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We were given a wooden-handled knife as a wedding present.  It's a good knife, about 4-5"/10-13cm blade, beechwood handle.  It's lasted well, we've been married 37 1/2 years.

  Last week we both spent an evening with the knife and the Kitchen Devil knife-sharpner.  Yup, the blade was almost square-edged!

  Now it is so sharp I occasionally worry about slicing the chopping board!  This was my Gran's breadboard for much of her married (and widowed) life.  Forty years ago I inherited it when I moved to central London.  It's a bit 'dished' in the centre after forty years of daily use as a chopping board, but it's still going strong.  Even with the newly sharpened knife.

  You get good quality equipment, you look after it, and it'll last you a lifetime, and maybe someone else's lifetime too.

  Right, coffee, then off out. Aujour d'hui le soleil brillait.  C'est froid mais je suis une tricoteuse.  I was also a Girl Guide, thus I am Prepared!

  Y'all have a good day now.
Current Location:
as usual/Old Portsmouth/Southsea
Current Mood:
bouncy bouncy
Current Music:
Clarinet Concerto in Eb major (3) - Kroemer
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So parliament has voted 432 to 202 to not back the agreement Theresa May had managed to hammer out with the EU; with 118 of her party voting against it.

  There's a surprise.

  Now European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has urged the UK to "Clarify its intentions as soon as possible.  Time is almost up."  Adding, "The risk of a disorderly withdrawal of the UK has increased [with last night's vote.]"

  Yes, well.  If the UK knew what its intentions were . . .  Parliament has been tearing itselve apart, at cross purposes, 'should we stay, should we go', the past two years or more.  Various committed members of the public have been vociferous in their support of both sides.  Unsurprisingly, most of us here are sick of the whole mess.

Talking Politics You might want to skip this bit!Collapse )

  There now, politics and religion in one entry.  I'm off for a coffee.  Y'all have a good day now!



     *As it was, the then Labour party didn't look as if it might be able to organise a party in a brewery, let alone run a country.  Shame on them!

   **I am not a Labour party supporter.  I don't really support any particular party.  I tend to vote on what they say, bearing in mind that, increasingly, what they say may well be very suspect!

  ***Occasionally it begins to look like the present Conservative government wants to do for the NHS what Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government did for the Trade Unions.  Basically got rid of 'em.  Mainly by shutting down British Industry.  Ok, so that might not have been quite what they intended, but it's what happened.  That's why whole areas of the UK have more people in receipt of Benefits than in work.  And even those in work are still eligible for Benefits.
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
disappointed disappointed
Current Music:
Land of Hope and Glory - Elgar (Ironically)
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'Normal' life started up again this week, so I turned up for the Monday morning Pilates class as usual, only to find there was no-one else there.  Then I checked with my phone diary.  'Pilates restarts' Friday.  So I went home via the churchyard and park and did some housework instead.  Poo!

  Friday  morning I turned up again, and lo, there were everyone else and then some.  So many that we were having to turn sideways when various stretches required outspread arms.  It was almost as busy as a Monday class, and with as much groaning as our post-Christmas bodies struggled at times to assume the various positions and stretches after a two-and-a-half-week break.  Ah well, Monday we'll be more supple and by next Friday  . . .

  I mean, it's nice to have a break occasionally, but you can get so out of condition!  Mind you, I can still 'roll down' and touch the floor with the palms of both hands while keeping my legs straight, and some who've been doing it for much longer still can't.  But I shouldn't boast about it, I've always been able to do that.  Balancing now . . .  If I'm sat down or on all fours, yes.  On two feet?  I still need to hold on, specially when trying to balance on my right leg.

  My right knee may take my weight when I get up of a morning and I no longer need the stick to get me to the bathroom, but it's still a bit 'iffy'.  Specially since Christmas.  I'm hoping restarting classes and restarting losing weight (down 3lbs last week) will help with that.

  How's your return to 'normal' life going, Dear Reader?
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
sleepy sleepy
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Today the sun shone.  Yay!

  Not that that in itself is a sign of spring, but things always look so much better when the sun shines.  It being a Tuesday I took myself off to the bus stop and caught the first bus that came (a Stagecoach bus, not a First Bus) and caught it to the Hard interchange.

  Ambled round to Gunwharf, picked up a coffee (in my reusable mug.  Hmmm, better go wash that out while I remember!)  Sat overlooking the harbour while I drank said coffee, then off round the 'Millennium Chain' walkway to the Point.  Called into the Canteen* for lunch, which I ate sat on their outside balcony at a carefully judged distance from the edge.  The tide was almost in and when huge great ferries come in and out of the harbour their wash tends to 'woomph!' against the wall there and splash up over some of the tables.  You pick your seat according to the state of the tide as well as which is in the sun.

  And there, wrapped in one of the blankets provided, and in splendid isolation, I had their 'fish fingers' in beer batter, with salad, caper mayonnaise, and potato wedges.  Yum!  It was very delicious and very pleasant in the sun (having dressed for the weather, ie: warmly) watching the boats go in and out and the birds in between whiles.

  Some of the birds were Black-headed Gulls, which at this time of year are beginning to moult into breeding plumage - chocolate brown face masks.  Previously they've just had the two brown dots, one behind each eye.  Apparently the moult starts at the back of the face mask, over the top of the head.  Currently they look as if they're wearing headphones!

  After which I upped, mounted the wall by the Long Battery (go check the map, Dear Reader) and headed off east along the Front, via the Fun Fair, the Hovercraft 'landing' stage, the War Memorial, the Blue Reef Aquarium and Southsea Castle.  Then the Rock Gardens and back across the Common to Palmerstone Rd.

  It was while crossing the Common that I noticed a few, daring, early yellow crocuses poking their flowers bravely through the turf.  Dunno why, it's more snowdrop weather at present, and it's been chilly since last weekend, so it hasn't been the warmth and sunshine encouraging them out.  Nice to see them all the same.

  It may not have felt like it, even in the sun and out of the wind, but Spring is, kinda, on its way.

  Y'all have a good day now!



  *The Canteen had its Burn's Night menu up, which included 'Glasgow Vegetable Pakoras'.  In a spirit of facetious enquiry I asked whether these would be just batter or what.  Not sure the woman understood quite what I was getting at.  She said she'd ask about them!

  I dunno, I was given to understand that, like most stereotypical Scots, Glaswegians don't eat vegetables.  Perhaps modern Glaswegians do, provided they're deep-fried, which pakoras are.

  Yes, I realise this is totally ignorant stereotyping.  For all I know there may well be lots of Glaswegians who eat eighteen to twenty different fruit and veg every day.  Good for them.

  AND The Canteen has warm water in the single tap in the Ladies, a welcome and entirely civilised discovery in this Seasonal weather.  None of this trying not to freeze your fingers off as you wash them under the cold tap.  Or those silly 'Danger: Hot Water' notices you find elsewhere.

  It is not necessary to have hot water thermostats set to 'scald your fingers' temperatures in public toilets.  Far more sensible to have them set to 'warm'.  You don't need to invest in warning notices, get the heater descaled every few months and you don't run up fiendishly high heating bills!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
chipper chipper
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Happy New Year, Dear Reader!

  It's been a funny old week.  H went back to work Wednesday, after a good fortnight off.  Boy, do I miss him!

  That said, I'm fully fit and well again, so didn't mind hauling the fruit and veg home from the market yesterday.  When the lady on the stall said, "£10, please," I wondered what I'd forgotten.  It's usually nearer £15 per week, just from that stall.  Mind you, I looked at the plastic packaging even on some of their stuff and some of the 'country of origin' labels and thought, 'hmm, maybe not.'  If you really want excess plastic packaging, go to a supermarket.  It all adds to the price you pay, not to mention the environmental impact.  After all even oil, from which the (mostly totally unneccessary) plastic packaging is made, is a limited resource.

  It's seasonal pears, plums and apples at this time of year for us; for all strawberries might be available.  Oranges too.  Yes, I know we don't grow oranges in the UK (though maybe come further Climate Change . . ?)  There were even Seville Oranges, for marmalade, making their seasonal, two weeks, appearance.  I've made marmalade from Seville oranges, it was nice.  It's also a bit of a sticky process, but there you are.  These days I buy the chunky stuff from Asda, which I like and is reasonably priced.  Now we have a vast collection of jam jars and matching lids.  Anyone make their own marmalade and need a few jars?

  Meanwhile I have taken steps to ensure that the next time our Postie has something a tad too large for our letterbox and, having waited around the corner til I've gone out, can't deliver it.

  We have patterned glass in our front door.  Having checked the size of type that can be read through the glass, I've written instructions as to 'What To Do If I'm Not In' and stuck them up on the inside of the glass.  It's legible, I've checked.

  Basically, if the package says anything about 'knitting' on the label, give it a squidge, it might be squashable enough to force through the letterbox without damage.  Otherwise go round the corner and toss it, gently, over our back yard wall!  It'll be fine if it's not raining, for goodness sake.  And if they can't bring themselves to do either of those, I've asked them to check with two neighbours who are often in and have said they don't mind taking packages for us.

  As I have at least two parcels en route, one of which will be on its third-and-final-attempt-at-delivery, I'm hoping our regular Postie is on.  I've spoken to him a couple of times about what to do should I be out.  Apparently it's the relief Postie who's been hiding around the corner the previous couple of times.  I shall have the Posties trained!

  It's so much easier with delivery people, they come while I'm still in of a morning.  Honestly, the Government 'privatised' the Post Office.  Now, like the trains, it's so much worse.  Trouble is we've effectively had a Tory government (cos many of New Labour's policies, under Tony Blair, were to the Right of the previous Conservative governments') for the past twenty years.

  The present lot seem particularly keen on dismantling what's left of the Welfare State set up in post-WWII.  They also seem to not care at all about people on incomes of less than £50,000 per year - look at their policies.  And as for the total debacle and shambles that is Brexit . . .

  Right, I'm off out for coffee with a friend.  Here's hoping the Postie can read, should he have a package for us!

  Y'all have a good New Year now!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
cheerful cheerful
Current Music:
Symphony no 9 (4) - Beethoven
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OF course, it could just mean that I am like a lot of commuters.  Entirely behind the Times.

Don't know about you, but for me 2018 was a good 'un.  Should you be feeling in a 'reviewing' mood, then wonder what went well for you, try this.

Happy New Year, and God's richest blessings for 2019, Dear Readers.


*And being entirely Politically Incorrect - is a Diversion the same as any other version, but in Welsh?
Hey, look, I'm 1/2 Welsh.  I can make these kind of comments!
Current Location:
as usual (it's a desk top computer!)
Current Mood:
amused amused
Current Music:
Embraceable You - George Gershwin
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Far less disappointing was last night's pizza.  Yes, you can even have pizza with Slimming World.  That and not having eaten for most of last week, I thought I could spare the Syns.

And We Created Our Own PizzaCollapse )

   What are you having for tea tonight, Dear Reader?  Think it might be stir-fried veg in our case.  Can't blow the 'budget' that often!  Right, gotta go chase some more dust.

  And just in case, I guess things are really going to take off from now, if they haven't already.  So have a wonderful Christmas, Dear Reader, and an even better and greatly blessed 2019.
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
accomplished accomplished
Current Music:
Am Tage Aller Seelen - Schubert
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Much better, thank you.  Eating properly the past five days and gradually regaining strength.  Still working on stamina.  Maybe come the Big Day, though I hope by tomorrow as that'll be one of my busy Thursdays.

  The good thing is that H finished work for the year Monday afternoon/evening and he's around all day now.  He was more than happy to come with me through a gap in the rain, raid the local supermarket and haul the trolley both ways.  I needed my stick to prevent myself wobbling about too much!

  And the reason we needed to raid the supermarket?  Young Male Selfishness and Corporate Cutbacks.

Young Male Selfishness and Corporate CutbacksCollapse )

  The Good Thing was that we called in a nearby 'safe place cum haberdashery cum cafe' for elevenses and they did the most excellent cherry chocolate brownie.  I'm hoping to get back when they have their most excellent Millionaire's Shortbread on offer again, though I'll happily settle for such a brownie again. And we got home before the rain set in for the afternoon.

  Yes, of course I'm thankful.  I have learned the lesson of the other Monday night.

  I am thankful they gave us something.  I am thankful they gave it yesterday rather than Friday so that we could go today to do the 'fill in' shopping today and not Saturday.  I am thankful it was dry when we were walking between here and the supermarket.  I'm very thankful for the cherry chocolate brownie, I am thankful we could get what we wanted/needed, and I am extremely thankful we could afford it.  I know too many can't.

  Oh, and I'm thankful that, "My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Philippians 4:19 and we aren't at the penny-pinching 'mercies' of some group of Management!

  Y'all have a good, and thankful, day now!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
thankful thankful
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So, having introduced an autistic puppet character a while ago - to be more 'reflective of society' and 'inclusive'  Sesame Street has now introduced Lily, a homeless puppet character.

  As I've written before, it comes to something when the two richest countries in the world have increasing numbers of homeless people - that's from those 'sofa surfing' to those kipping down where they can, maybe trying to raise the money for a hostel (which can be GRIM) or those who, like the Grouch, actually choose to be homeless and live somewhere different.  In Oscar's case, a trash can.

  What is it about people?  Are we so invested in having someone below us to look down on to reinforce our (shaky) sense of 'superiority' and 'actually I'm doing all right' that we're content to hear of another hundred/thousand/million on the homeless statistics and we don't bat an eyelid?

  Have we, the 'homed' become so innured in our little brick/concrete boxes/gated communitites/mansions that we just don't care?

  I know the UK, particularly England is currently going to the dogs as the Decision Makers tear themselves apart over some ridiculous, out dated, misguided and unenforcable rag-tag of half-baked ideas.  What have we elected?  To whom have we abrogated our critical facilities?  Does anyone THINK any more.  And if so do they THINK of more than their immediate self-interest?

  It used to be 'bread and circuses'.  Is it now mobile phones, online shopping, instant gratification and switch off the brain lest we have to actually THINK and, horror, Make Real Decisions?

  Because whatever else it's doing, the B******* debacle and associated media speculation is serving as a great distractor from what's actually happening in the country.  And it's WRONG!

  What's the major distraction across the Pond?

  Y'all have a good, and thoughtful, day now!
Current Location:
as usual (we have a brick box)
Current Mood:
Disgusted
Current Music:
Sesame St theme tune
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Last Wednesday at the Bible Study we went through I Thessalonians 5, covering verses 16-18 in the process.  These say:

  "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumsances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

  We didn't stay too long on them, they're pretty clear and self-explanatory.


  Monday night, middle of the night (of course) I started a vomiting bug.  Every 15 minutes, for far longer than I had anything to bring up.  And then some.

  I was reminded of this verse, and so gave thanks for the bucket, that I hit the bucket every time, for H there to rub my back, empty the bucket occasionally and top up the hot water bottle (now attempting to soothe my raging front.)  Also my comfy bed and a few other things.  And I certainly gave thanks when the vomiting dropped to every 30 minutes, then 45, then finally stopped.

  We were both wiped out the Tuesday.  H stayed home to nurse me (cos I wasn't up to anything) and catch up on some much-needed sleep.  I'm still feeling a bit fragile, but managed to do the usual shopping yesterday morning.

  Mind you, it took me until Thursday afternoon to genuinely thank God for the vomiting bug!

  And then as H was apparently taking halfway to forever to come up with the hot water bottle tonight - I was reminded of the necessity of patience.  It's all good.

  The Word of God - sometimes it needs explaining, sometimes you study it, sometimes you meditate on it, and sometimes you just get on and do what it says.  Obedience.

  Hope y'all have a good, and bug-free, day now!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
cheerful cheerful
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