THROW AWAY FLOW

Twelfth night is meant to be the time for clearing away greetings cards and festive decorations. In my book, some superstitions are best ignored.  As I don’t receive some mail till early January, mostly from abroad, my cards stay up longer and the last to arrive are the last to disappear.  Thus, I span the Western and the Eastern festive dates.

P1100010 copy

My decorations are the cards people send me.  Switch on candle glow (LED’s) provide an atmospheric friendly warmth.  The little candles (tea lights) have been  tucked away.  A couple of stocky gold coloured ones have not.  They glitter and look quite pretty when daylight turns into twilight, even if they are not lit.

P1100012 copy

Tomorrow we have a recycling collection. The bulk of the cards – not the late arrivals – have been sorted between those that will be a keepsake, (just a few) or those needing  some attention. The others, will provide material for recycling.  Our collectors do not want anything with metallic finishes, which includes glitter. Lots of cards have those pretty finishes. The best I can do is to separate re-usable bits of a card from those bits that are not. That was late morning……..

P1090014-web

….Even later morning, I seem to have spent hours sorting out a small area of desk. The quarter truth is, some of the space on the desk has been created by shoving some stuff to the right of it, (probably, should be ‘right off it’). I am trying to be tough on myself…about bits of paper (cringe).  I know it will be worse before it gets better.

Early afternoon……hubs interrupts my bits of paper throw away flow.  “Are you having any lunch?”

P1030338 copy

Advertisements

DON’T YOU KNOW…

On Boxing Day, (26th December 2017) a National Bank Holiday, I was sitting at the centre table of  a row of three tables for two, in a busy village coffee shop, we consumers were all in close proximity.

On my right was a very delightful little girl with her daddy. She was amusing herself with a game and also talking with daddy.  Quite a number of ladies stopped to talk to both of them and she told them she was three years old.

As me and hubs started to sip our coffees I heard………….

Daddy may I go to playgroup this afternoon? […. may I……from a three year old. Wow!]

I commented to dad on his little’s girl’s remarkably good manners.

Dad.…..Oh, we have the Manners Book at home don’t we, and we like reading it.  She nodded

MeHave you got the ‘why’ book……Dad….No   

Meyou’ve got all the answers then? ….

DadNo…..and looking at his daughter….. no,we haven’t have we?

3 year old.Yes you have. …….

DaddyNo I haven’t …

3 year oldYes you have.

DaddyWhy do you say that?….

3 year old….Because you’re a grown up.

Daddy….Oh, I see; grown ups don’t know everything.

3 year old…… uhm yes.  You’re not mummy are you.

 

 

 

SWITCH IT ON.

A new year and I feel as if I have lost the art of succinct writing, or, neatly saying what I mean.  I envy just a teensy weensy bit, the writers who can encapsulate a major thought, or a vital description into a few apt words.  To paraphrase an historical giant of the written word, I feel, if I become tired of writing I will be tired of observing and participating in life. That would be just too immense an emasculation of  my senses to contemplate.

Perhaps it is the gentle warmth of spontaneous creativity I want.  You could say that writing anything, be it a business letter, or business email is being creative. They are hardly communications for which you would usually create poetic prose: but, why shouldn’t they be?  An answer to the question is, it rests on the purpose for which they are written and how the communications flow.  The writing voice depends whether there is a demand upon you to write as opposed to  responding to a natural urge to write.

 

NOW WE KNOW….OR DO WE?

A couple of  ‘newsy’ things this week caught my attention:

We now know why bubbly tastes better in a glass.  Research at both The University of Texas and University College London UK, explains why plastic and polystyrene cups just will not do for your Prosecco, Asti-spumante, or, Champagne. I can feel the regal Marques des Champagne curling their toes and gritting their pearly teeth at the thought of …plastic….polystyrene!!  According to a study, the bubbles behave differently in plastic and polystyrene cups than they would in glass,  The bubbles stick quite strongly to the plastic and polystyrene for longer and as a result grow bigger before they lift off, which, in turn, alters the taste of the drinks. They [the bubbles]   are on their best behaviour drunk from a glass.  Presumably, the small free flowing bubbles maintain the desired taste of the ‘bubbly’

While we are discussing drinking alcohol;  an offence with interesting variations.  An electrical engineer was caught over the drinks-driving limit, on his way to a police station to service their…….breath test machine!  The driver had been seen by police driving erratically on a very bendy stretch of road.  In court he was found guilty, fined and banned from driving for a year. At the trial, the police said the case presented them with a dilemma, because of the unusual circumstances.   It was felt there could be a ‘conflict of interest’,  given that the man serviced most of the intoximeters  in the country.  The prosecutor shared their view.  A urine sample was therefore taken for testing.

In defending his client, the defence lawyer claimed the police had not followed correct procedures in taking the urine sample.

The Sheriff when pronouncing sentence said, that the matter had been handled correctly and by the book.

 

 

THE POWER OF OUR OWN FREE WILL

I have, at last, finished reading a book which has opened a Pandora’s Box of uncomfortable feelings. It is no overstatement to say the story is, in a perverse way, an engrossing and powerful read.  I took a break from the book just over half way through it to restore my inner self to its familiar, more comfortable state. Though the writer is giving us the power of our own free will to be involved, he is also rendering the reader  to be actively powerless.  Being disempowered is an extremely uncomfortable place to be. And this is the position in which, swathes of the world’s population reside.  Selection Day by Aravind Adiga,  published this year, is not a read for the faint-hearted. It is a very clever writer who can connect a reader to almost participate in the linking destructive events that lead to the final denouement.

SELECTION DAY

I have  read one other book by the same writer, it was the Man Booker Prizewinner 2008. The White Tiger.  Adiga later admitted that he had had to watch his back after exposing in this book a variety of  cultural norms within a society he knows well.  The White Tiger is a very good, high quality and exciting read with superb pacing.  I found myself being curious about the the effects of the breadths and the depths of the social and economic corruption he unwrapped in his story, and its global reach.

220px-The_White_Tiger

Coming back to nearer home, I have just started reading Ian Rankin’s very first Rebus book, Knots and Crosses.  I thought it might be a good idea to introduce myself to an Edinburgh writer, a writer who has grown in stature.  I am hoping that introducing myself to his literary characters will create another interesting link with Edinburgh…….we’ll see

 

 

 

 

Shall We Be Nudged?

I do miss the Word Press email notifications of  the replies to comments I used to receive. Consequently, I also often miss the replies that wait on my Word Press site.  Not without reason has this alternative comment system developed.  For one, people with my kind of irregular ‘footfall’ are meant to be nudged more frequently in the direction of the blog site; it ups the traffic onto Word Press, which is a valuable asset

The bloggers I follow are regular contributors.  I reckon the old email notifications nudged me to connect to Word Press much more frequently than I do now.  For me, to quote a lovely quaint apt adage….. out of sight is out of mind.

Does anyone know a way to restore the original individual notifications without receiving all comments?

P1030288-Nesting-Swan-Wb2

Nesting Swan

BEING SMARTER WITH WORDS

© M- Open Gardens

Have I ever come across such incompetence before…..No:  Have I ever seen such a complicated cock-up before…..Almost, but this one pips others to the post.

After five months of chivvying a utility company along and a having a variety of unexpected experiences, with no sign of an agreeable resolution, I have got to end of my tether.

From Monday of last week I had my nose to grindstone. I gathered together five months’ worth of information to make a formal complaint to the Office Of The Ombudsman (Energy).  Once that was more-or-less sorted, the information had to be put into a non-emotive and concise presentation; ‘emotions not allowed‘ the instruction guidance suggests.  If you’ve done anything like this, you will know it can take days to do.  Sifting through the collection of potential attachments, (evidence) is a must.  Also, attachments, “Must be appropriate to the complaint“.

Midweek, I gave myself permission to have time off.  I had few hours’ break, to go out and see what the rest of my world was doing. It was the only way I was going to bring myself back, bleary eyed, to face the next step…….editing.

Editing is a euphemism for making  savings, word [efficiency] savings; being smarter with words, making cuts.  I won’t bore you with the rest of it.   By lunchtime on Friday I had finished work on the presentation of my complaint and had written a succinct-ish email to attach everything to.

It felt so very good to click on the ‘send’ button.  Now we wait.

© M

 

 

Never Heard Of Barak Obama

I promise, I really and truly was not searching for anything.  This nugget popped out of nowhere today.  I originally wrote it nine years ago.   I am not sure if I published it then, but, if I did, please excuse me for being tempted to post it again.  You’ll see why……..

____________________________________________________________________________

I have actually found someone who has never heard of Barak Obama.

I found this hard to believe but after some further probing, I realised it was true. This young person, (of voting age) thought I was talking about…

“Some man who was going to do something to Scotland”.

This in the middle of a beauty therapy session, padded up for my most un-favourite therapy of toning up useful muscles while lying in a prone state.

I jerked up in surprise, nearly electrocuting myself in the process, “Do something to Scotland. What?” I queried.

Getting all those people out of their houses and off the land”, she answered.

Obama?” I thought of modern day Highland Clearances and was truly puzzled.

obama.jpg

Her mum had talked to her about it and people were going to fight to stay in their houses.

Realisation dawned…………………

“You mean Donald Trump !“, I exclaimed. “He’s the one that’s just got planning permission to build a golf course and luxury hotel complex on the Aberdeenshire coast.”

P1030334-From-The-River-2-Wb

© Chicago by M

The lass looked glumly at me and commented with feeling

I hate politics, all that rudeness, shouting at each other and fighting. I can’t stand it, I really hate politics”.

No doubt about that.

 

 

 

MISSION-ROOM 41

The deep coloured greenery swelled out and spilled over the top of the plastic carrier bag, which had been handed to me. Hidden beneath the massive aromatic foliage were more interesting items. There were three Pak Choi and one splendid white Mooli.   It was lunchtime when I made my visit to the care home, carrying this abundantly overflowing bag.  In my spare hand I held a pack of raspberries, a treat.  I got curious looks from the care staff and some polite smiles.   I was on a visiting mission. I knocked on the door of room 41.

© Elegant Veg

She immediately wanted to know what I was carrying. I got her to feel through the foliage and the thin stalks. Still not sure, I encouraged her to nibble at a little of a leaf. Yes, it tasted of something but what?  She sniffed the green bunch and stroked the stalks.  Realisation; her mother used to grow this and use it in soups, make soup with it and put it with meat and gravy.  She couldn’t remember how long ago, but it made for a good flavour.   Did the Mooli have a sharp and hot radish flavour, she wanted to know and could it be boiled or steamed.  What about the other one, the Pak Choi?  She was thinking and asking questions while I gave my ideas for preparing the two vegetables.

© Our Yellow Beetroot.  Pak Choi it is not.

We shared savoury and sweet  recipe ideas  for the best part of an hour, and the time passed pleasantly and quickly. The raspberries, which all got eaten, evoked thoughts of home made cakes; puddings; jam; outings with an enamel bucket used for collecting and cooking the raspberries, in times long past.

On my way out, staff asked me about the greenery I was carrying.  One, a Bulgarian lady did not know Pak Choi, but bemoaned the fate of her garden back home without her.  A local carer had no idea about any of it.  A Chinese carer squealed with delight when she saw the Mooli and was thrilled to hear we called the other little vegetable (the Pak Choi) the same name she knew it by.

 

WISHING IN THE WIND

Nothing in particular to report, though there is plenty to occupy my thoughts. There is is just too much.  I don’t imagine for one minute that I am alone in feeling I am on thinking and analysis overload.

HGSQ7108

© M-Digital Doodles

Living in such tumultuous and shambolic times it would be easy to behave like an ostrich and bury my head in the sand.  In the Russian equivalent analogy,  the ostrich  is  ‘hiding its head under its wing’.  The Russian Ostrich would have a cosier and warmer hideout, with the ability for an occasional surreptitious glance out to see if worldly things were a little quieter: peaceful would be really good.

IMG_0896

© Photo By M-Wishing-In-The-Wind