It’s a dog’s life.

Hi ,

.

Today has been a good day in spite of the continuing bad weather.

.

Last night I went up to bed early, because Big H was watching yet another Jet Li film.

I had a good read before quickly dropping off.

Unfortunately, the silly man fell asleep on the settee until three in the morning, before eventually staggering to bed and waking  me up in the process.

.

So there I was, up again at three thirty, eating a Warburtons Potato Pancake with a nice cup of tea, while surfing the early morning television channels.

.

I finally ended up watching a harrowing documentary about young men who keep huge dogs as offensive weapons.

One section of the film showed an inner cityVet and some of the terrible cases he was dealing with.

One poor little dog had been found thrown out on the street, suffering with deep cigarette burns all over its head and neck, and with it’s ear torn off.

It was in a terrible state and covered in blood, as was shown by pictures taken before treatment began.  Even later on it was heartbreaking to see the recovering animal with only one ear, missing hair and numerous healing burns.

The Vet said that the evidence pointed to it having finally been thrown to a fighting dog as bait, in order to give that dog a taste of blood.  Grim viewing.

How can we have been civilised for so long and still have people capable of such deliberate cruelty, not only to animals, but to children and so many other people.

.

You don’t need to go to sleep to have a nightmare, you can watch them on the news every day.

.

Luckily, things improved later on, when Big H got up at ten and offered to take me to an Antiques Fair, to make up for creating so much noise coming to bed .

How excellent was that.  Getting to do one of my favourite things without one word of complaint from my remorseful partner, no matter how long I took examining all the stuff on every stall that caught my interest.

I managed to walk out eventually with many lovely pieces of treasure trove, all bartered down to unbelievably low prices.

.

OK, OK,  I can guess what you are thinking, but you are definitely wrong.

.

I am looking forward to tomorrow.  My day is going to get off to a good start with eggs and dippers and a good read of  The Sunday Times, and then….the world is my lobster.

Have a good one yourself.

LOL

J.

.

.

Friday Night Fever.

A damp “Hello” to you all,

.

Oh dear me, I shall not be going to the ball after all.

.

There I was, with my vertiginous leopard skin platforms and my satin trousers all dusted off, totally ready to party, but bad weather has cancelled play.

.

My  ‘FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER’  concert is now CANCELLED!!!!

It was going to be held tonight at Gibside, the National Trust estate that my friend took me to visit some weeks ago.

The Music Spectacular was set to be headlined by a very popular tribute group called Voulez Vous, who  are a well known Abba Tribute Band.

These being ably supported by Ultimate Madness who were going to thrill us all with ‘a marvellous performance of Madness classics’   That’s loads of

Ska to you.

.

Oh Bum, I was really going to love it.

My friend is awfully disappointed too.  She has talked about it all week long.

Normally you just go to these things no matter what the weather, this is the UK after all, but the amount of rain falling lately has been unusual and today it has been continuous, so much so that the organisers are probably worrying that the groups will end up electrocuted.

There was going to be an amazing fireworks display as a finale but I doubt possible electrocutions were meant to be a part of it.

.

Well, never mind, I am going to make another delicious Spaghetti Bolognaise instead, along with a decent (relatively speaking)  bottle of wine, and then Big H and I can snuggle down with a good movie.

I think that I would enjoy another viewing of ‘Duets’ made in 2000, starring Paul Giamatti, Huey Lewis, Andre Braugher, the pretty Scott Speedman and Gwyneth Paltrow. One of the few films where she does not annoy me, as I am not a great fan of hers.

Or of Glen Close either if it comes to that.

.

Anyway at least Big H will be happy to be served up a proper home cooked, meaty meal.

And so will the crows!

.

Have a fabulous night yourselves.  Or at least those of you who do not shrink when exposed to rain.

LOL

J.   X

.

.

Speaker’s Corner

Hey

.

Morning has broken….and what a morning !

.

Rain is teeming down, running in the gutters with abandon, and the dark grey sky is so low that you could touch it.

As I sit at the keyboard I can hear a swishing sound, as passing cars rush heedlessly over the rain soaked road.

Everything smells so heavy and rich.  I love it.

.

Many times in the past, Big H and I have discussed moving abroad permanently, to somewhere like France or Spain, in just the same way I suspect that  everyone else does, but we have never decided to take that final step.

When I have been on holiday to a really sunny place, the thought of being there permanently is indeed beguiling, but in the final summation, it is not my home.

There is a lot to put up with in the UK  nowadays, but there are a lot of countries where no one would dare to make certain statements in public because of the possibility of being arrested.  I think that we are really very lucky to have a long tradition of free speech.

The problem now is that free speech and political correctness have become confusingly tangled together..

How can you deal with the problem if you are not allowed to mention, “the elephant in the room!”

.

If a small segment of any of our mix of cultures is causing problems, then we should all tell the truth and we should all, every section of our society, get strongly behind the settling of it.

To my mind if everyone can see a problem, but because of political correctness no one can speak of the causes of it, then it cannot be fixed.

If everyone can see that a certain section of society contains a problem that is not being fixed, then everyone else becomes afraid of , and avoids, all of that particular section of people, all of them  becoming seen as something to be distrustful of.

Surely this causes more divisions, along with a growing racial or  ‘lifestyle’,  distrust.

.

I am still of the opinion that all most people want, is for their families to be happy, and for their their society to be healthy and vital.

They want to be able to live in peace and provide a good lifestyle for their family.  To be able to live their life in a way that is  meaningful to them, within a safe and democratic, free society.

Who could ask for anything more.

.

We are all exactly the same in our wants and needs and hopes.

.

I do however feel that a family cannot abnegate all responsibility for some of it’s members.  I think parents have to exercise control over their own children all during their childhood and be held responsible for whatever things their children do.

It is a long, hard, time consuming job which calls for self sacrifice, worry and sleepless nights, but is also wonderful and rewarding, and worth a hundred times the effort given.

We should also take proper care of our sick, the mentally ill, aged and the fragile and disadvantaged  members of our society, in a decent and comprehensive way.  How come billions of pounds are spent every year by our Governments upon stupid things, but there always need to be cuts made in services which are necessary for the health, happiness and safety of our own citizens.

Why does our Government not stop pouring out money wastefully, and fix the poverty, neglect and desperate need here in the UK.

What else could possibly be more important for us, our society, our future, our planet…or our own souls.

.

It is harder now for a lot of our younger society members because they are often at a loose end and can see no point in looking beyond tomorrow. I think that they don’t feel meaningful or important  to society in many cases.

When I was young there were always opportunities at every level. Many of the boys that I grew up with began apprenticeships for two or three years once they left school,  in order to learn a trade which would set them up for life and gave them a great deal of pride in themselves and their accomplishments.  They were earning their own money and had a belief in their future.

At that time young people were streamed into different styles of schools during their education.  There were basic schools, Secondary Modern Schools and Grammar Schools.  At eleven we all sat our 11+ examinations and then we went to whichever one of the different schools was dictated by our resulting marks .

It was a popular system with the children I knew because no one was made to do work that was too much for them and they could be prepared for making different choices of careers. I think that there was also a 13+ examination for any children who might have developed late and now needed to be reassigned to a school which would stretch them more. I believe that Big H was changed over to a Grammar School at this point because he was a slower developer.

In those days no one kept trying to make everything ‘equal’ for everyone.

I do not see that as either possible or desirable. Some people are incredibly academic, others are better with practical things.  We all have different capabilities and talents to offer.

We were happy with the system because each child was streamed with others who were similar and therefore they could shine .

Now I think that the brightest academic children are being held back so that everyone can progress at the same speed and this must be both boring and frustrating for the very quick ones with an instant grasp and understanding.  It also seems unfair to those who are slower because they know this, and therefore keep quiet if they do not understand something fully, because they do not want to be seen as stupid.

This means that they fall behind instead of being stimulated and they also become frustrated and bored.

I see this type of thinking as another failure of political correctness in schooling.

.

School felt like a safe place to us in those days.  The teachers were always respected and no one caused upheaval in class or answered back . If we had even thought of it, we would not have acted on it, because our parents would have been angry and we would have been in trouble with them at home.

We all had to behave ourselves because the policemen used to patrol about the streets every day on regular rounds.  They knew everyone  in their local area and were well acquainted with with any problem children or families. They were also well liked by the people and they would often be asked for advice or help by people who would wait for them to walk by at the usual time.  The officers would be told if neighbours were worried about an old person or suspected a child might be being neglected in any way.

Everyone knew their local officers by name because they saw them on the streets, in person, year after year.  These policemen knew all the different generations of families etc. and were mostly quite wonderful to have around.

If young tearaways were hanging around or disturbing people then the policeman would send them on their way with a warning about him having a strong word with their parents if there were any problems in the future.

Smaller children would be given a ‘swift clip around the ear’ if they were causing problems.  It was a system that worked because the schools, parents and Police all worked together, hand in hand , to set the children onto a good and meaningful path for life.

.

After the 11+we all moved to our new schools.

Secondary modern girls were taught the basics but also did practical learning such as shorthand and typing.

Grammar schools added subjects such as Physics or Latin and French.

Every child being stretched to their full capacity.

.

My goodness, heavy thoughts to match the heavy skies.

I am obviously not an expert on such matters, all my observations are purely my own personal opinions, but sometimes I think that if we live in, work in, and love our society at a grass roots level,  then we collectively ‘are’ that society.

So perhaps we should say what we think more , and collectively make a voice for good basic education, good behaviour, good teaching of care and duty to others, good trusted policing methods, good social behaviour and pride in our wonderful British tradition of free speech and democracy for all.

. LOL

J

.

.

Gourmet Foods.

Hello to you,

.

I am up early again.

So, what’s changed?

.

I have done all the usual things , tea, Warburton’s Potato Pancakes (2), had a pee, quickly read a bit more of my Rebus book, and fed the birds.

It’s a hard life but someone has to do it… etc.

.

Those birds are really picky creatures.

Yesterday, I found two Aberdeen Angus beefburgers in the fridge, left over from the last barbecue.

Because there was no longer the ‘sell by’ information on the wrapping, I decided to just put them out for the birds.  After all, crows eat carrion and raw things don’t they ?

This morning I went out to find the bread and the chips were gone but the two top quality beefburgers were just lying there untouched and dismissed as unworthy.

Granted, these two items were not helpfully torn up into up into convenient beak- friendly bits, but neither is a dead rabbit or a squashed hedgehog on the road.

They are very strange birds.  What I mean is that the day before I had put out three huge Chicken Tikka kebabs for them (also from the last barbecue).  This meat was left in big lumps, just as I had pulled it off the skewers, it was bright red coloured, and very tangy with it.

Moments later I stood at the window watching the crows holding down the meat lumps with one claw while pecking off tasty little shreds of chicken with their huge beaks.

So the difference between raw Aberdeen Angus beefburgers, roadkill, dead sheep and Chicken Tikka kebabs,……. is what ?

.

Do you know what I should do ?  I should apply for a grant to investigate the foodie preferences of crows, (and the smaller, less Gothic members of the Avian Brotherhood )

I could buy all sorts of different foods with the money, distribute most of it to a Soup Kitchen and give the rest to the crows to test their willingness to consume, and the amount of time taken.

I wonder if there are women all over the UK who are suffering from depression, while not realising that the cause of their malaise is that  they have, totally unconsciously, realized that their local crows always eat absolutely everything that is put out for them, except for the remains of the said womens’ own home cooking.

Imagine it, the shame, the lack of pride and self worth engendered by such a blanket rejection of their homemaking prowess.

.

Perhaps I should apply for a Lottery Grant to investigate the psychological damage caused by the foodie preferences of crows (and the smaller,less Gothic………………etc.  etc.

.

Do have a good day, and do not let any of the subjects brought to you by today’s broadcast cause you to have sleepless nights.

.

LOL,J X

Please note that was  ‘Avian Brotherhood’  and not  ‘Aryan Brotherhood’.

It is bad enough if you decide never to darken my Blog again because it is all rubbish, without you leaving because you think that I am a racist grandmother.

Hmmmmmm.

Perhaps I should apply for a Lottery Grant in order to explore the dietary preferences of Grandmothers.

Most Grandmothers are not inherently racist and they eat teacakes and jars of Bloater Paste .

Therefore, are Grandmothers who prefer Aberdeen Angus Beefburgers,

Melton Mowbray Pies, Lincolnshire Sausages and Eccles Cakes inherently racist ?

Or perhaps it would be the other way around,  meaning that all old people ARE inherently racist and only those who eat ……..No…..NO…….NO.

PLEASE STOP, this way lies MADNESS !!!!!!!!!

ABBA.

Hi to you,

.

Soon I will be going with a friend to see an Abba tribute band and we are really looking forward to it.

We were talking about what to wear and decided it would be fun to dress the way we did back in the ’70’s.   The only good thing about becoming so much older is that  we were there the first time around.

My friend asked me if I was going to wear my crocheted skullcap with the big flower on the side, but after some consideration I concluded that as I now wear spectacles it would totally ruin the effect.

Style is one thing but overkill is something else entirely.

.

This conversation brought back memories of a long forgotten shopping spree from 40 years ago, when I madly spent a shocking amount of my housekeeping money on a  huge brimmed, drooping, dramatic, dark green hat.

I had just got married and money was very stretched but it was one of those bargains so beloved of us women who shop.

I felt that I had saved a ton of money because it was greatly reduced down from it’s original outrageous selling price.

.

Anyway.  I arrived home all flushed with success and pranced around modelling it for Big H.

He sat there looking a little perplexed before asking me if it was not a bit too large for me.  I said that it was but it would be fine with a bit of folded paper tucked under the band inside.

He said it would be better for him to steam it a bit with the kettle and shrink it just a little. This would surely work  as it was made out of felt.

I said yes.

In those days I thought he was wonderful and that he could do just about anything he set his mind to.

So later on, after dinner, he took my new hat into the kitchen to perform his magic and I settled down with my new library book.

.

As I was reading, I did not take much notice of the time, but eventually I realized that he had been in the kitchen for ages and ages, so I shouted out to ask him if he was O.K.

.

There was a total silence so I called out again.  I was about to go and see what was happening when he slowly came out of the kitchen with one hand hidden behind his back.

I was sitting there expectantly.

” Well, did the hat shrink?”

“Oh yes.”

“Well.  Where is it ?”

In what seemed like  very slow motion he drew out his hand from behind his back and held it out to me.

I just sat there staring at it.

“What !”

.

There, on his palm was a tiny little green hat in incredibly thick felt.  I think it could have fitted a garden gnome.

“What on earth have you done with my new hat!”

“I just steamed it and it went all wavy so I kept steaming it while I tried to pull it back into shape, so it kept shrinking and getting worse until I had to stop.  I’ve just been in there having a fit of giggles, wondering what you would say when I showed it to you.”

“Oh my god, you are rubbish. I thought you could do anything.”

“Well” he says, straight faced,”I bet there aren’t many people who could do this.”

.

Honestly we ended up in fits of laughter.

The tiny hat stayed on the mantelpiece for ages until the dog ate it.

.

LOL

J

.

.

Listen well and SMILE.

Hi,

.

This morning, say less, smile more.

.

J.

.

That’s not my name, that’s not my name.

Hello to all you Peeps,

.

What a wonderful blue and shiny creation I found today.

God, it’s beautiful.

.

I woke up very early again, in dire need of a pee, so I arose and took care of business, and then just stayed up to enjoy the wonderfulness of it all.

Damn, I put my mug of Earl Grey tea down onto the settee beside me and it slopped all over and tea has run between the cushions.

To make things even more irritating , when I picked the cup up for a drink afterwards it dripped tea down my front.

.

Now I am viewing a pristine day whilst looking like a tramp myself, with a huge tea stain right down the front of my formerly spotless white vest.

Now, that is somewhat annoying, but I can take it !

Talking about cushions, have you noticed that when you go to look at settees these days you often find that the cushions are actually a fixed part of the settee and you cannot lift them off ?

What a stupid, cheap idea that is.  Beware if you buy one because it is harder to get the various bits out from between the cushions if you cannot just lift them off.

Also you will find that with constant use the cushions will compress where you usually sit, so that you end up with some parts of the cushions so high that you cannot comfortably sit anywhere else than on the compressed bits, which makes it continue to get much worse.

Also, there is no way to take all the cushions off in order to move them into other positions and places on the chairs, to equalise the wear and the compression and keep it the furniture looking properly uniform and comfortable.

.

I now know quite a few people who have complained about this and have ended up buying a new set of settees and chairs.  With removable cushions of course.

So just cut out the middle bit of that scenario and go straight for the furniture with the removable seat cushions ( and back cushions if applicable) and save yourselves time, frustration and a whole lot of money.

.

Now to the news.  The neighbour who told me that my big avian visitors were jackdaws seems to be in the invidious position of being even lower down the scale of   ‘people who can answer questions about birds on a pub night quiz’  than I am.

The smaller big birds that arrive, who are not jet black and who have a sort of darker circle on their heads are the jackdaws, and the really black , huge, big legged, magnificent ones are crows. So I was right !

However I have now generally lost my confidence about the knowledge base of the various people I meet in the Spar while buying my usual overpriced bits and pieces.

I feel that I shall need to get off my lazy arse and go down to the library and look it up in a childrens’ book with pictures.

There is nothing as good as the childrens’ section, if you just want to get the basic facts without lots of extra, complicated stuff, and there are always some nice big brightly coloured pictures to go with it.

I know for sure that I am as bright as your average child because I have researched various bits of stuff like this in all of their books over the years .

.

Or, I could ask a passing Gypsy about the crows, but where is a passing Gypsy nowadays when you want one ?

.

Well, I have checked my formerly pristine vest now that it has dried.  It looks better than it did but I can still see the faint yellowy marks down the front.

I do not think I can be bothered to change it, and give myself even more stuff to wash, so I shall keep it on and only talk to people with very bad eyes for the rest of the day.

.

Have a good one yourself.

LOL

J

.

.

Strange Fruit.

Hi,

.

This morning I woke unfeasibly early again, but I was snug, and it was quite enjoyable to simply lie there next to a quietly sleeping Big H , just letting my mind drift past all sorts of disconnected memories and thoughts.

.

I remembered my father and various conversations that we had when I was a child.

I think that I must have been quite annoying, especially to my mother who was very down to earth and eminently practical.

Constant questions about what happened when we died, where did we all go, and what is there at the end of the universe, and how can the universe go on forever without there being an end, and are we living in a box under a huge Giant’s bed, did not go down very well at all with her.

.

I was then frustrated in turn, by her ever presented answer that ‘ that was for her to know and for me to find out’, varied sometimes with the other favourite of ‘curiosity killed the cat’.

.

My father, however, was sometimes more forthcoming, especially if he had finished work early and gone for a drink at the Working Men’s Club.

.

One day he started talking about his little brother who had been born ten years after him.

All of my father’s family were very tall except for this little brother who only grew to about five seven and was never very strong.

As a child he had always suffered from one illness after another, missing a great deal of time at school.

.

Dad and his brother shared a room and he felt very protective about his sickly little sibling even though he could be quite a nuisance.

During one illness when the little boy was about two or three, the doctor had told my grandmother that her youngest was seriously ill and that it could go either way now. It would all come to a crisis soon and hopefully he would pull through.

That night my father went to sleep and his mum was sitting watching over her littlest child who was sleeping peacefully across the room in the other bed.

Suddenly my father woke up with a start and looked over to the other bed.  He saw a hideous old crone bending over the side of the cot and looking down at the sleeping child.  She had one hand extended down towards him.  My father blurted out  “Hey, what are you doing?”,  and she turned to look at him.  He said that she stared at him malevolently for what seemed like ages.

There was a sound and he glanced at the bedroom door, when he looked back she was gone.

.

He spent a long time watching his brother’s cot before he dropped off to sleep again that night.

In the morning the doctor said that the crisis had passed and his brother would now begin to recover.

.

When he was older and doing his rounds in the local area he used to visit an old lady in a nearby terrace.  This lady was well known for being able to look at someone and tell them the cause of their ill health.  She told my father that when she looked at a person she could see a black spot on their body over the place where they had the problem.

She liked him and wanted to tell him all about it but he did not follow it through.

.

Later on, when he told me about her, I asked him lots of questions about her but he could not answer them.  I asked why he had not talked to her and he said that he was too young at the time.  He had been in a hurry to do his own thing and thought that there would always be time to ask questions later.

Of course she died and the chance was gone.

.

My great-grandfather was also well known in the area as a strongman who could lift a huge cask of beer, or a horse, when he was in the mood to show off.

He ruptured himself in his later life by doing such feats when he was far too old for it.

He was also well known for his ability to heal animals, especially horses and dogs.

.

My father had clear memories of watching him holding a horse’s head and breathing into it’s nostrils and murmuring to it.  The animals would stand there as if in a trance while he felt them and checked them over.

He would then tell the owner what was wrong and what to do about it.  My dad remembered someone bringing a beautiful dog to his father because it was losing condition and it’s dark fur was going a dry shade of red.

That was simply dealt with by telling the owner to feed the dog a kipper each day from then on.  It was soon back to normal.

He did say that his grandfather was not so greatly enamoured of people though.

.

My father had a very palpable presence about him and his touch was powerful too.  He admitted to me when I began healing that he could do it but he did not want to and he was not going to.

.

I remember an incident which happened when I was quite small.

We were enjoying a rare weeks holiday at a seaside holiday town not far from home.  It was a beautiful summer day and we were sitting in a little sandy cove at the bottom of a flight of stairs.

A lady with a walking stick appeared at the top of the stairs and stood looking down at us.

I saw her and wondered why she was staring at us like that.

After a time she left the man she was standing with and slowly made her way down the flight of stairs and across to my father.

.

She asked him if he was a healer and he answered no.  She said was he sure he was not a healer because she had been told that she would meet a healer at the bottom of a flight of steps and he would be able to cure her.

He said she was sorry but she was mistaken.

.

Looking sad and disappointed she made her way back up the steps and the pair left.

Mum sat there just giving him a ‘look’

.

Later, as an adult, I asked him why he did not try to help her.  He said that he did not want to get involved in all that.

.

Not long before he died, he told Big H and I that he had been reading about a place at the back of the skull that was very effective if massaged with the thumbs while the fingers were laid at the sides of the head.

I asked him to show us and he did it to each of us in turn.  I felt amazed by the strength of the power he  transmitted.

Later on, as we returned home, Big H asked me if I had felt the power coming from his hands.

.

He was most unusual.

LOL

J.

.

.

.

Nasty little swine

Hello,

.

Today has been fine until 20 minutes ago when I decided to log on and do some of my next post.

I started immediately, and was forging ahead smoothly, until I glanced up and stopped in total bewilderment.

All there was  on the page was a few lines of total nonsense because most of the writing had vanished to wherever this Spawn Of The Devil computer has consigned it.

.

It does not help the situation or my temper when Big H hears me swearing and groaning and comes to look at the nasty little technological bastard.

“Oh dear”, he says patronisingly,”It has been working perfectly well for me.  I do not have these problems when I use it”.

OH FUCK OFF!

God he gets right on my nerves sometimes.  If he had not just cooked me a lovely barbecue out on the patio tonight, and last night, I would just kill him straight away.

.

Believe it or not, just writing this little bit of blog has needed me to go and search for missing bits that the Spawn Of The Devil has inserted into other places and then wipe them out, and then move the cursor back to where it was supposed to be, and then write that bit again, at least six times.

I think that waiting for a sale, in order to buy a new computer, is not going to be possible.  I did not get to my age in order to be driven to total distraction by the vindictive little swine.

.

Big H says that I should not get in a temper with electrical things because it breaks them, and I suppose that he is right, but I did not start this.

Soon, Very soon, the horrible little thing is going to be very, very sorry.

Got to stop now before it does it yet again.

LOL

J

.

.

Discovering The Killers

Hi,

WOW,

Last night I watched The Killers onstage at T in the park.

They were totally amazing.  Unfortunately I only got to see them on the television but you can still feel it.

It must be great to actually be there and get the full atmosphere.

.

.

It seems to take him a couple of songs to warm up and then he just explodes into it.

Excellent.

I often play Pearl Jam while I am painting but I think that The Killers will be equally as good.  Time will tell.

.

J.

.

I went out to get The Sunday Times early this morning and found that our local little Spar shop is selling my favourite Innocent Smoothies for only

£2 instead of the more usual big supermarket price of around £3.

Good Spar.  Clever Spar.