Sunday, 31 January 2016

How To Survive February

What have I been doing this week? I'm implementing my new winter plan .

Instead of tramping through rain , hail and a different-named storm on odd days of the week  and trying to stock up on groceries , library books and dry washing on even days of the week , I'm planning to stay indoors altogether till the end of February . In fact  , it's dawned on me that I could perhaps replace most activity altogether by simply choosing the right jigsaw puzzles .

Instead of  sewing , knitting , reading anything apart from the paper or exchanging anything but the bare essential greetings with anyone , I've spent the last three days doing this

 A Charles Wysocki puzzle , "Maggie , The Messmaker " .

But now it's completed  and I'm determined to get the next one in the collection , "Ethel ,  The Gourmet "
I can live on cottage cheese till it's finished ... and there's always the chip shop round the corner ...

And after that the puzzle shop in town must have dozens of gardening and flower arranging  puzzles ... probably even a Mary Berry one .

The only thing that might draw me out in a few weeks time would be if these enterprising people get enough crowd-funding for their cafe . It would be difficult to resist a good cup of coffee and a friendly resident purr . In fact it could only be better if they opened one downstairs ...

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Penguin Awareness Day And A Wolf

After my last post about our local black ice , some of you kindly gave me a link to the 'walk like a penguin' site . Whereupon the ice promptly thawed and we were all free to skip about any old way we liked again ... until yesterday .
Leaving the flat early , I hadn't yet set foot on the pavement when a workman further up yelled , "It's icy , again ! " . So I obediently penguin-shuffled about all day , feeling like a fool but staying upright . And yes coincidentally , yesterday January 20th , was apparently Penguin Awareness Day ..... 
But now , I'm not just aware of them ,  I'm in awe ! I can't understand why they don't all pack their bags and move to Rio ...

Luckily the weather hasn't been people-unfriendly all the time . I was able to get to the knitting exhibition on a quiet afternoon to wander around among the birds in babies bonnets,  rabbits in socks , and a unicorn in a frock

There were geese in Frisian lace caps and a deer in a trendy jumper .

And colour everywhere....

A C16th chainmail glove and a knitted castle  to match . A C17th sock ... well-mended ... and tiny modern replicas , all knitted from the toe up as was the custom , apparently .

And Red Riding Hood's wolf , knitted by Chrystl Rijkboer from human hair . ( Don't all rush to your local hairdresser's . Hair spins up into very harsh yarn . Ideal for wolves , less comfy for people .

 It was all very colourful and cosy and I'll be back ....

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Snow White , Code Red

Can sometimes result in black ice ...

On Monday evening there was a last chance to see  'Amy' in the Film House  . I took the bus because of the raw wind and sleet . Friend , being a heartier soul , appeared on her bike . After the film ( excellent but rather painful to watch at times ) , we felt we needed a glass of wine to recover and got so comfortable that we ignored the increasing numbers  of  little yellow salt-sprayer vans  ,  circling the town centre like wasps .

In fact , I got so comfortable that I missed the last bus . I ended up walking carefully home down the middle of deserted streets , only occasionally windmilling round unsprayed corners with a muted "Eeek ! " . It took nearly an hour and by the time I got back my parka had a top layer of ice that crackled like the burnt sugar  on a successful creme brulee . Friend reported next day that she and bike had slithered and skidded all over the place , till she gave up and just pushed the damn thing the rest of the way . It's due to clear up tomorrow , Thursday ... maybe .

If not I might even fish out my skates .

Monday, 4 January 2016

In Case You've Forgotten What It Looks Like ...

It snowed here , last night !

Not very much , it's true , but I thought you'd like a reminder of what winter can  look like .

Skeins of geese are busy re-locating , flying overhead honking their disapproval over the change in temperature as they head a little further south . Smaller birds are all looking slightly startled  . One fat , slightly desperate  blackbird was trying to get at some berries on a rather spindly bush  ... he obviously felt like someone trying to pick apples with the help of a trampoline .

P.S. No animals were frozen in the making of this photo ... It's a neighbour's plastic garden ornament .

Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Only Resolution To Make This Year

It's early evening here . Everyone's busy putting the finishing touches to tonight's party celebrations ... Nibbles cover every available surface ... Champagne's on ice ... The fireworks are ready . And the die-hards have already made their New Year's resolutions . But this year there's really only one possible resolution to make :

                         To make sure that everyone has shelter and a welcome in 2016


May we all have a lovely evening and the coming year is full of just the right adventures .

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Another Christmas List

It's all under control ... there's enough food to feed twenty in the 'fridge  ( none of it knitted ) , parcels have been sent and received , a  Christmas tree  and Poinsetia have been installed ( the tree is actually smaller than the Poinsetia but some tinsel and little silver bells have revived its spirits ) , I decided against making the recipe for chocolate bars in the health shop brochure ... who needs chia seeds at Christmas ? , YD is bringing up mini Christmas puddings tomorrow and lots of proper chocolate for her father , the Polish Christmas carols CD has been found and sounds as lovely as always , and we have Spain's entire olive production for the last three years in our possession .

I hope that MD will still be talking to me after Elder Grandson opens one of his presents and he's busy making brightly coloured slime out of it . I hope that Julie Andrews isn't appearing on television in any shape or form over the holidays .  I hope that the whistling neighbour has been invited somewhere nice for the holiday .

And Smitonius and I hope that you all have a perfectly splendid Christmas !!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Altogether Now ... I Want To Ride My Bicycle

My annual eye checkup , each December , involves powerful eyedrops that make daylight painfully bright for a few hours till they wear off . I always have to get there by bus since , even wearing dark glasses , I can't open my eyes without being dazzled  .

So this morning , I jump on the 32 for the hospital ,  congratulating myself on being in plenty of time . Bus driver greets us all with a cheery smile , waits for a puffing latecomer and closes the doors . One door stays open . She opens the doors again . Tries closing them again ... and again . Presses a nice silver button . Nothing . Presses all the buttons at once ... whereupon , logically , nothing happens at all   . Presses red button... engine burps .

Lady nearby ( sorry , but she is definitely a lady ... she has a lace-edged hanky , stockings and a tweed suit .  Facinating . ) clears her throat nervously and looks at her watch . I wave goodbye to grabbing  a coffee before my appointment and we all start peering out at the other buses dotted round , trying to work out which one could be diverted via the hospital without the whole system collapsing .
Driver manages to close the doors . Now have visions of being trapped in stationary bus .

Inspector wanders up . Points to his watch . Driver shrugs and presses buttons again .

Everything happens at once ... indicators all flash , water squirts up over the windscreen and wipers swish , radio goes on  , engine vrooms and we ride off to the sound of Queen and Freddie Mercury ...