I was having a phone chat  with a very happy sounding lady called Kelly in the  telephone accounts department.  A couple of messages had attracted a surcharge as picture messages and I could not understand why. There was not a modicum of a picture in sight in either one, not even an emoticon.  I read the two messages to her and counted the digits in one of the them – fifty-five, (160 is the text limit).   Kelly just couldn’t understand it… I checked my settings, all okay there.

As I still had the messages and could account for what they were, she agreed a refund to my account, then added with a sigh;

I hate smart phones, they’re getting too smart for me!” 



Spotted in an online catalogue.

How tempting is this………………





Oh yes, it rained and rained. Then it stopped for a bit and then it rained again. It wasn’t an ordinary “heavy rain shower” or two like the weather forecasters described, it was curtains of constant waterfalls.

In town, by tea time today, many of the shops and cafés were sandbagged. There had already been a river running down the road and pavements, just like two weeks ago. As the shopkeepers were in their premises, they were able to get into action quickly and mop up before things got out of hand. With more waterfalls of the wet stuff expected tonight and overnight, there is some trepidation about how matters will stand in the morning. There will be plenty of sandbags in situ but will that be enough?


This morning, while I sipped a coffee in one of my favourite local coffee places, a disabled woman arrived following on behind a loud spoken husband. Every now and then she felt the need to tell him to ‘Shhhhh’ down the volume a bit.

They got talking about her new netbook computer. The neighbours kids had tried to set up her internet connection as she has never set fingers, ever, on anything resembling a computer. The CD that came with the router and cables was of no help, because netbooks do not have an integrated optical drive. All the assistance given, thus far, seemed to have complicated matters. Giving the INDIAN helpdesk remote access to the netbook, with the kids following the instructions, had not connected the machine to the internet. The antivirus and firewall software had disappeared and, “The router lights are the wrong colour“. :**:

Domiciliary help will be sought from a local computer man to set up the internet – details given by the café proprietress – so she can learn to play with her machine and gain some familiarity with it. All the lady wanted, was to look at bits of the local world that interested her, from home. “The local estate agents and the shopping channels“. I offered to visit in the next couple of weeks – I cannot do it sooner – and if still required, give some guidance where it may be wanted.

The lady tried talking to hubby sotto-voce about what we had discussed. However much he tried to lip read her, he could not comprehend; she repeated herself, and each time, a little louder….no use. It was kinder for me to sup up my coffee and make an exit so they could talk at a volume hubby could hear. I did think though, that hubby and wife could benefit from him using a hearing aid or two.



How would I like my personal phone number on a bereavement site, listed as a cemetery, when it is not?

I rang a number and the poor woman at the other end could only say;
“But this is my number…”
“You’re not a cemetery then?” I lamely asked.
-“This is my number” she reiterated.
“So, it is wrong, and you’re not a cemetery?” – “No”, she replied very patiently, -“This is my number“.
“Oh dear” – I said, “someone should let the bereavement website know“.

Doing my good deed I filled in a feed back form.

question – was this site helpful to you –
answer – no the….cemetery number is incorrect, please review.

The ruddy website would not connect to anything and my message never went anywhere. Absolutely no use.

Not for want of trying, the lady with the misquoted number will get more calls for the cemetery.



In recent years, I received a box courtesy of an international security parcel company. The executrix, who was a keen amateur genealogist, did not have the heart to dispose of the personal papers of my close relative. The contents of the box were very interesting but I found it was a sad journey going through the papers. The box was re-secured and put away.

A few years later, I was creating a similar box, this time, for my mother. I still have this box, open and waiting………for what?

Another loved one’s life sits in a suitcase, yet to be transferred to a box. She became an order number. How surreal to leave this life to be just a number identifier for an invoice.

I have started collating my own memorabilia now. At least, I guess, I can choose what style of container I can put mine in.


I am deeply sorry for anyone who loses a child. It creates a deep,deep pain. I hope it is one I shall never have to bear in the way that high profile parents like the Cameron’s, or the Browns have had to, or like the parents of children caught up in wars, or other major trauma, have had to endure.

Every infant mortality, be it a child who has lived for a period of time or one who did not, is like losing a limb, like losing some part of yourself. It hurts.

The experience changes you. At best, you learn to live with the loss and absorb it into your daily routines. Eventually,you may be able to think of your lost child without the rawness of the early grief. Life does continue and these experiences become part of the strange mixed tapestry of our lives.


It’s definitely thermal vest weather, duvet coat and gloves and a hat that does the job without needing to be chased after.

Thermal vest doesn’t seem to have made much difference; bet I would notice a difference though, if I took it off. Jumper over the top plus a ‘furry’ cardigan makes for a cosier me.

I met a friend today in town for a brief-ish hot cuppa. It’s just as well we chose different headgear. I have a hat the same as hers which I did actually use later on as my cheeky bright red beret was not quite cutting the mustard in the sharp edged winds and snow bursts.

Rain is threatened with warnings of black ice for tomorrow (Sunday). I can vouch for the fact that the temperature levels are Arctic here.