Monday, 27 May 2013
For once, a couple of bright sunny (if not overly warm) days, this weekend has seemed endless to me.
Sang (choir requested), at a wedding on Saturday afternoon, so that was part of Saturday taken care of.
Sunday morning Trinity Sunday, (visiting clergy of course), so that was part of Sunday taken care of.
Some household chores, some paper-work, some (not much) gardening, and still more than half of Monday to go.
Most of my neighbours are away, or sunbathing out of the wind in the unusual gift of a third sunny day, and me, I'm bored.
I know I could probably tidy my scruffy self up and get a bus, (if there are any), into town and shop. No thanks.
I could get properly scarecrow-clad and have a serious go at the garden - thinks - no thanks.
I could go and watch another load of sport-laden TV NO NO thanks. (though I will watch the cricket for an hour this evening).
When and why did my world shrink?
How did I let myself get so totally alone?
What am I to do about it?
Not unhappy. Not really lonely. Not even very concerned.
Time never used to go so very slowly, was never this elastic when I had too little of it, but now it is endless.
There is real time. There is British Summer Time, and there is Ray Time.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 3:54:00 pm
Thursday, 23 May 2013
This morning was the final appointment in my dental nightmare saga, so was greatly looking forward to an enjoyable time (not).
In the event, it was not quite as bad as I'd expected, though the injection in my cheek and gum was nasty.
The dentist is a thoroughly nice fellow, patient and with a sense of humour so the crown in place I got out of the 'chair' and thought. "thank heaven", no more until my next check-up.
To my surprise I found I had no more to pay, just as well since the previous visit had virtually bankrupted me, and the receptionist said, "you ought to sit for a minute, you look a bit pale, just rest a bit before you leave".
"I'm fine", I replied and headed for the bus-stop into town.
There were a couple of things I needed to buy, so after a fifteen minute wait for the bus, in a force ten gale, I did my shopping and waited for the bus home.
Ten minutes later as the bus hove into view the woman standing next to me said, "not before time, you look a bit pale love".
"I'm fine", just a tad quietly, I said.
It had begun to rain when I got off the bus so upped my speed despite slightly leaden legs and got into the house just before a torrential hail-storm.
Sat and had a cup of tea, then thought I'd have a lie down for a while.
No sooner had I begun to drift off to sleep than the phone rang.
Staggering half-dazed into the office next door picked up the phone and was greeted by, "How are you today"?.
Somehow I refrained from telling him and said no, I did not want to answer a few questions with the chance of winning £250 pounds. "Even though I'm not selling anything" he said.
I am not interested and don't want to answer a lot of questions was my reply.
I'm afraid I put the phone down on him as he continued to try to persuade me.
Now I am not just swollen faced, very tired (and apparently pale), but also thoroughly fed up and seriously contemplating disconnecting the phone.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 3:32:00 pm
Saturday, 18 May 2013
He teetered back and forward, tilting first one way then another, losing his balance and trying to cling onto a tiny (compared with him) twig of holly.
The lid of this feeder was removed by an enterprising squirrel about a year ago and vanished never to reappear, so the tiny birds simply hop down inside and take what they want.
This was quite impossible for the duck-sized pigeon, and he got stuck several times trying to copy their deft feeding habits.
Eventually he realised today's menu was not going to contain peanuts and promptly turned his back on the container, lifted his tail and left his calling card.
While I got some amusement from his antics, he reminded me so much of some human beings, who when denied what they desire, turn nasty.
Retaliation can misfire and it is not always a good idea to "give as good as you get".
It made me think of the time when living in a flat in Northwood, where we had a downstairs neighbour who played music so loudly and so often that the entire block of nine flats echoed with the racket almost daily.
John, who was relatively long-suffering in general decided he had had enough, and using our massive (ex-Decca display room speakers (each one containing five seperate speakers), he put "Also Spracht Zarathustra" on the turntable at full volume.
It was on for only about 10 seconds but the walls trembled and when he turned it off there was total silence from downstairs.
Now I am not advocating this type of behaviour but it certainly worked. He had made his point and never had to do so again.
Someone I was talking to yesterday has next-door neighbours who have almost daily rows at the top of their lungs and apparently using rather choice language. This happens at all sorts of hours and she is totally fed up and doesn't know what to do about it.
I told her about John's remedy and suggested that if she didn't want to do something similar, she could perhaps 'join in', since the walls are thin, and take part in the argument.
Turning the other cheek just doesn't always work.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 12:35:00 pm
Saturday, 11 May 2013
I know I promised not to write on this subject ever again, but.....
Because I live alone I have no-one to whom I may air my grievances, leaving this blog as my only recourse.
This morning I rushed to the door as an avalanche of mail crashed through the letter-box. I was waiting for one item (still am), and found instead seven items of mail, all of them appeals.
This is not unusual as I have said many times before, I have a system in place and stick to it for the sake of retaining my sanity.
What has totally incensed me today is that four of the seven items were from the same charity.
Now perhaps no-one else thinks the way I do and maybe they believe, as does the charity in question, that four appeals in one post is not excessive, but I am at screaming point with frustration over their total lack of common sense, poor organisation and highly suspect method of fund-raising.
I have looked them up on the 'web' and they have no phone number listed (probably just to avoid this very scenario) , had there been one this diatribe would have been verbal not typed.
Just to compound the felony, I gave them a donation last month, which those of you who have read my previous posts on this subject will know, means that they will get nothing more for 3 months.
Because I support and approve of their work I have so far restrained my desire to 'go public', but this is the last straw.
The charity in question is The Pony Sanctuary and they have received their last donation from me.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 1:20:00 pm
Sunday, 5 May 2013
This is not an overstatement, maybe just a slight exaggeration, but in essence it is horribly true.
In past weeks I have fought and won the battle with some of the aforementioned, but, when it comes to the perennial type a whole different strategy is needed.
It has always been my aim to garden organically, that is, without chemical aid wherever possible, but having won some of the small skirmishes I now find I am in the middle of a full-scale war with the daily encroaching army of brambles, elders, ground-elder, herb Robert, hairy bittercress, cleaver and worst of all, DDDandelions.
You have probably seen the ad' on TV which shows someone spraying one of the 'yellow perils' with a hand-held spray, upon which it apparently 'dies', only to jump up a few feet away, thumbing its nose and laughing its horrible little head off.
This year's display rivals anything I've ever seen before, and every patch of grape hyacinth, or hellebores, or daff's, has a blaze of custard yellow beasts wending its way between, over, around and throughout them.
Every day I pull off their heads quite ruthlessly, and every bud I can see, to no avail. Next day another dozen are blazing away in all their fierce yellowness.
Most of them have roots which are tangled with things I want to keep so I am restricted to trying to dig out only those which are foolish enough to stand alone.
This in itself demands Herculean strength, since the long, long tap roots appear to be aiming for Australia, and it is necessary to use a pick and wear a Davy Lamp on my head to get at them.
Having dug one out successfully, I then sting myself (did I mention nettles?) and have to put gloves on for the rest of the battle.
I've tried swearing at them, but they just put their leaves over their heads and sing loudly.
It's beginning to look as though I will just have to stay indoors and sulk till the season is over.
Did I mention, I hate yellow?
Posted by Ray Barnes at 7:21:00 pm