“We are going to ban plastic straws in the cafeteria.”

From a French magazine.


Major holidays have passed. The best bit for me will be to see a lot less advertising of the virtues of gluttony. I always feel uncomfortable with the putsch to eat, eat, eat and drink by way of celebrating the advertisers’ idea of what our tradition and enjoyment ought to be. These holidays mean different things to different people. I like the thought of togetherness with whosoever you choose to be and where you choose to be. I can’t be doing with the pressure to spend your way into emptying your purse and filling up the cupboards to overflowing with rich foodstuffs and excessive amounts of booze you would never usually upset your digestive system with the rest of the year….all because we are told it is expected, it is what to do.

I have warm memories of holidays past where, in one case it was insisted I stay and join in with a family in their togetherness. They wouldn’t hear of me returning home. Never mind that my oven was on gas mark number one ever so slowly cooking my meal. (Fortuitously as it turned out).  

Another memory, I was in a hostel in isolated splendour, not a soul in sight.  Over the road was the police station. The boys in blue, mostly single men, were working, but their canteen was closed for two days. The civilian staff were on holiday.  I offered to cook Christmas Day and Boxing Day meals for them.  A kitty soon built up, enough to buy a chicken or three and sufficient veggies. I am not sure they really believed I could give them a hot meal. But, a hot meal is what they got,  at whatever time they arrived to eat.  It was all very friendly with everyone helping out with the washing up and drying dishes in shifts, then leaving the kitchen as it should be at the end of each day.

Endings And Beginnings

Today has been a day for remembering, the eleventh day of the eleventh month anniversary of endings and the green shoots of new beginnings. Primarily, we will remember events and people who are personal to our inner being and emotions; global memories can be much harder to connect with. Those of us that do, will have unique ways of linking. These were the thoughts that ticker-taped through my mind after the two minutes silence. I haven’t dwelt upon them, I haven’t attempted to analyse them, I have accepted they were what they were. I did feel peaceful for a time and comfortably pottered around putting away the pots and dishes. I Just felt I was safely wrapped around in a very comfortable special space.




P1000459 A pair of FulmarsProgress has been on target, at least my target. Seven weeks today I landed in hospital with fractures. I am not quite ready to throw away my crutches, but I no longer use them at home. It’s a slippy time of year and outside I like the security of being able to test out the ground in front of me with the crutch ferrules when needs must.


Shell in spume

I finally finished reading a particular book while I have been restricted. It was one of those that I willed myself to read, just so I could say I had read it, if anyone asked me again, if I had. It is amazing how quickly you can learn to skim through a page. The book would have benefitted from a good bit of editing. After all, short books are not unknown. One even won the Booker Prize one year. I think you could say that’s another kind of progressed target.







I feel there have been changes for the better, however, toddling lesson number one still applies; not to run before I can walk.

Once or twice I have been late taking my medication and became very aware why I should keep up with the doses. 

We have been out in the car, not long journeys, I would’t manage that. Getting stuck in a traffic jam  is a great indicator of what I can tolerate.

We chose to go to a particular Tesco’s store about 5 miles away from where we are staying, because the store provides mobility electric scooters with which I can tootle around the store. That wee bit of independance is a great boost. Staff in the store were so kind and thoughtful, e.g.telling me how to jump the Customer Services queue so as to get a scooter key!

Electric Mobility Scooter

The car park attendant let us park in the disabled people’s parking bays without a permit, though not before he scared us witless by suggesting he’d test out my need of crutches. Hubs jumped in front of me as a protective barrier. Car parking man told us what he said was a joke. (*******!!!)   The car was ignored by him from then on.

Elbow Crutches

I’ve only had one other doubtful incident, and that was passing through the checkout at a Lidl’s store. A customer  behind me, (who was definitely no youngster) got into a shopping bag rage when the cashier asked if I could manage, (I wobbled on my crutches when I paid).  Cashier and I gave each other knowing looks and I thanked him profusely for his concern. Surprising what ownership of a shopping bag can do.

My Accident

Eleven days today since my accident.  So many events have been crammed into this period, It seems longer.  Speaking to my GP over the phone yesterday, she said that various follow-up tests should be done when I am ready, especially a bone density scan so we can find out why it happened.  “I can tell you why it happened: I fell from a height…..mine, onto the unforgiving flagstones we use for pavements“.  She’s got a good sense of humour and giggled, then gave me more explanation.

I have several fractures of my pelvis. I was admitted to the hospital ward about fourteen hours after it happened, most of that time in the Accident and Emergency Department.

I cannot get over the complete strangers who so very kindly came to help me, some of whom stayed with me more than an hour.  There was one lady who was prepared to even accompany me to the hospital in an ambulance, if hubs had not arrived in time. She chivvied up the ambulance service several times and two hours after the accident, when the ambulance did arrive, she gave invaluable information to the paramedics.





It is rare that I can say this. The sunny, warm, almost still weather, has been bringing out bare arms and legs, there is not a hat or scarf in sight. There have been people of all ages on the beach in swim wear. Tourists are in their tee shirts and shorts.  However, I think we’re due to have rain tomorrow possibly, with a thunder and lightening performance.


An elegant lady walking in my direction wore a bright red flowing summer short sleeved dress. As she got nearer I recognised her.

“What a lovely dress Jo, you look great”. I  said.

“Oh”, she leaned in confidentially and said, “I decided to see what had in the back of the wardrobe. Don’t tell anyone, this dress is from the last century”.

“Don’t worry about it”, I replied, “I have been wearing my clothes from the last century as well.  It’s great that we can still  get into them isn’t it”.







I have been able to dig out summery clothes that haven’t seen the light of day for decades. Best of all they still fit.  I discovered though, I don’t possess a pair of shorts….the one year I could wear them with impunity! Time to be imaginative… find a lightweight item with two legs that can be cut, or, simply roll up the legs  of a pair of suitable trousers. washing up left hand rubber glove split on a finger.  Unusually, the one odd  washing up glove in the spares bag was also left handed. The two are not a pair but they work well together; what more could you want. (Note to self, buy a spare pair as back-up).

Conservatives See off Plans to Regulate Washing up Gloves ...Courtesy of birds probably, we have one flourishing Digitalis. It’s the usual cerise-coloured one. It has popped up in a corner that is difficult to mow.  The corner could usefully be used for some spontaneous growth other than grass.

Our bird life visitors are small ones, mostly Blackbirds and Sparrows. There is a ‘marauding’  Crow who likes to strut ownership of the patch as well.   This year, there are fewer Dunnocks than usual. Today, I saw a very podgy waddling pigeon/dove on our garden wall.  I noticed it hanging around last week. It is not your usual agile bird, it does a lot of plopping and flopping. This bird is going to have to do bit more flying around to get fit.  From a distance it could be mistaken for a bird of prey, but only by shape.

Keen Eco gardeners have planted up a wild flower patch on a cliff, (foothill level) on a path leading to a lighthouse. The overflowing plants were stunning. they are there to attract bees, butterflies and other wildlife.  It is so difficult to get a picture of busy bees, even just one, is almost impossible to get in the frame.

……Look – no hands

I digitally captured the only bee Buzzing  around the patch!IMG_5105

Out at sea there was a fairly large group of Eider ducks. They were moulting their primary feathers. They are safer from predators staying on the water while they are waiting for their new primary feathers to develop. It was one of those moments I wished I had my DSLR camera with me to take close-up pictures.  There was a haar out at sea which added to the challenge of getting a clear picture.  (My phone did its level best).

Two different pictures at a distance. It gives you a visual sense of the grouping.


Update on utility provider: for anyone who has not following this, the link will tell all.

Today I have been contacted three times by the electricity supplier I am leaving. I was offered a super exclusive deal for a one year fix….but, it wasn’t. It was close, but not better and there were strings. I had to agree to consider having a smart meter.  Yes, they had a two year fixed deal, it was way off the scale!!  No competition there then. The last caller from the company said they’d love to have me back anytime, even tomorrow!

My angst with the smart meters is that they have not been universal, other than in their requirement to try to control how we use fuel.  We have been encouraged, nay, exhorted by government to shop around for ‘best deals’ and the companies have been prevailed upon to get everyone on smart meters.  Each supplier used their own preferred technology. So, how could you move seamlessly between suppliers. They would not necessarily accept the smart meter you had. This was a nonsensical situation. I could talk about the distraction from fuel poverty, structural failures in the supply chain, their causes and other costly politics, but I won’t.

Series two smart meters are meant to ease the way to seeking and obtaining the best deals by being a universal for suppliers and customers. I intend to wait for the evidence. It will be sometime coming because the advertised universal meters are only just now being rolled out, and then only because the majority of customers refused to install version one.

The two year fix I am taking is with a company called Green Network Energy (GNE).  The website was intuitive and I requested a quote, but only after I had looked at the comparison websites. The difference between my supplier and GNE for a two year fix was off the scale!!!  I can only say at this early point in the change process, that communication with GNE has been straightforward by phone and online. The account will be online. I started the switch through the Moneysavingexpert site.



You may make additional savings on your prices with suppliers if you have dual fuel supplies and you don’t live where I do. We have higher prices to contend with.

So, guys, there you have it.  I’ll let you know how it all flows at some future date.  Just a note here; I did go through an awful lot of reviews for GNE on Trust Pilot. On the whole,they were pretty good, just the odd one of dissatisfaction. Don’t just take my word for it, have a look at Trust Pilot. As I said, it is too soon for me to make a judgement of my own. My every digit is crossed though.  🙂



The yearly hunt for new utility suppliers and insurers has been in full swing. Loyalty is costly, there is no value to the customer, you and me,  in being loyal to any utility and insurance company.  I noticed one company was lauding its plans for offering loyalty to its customers. Attractive though it sounded, on further investigation, the primary up front costs were not competitive in order to give it a try.  With terms and conditions always changing – the requirements of the underwriters, or because of taxes, are the stock reasons to date – there’s no confidence, nor is there any evidence on which to base this offering.  The annual research of the market is wearisome, but made totally necessary, if you want to keep budgets within personal means. Service companies, (including banks) rely on inertia. Many signals have indicated for some time that people are being priced out of the insurance market. There is already significant fuel and food poverty here in the U.K.

My suppliers’ fuel quote for a 1 year fixed price tariff has changed in four days and not to my advantage. A quick review of a number of companies I had considered demonstrated that the increase was across the board. What was not general, were the amounts by which prices had increased. My energy supplier wanted about £108 per annum more than their original quotation.

In general, increases with the other companies of interest ranged from about £13 – £24 per annum for a one year fixed price tariff.  Then, I tripped across an attractive two years fixed price deal at a very similar increase to one of the other competing providers.  It was described today as the cheapest two year fix on the market. Considering the volatility of the times we are living in on so many fronts, including international fuel supplies, it goes without saying, after hair-raising experiences with a previous supplier that I checked a lot of reviews on this company.



Two years peace of mind and one less concern next year is very tempting…….