Archive for Jan, 2009


Wednesday 28 January 2009

I didn’t realise when I took photos of the deer that the male was, in fact, the one Gordon calls Tripod.  If you look closely you can see he’s missing half a back leg (his right leg).  Gordon and our neighbour Jim were talking and Jim told him that one of the deer hanging out on the side of the road only had three legs.  Connection made.  It wasn’t immediately obvious from the way he moved.

I’m surprised to see I’ve neglected the blog for so many days.  The weekend was …. well, the weekend and not much got done other than ‘proper’ work.  On Monday my sister and I went to a funeral: the lady mum met in the oncology department and we’ve been having lunch with passed away earlier this month.  Originally mum intended to come too but decided she couldn’t face it, so we represented her.  It was a terribly sad day.

Yesterday I stitched.  All day!  I offered a while ago to do some outworking for Kelly at Jolly Red and she took me up on it.  The kit arrived in the post in the morning and I’m now counting down until it needs to be returned.  The timing was pretty good as I’d finished Mirabilia’s design ‘The Mermaid Of The Pearls’ on Sunday evening.  When I’ve cleaned it up and framed it I’ll take a photograph to show you.

We’re still waiting on our fridge.  Comet have promised it’ll be here on Friday: Gordon (the pessimist of the household) is sceptical but I live in hope.  I was considering clearing a space for it today, but if they prove him right I’ll be fridgeless!  We do have an ‘overflow’ fridge in the corner of the office for big events like Christmas and parties, but it won’t be the most convenient thing in the world.  I’ll keep you informed.


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Deer, Deer

Friday 23 January 2009


Every time I went outside yesterday there was a pair of deer in the field next to the house, but they were too far away to photograph.  Today I went shopping and when I came home they were settled beside the road.  I stopped the car, found my camera, turned down the music (always played loudly when I’m on my own) and wound down the window.  The male stood up and looked like he might run, gave it a bit of thought and decided I wasn’t that much of a threat.  The female just gazed at me through the open passenger window.  I took a couple of photos then carried on home.  They looked very relaxed but when I went up the road again an hour later to fetch Steph they’d disappeared.


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Wednesday 21 January 2009

Today I was woken by the sound of my phone ringing: it was Alex who contacted me so I could wish her Happy Birthday.  (Well, she gets free calls for goodness sake!)  She’s reached the grand old age of twenty and feels that a part of her life is over.  I keep pointing out that if she’s old, I’m a darn sight older.  We had a little reminisce about when she was born and I told her I hoped she had a good day.  She’s having a party in Cheltenham tonight so let’s hope it goes well.

My friend’s daughter has gone to stay with Alex and attend the party, so we went shopping in Weston to pass the time.  I grabbed myself some bargains including a rather nice pair of shoes – or should I say, another nice pair of shoes as this is the third or fourth pair I’ve bought in the past month!  Shoe fetish indeed.  The same shop had some drastically reduced handbags too and I was sorely tempted.  In my defence, my friend bought two pairs of shoes, but I bought a jacket!

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Misty Mornings

Sunday 18 January 2009


This is a favourite view of mine, just outside our front door to the left of the house.  At one time our nearest neighbours, they with the perpetual bonfire, wanted to buy this field from us to expand their small patch of land and give their animals more room.  We were tempted for a while, but gave it further thought and didn’t like the idea that they would literally be level with the house should they decide to ride their scramble bikes or move their bonfire pit even closer, so subsequently turned them down.  It’s a useful field in the summer if we need to keep the cows close to home, especially during silage-making.

I’m not sure where I’ve been this week or what I’ve been up to.  I seem to have been rushing around whilst not doing anything!

Alex came home for the weekend as it’s her birthday next Wednesday and we entertained here during Friday afternoon into the evening.  She went out at 8.00 pm to meet friends but we continued the party in her absence for an hour longer.  Mum was tired after her radiotherapy, Gordon dozed off on the sofa and snored until we decided it would be better to wake him, and I must admit I was shattered too.  It must be old age.  I’ve been saying all week that I can’t believe I’m the mother of a soon-to-be twenty year-old!

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Monday 12 January 2009

Here’s some more sound advice from my book:

Importance of Nice Neighbours – Before taking a house, especially on lease or long agreement, it is very necessary to know something about the residents in the vicinity; for if the world is small, it is so only for those with money and leisure to move about.  People with limited means must make their friends in their immediate neighbourhood.  For this reason, too, it is unwise to settle in any place permanently without introductions.  English society is notoriously exclusive, though perhaps less so than it used to be, and a long period of isolation is apt to be the lot of any family that comes without credentials of some sort.

It is very desirable to enquire into the antecedents of the house and its last occupants.  If they have been objectionable people this may cause prejudice against their successors.  The idea that because one tenant has run away in debt the next may do the same, seems irrational enough, yet it has to be reckoned with.  Such enquiries are also important from a hygienic point of view.  If the former occupants suffered often from illness – sore throats or diphtheria for example – it may be safely inferred that the drains are in a bad state.”

How things have changed and wouldn’t it be nice sometimes to ignore irritating neighbours with the excuse “I’m sorry, I don’t believe we’ve been properly introduced.  Do you have credentials?”

And I hope nobody ever had diphtheria here, although I suppose it’s always possible.  The house was here long before this “indispensable ally for the young bride and the novice in household management” was ever published.

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Sunday 11 January 2009

My blog-writing creative muse seems to have left around the same time as the Christmas decorations and I haven’t found myself very inspired.  The cold weather doesn’t help as I huddle inside to keep warm and lack motivation in all areas.  I have, however, been reading a book left behind by a friend when they moved away and have found it very helpful in my day to day running of the home.  It’s called ‘The Book Of The Home: An Encyclopaedia Of All Matters Relating To The House And Household Management’ and was printed in 1902.  It gives lot of handy hints and tips essential to the wellbeing of the ‘modern’ mistress of the house including such things as her duties, those she should leave to her master, and those that are beneath her and should only be attempted by her servants.

I thought I’d quote this useful piece of advice when seeking accommodation; you’d do well to give it serious consideration:

Detached and Semi-detached Houses – In selecting a house careful inquiry should always be made about the neighbours next door.  If they happen to be a large unruly family, they may cause much annoyance.  If they are very musical, the constant practising, easily heard through thin walls, may be more distressing than can be imagined by those who have not been tortured by it.  At close quarters people are practically at the mercy of their neighbours; it behoves them to make sure beforehand what they may expect.

Flats – The principal advantage of flats, and the one that has probably rendered them so popular, is that they require fewer servants than does a house.  In fact, many people living in small flats dispense with servants altogether, and only have a woman in for a few hours in the morning to do the work.  Families that could not do without three or four servants in a house can manage with one or two in a flat.”

You see, I think this is my problem!  I just don’t have enough servants.  Actually, I don’t have any servants, but I could definitely manage with three or four.  Imagine!  I could put them in the attic (which is apparently where they used to live here), but I’d have to clean out the cobwebs and spiders.  Or do I need a servant for that?

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Ah-ha! Progress

Wednesday 7 January 2009

The computer and I have been engaged in a get-to-know-each-other session for most of the day, partly because in the week or so it took me to back everything up from the old one (and Christmas, of course), the invoices, receipts and other matters that need to be dealt with have piled up.   I spoke nicely to it and with a bit of persuasion got it to install Quicken and some of my older programs.  Others, less vital to the running of the business such as games were not so fortunate and will retire to a box until I can bear to get rid of them.   I’m sure I can manage without them.

Until it proves otherwise I think Vista and I might get along too.  It has some nice features that were missing from previous operating systems even if it seems a bit dozy at the moment.  Having been busy installing things I find it very slow to start showing anything; so slow in fact that I’m left wondering whether it’s actually doing what I’ve asked it to do or has ‘stopped responding’ and just not told me.  It’s certainly better-looking than anything that’s gone before with a kind of curvy feel to everything that I find quite soothing.  It picked up my webcam without problems but has had trouble with the printer which it probably sees as an antique.  It informed me (in a quite superior way, I thought) that the drivers were unsuitable for its operating system and refused to work the first time round, but I’ve overcome that by uninstalling and reinstalling them.  Perhaps it does just need coaxing?

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