Monday, 26 September 2016
The hospital I have to attend is 17 miles away and the bus from Aylesbury runs only every two hours.
As I have to get into Aylesbury in the first place, this makes a 10.15 appointment virtually impossible.
Luckily for me, my kind friend the parish administrator took the day off to take me.
The consultant was very pleased with my progress thus far, though he did point out that eventual deterioration is inevitable, and saw no reason at present to change the prescribed medication.
Coming out of there into heavy rain (just a shower) I was more than ever grateful for my kind friend's
We decided that rather than go straight back we would stop on the way at a large garden centre and have coffee (and cake), and when the rain stopped have a look around.
We had a lovely chat, a good walk round and I bought some tulips for planting. The first thing I have bought for the garden since John died.
Since the gardener had been by the time I got back, I now have some weed free space to do some planting. All I need now is the time, energy and right weather and God willing, I'll have something new and beautiful to look at in Spring.
This may seem a very ordinary mundane sort of morning to most of you but for me, it was a rare trip out of Aylesbury in good company and really a sort of mini holiday.
OH,and just for the record, this was my 500th post. :-)
Posted by Ray Barnes at 10:37:00 pm
Thursday, 22 September 2016
This being a house-work day I did a large wash-load of tops and skirts this morning.
When washed I split the load into two piles for drying and put the first lot in the dryer.
The second lot went into the dryer about three quarters of an hour later and I mentally noted I would need two ordinary hangers and three skirt hangers, so got them ready.
Later as I carted them upstairs to hang them up I found I was one skirt short, so, thinking I had dropped it on the way upstairs I retraced my steps...........No skirt!
I looked in the washing machine, then in the dryer, then examined every nook and cranny minutely, not a trace of it was there.
Over the next half hour I searched and puzzled and finally admitted defeat.
I have just reached into the airing cupboard for a towel and there on a hanger in the front of the row of clothes airing was the skirt.
I have absolutely no memory of putting it there and no idea how I could have done so without being conscious of doing so.
Over the years I have done some pretty strange things, some I've blogged about, the habit of leaving a slipper in one place and the other elsewhere etc., but this is truly absent-mindedness on a grand scale.
Please someone tell me I am not about to bid farewell to my last marble.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 1:48:00 pm
Monday, 12 September 2016
There doesn't seem to have been time to breath in the past couple of weeks, but life is returning to its usual (I nearly said normal) pace again.
Apart from spending Sunday Monday Tuesday and Wednesday from 9.15 am to 12.00 noon in St M's. there is also choir practice on Friday evenings, and this last weekend a 50th birthday combined with Barn dance in the church.
Then the next morning the usual Sunday morning service, and in the afternoon the installation of the new Archdeacon.
This has involved learning quite a lot of music in a very short space of time, tiring but lovely.
All the events went very well and though I probably shouldn't say it, the singing was really very good indeed.
There were a lot of compliments from a number of people (the great and good of the County) and our own congregation too.
This really makes it all worthwhile.
There has been quite a lot of social activity in the close too and this Sunday evening we are going out for a meal and then to the cinema to see the latest Bridget Jones film.
This will kill two birds with one stone for me, as I love the Bridget Jones films and have not set foot in the cinema since about 1982.
It seems the older I get the busier I get.
Well that suits me very well. It is great to have things to look forward to again.
Amazingly the weather appears to be co-operating in a most unusual way (touch wood).
I know it is beginning to get dark earlier now but that is inevitable I suppose and won't slow me down anyway.
Every day I give thanks for my new life and friends in St' Mary's, I'm so very glad I took that first step 7 years ago.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 10:30:00 pm
Saturday, 27 August 2016
I sang as a very small child, and as a nervous teenager, and as an ambitious adult.
Recorded music, (on REAL records), CD's, tapes, on the radio and live in concert halls and opera houses has been the - I nearly said background - framework of my life.
For most of the time it has been a joy, a comfort, sometimes a thrilling experience, occasionally the road to deep sadness.
What some, probably most, people regard as music is something from which I retreat and while recognizing its place in the world will never have a place in my world.
Ask me the name of a recording artist, name a particular recording, enthuse about a well-known performer and we are speaking different languages.
Addicted to TV quiz shows from "pointless" to "University Challenge", I sail happily through questions on classical music from every period, but faced with popular music I sit in glum silence.
Very occasionally something will stir a flicker of memory and I will come up with the right answer while the contestants look bewildered. Thisis nothing to do with taste, merely that that particular tune song or artist was so popular in my youth that I unwillingly and unwittingly absorbed it into my semi-conscious.
Last evening I watched the 'proms' on BBC2 which consisted of a performance of Mozart works, including the "Requiem".
Despite loving nearly everything he wrote and having sung quite a lot of it, I have somehow never made the acquaintance of this work.
Obviously some bits were familiar but all in all it was strange to me - and I regret to say will remain so,
I know it was the last thing he wrote and that other hands completed the work after his death but that alone cannot account for the fact that it seems to me totally unlike anything else he wrote.
Perhaps it was the fact that the conductor had decided to sprinkle the chorus in amongst the orchestra, but it seemed fragmented and did not hold together as a performance for me.
Maybe my hearing and critical faculties are deteriorating, or maybe the heat and humidity of the last few weeks has got to me, but given a choice my first meeting with this work will be the last.
Or, maybe I am just a crotchety old woman looking for something else to complain about.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 10:47:00 am
Friday, 26 August 2016
Sunday, 21 August 2016
Early this year, not sure why but quite different from its Spring and Summer song
There is a melancholy echoing quality about this sound which tugs at the heartstrings.
It was early morning and my windows were open wide so it was not accompanied by a million other birds as it would be later in the day.
This has been a very strange season with extreme heat, sudden plunges to much lower temperatures and a petal-curling, leaf-drying drought.
This morning there was a light shower and it was then the robin sang.
Maybe it was only "good, there will be worms for breakfast", but it sounded like a saraband or other slow mournful tune.
Never a lover of hot weather I hope it will prove to be the signal for temperatures to drop a notch, for soft rain and light breezes to replace what we have had in recent weeks.
Rather a lot to pin on the solitary song of one small bird but it is a bookmark in the days of the year which I have come to rely on.
I am tired of the Olympics (splendid though they have been), fed up with noisy crowds yelling and cheering. More than a little sick of the smell of charring meat on a thousand barbeques.
Time for a change in the pace of life.
Time for Autumn.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 10:52:00 pm
Friday, 12 August 2016
For the past two days I have been unable to access my blog, emails or Google.
Having fiddled with all the weird and wonderful
icons on my screen and having been told I was online when clearly i was not, it has suddenly relented and allowed me access.
For someone like me with no computer skills whatever, no-one to turn to to ask for help and very little idea of what I am doing at the best of times, it seems like a small miracle when something I had almost given up on, miraculously starts to co-operate again.
When the good Lord gave out brains I was out of the room.
Yesterday was the seventh anniversary of John's death and having had a miserable lonely trudge to the cemetary with flowers and something to clean up the blue granite headstone, I was feeling in need of a good energetic blog session, only to find my machine once more refusing to co-operate.
It has been a very sombre time recently with the loss of a member of our drop-in community and other sad events, and the mood in the church has been at a different level from the normal reasonably cheerful one.
I try not to let these sort of happenings affect my own mood but combined with the fact that my closest friend/neighbour has moved out of the area it has not been easy this time.
There is no choir at St. M's in the month of August so there has not even been that distraction to look forward to and I can feel The Grinch getting nearer.
Roll on Autumn and a change of mood.
Yes of course I know this is only a blip. Normal (?) service will be resumed as soon as possible.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 4:26:00 pm