Friday 27 November 2009


Whether we like it or not change has to happen. Sometimes it is for the better. Sometime it is for the worse. All change takes times to adapt to and any change can be stressful. This year my family has had to cope with a number of changes. Those that have affected husband and I the most have been moving, my mother the 250 miles from her bungalow in Sussex to the care home, not far from us in Cheshire, where she is now resident, and changes to husband's work contracts.

I have now got into a routine of visiting my mother, once a week on a Monday or Tuesday afternoon. When she has not been well, I have visited her more often. Since Mum came up here I have had to buy her practically a whole new wardrobe of clothes and seem to have spent more time sewing on buttons and doing running repairs for her than I have spent on my own clothes.

For the 21 months up until April, husband had been working away from home Monday to Thursday or Friday. From April to August he worked in Manchester, commuting from home. Then until two weeks ago husband was at home 'resting'. There will be more about that in another post. Now we are back to him working away from home Monday to Friday. While husband was at home 'resting' I decided that I would take some time off work so that I could be at home with him. Usually when he is home 'resting', I am busy working and it is a missed opportunity to get some jobs done in the house and garden. Now I have as much work as I want until the end of the year and I am also trying to catch up with all those jobs that did not get done when husband was home, that were put off, postponed or left until another day. So over the last few weeks it has been all change here.

However, there are some things, in this ever changing world, that do not change. On Tuesday the electrician came to do a job for us and was unable to do it, because our cabling is not up scratch and needs to be relaid and my laptop computer ceased up yet again. Luckily husband was able to sort it out, over the phone.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Saturday Night Out

A few weeks ago on a Saturday evening we went to a concert in our village hall. The evenings entertainment was provided by the Daniel Smith Blues Band. They were very good and even though I am not a blues fan I enjoyed the evening. The purpose of the evening was to raise funds towards the refit of the village hall kitchen.

Our village hall is mainly prefabricated and probably constructed of a considerable amount of asbestos, although a small extension to it was built on a few years ago. The village hall committee have had several attempts at applying to the Big Lottery Fund for a grant to rebuild our ancient and much used village hall. Our village of about 420 homes, mainly occupied by professional people and farmers, seems to be viewed as being to prosperous and affluent to qualify for a grant. Just about every day the village hall is used by a variety of clubs, classes and meeting groups. The following Friday I went to a flower arranging demonstration in the village hall. This time the funds raised were for the local hospice.

At the moment the bulk of the UK lottery funding is going towards the preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, which we in the north west are unlikely to benefit from, as the majority of the Olympic events are being held in London and the south of the country.

The village hall is at the heart of village life. If our village loses it, a lot of the community spirit will go with it. Perhaps in thirty years time when a clutch of the present residents die from asbestosis, a grant towards a new village hall will become a reality. Can the village hall wait until 2013? That is after the 2012 Olympics in London. I suppose that it will have to. In the mean time the village hall committee will continue to attempt to raise funds and to continue to patch up the old village hall when necessary.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

White crosses as far as the eye could see

Last month when we were in France we visited the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville sur Mer. It is situated on a cliff overlooking the eastern end of Omaha beach and the English Channel and covers 172.5 acres.

As we drove back to the main road from Omaha beach we noticed a sign to the cemetery. We followed the sign partly out of curiosity and because we were there. Having parked our car in an emptyish car park we then walked initially in the direction of the coast before turning west to walk parallel to the beach. We must have been walking for a good ten minutes when the path turned to the left and there before us were white crosses fanning out in all directions as far as the eye could see. I was quite taken aback to see so many graves. There are 9,387 graves of American military and air force personnel who died as a result of the D Day landings and in the ensuing operations. In addition the Walls of the Missing bear the names of 1,557 service men
who do not have graves. Each grave is marked with an absolutely pristine white cross - the Latin cross for Christians and the Star of David for those of the Jewish faith. It was not possible to work out the age of the fallen servicemen as the crosses bear only their name and the date of their death. Even on a grey and windy day the cemetery looked immaculately groomed with the usual silence of a cemetery being broken only by the waves of the English Channel breaking on the beach below. This satellite photo shows the sheer size if the cemetery. We had not known quite what to expect as the only other war cemetery that we had visited was at Souda Bay on Crete, which is much smaller.

Friday 6 November 2009

It has become an obsession

Now, it is thank you to Helen P for this very sophisticated award, which she has passed on to me. The award stands for integrity, commitment to excellence and being stubbornly optimistic. Attached to this award is the requirement to list five obsessions. Identifying three obsessions was relatively easy, but the fourth and fifth were difficult. So, here they are, in no particular order:
  • Closing the curtains, when the sun shines, to stop the carpets from fading.
  • Keeping the house tidy. Husband's predecessor told me that my house looked too tidy to be lived in. I am a bit more relaxed about it now that I am married to the most untidy man in the world.
  • Our garden, I could be out in it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Weeding, dead heading, tidying up and pottering around.
  • Neil Diamond - Husband and I went to see him at the MEN arena in Manchester last year. It was the best concert that I have been to and I could listen to him all day, but I don't.
  • Keeping up to date with all the blogs that I want to read and also keeping on top of mine.
It has been more difficult, than deciding on obsessions, to choose five bloggers to pass this award on to. After much consideration I have chosen the following five bloggers:

Sandi McBride
Sniffles and Smiles
Withenay Wanders

And I am also going to pass the award on to any blogger who is prepared to list their five obsessions, which I shall look forward to reading.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

To, too, tutu or two

I was set this challenge about two months ago by Catharine Withenay, to name my seconds. Who else could have originated this meme but, you guessed, the Dotterel. I promised that I would do it after we had been on holiday, so here is my attempt.

your second girlfriend - I don't think this is applicable.
your second day at school - I don't remember, but I do remember a bit about my first day at primary school.
your second best friend - I don't attach numbers to friends. If I am lucky enough to have friends they are friends full stop.
the second LP that you bought - a Beatles LP, as was the first.
the second house that you lived in - the house that my parents moved to when I was four.
the second car that you drove - a Wolsey Hornet, basically a variation on the old Mini.
your second favourite band - The Beatles who were also my favourite band. There was only one band in those days.
the second best book you ever read - difficult, maybe The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough.
your second favourite film - Dr Zhivago.
your second favourite blog - I am not even trying to answer that.

Now, the lucky, or unlucky, bloggers that I am passing it on to are French Fancy, Helen P, Moannie and Reasons and also anyone else who would like to have a go at this challenge.