorted into houses based on their characteristics, and Hufflepuff is known for having members that are patient, fair, hard-working, and sometimes blandly nice.

This word is hufflebuffs. This is a couple of centuries old, a Scots dialect word - for old clothes, worn out, but very comfy- the sort you can lounge about in. 

This word deserves greater recognition during lockdown - so much more evocative than lounge-wear or that other hideous portmanteau term athleisure.

Hands up if you have spent much of the last year in elasticated waist jogging pants or leggings, and perhaps eschewed underwired, padded, lacy bras for lightweight crop tops and bralettes. [note do not confuse M&S bralettes with their kalettes and cobettes, which are found in the vegetable aisle]

If you don't have to go out to the office, and your 3 year old is finger painting beside you as you tap away on your laptop at the kitchen table, why would you dress up in smart white shirt, pencil skirt, tights and heels? 

Yes, maybe put on a clean, smart[ish] top for a zoom meeting - but please dress for high comfort not haute couture. Life is stressful enough right now without worrying about laddered hosiery.

Most of my clothes are packed- I've kept out a smart dress and one tunic which are good for recording church things [and yes, I have realized to late that my best slippers make a brief appearance on the Day Of Prayer video!]  I have no idea what I can wear for Kezzie's Fancy Dress Birthday Party but I will think of something.

My Huffle-Buffs include two large zip up fleece jackets bought in 2004. I'm sitting here swathed in the black one, the blue one is hanging up at Cornerstones. Both way too big [they were required 'uniform' garments, I had no say in the sizing] but when I am feeling chilly, they go over everything else and provide a warm extra comforting layer. I am not fussed about stains and spills - and my phone is safe in a zipped pocket, even if I am in the garden or clambering in the loft.  They are wearable security blankets - old, worn, familiar, and comforting.

What are your Huffle-Buffs?

Sunday 21 February 2021

Sing For Joy

The gifted UCF Worship Team have put together today's service. The link is HERE. You are very welcome to join us.

Saturday 20 February 2021

Who Is Humphrey?

As any giggling six year old will tell you, he is the camel with Three Humps! I have been thinking a lot about camels recently [as you do] This is mainly because I am continuing to sift and sort my possessions and downsize for retirement. 

I no longer have the palm tree - and I have never possessed a camel. But for years I had a camel coat. I bought it when I first started teaching, and wore it for years till it became thin and stained and fell apart. In the box of photos [now packed] there are various photos of me in my coat. The Duchess is taller, so looks elegant - but I definitely felt elegant in mine. It was my go-to 'smart coat'. The posh ones were originally camelhair/wool blend, and known as polo coats. 

I've thrown out dozens of pictures trimmed from Christmas cards. Far too many to keep for making future cards and gift tags. And as I tipped them into the recycling bin, I pondered on the Magi. Almost always shown riding camels. Why? Surely at that time in history, wise men would have ridden arab steeds? Maybe the camels were used as pack-animals, for the luggage, but wealthy men would have been more comfortable on the back of a horse? I looked it up - and one writer said the three wise men arrived in a horse, a camel and an elephant! That seems wrong on all counts. I suppose in the Trad School Nativity Play, the poor man has a donkey and the rich man has a camel...

Have you come across the word camelCase? It's the term used for words made up of two words strung together, without spaces, but separated by a single capital letter.

Once you know the word, you see camelCase stuff everywhere

eBay, iPhone, FedEx, WhatsApp, YouTube, EastEnders.... It is very common in this computer age - but has been around for donkey's years. For instance CinemaScope and VistaVision first  appeared on our [cinema] screens in 1953.

But enough of this wittering on, I must keep busy, and continue with my packing. If you have read Kipling, you'll know the whole problem with the camel was that he had too little to do

THE Camel's hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.
Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
If we haven't enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump—
Cameelious hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head,
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our bath and our boots and our toys;
And there ought to be a corner for me
(And I know' there is one for you)
When we get the hump—
Cameelious hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
Or frowst with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
And dig till you gently perspire;
And then you will find that the sun and the wind,
And the Djinn of the Garden too,
Have lifted the hump—
The horrible hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

I get it as well as you-oo-oo
If I haven't enough to do-oo-oo!
We all get hump—
Cameelious hump—
Kiddies and grown-ups too!

[do you like Kipling? I don't know, I've never Kippled!]

Friday 19 February 2021

At Home In Lent - In Front Of A Camera

Over the years, I have been involved in various Church Lent Activities-  we had the Hot Potatoes discussion groups, the Soup Kitchen evenings, and joint 'churches together' activities. Mostly involving food,as well as Bible study, prayer and good conversations. Large events in church halls, smaller get-togethers in people's homes. This year...none of that!

Here at UCF, we are all staying at home - so it seemed sense to work through this book. The author walks through his home, and each day looks at a different object/piece of furniture/etc and shares some relevant thoughts. It seemed particularly apposite for a lockdown situation. 

The chapters are very brief - each takes between 6-9 minutes to read. Bob has obtained permission from the publishers to produce a set of 46 readings which people can watch daily through our church YouTube channel. If you are interested in looking at these, the link is here

The World Day of Prayer Service link is now available too. The actual day is 5th March, but some people have said they'd like to check it out beforehand! That link is here. I should say again, this is not the official video, which the International Committee are going to release later. WDPHQ. This has been put together with other Baptist Rev's wives across England and Wales. This service lasts about half an hour [we have cut out a few hymns, and the offering!] WDPHQ have suggested local groups might like to arrange alive Zoom service on the day. We know that is not workable in our situation - so we're happy for other groups to make use of our recording. Do make a note of the details and share this with friends.

A year ago, I would never have believed just how much stuff I'd be presenting "to camera". It is not my natural spot. In front of a class, or behind a lectern, or storytelling in a tent - I'm fine with those. But I find this difficult. And I've made some terrible faux pas. Usually that has meant multiple retakes. Like going a complete blank in the middle of the Lord's Prayer. Or the shot where I walk in and you can see my fur lined slippers [even though the rest of me is smartly dressed] Or disturbing the 'green screen' so the background goes crazy. I have great admiration for teachers producing 3 or 4 lessons a day.

But all in all, I am so grateful for this technology - 20 years ago, we would have all felt so cut off. Looking forward to Easter, and hoping and praying that we can at least worship together in our building one more time before we retire to Norfolk!

Thursday 18 February 2021

Love Yourself Through Lent

 I usually do some sort of Lenten Pauses, similar to the Advent ones. This year I'm not. I'm sharing instead this idea from the Together At Home group. I'm genuinely concerned about the emotional toll caused by the pandemic. The effects on our mental health are impossible to measure. We've been in this for a year. I'm printing this chart out and putting it on the fridge, then aiming to tick all 40 actions if I can. Check out the TATH website for other helpful resources. 

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Pandemic Pancake Party

We're into Lent. "Living on Borrowed Time" as Dad always joked. I recently came across a poem relating to this time of year

Knick a knock upon the block;
Flour and lard is very dear,
Please we come a shroving here,
Your pan's hot and my pan's cold,
Hunger makes us shrovers bold;
Please to give poor shrovers something here.

It comes from Hampshire [particularly around Basingstoke] where there was a custom for "Shrovers" - rather like carol singers, or trick-or-treaters, children would go from house to house asking for pancakes or money. I learned that Shrovetide is technically the three days before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday 

Ash Wednesday - the priest marks the foreheads of the faithful with the sign of the cross, in ashes [made by burning last years Palm Crosses]
Shrove Tuesday - people go to be shriven of cleansed of their sins. Also known as Pancake Day, Mardi Gras ['fat Tuesday'] or Carnival [Carne Vale- goodbye meat]
Collop Monday - [a 'collop' was a slice of bacon with a fried egg on top] - another opportunity to eat up rich foods before the simple diet of Lent.
Pork Sunday - [also called Quinquagesima = 50 days to Easter

Fasting then feasting seems to have been much more common years ago. I wonder if that is why people latch onto ideas like Stoptober, and Dry January [and Veganuary] 

Here's Little Grey Rabbit's Pancake Day, illustrated by the Suffolk artist Margaret Tempest.
Bob and I have been hosting an annual pancake party every Shrove Tuesday since 1978 - but this year on Zoom! 

Tuesday 16 February 2021

We Spent A Steamy Afternoon On The Sofa


On two sofas to be precise. We borrowed a "Steam Buddy" from a friend, and went all over our two sofas in the lounge. I'd already unzipped the covers from the back and seat cushions, but we wanted to clean the rest of the framework thoroughly.

Bob worked away diligently - we found that the steam cleaned almost everything beautifully - except the top edge of the arms. So I scrubbed in some upholstery shampoo with a soft nailbrush, then he steamed again - and the grime lifted away very satisfactorily. Two young couples we know are about to set up their first homes - so they will probably take a sofa each. 

My two favourite sofa quotes

You can only go so far on a sofa, because a sofa’s got small wheels [Joyce Grenfell]

I make no secret of the fact that I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it. But you have to be efficient if you're going to be lazy.  [Shirley Conran]

A friend asked [in a private Facebook group] how my moving preparations were going. I replied that we'd just spent a steamy afternoon on the sofa. Unfortunately the words posted, but not the accompanying picture of Bob wielding the Steam Buddy. Cue much amusement among my friends. I waited for one of them to quote Mrs Patrick Campbell at me, but none did!

Monday 15 February 2021

A Stitch In Time


Can you believe it? FIFTY YEARS since Carole King released her amazing album "Tapestry" [We have the LP here, packed in a box, ready to move]

This was the music of my teens - I would have happily spent all day sitting on a window seat, stitching my tapestry and singing to myself [not that I wanted a cat] I never had those long slim legs or gorgeous flowing curls though.

Tapestry was one of those albums where every song counted. CK was involved as writer, or co-writer of every track. She was only 18 when she penned "Will you still love me tomorrow?"

Along with the tunes and lyrics Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell, her music spoke to many young women in the 1970s. She remains a thoughtful, intelligent woman, speaking out on environmental and social issues. In January 2017, on the day after Trump was inaugurated as President, she marched in the Women's March [she was 75] This was a worldwide protest, prompted by the fact that several of Trump's statements were considered by many as anti-women or otherwise offensive to women. It was the largest single-day protest in US history  According to organizers, the goal was to "send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights" She carried a sign saying "One Small Voice" explaining that "I’ve never stopped believing that one small voice plus millions of other small voices is exactly how we change the world"

Thank you Carole, for the hours of pleasure you have given to so many with your music - laughing with us, crying with us, sharing joys and pain. Even if we have never got to meet you, we know you understand how we feel

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there, yes I will
You've got a friend

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the ever-changing view
A wondrous, woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold

Sunday 14 February 2021

Love And The Lighthouse

This Sunday, Miriam and the young people have produced our service (link HERE) Happy Valentine's Day - love to you all

Saturday 13 February 2021

Animal Crackers

In these sad and strange times, it's sometimes a good idea to look past the main headlines to the crazier stories at the end of the bulletins. I'm still smiling at Bernie Sanders mittens. Here's three tales this week with a vague animal connection...

Gorillas. More precisely, gorilla spray adhesive. This company makes amazingly strong glues. They have careful instructions and warnings on the packaging. So what possessed a woman in Louisiana to use this spray adhesive on her head, l have no idea. She is obviously in real discomfort now, and I'm sorry about that 
- but what was she thinking? 

It seems you can buy "Gorilla" hair products in the USA, but from a completely different company. She's facing huge medical bills, but people seem to be crowdfunding for her. At first she was considering litigation against Gorilla - I think that would have been an even more expensive mistake. She might have chosen the wrong lawyer...Animal Story #2
Kittens. A lawyer in Texas appeared as a kitten in a court case being conducted via Zoom. The judge pointed out there was a filter on his screen. Roy Ponton assured the judge he was present and he was not a cat. However, he didn't know how to remove the filter. 
I can allow him not knowing how to get rid of Pussycat face. I use Zoom, but wouldn't be able to remove the whiskers either. But what really bothered me was his statement about the mischief must have been done "by the last person to use my secretary's computer". This is a lawyer. Surely he understands the need for cyber security? His secretary would have important legal documents on her computer, sensitive and confidential... Is it really possible for some prankster in the office to use her machine, and make a fool of the boss? 
One gets the impression that there are many people in the USA making megabucks in the legal profession. I doubt Mr Ponton is going to be one of them. So he won't need Animal Story #3
Frogs and dozens of dozens of other cuddly little animals - flamingo, panda, lobster, mouse, monkey...knitted, stitched, crocheted... Then sewn onto a plain black man's sweater. 
With an eye-watering price tag of £8,500!

Fashion house Louis Vuitton have revealed this garment on the catwalk as the thing for the well dressed chap this season. It looks to me like a bleary eyed dad fell asleep in his toddler's bedroom, and woke up to find the contents of the toy cupboard pinned to his jumper. 
Leave the clothes LV, just stick to making classy luggage. 

Friday 12 February 2021

It Gets Right Up My Nose

 I'm not too brilliant with health stuff. I cannot bear injections [I have to look away if there is someone on the TV having a close encounter with a syringe] I struggle to keep my mouth firmly closed when the dentist wants to X-ray my teeth [that's a distant memory now] I love crime dramas - but not the pathologist's close ups. We had a letter about the Office of National Statistics Covid-19 Infection Survey,  We agreed to take part -  it requires us to home test on a regular basis. Every week an enthusiastic person [not always the same one] arrives at the door in mask and gloves - and hands one of us a test kit, and asks the other questions about our week - then we swap over.

Basically the answers are always about the same - yes we spend about 21 hours in each other's company every day. No, nobody has been in our house, and we have not been in theirs. We've had a couple of socially distanced conversations with people outside. We have briefly been in the post office / pharmacy or supermarket. No we don't have any new symptoms [but I still smell terrible]  ...I can manage the questions.

But the test is the bit I don't enjoy.

Technically we are taking "oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal" swabs - i.e. from the throat and nose. We pop the stick into the tube, snap off the top section, screw on the cap and seal the tube in the bag with the barcode, and return it to the visitor. We hear nothing and then repeat again next week. If it show up positive for covid19 we are contacted promptly, otherwise our data just goes off to the statisticians. I have to say that it is getting easier each time, I don't feel like gagging quite so much.

  • Last week she arrived quite soon after lunch. I hope that the tomato soup I had just eaten didn't affect the results! 
  • It feels like a very small contribution to the "War Effort" really. I hope they are able to reach some helpful conclusions when they have gathered all the data.
  • At the end of it we will be sent Amazon vouchers for our trouble. I hope I would have done it without that 'incentive' - all those years I gave blood regularly** and my only reward then was a cup of tea and a biscuit, and a sense of having helped save lives.
But most of all, I hope that the research being done worldwide right now helps alleviate the suffering and bring an end to the spread of this virus. My thanks to all the scientists, statisticians and survey collectors involved in this work.

** I cannot give blood anymore - but they still need donations as much as ever. Find out more here about covid-safe ways to give,

Thursday 11 February 2021

No Worries!

I'm trying not to get stressed by this whole downsizing process. There is still too much stuff here in Dorset to fit into an already furnished property in Norfolk. I continue with the sorting and re-homing of possessions, and the emptying of the loft. An unending task - it seems to fill up again overnight like the widow's cruse in 1 Kings 17. Bob just found four more photo albums...But the little things brighten my day. Like finding a box of random teaching resources which was carefully labelled

"warning, clucking chicken in here" It was a battery operated puppet, but if agitated, it would start to quiver and cluck loudly. I have no idea where it came from, 

it starred in a couple of school plays, and caused great amusement among younger children. If I was rooting around alone in the loft, it scared me stupid, Hence the warning label. I have no idea where it has gone- it isn't in the box now

I walked to the pharmacy. There was a big yellow road sign warning of diversions on the A31- and on the back it said "Send to Bray". Why? we are nowhere near the Berkshire town where the crazy vicar came from. The sign was outsiude St Mary's Parish Church - maybe it originally said Send to Pray and someone amended it...

Liz sent me this useful phrase "det er dødens pølse". Personally I think pairing up the socks when sorting clean laundry is the sausage of death.

This also from Liz - a witty response by a neighbour to the person in the community who is repeatedly irresponsible about cleaning up after their pet.

Finally, from Waitrose,  the name of Tuesday's recipe sounded remarkably like the Swahili phrase for "No Worries!"

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Alas Poor Yorick...

 ...I Discarded Him, Horatio

It was one of those part-works magazines, back in the 1990s. "Build a  skeleton". Week one was 99p and you got the skull - and I thought "This might come in useful for Hamlet or Halloween or something" It hasn't been useful in 20 years. It's in the bin!

I said to Mark in the Kirby paper shop - "I'm only buying this one issue - not paying £3.99 a week for more bones. So no regular order for me, thanks"

Mark said that the majority of those partworks- with a 99p "attract the buyer" first issue usually never sold after about week 3. But one gentleman newly retired in the village decided to build Nelson's Victory as a 'little project'. He requested a regular order of the magazine. 150 issues - at £6 a week. [plus your own glue and paints] "That's the best part of £1000!" I said, genuinely horrified at such expenditure. But apparently the guy had persevered - until the point when there was a fault with the supplied wooden parts, and they just didn't fit. How incredibly frustrating.
Fifty spare coathangers [used mostly for play costumes] went free to a lady whose grand-daughter had just moved into a new flat. And the four large boxes of costumes have been pruned, purged, or passed on and I am only taking one to Norfolk. I'll do this if it kills me!

Tuesday 9 February 2021

Eating Mindfully

In his latest book, "Eat Better Forever" Hugh F-W cites "Eating mindfully" as one of the seven key principles. There has to be a healthy balance between obsessing over every mouthful, chewing forty seven times, and eating every meal or snacking in front of the TV or tablet, with all one's attention on the screen and not the enjoyment of the food. 

Watching a recent recording I made with Bob for church, I am aware the Lockdown has affected my waistline and it shows. There has been a downside to improved breadmaking skills over the last year. The Scandi tradition of Fika - a mid afternoon tea-and-cake-break hasn't helped either. Bob alerted me to a Japanese word -kuchisabishii

M&S are responding to the low mood of many people at the moment [gloomy February, no chances for Pancake Parties, or Valentine's Discos] by bringing back one of their most popular food items of last year, the Christmas Sandwich

I kid you not! Some people have already complained "but it's not Christmas!!!" [when did that ever worry Percy Pig - they are currently selling Easter Eggs and we haven't even got into Lent]

And if you're wondering what is inside the magical sandwich I can reveal the ingredients are the following:

Turkey breast; Pork; Sage and onion stuffing; Onion mayonnaise; Cranberry chutney; Bacon; Malted brown bread

I hope that with all these problems about imported foodstuffs, my friends over on the Emerald Isle are able to enjoy these. The Irish certainly understand eating mindfully. I am told that the Gaelic word for think is ceap [pronounced key-app] and the word for sandwich is ceapaire [pronounced key-app-erie]