Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Very Letter - 'V'

Warning - Long, long post

I read this post, by the lovely Roo Knits about writing a list, and I thought I would have a go, as it were.

What you have to do is email for a letter and, when you've got it, then list 10 things you love, beginning with that letter. So, without further ado, and because I found it intriguing, here goeth mine:

1 I have always been proud of my Voluptuous figure. It is not as slim as it should be, but I do have a bust, waist and hips.

2 Velvet skin – I have unlikely skin, as I’m going to be 52 this year, and my facial skin should be ravaged by the constant mediation I take, and I am a sun-lover – my skin is surprisingly Velvety.

3 I love difference, Variety – in people, in music, books, interests, crafts. I have a Varied list of stuff I am interested in – not just knitting, but sewing, felting, embroidery, painting – I just wish I could draw

4 Holidays and Visiting different places. It’s not often we will go back to a place for a holiday, leading into another one, which is ......

5 Venturing – I am not scared of trying or travelling to something or somewhere on my own. I just don’t want to miss out on anything for anyone! I went on a walking holiday to Italy on my own, as Mr T didn’t want to go, and loved it; I would have gone on my own to China, if a pal hadn’t wanted to go along (I chose China, to teach English for three weeks, as I didn’t know anyone else who had been there!)

6 Not having had a brilliant up-bringing, I’ve had to learn my own Values, along with Mr T. Ones I hold most dear are honesty and trust, which I try my utmost to live up to, however, I am only human!

7 I have few things of monetary value – some pieces of jewellery, which I’ve built up over the years, and don’t stand to inherit anything from the olds. However, my really most Valuable assets are Mr T, my children and grand-daughters, who I love very much, as well as my extended family. And, of course my Very dear friends.

8 For some years I dreamt about being in an old building, walking through all the rooms, sometimes they held furniture, in others the rooms were bare. But, I would make my way up to the attics and there I would find chests of drawers. Opening the drawers I would find vintage linen - sheets and pillowcases, tablecloths and napkins, but rarely clothes. I would handle them reverently and just enjoy them. Now, I am lucky enough to work in such an old house and deal with the linens in the linen cupboard - spooky! Also, as I've got older I've developed more of an obession with Vintage things, and I use them, such as the Prestige cooking implements I own, crockery, cutlery etc. As I hold them, I just love the feeling that they have had a life before, and wonder at the stories they could tell!

9 Vim, Vigour and Vitality - are attributes I strive to have which, often, especially at this time of year can be elusive to me. I should take Vitamins and minerals to fortify me, but then sometimes I can be Very empty-headed!

10 Vacation - I know I've already had Visiting and Various, but I just lurve going on Vacation (holiday to us Brits) especially to somewhere different. I have been lucky enough to go to some far flung places in the world, and I have a long list of places still to visit. Rejuvik, Russia, New Zealand, some of America, Greenland, more of Europe and more of Africa - and next year's biggy will be India (for mine and Mr T's 35th wedding anniversary.)

I just love looking at people's lives in these very different places, and am just so surprised at just how different they are. F'instance in China it is not expected that women will smoke in public, and there are still women whose feet had been bound; the way they speak can sound aggressive, but they are the most polite of people. In Africa, some people still live in mud huts, and the average life expectancy is 32 years, due to the Aids epidemic; In America (Columbus, Ohio) I recognised hardly any of the food on offer, even at KFC, and, though generally helpful and friendly, I was shocked at the overt racism I heard from some hospital workers; In Germany people wanted to speak English, but in France (and Wales) they stuck to their own language; In Sri Lanka the people were so industrious, that they use every part of the palm trees, and their literacy rates are nearly 95%; they washed their clothes in the same river that the elephants use for their toilet, yet their whites were pristine! As you can see, this is one thing I am passionate about!

Sorry for the length of this, but do have a go at it. I thought it would be hard to find the ten things for the letter V, but have been surprised.

ADDED a bit later - just to say that the observations I have cited about other people and other countries (than Britain, where I live) I have visited, these are some of the things which have made an impression upon me, and not generalisations about all the people or practices in those countries.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

At Last! Feeling better

At last I am feeling better today, still wobbly and still full of cattaarrrgh (which gives a lovely husky sounding voice!) but the appetite is back (pity, I was finding it easy to follow Paul Mickennarh's advie and 'stop eating as soon as you fell full' now ravenous would best describe my tummy) and I feel more like me again.

Mr T has been diagnosed as having a sinus infection and been duly given anti-biotics, and slept a little better last night.

So, I have to stop taking the piss out of his man 'flu and nurse him better.

A woman's work is never done, is it?!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Happy Birthday, Mr Burns

When making a speech along the lines of an 'Answer for the Lassies' at a Burns Night Supper it, apparently, is supposed to be elegant, sweet and, well, not too long. And, mine would have been all of these, or none of these, but it would've gone okay. I planned to speak about the difficulty of trying to make gay repartee about the gentler sex (read = male and 'all the time, please') without resorting to the base level of just plain sexism.

I would then have gone on to explain (or commiserate with my sisterhood) that this was quite a challenge but, as I am from the stronger sex, do-able. I had lined up a short burst of analysis on whether Rabbie himself, being now of the age 250 years, would be a 'grumpy old man' were he still of this mortal coil. Together with some of what he may have thought of the lack of buses on our roads, the price of a pint and the slow speed of the Internet, in this modern (for us, very rural) world.

I had found a poeti account of how our male counterparts could score points with their women folk, in the bums and bigness realms, etc. Though, having sired at least 14 illegitimate children, he clearly had such a way with women that he could point the modern man in the right direction. Meanwhile taking advice on where he could locate a working condom machine.

However, all was not to be. The cold still rages within this house and home. We, feeling ill and sick with guilt, had to cancel our attendance at our pal's hostelry. Where, thankfully, Kathryn still has a copy of her last year's speech, which she was happy to deliver.

Speaking of deliveries, we did wonder if we could email them, to send us our haggis, tatties and neaps - as we'd nothing in for our dinner!


Friday, 23 January 2009

Criminal book-binding

I am up in the early hours because I can't sleep. Not unusual for me, and not for any big worries, just you know, several things tearing around in my brain, such as things I haven't done that I should've; and things I have done that, maybe, I shouldn't have.

One that won't bother me one jot, but will, I know, bother some others.

*Warning to those of a sensitive nature - about books

That is the criminal book-binding I have done on my set book for AA310 Film & Television History with the Open University. This is a fat and heavy book, from which I am sure, I will gain a fount of knowledge and enjoy reading. Except I can't, in its original form, as it is very uncomfortable with my back condition.

Try as I might, I could not hold it while sitting and reading, or laying down, or even sitting with it on the table. The OU have kindly sent me the course books in spiral-bound format, which is most helpful and those books are thinner, thus lighter.

So, I've taken a bread knife to the spine, and divided it up into the four sections, thus;

Ah, that's better. Though I have to add that this is not my idea originally - that fame belongs to a. n. other, on the A215 Creative Writing course of 2006, who murdered one 'BRB' (Big Red Book) in this manner, most successfully I understand.
*Sorry to those who hate even pencil marks in books - I believe, however, that books are to be used to their full potential, annotations, warts and all (unless I'm re-selling them on ebay or amazon, then I keep them in pristine condition, for the higher price they fetch.)

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Still dot a dold - but guess who wins?!

Yep, Tea Towers is still under the deluge of the sodding and sodden, cold invasion.

Like many households though, there is a competition. Mr T feels that he feels worse than anyone as he coff, coffs his way throughout any telly programme I might be watching. And, throughout the night, even after taking double doses of night nurse(see, he is that ill he needs two lots of stuff that would knock out the ordinary horse.)

And, to top it all, it is my fault that we are ill at all. It was because I wanted to visit our sick daughter and her two sick girls, on our return from darn sarf, that we came down with it within 24 hours.

Said sick daughter and I were discussing the situation this morning, and we've come to the conclusion that, even though she is ill and is looking after her two sick girls, as well as running the household; and, even though I am ill and having to look after said sick Mr T, and running the household and going to work, Mr T wins.

After all, he has to look after the DOG! as well as being ill.

Monday, 19 January 2009


It is achoo! and oh dear, I'm afraid. We went away for the weekend, full of vim and vigour to enjoy some lovely company, do some cooking and walking on the beach.

Humph! Friday was lovely, we went for an Indian meal, which was devine. 'Saturday Kitchen' had a lovely recipe for roast shoulder of lamb - well hogget (the old season lamb.) Which I did for our dinner as my bro works at a charity shop on Saturdays. That was delicious, too.

Then, Sunday morning saw me being, shall be say, ill from my bottom half, with a gastric-type-virus. All day. Until the evening time. When even the retching stopped.

No fun when you're sneezing at the same time!

My lovely Mr T looked after me beyond the call of duty, and my bro brought me offerings of dried toast and (luckily, bottled) water.

So, we returned home today, and I feel a lot better.

Just the achoo's to deal with now.

Friday, 16 January 2009

All change

Well, the only change is to my header. I can't stand that I haven't been able to take the time and learn how to make the picture fit nicely into the space. I will, one day, but not today.

'Cos today (that is after I've been to bed, had a sleep and woken up again) I am off to the north-ish of England to see my bro'! NBG and I stayed at his flat in the summer for a few days, while he buggered off to Australia for a few weeks, which was very brill. However, I think he was a bit miffed that we don't go there when he is there, too. So, this weekend we are!

Normal service, or better service, will be resumed on my return next week. Which is a v.v. exciting week to be - because, da da! I am sorting out the 2nd spare room into being my workroom, at blinkin' last, eh?! Pictures and everything will be revealed, as soon as it is all done.

Meanwhile, remember the bag I made and showed to you in my last post? Well, I made another one for nanny's lolly-dolly-pop, for her to bring her toys to nanny and grandad's house, and, well it just won 1st prize in our comp. at the rural! Wa-hey!

Back soon, have a lovely weekend. x

Saturday, 10 January 2009

One to Fifty

Well, the tenth of January, and we have two birthdays today, boys and girls

The youngest grand-daughter of my bezzy mate is a whole year old today. And, despite her nana dressing her up in an Elf suit for Christmas (I know, it can't be resisted, can it?) she is sooooo cute. I know she goes to see her nana quite a lot, and I'm sure she takes some toys around there with her,
so I made a little bag to take them in,
and embroidered a label inside for her. (Bezzy mate commented that I had been remiss in not adding a label into the bag I made for her for Christmas. Which I will remedy when/if she brings it up on a visit, soon.) I really enjoyed making this, and the card and tag - who knew that being 'thrifty' would be such fun?

The other birthday is my neighbour's fiftieth today. Bah, she really doesn't look her age at all, which might be something to do with being a farmer, and being out in the blistering (!) Scottish heat of summer, and the bitter cold of winter. Mr T and I were out of doors in very windy weather this morning, pinning up 'Happy Birthday!' notices onto fences and trees this morning tee, hee.

Yes, it was still a bit dark when I took this!

I was just going to get her some flowers, but decided mid-week, that I should make something. So, a scarf and easy fingerless mitts have been produced. I like them so much I might do some for myself!

Yesterday, I went to learn how to make a felted tea-cosy, which was so much easier than I thought it would be. More of that later, will a piccie, for reasons that will become clear.

Well now, Mr T has just chipped away at the ground to lift me some leeks, so that I can make the leek and potato soup, requested by NBG for her lunch! She and nanny's lolly-dollypop are coming to stay overnight as mummy is going on the razz, with her mates, as daddy is away at his work.

Laters, peeps.

Friday, 2 January 2009


Yes, HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!

I know it's a bit 'samey' as everyone else, but I really do hope that 2oo9 will be the year, you know the year that will be bigger and better than the last one.

A very big THANK YOU to everyone who sent me such support throughout this last year - it was a big stuggle at times, what with illness and the death of three of my family. However, there were some good and some great times, too.

Christmas brought me such joy this year, though I simply wasn't ready on time at all, and one special friend is still awaiting her 'main' present. Said friend, the lovely Flick, sent me the most beautful calendar. It was made up of photos of her visits to me here in Scotland, which brought me to tears with its special-ness, it is very precious. Our son actually bought me and Mr T cards, with lovely words, and presents, And, sent them in the post to arrive in time for the Big Day - unheard of. Our daughter and her family stayed with us, and we all had such a lovely time - though tiring, especially as Lolly-Dolly-Pop kept nanny and grandad up until 2.3oam on Christmas morning. And she is now walking! At blimmin' last - still holding on to your finger so tightly that it goes white and nearly drops off, but she grins at how clever she is! This is now at risk of sounding like those boastful round-robin letters you get each year (except the main one we always get never mentions any of their son's friends or partners, in amonsgt the nurses, accountants and army captains his siblings are bragged about!)

So, there you are, 2008 gone and a sparkly new 2009 is here!

Well now, Resolutions. You know you have to make them, and then break them, don't you. So, here are some of mine, in no particular order. Please feel free to not comment on them, as I know that some people's resolutions can be as exciting as that fifth set of holiday snaps.

1) Will continue to think of going on a diet
2) Will always wear lipstick and earrings
3) Will make more than I buy - pressies, food, clothes
4) Will complete my study this year (AA310 with Open University)
5) Will do more sewing - something I really want to get more into
6) Will knit more socks - have some lovely sock wool to use up
7) is my lucky number, and Will blog more often, as I love reading about you all.

Karen x