Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2014 - A year when no blog post will carry a picture which relates to it in any way.

Strange sort of title isn't it?

Well no matter what this next year brings, I will continue to post on matters of major importance, minor importance and absolutely no importance at all.

And, I shall endeavour to see to it that no picture relates to the text.

Furthermore, as you may have already noticed, I shall try to ignore all the basic rules of good grammatical writing.

For me, this will come as a welcome relief because it will mean that I need take no care over choosing the right word, phrase or even sentence.

I will try to write only what strikes me as of interest, not necessarily what I think will be of interest to others.

In this way, I can enjoy a sort of anarchy while still getting my 'message' out there.

Does this sound selfish?  Well, it is.

Does this sound as though I have finally 'lost it'?  Well it could be argued that I never had it in the first place.

Does it sound as if I have been drinking.  Well, it does, but I haven't.

No I know it isn't April the 1st in an hour or so, it is merely the beginning of yet another January.

The bomb-like bangs and crashes of the (several) hours of fireworks out in the local area are driving me mad, so this is a sort of escape from the bombardment.

On a serious level, I hope and pray all of us, you and I will have a much better 2014 than we did 2013, and that a healthy happy new year will be ours (yours and mine)

Happy New Year.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

A Cracking Christmas

Having slumped into collapse mode after returning from church yesterday morning, I dismissed all thought of cooking a meal, had a hot chocolate and spent most of the day simply lounging about.

Midnight Mass (in bed by 2.00am up again four hours later, followed by grey-faced Christmas morning service had sapped my lowish energy and all I could think of was sleep.

There have been many services extra to the normal ones, nuch singing, lots of travelling by taxi (no other transport available) and the usual half joyous - half-knackered, run up to the big day.

All that finally over I decided to cook in the evening and watch scads of TV.

Half way through "Downton", there was a loud, gun-shot-like crack and a lump of glass shot by me to land on the carpet in front of me.  The last remains of my Advent candle had over-heated the glass candlestick and was still burning in the remaining half on the cabinet behind me.

A few years ago I would have loudly bemoaned the loss of one of a pair of Art Deco frosted glass candlesticks which John and I had bought some thirty years ago, but after a sighed "oh what a pity", I simply blew out the remaining candle stump, picked up (gingerly) the glass from the floor and thought 'I'll vacuum up the remainder in the morning.

Ten minutes later happily watching the 'meerkat' ad which has baby 'Oleg' found on Mr Alexander's doorstep being eagerly claimed by lovely old Sergei, I had returned to Downton and forgotten about the glass missile.

Until I lost John, 'things' played a significant part in my life.  These days my perspective has changed and the inanimate are resuming their true place.

Once upon a time I worried about what was going to happen to my 'valuables' after my death, nowadays I know that the life which preceded that death is what matters.

Just a Christmas reflection.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Well it amused me

I hope I have discovered how to do this - click to watch/listen.

My step-grandson showed me how briefly last week, and it is just possible I may have it right.

Well. here goes nothing.  Enjoy!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Peter O'Toole

A hasty but heartfelt tribute to the late, great Peter O'Toole.  He was the hero of all my teen-dreams,

His performance in Becket being in my opinion his greatest, his was a dazzling and many angled career, always dogged by (mainly true) stories of his over-the-top off-screen behaviour.

He had a somewhat savage wit, sparkling intellect and a flamboyant turn of phrase.

Anyone who has never seen his performance in The Lion in Winter should grab any chance to do so, and even some of his minor parts were characterised by extraordinary portrayals, for instance his Captain Cat in the filmed version of Under Milk Wood.

Added to all that was his physical beauty, lean and long and blue-eyed, the perfect matinee idol;.

Rest in peace Peter.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Viewing the inside of my eyelids

Once more riding the insomniacs' train, and as ever, looking more inward than out, I thought I'd share my witless wanderings with you.

You'll often have heard the expression "too tired to sleep".  Sounds like rubbish doesn't it?, but, there comes a time when weary from a busy day or evening when it makes sense to go to bed if only to recharge the batteries.

You read for a while, even an hour or so if it's a good book. (Mine isn't).

Then you settle, light off, to sleep.

What  is that blasted tune running round on a loop in your head.?
It was something from the huge list of Christmas music the choir was working through this evening.  Knowing only the alto part doesn't help.

Why is the room so light, get out and look out of the window.  Oh, a full (or nearly full) moon.  Something scuttling along in the kerb over the road.  Just a cat chasing a leaf.

What is that noise?  Sounds like a traction engine, just some sort of drive wheel working the mechanism of the sewage works.  Don't think too much about it.

Plaster my itching face with a shedload of Oilatum, thick and gooey yuk!

Shall I make some tea?   No.  If I do I'll be hopping in and out of bed all night to the loo.  Why does that matter if I'm not in bed, not sleepy?   Well I might be in a few minutes/

If there is anything prettier than red swollen, thick-skinned eye-lids it's red swollen thick-skinned eye-lids with large black bags under them.  It's a good job I no longer care how awful I look, only how awful I feel.

This eczema is never going to get better, I feel it in my bones.  Well I would if they were not so well padded.

What I really love is when a complete stranger, a cashier in a supermarket for instance, says "What have you done to your face"?

"Boiled it in caustic soda" I want to reply, but "it's just eczema" I say.

JUST eczema!!!!

Sorry, time to end this before it becomes a rant.

Bon soir.  More anon.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Up close and personal.

Why is there a vertical meerkat on my blog?  No idea really, he is one of the few images from my 'collection' which blogger will allow me to access.

I know it would help if I had even half a clue how the retrieval system works, but I don't , hence the meerkat.

Peering out of the window to allow some cool/cold air to ease my itching face I spotted a massive bird outlined against the winter sky on a tree about 100 yards away.

As I tried to photograph him (too far away, camera not good enough) I realised it was a red kite.  Have never seen one roosting before.

He spotted me and with a huge swoop headed this way.

I hastily ducked my head back inside and shut the window - he is big!

He flew over the rooftop and away and briefly blacked out the sky in the immediate vicinity.

Have never seen one so close before and really had no idea just how massive a wing-span they have.

Perhaps he has never seen anyone with eczema before and wanted a closer look.

There are fewer birds than usual in my tiny grotty (fermented bird-seed don't ask), garden so apart from the odd pied wagtail, reed-bunting and the usual suspects, rare creatures tend to get my attention.

The sun is shining.  It is mild and not a bit like December so the normal customers for my largesse are few and far between and I really should be outside cleaning up the mess, but, as usual am doing everything I can think of to avoid work.

The usual extra vocal work for all the additional church services is taking its toll and leisure time is becoming scarce so any excuse.....

Yes I do know fermented bird seed is poisonous to most small birds so I will go out now and clean up, honestly, any minute.